Drive Shaft Failure - Page 3 - Suzuki Volusia Forums : Intruder Volusia and Boulevard Forum
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post #21 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 01:46 PM
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Well, since you got me started here we go.....
I will now change gears to why I have some angst with the proverbial forum advice.

The humble Kuryakyn Hypercharger. Had a customer that came in my shop and wanted me to do a stage one modification to is 03 Volusia. A new rider.
I was the one to guided him to a Volusia. He wanted a Harley sportster, I ride a 2010 Harley Electraglide, and own a 03 Volusia as my shop bike.

after he visited a few forums he told me he wanted a kuryakyn hypercharger, instead of a K and N filter, I also rejetted his carb, and put a set of cobra pipes on. Told him the Hypercharger was inefficient and not worth the money. Of course he knew more than my Suzuki factory trained tech because he read it on a forum. We complied, he was the customer.

So......for free we ran the bike on the dyno with the K and N filter, rejett and pipes. Then ran the same set up with the Hypercharger....guess what???

4 hp loss and 3 lbs of torque loss with the hypercharger! all input data the same, same bike same everything. But this UNEDUCATED consumer read it on a forum....so its gotta be true.

So as the story goes he had to eat the cost of the hypercharger and bought a Filter from me, But by the way did I mention he bought the Hypercharger from the internet to save 8 bucks instead of from me. I would have returned it but the "internet wont"

So before you all start acting like a pack of wolves and banging me for a comment that I made and stand behind I would think your responses through. Collectively you might be a good resource, Individually you seem to make comments with out data to back your claims
Perhaps... But hyperchargers look cool.

My vol was rejetted (using the suzuki tech from Dynojets advice) ported and polished exhaust and intake (using wisdom from my race engine building father) replaced filter and exhaust and sparkplug wires and picked up four horsepower but more importantly changed the entire throttle response profile of the bike and made it more fun to ride.

That advice is available on this forum too. No doubt you have to pick and choose. Some Suzuki qualifies techs are 19 year old MMI grads who know very little about motorcycles and some are highly qualified. The advice you get anywhere is subject to validation. If you want to become one of those voices of reason and gain more customers, probably a less confrontational methodology than going on a Suzuki owners website and telling a vast number of them theyre not very smart (when in fact many of them are very very smart).

Some guys buy a machine and work it by the book and some guys go home and stick cards in the spokes... Me, i think its silly to stick cards in the spokes, and I dont mind saying that. But on the other hand some of these guys get results and I cant completely ignore that either.

My shops owner and service managers are. Very high dollar professionals who when faced with internet wizardry say "hmm, thats interesting, but here's how I do it... And people pay me 100 dollars an hour to do it. Heres why my manufacturer does it this way..."


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post #22 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 02:07 PM
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...Some guys buy a machine and work it by the book and some guys go home and stick cards in the spokes... Me, i think its silly to stick cards in the spokes, and I dont mind saying that. But on the other hand some of these guys get results and I cant completely ignore that either....
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What's wrong with me putting cards in my spokes?!



Actually, I did that once, but it was a joke. It was funny as all get out if you ask me!



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post #23 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 02:45 PM
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What's wrong with me putting cards in my spokes?!
Exactly - louder = faster, right? I read it on the internet...


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post #24 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 03:01 PM
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A lot of folks complain about a lack of lubrication at the splines, and I have seen the splines be quite dry from the factory. When I pulled my engine last week I pulled the drive and checked ALL FOUR sets of splines (secondary drive to u-joint; u-joint to driveshaft; driveshaft to final drive; final drive to wheel) and they were all just about bone dry (except the drive to wheel one, which was lubed when i put tires on it last).

But with that said, the drive shaft also showed absolutely no signs of rust or wear. I have never seen a drive shaft eat itself up like this in person, though I have seen many shaft drive bikes from all manufacturers suffer from inadequate lubrication at the driveshaft splines, especially on bikes like the C50 where the boot is not held in place with a clamp and water can get in there.

I am curious how many actual driveshaft failures there have been out of the tens of thousands of these bikes made in the last 15 years. I have heard of two for sure on this site and one on another, but not paid much attention to it, but I am sure there are others.

This is not the first person posting that they have filed a complaint to NHSTA, so I can say without a doubt that nothing will happen. They will not respond, and if you call them or repeatedly contact them about it they will respond saying that a driveshaft slowly destroying itself from lack of lubrication is a preventable maintenance issue, not a safety related design defect. But maybe if enough people complain Suzuki will add lubing the splines to the maintenance chart so people know to do it every now and then.

After reading your post I was thinking about oil impregnated Metal that doesn't require lubing. It could be Suzuki uses oil impregnated materials rather than depending on customer lubrication of parts that require significant disassembly before the could be lubricated. Such materials with oil impregnation within the metal could go a lifetime without needing added lubrication and would always look bare of lubrication. Just wondering as a lot of folks don't have many problems with splines in spite of never lubing. Suzuki recommends a lot of maintenance that most don't do like replacing brake and fuel lines every four years. So Suzuki has no problem recommending a lot of maintenance to protect your machine.

