Final Drive Oil Leak - Suzuki Volusia Forums : Intruder Volusia and Boulevard Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Final Drive Oil Leak

Hi All, I seem to have developed a gear oil leak in my Final Drive. 2000 Intruder VS800 35K Miles.

History: Bought bike used,did not notice oil leak at first. After a ride at 45-55MPH when put away noticed oil slung on Tire/Rim and a small pea size puddle on rim.Drive was really hot. Drained drive and only about 1/4 cup of black oil came out. Some metal slurry on the magnet. Cleaned and filled drive with Mystery Oil. Ran bike in 1st gear for 5 min. Drained Mystery oil (now black). Did same a second time.Mystery oil grey some silver slurry on magnet. Drained and put in GL5 85-90w gear oil. Took bike for ride with same result leak. (Clean oil this time.) Checked level and it was still just below fill hole. I was going to leave it until end of season. Took bike for 35 minute ride at speeds of 55-60MPH. Toward the end of the ride the rear brakes were no longer grabbing.( I had loosen the adjustment of the shoes in case they were too tight causing overheat condition) I figured oil was getting on the shoes. Decided it needed to be addressed. The previous owner replaced the rear tire so thought maybe he messed something up. I also wanted to check the splines after reading all the posts on that. When I removed the wheel Oil came out on the floor. It looked like it was coming from the large seal where the wheel and gear mesh. I removed the drive from the bike and the splines looked good and the seals looked newer? Wondering if this is the original drive? No oil from driveshaft tube and just a small amount of gear oil can be seen at the seal where it goes onto the final. (Maybe because I was spinning it?) Sorry for the long history and I'm going to try to attach photo's of the drive and what looks like a deformed seal. There also looks like some cracks near where the bolts go around the plate. Is this normal or a concern? I have seen this in photo's of drives on ebay as well.
So the main question is can I just replace the large seal behind the cover with all the bolts? Also oil came out the vent hole when I turned the drive with the seal side down. Is that normal or is only air supposed to come out?
Should I replace the seal on the other side of the drive shaft and put Moly on? Thats all for now. Thank You. Now the photo's hopefully.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Final Drive Oil Leak -Update1

I took the final drive case cover off to see what was going on in there. It looked like there were small fragments of metal on the bevel gear where the seal was riding. There is also quite a bit of side to side movement. Meaning I grabbed the bevel gearset and I can rock it left to right. Looks like it possible contacts the case. There is a small sliver of metal starting to shave off the case. Further inspection showed there to be some binding when turning the drive shaft by hand. I also observed and retrieved a shard of metal from the back side of the bevel gear.Maybe a busted bearing? Looks like I should get another drive from ebay. I will disassemble the drive the rest of the way to see what damage is under the gearset. I'll attach some photo's. Thank You for looking.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 04:23 PM
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Yes. Get another drive from Fleabay.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Final Drive Oil Leak-Result

So I guess I answered my own question. The issue with my drive is a destroyed inner needle bearing. The oil seal behind it is also destroyed.
Kind of scary since I was riding this at 55+MPH the other day. I didn't notice any bearing noise. If the oil didn't leak on the brake shoes I would have ridden it the rest of the season! (Or crashed)
Has anyone ever seen this type of failure? What could cause this? Low or dirty oil?

One last question(s). When I removed the axle bolt and wheel, the wheel bearing on the drive side fell out? I thought they were pressed in/out? Why would this happen? Could that contribute to the drive failure? Do they press in with the open side in or out? Would a sealed bearing be better?

Photo's to follow:

Thanks for viewing.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 12:31 PM
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You have a 20 year old motorcycle in front of you, with an unknown past. You don't know how it was ridden, how it was maintained or how it was stored. Because of that, you have no way to really determine why the bearing failed.

What this becomes is an opportunity to discuss the importance of doing a complete safety inspection of a motorcycle before ever throwing a leg over the saddle. Too often, riders ASSUME everything is fine with their bike, then something catastrophic happens.

Good luck finding a new drive for the bike. Ebay is your best source for parts
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-2004 Suzuki LS650 - 04-2005 to 07-2008
-2005 Boulevard C50 - 07-2008 to 5-2012
-2012 Vulcan 900 - 05-2012 to 05-2015
-2008 Yamaha FZ6 - 11-2008 to 04-2017
-2006 Star Virago - 05-2011 to 06-2017


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 02:21 PM
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Honestly, I'd part out the tired old machine, to recoup your investment.
It is doubtful this motorcycle will provide pleasure, rather, more catastrophic failures are likely as time goes on.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Final Drive Oil Leak-Result

This will likely be my last bike. A newer one is not in the cards. It is a low investment,just around town ride. I just ordered a drive from ebay for 30.79 shipped. If I get a few more years out of it then great. If not so be it.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 09:08 AM
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we hope you get a few more years out of you and you don't cut your life short by riding a faulty old bike

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 12:31 PM
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Replace the gear oil and oil seal on the drive. Lube both ends of the drive shaft and add new oil seal and circlip. Replace bearings on the wheel and clean your brake hub and replace the brake shoes.

Thats pretty much what you have starring you in the face.
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I can head East or West, it doesn't matter as long as it's on 2 wheels.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Final Drive Oil Leak-Conclusion

So here is the conclusion for anyone following.Got a used drive,new wheel bearings,cleaned brake shoes with wire wheel,plenty of friction material left. When I tightened the axle nut to spec the tire would not turn! When I removed the axle the first time the nut was barely hand tight. Which I thought was weird. So I checked the spec again. Looked at part diagram and noticed there is supposed to be a spacer ( 64772-34201 SPACER, LH) that was not there? I looked at my pictures again and it was not there...just grease and gear oil? Ordered used axle with the spacer that was missing for 9.00 shipped at my door in 3 days. Same place I got the rear from. So thinking the guy I bought the bike from lost it when replacing the rear tire and just left the nut loose? All back together now tightened to spec.

Filled with Wally GL5 gear oil. Ran bike with rear tire off ground for 5 min. No leaks. Drained oil. No metal on magnet.
Refilled, rode bike 120 miles. No leaks,drive hot but now I can leave my hand on it. Old drive only 1-2 seconds.
Drained gear oil again. Clean,no shavings! Rode 140 miles same results. Will ride another 150 then if a ll good will put in mobil one. I also changed engine oil and filter put in Rotella T6.

The bike rides allot better. 55mph and it doesn't sound like its coming unglued. I brought it up to 70 and it's way smoother. Yes the engine revs but good enough for around town. My fuel mileage also went up. I was going 90-96 miles before hitting reserve. The last time it hit reserve at 84 miles! Now with the new/used drive I got 113 miles and 115 miles before hitting reserve! YAY, I guess that broken drive was dragging bad.

Thanks to all!
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