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Toolcraft4100
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378 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A couple days ago I thought I heard an intermittent clicking noise when I was riding at a very low speed next to a building. I heard it again the next day and may have felt faint little bumps through the footpegs that matched the clicking. I did not pay much attention to it because I wasn't really certain. I've ridden 100 or so miles since then at city and highway speeds and haven't heard or felt anything.

But it kinda reminded me of when the u-joint started failing on my '77 Goldwing so today I pulled the boot back at the u-joint and stuck my telescoping magnet into the tube under and around the u-joint. It was kinda difficult and I only spent a few minutes at it but I recovered 2 or 3 tiny metal slivers or shavings.
My next move is to make a project out of looking into that area and fishing around with my magnet. It doesn't look like you can get a very good look at the u-joint itself.
Questions:
Is there a good method of determining if I have a failing u-joint, short of pulling it?
Can I buy a new part or should I look for a used or rebuilt one?
Is it typical to have a few metal slivers around the u-joint or is that a sure sign of immanent failure?


The bike is a '91 with 130,000+ miles on the odometer, but the motor is from a 1990 model and I have no way of knowing how many miles are on the driveshaft.
 

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Premium Member
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3,404 Posts
Two things come to mind regarding the clicking sound.

1. Could be the universal joint.

2. Could be the rear drive shaft splines about ready to completely strip.

Place the bike on the center stand and put the bike in 5th gear. Try to rotate the rear wheel (it should not rotate). If you can rotate it with some force the rear drive shaft splines are about ready to completely strip.

If good, then probably the universal joint.

Are you sure there is nothing else on the rear causing the clicking. I know of one case where a caliper bolt had backed out and was rubbing (lightly) against the frame.

Check everything in and around the rear swing arm, brakes, etc to make sure nothing else is causing the clicking sound.
 

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2012 GL1800
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444 Posts
I had a similar noise on my 1200. The final drive flange pins (5 of them) in the rear wheel that fit into the rubber mounts where dry (no grease). Only noticed it at low speeds.
Another thing to check are the rear wheel bearings.
 

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Toolcraft4100
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378 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Two things come to mind regarding the clicking sound.

1. Could be the universal joint.

2. Could be the rear drive shaft splines about ready to completely strip.

Place the bike on the center stand and put the bike in 5th gear. Try to rotate the rear wheel (it should not rotate). If you can rotate it with some force the rear drive shaft splines are about ready to completely strip.

If good, then probably the universal joint.

Are you sure there is nothing else on the rear causing the clicking. I know of one case where a caliper bolt had backed out and was rubbing (lightly) against the frame.

Check everything in and around the rear swing arm, brakes, etc to make sure nothing else is causing the clicking sound.

I put the old girl on her centerstand and shifted up to 5th gear. I spun the wheel with both hands with all the force I could muster while laying on my side next to the motorcycle. Seems like it rotated without any resistance for maybe an inch along the circumference of the wheel. It would rotate for another inch perhaps with increasing resistance until it felt like it hit a hard stop.
I think I will take a good look at the u-joint as soon as I get the opportunity and continue to ride the motorcycle locally and listen for noises. Probably better keep the tank full and keep Sta-bil in it. When I can get some garage time I may pull the rear end apart and examine everything. Unless I hear some clicking or thunking or grinding in which case I park it until I can pull it apart.
 

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Toolcraft4100
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378 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I still haven't had a chance to spend much time with this situation, but I did put it on the centerstand and spin the rear wheel in neutral. Can't say that I heard or felt anything.
I took the right side covers off and started it. In first gear I could hear a "steadily intermittent chatter" that I'm almost certain was coming from the u-joint/driveshaft area. In fifth gear it was a full on clatter.
 

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Toolcraft4100
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378 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I tore the rear end down to the swingarm. Every splined connection looks perfect. The u-joint looks and feels perfect. My conclusion is that the dampners are shot and are causing the intermittant low speed noise I heard. The metal blocks rattle a little in the rubber blocks and the rubber blocks are hard.

I plan to replace the dampners as soon as I can get the parts. Also my rear rotor needs to be replaced and my u-joint boot and air-shock boot are both damaged. So I'm shopping for all these parts. Any advice on where to purchase the rotor at the EBC price instead of the OEM price would be appreciated. I also need the rear caliper pin retainer.
 

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69 Posts
I tore the rear end down to the swingarm. Every splined connection looks perfect. The u-joint looks and feels perfect. My conclusion is that the dampners are shot and are causing the intermittant low speed noise I heard. The metal blocks rattle a little in the rubber blocks and the rubber blocks are hard.

I plan to replace the dampners as soon as I can get the parts. Also my rear rotor needs to be replaced and my u-joint boot and air-shock boot are both damaged. So I'm shopping for all these parts. Any advice on where to purchase the rotor at the EBC price instead of the OEM price would be appreciated. I also need the rear caliper pin retainer.

plenty of quality aftermarket rotors on ebay.

I use https://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/ many times for OEM parts esp small orders, shipping is less and they have a cash back program.



rear rotor interchangeability.