It might not be oil but rather a slippery metal from a percentage of some compound in the metal that makes for hardness, corrosion resistant and slipperiness all at the same time.

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post #25 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 03:33 PM
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I remember in the old days when you had to grease all your cars chassis moving parts a couple of times a year to keep them working. Then they came out with permanent lubed chassis parts but lot of us didn't believe them and installed grease fittings so we could still grease the parts we were use to greasing. Currently most cars have no place to add a grease fitting and routinely go well over a 150,000 miles without greasing the moving chassis parts.

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post #26 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 01:08 PM
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Another possible cause of spline failure may be insufficient spline engagement.

Perhaps spline failure occurs more often when the bike has been lowered. As the bike is lowered the overall shaft length is increased to allow the bike to squat. This will result in the splines moving apart with less engagement which would increase the force on the remaining engagement area which over time be more than the spline can handle resulting in some kind of metal failure.

I wonder if spline failure is more common on bikes that have been significantly lowered putting more strain on the remaining spline engagement resulting in eventual failure due to metal fatigue?

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post #27 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 02:20 PM
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Two red- The splines that fail are the ones in the drive end- that end is captured with a circlip- the u Joint end seems to be fine.. but the short 1/2" of splines on the drive end are the ones that fail routinely if not lubed,,
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post #28 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by MoDZuKi View Post
Two red- The splines that fail are the ones in the drive end- that end is captured with a circlip- the u Joint end seems to be fine.. but the short 1/2" of splines on the drive end are the ones that fail routinely if not lubed,,
Cheers Dave
1/2 inch doesn't seem to be a lot of engagement length possible with even a small change in the engagement depth likely to have a significant effect on forces. Although I am not sure if causing the bike to squat could effect engagement at the drive ends.

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post #29 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 06:05 PM
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Here's what I don't understand. It doesn't seem like the reported failures are coming from 2 or 3 year old bikes, they're coming from 8 or 9 year old bikes with fairly high numbers of miles on them. Sure, Suzuki could change how they're lubing the shafts and increase reliability, but they're lasting long enough that I don't think it's a manufacturing defect causing a failure, it's normal wear and tear.

The next piece here is that everyone agrees this is a well documented failure on the bike, and is easily prevented by taking apart the drive shaft and lubing it. If that's the case, I would agree that this is not a Suzuki problem, but a lack of maintenance by the owner.

Simply put, if you were aware of this complaint before your drive shaft failed, it's your own d**n fault!

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The only problem with that thinking is that you won't find any recommended shaft spline lubrication schedule from Suzuki. So what are these "trained mechanics" doing ? Deviating from factory recommendations ?

Gee, I couldn't argue with a guy who's seen more Suzuki's in 90 days than I have in my lifetime. Well other than he don't know how many Suzuki drive shafts I've seen.

BTW, the first guy that ever installed a C90 drive in his C50 ended up doing drive conversions BY THE PALLET LOAD, he was receiving pallets of C90 drives from a trike converter. But what would he know about drive shafts ?

I had an interesting conversation with one of these "trained mechanics" awhile back. A few weeks after our chat I noticed he was selling carpet at Lowes.




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post #30 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by 472viper View Post
The only problem with that thinking is that you won't find any recommended shaft spline lubrication schedule from Suzuki. So what are these "trained mechanics" doing ? Deviating from factory recommendations ?

Gee, I couldn't argue with a guy who's seen more Suzuki's in 90 days than I have in my lifetime. Well other than he don't know how many Suzuki drive shafts I've seen.

BTW, the first guy that ever installed a C90 drive in his C50 ended up doing drive conversions BY THE PALLET LOAD, he was receiving pallets of C90 drives from a trike converter. But what would he know about drive shafts ?

I had an interesting conversation with one of these "trained mechanics" awhile back. A few weeks after our chat I noticed he was selling carpet at Lowes.
Did you end up quoting the wrong person? This response doesn't really seem to fit what I said.

I'm aware that Suzuki doesn't have a recommended lube schedule for the drive shaft. I'm not an engineer or a mechanic, so honestly I have no idea what they were thinking. Possibly impregnated metals as previously mentioned? All I know is that a mechanical failure on a vehicle after 6 or 7 years of use isn't typically considered a manufacturers defect.

They could probably make the bike run for 30 years with zero maintenance or failure, but they would cost more than we would pay. In my opinion you can't ask for long term reliability in a low price entry level bike. If this was a $30k bike I'd be upset, but if Suzuki got the bike to 5+ years before any issues appear with minimal maintenance and kept the price below $10k, they've done a pretty good job.

I'm going to assume the rest of your comments weren't directed at me, because I would never argue what anyone has or hasn't seen. I haven't even seen the inside of my own drive shaft, that's what I pay my mechanic for!

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