HONDA ST 1100 Pan European L-Y,1 SC26 F440 Rear 1990-1992
HONDA ST 1100 Pan Europaen ABS-TCS AN,AP,AR,AS SC26 F440 1992 - 1995
HONDA VTX1800/VTX 1800C C1-CA8 SC46 e4*0113 Rear 02-09
HONDA VTX 1800F F SC46 e4*0113 Rear 2005-2011
HONDA VTX 1800N N SC46 e4*0113 Rear 2004-2011
HONDA VTX 1800R R1-R7 SC46 e4*0113 Rear 2002-2007
HONDA VTX 1800 S S1 SC46 e4*0113 Rear 2002-2007
HONDA VTX 1800T T SC46 e4*0113 Rear 2007-2011
HONDA ST 1300 A Pan European A2-A7 A8,A9-AA- SC51/e1/0147 2002-2013
HONDA ST 1300 P Pan European ABS P SC51 e1*0147 2005-2007
HONDA ST 1300 PA Pan European ABS PA PA8-9,A,B,C SC51 e1*0147 2006-2016
HONDA GL 1500 Goldwing L- SC22 E931 1990-2000
HONDA GL 1500 Goldwing A SC22 E931 1990-2000
HONDA GL 1500 Goldwing Interstate I 1990-2000
HONDA GL 1500 Goldwing SE SC22 E931 1990-2000
HONDA GL F6C VALKYRIE /GL 1500 Valkyrie C (SC34/H582) 1500CC 1997-2003
HONDA GL 1500 Valkyrie C /CD /CF (SC34/H582) 2000-2003
HONDA GL 1500 Valkyrie Interstate CI (SC34/H582) 2000-2003
HONDA GL 1500 Valkyrie Tourer CT SC34 H582 1997-1999
 

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Toolcraft4100
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378 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks guys. I got the rotor from PartsGiant.com and the dampners and retainer from 2WheelPros.com. I should have the parts in a couple of days and I've got other stuff I can do until then.
 

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Toolcraft4100
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378 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
conclusion

Just in case anybody ever reads this thread again...I removed the rear wheel, final drive, drive shaft and u-joint. Did not find one thing that looked or felt in any way loose, damaged, or improperly lubricated.
Bought new dampners and found that the old ones were in as good shape as the new ones. Reinstalled the old ones.
I did, however, install a new rear brake rotor and pads because the original rotor had a pretty deep groove in both surfaces.
I guess I just have a vivid imagination, but at least I confirmed that everything is good in this area. I rode the bike 300+ miles over the weekend mostly at highway speeds.

The only thing that bothers me is that when I attempted to final-torque the four bolts on the final drive that connect it to the swing arm I found that one of them was absolutely impossible to access with a socket. The best I could do was to get a "crows foot" on it.
Thanks to everyone who responded to me on this thread and off-line.
 

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Premium Member
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6,136 Posts
Just in case anybody ever reads this thread again...I removed the rear wheel, final drive, drive shaft and u-joint. Did not find one thing that looked or felt in any way loose, damaged, or improperly lubricated.
Bought new dampners and found that the old ones were in as good shape as the new ones. Reinstalled the old ones.
I did, however, install a new rear brake rotor and pads because the original rotor had a pretty deep groove in both surfaces.
I guess I just have a vivid imagination, but at least I confirmed that everything is good in this area. I rode the bike 300+ miles over the weekend mostly at highway speeds.

The only thing that bothers me is that when I attempted to final-torque the four bolts on the final drive that connect it to the swing arm I found that one of them was absolutely impossible to access with a socket. The best I could do was to get a "crows foot" on it.
Thanks to everyone who responded to me on this thread and off-line.
What you describe about the bolt on the final drive is very common everywhere in the indistry. My theory is the manufacturer is also aware that there is no way yoou can put a torque wrench on the bolt but they still list it so you have an idea of how tight to tighten it. I almost never use a torque wrench. After 50 years you get a pretty good feel for what needs to be done.
 

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Depending on how you align it, there is no problem using a crows foot on a torque wrench. As long as you don't change the effective length, no math required. Also there are open ended and box torque wrenches. The military loves those things. And thanks to new style A/C systems, there are even torque reading adjustable wrenches and swapping head versions.
And of course the good old calibrated wrist.
 

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Premium Member
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3,404 Posts
What you describe about the bolt on the final drive is very common everywhere in the indistry. My theory is the manufacturer is also aware that there is no way yoou can put a torque wrench on the bolt but they still list it so you have an idea of how tight to tighten it. I almost never use a torque wrench. After 50 years you get a pretty good feel for what needs to be done.
I have a friend who has an "almost calibrated" wrist. He usually gets within 3 -4 ft lbs of the torque value.

But his wrist didn't work when torquing the front wheel lug nuts on a Motor Home (200 ft lb). That required a "BIG LONG" torque wrench
 

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Toolcraft4100
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378 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
If I had removed everything the Clymer book told me to remove to get the U-Joint out I probably could have come from underneath and behind and got a socket and extension and torque wrench on it.

I also probably could have installed that short little SS brake line that I bought with the set and still have in the package in the cabinet.

The step-by-step instructions I found on this website skipped over the whole part about retorquing the left swingarm pivot bolt. I ground notches in a 1-1/4" socket to match the retaining nut and torgued the nut to spec. I visually "marked" the position of the pivot bolt hex head and it did not seem to move at all when I tightened the retainer bolt.
 

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The only thing that bothers me is that when I attempted to final-torque the four bolts on the final drive that connect it to the swing arm I found that one of them was absolutely impossible to access with a socket. The best I could do was to get a "crows foot" on it.
Thanks to everyone who responded to me on this thread and off-line.
I use a box end and calibrated pull
 

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Toolcraft4100
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378 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
seriously?

CWN: with all due respect to you and your experience, the Clymer manual for my old '77 and for my '91 both say to torque the final drive bolts after you install the tire. Also the local Honda motorsports guru that I consult with made a point to tell me to do so. I do not have a Honda Service Manual.
I am confident that I turned the bolt that I could not tighten with my torque wrench and socket with as much or more torque as I did the others, so I am not concerned about my work.
I am an open-minded amateur so I would be happy to listen to why you think it's ok to torque these bolts before you install the tire.
 
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