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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all!

I've got a 1981 CX custom as my daily transportation. I'd heard an odd cyclical grinding noise in the rear-end when pushing the bike up the driveway from the street ( it's a rule--if I can't push it up the driveway incline I can't ride it anymore ; ' ) and if the engine was off I'd get this weird scraping noise about every half wheel-turn.

I disassembled it and found all the grease squeezed off the splines between the wheel and Cardan-drive. I used what was all over the place to rebutter the splines and put it back together and it quiesced the noise--for awhile.

Recently I read from an archived link here that a 60% molybdenum disulphide lubricant/assembly paste was specified ( no longer available ) but that other such pastes would work and that a product called Krytox is even better. A local shop has a substitute for the old Honda 60% moly paste and I'm going to check that out tomorrow. I recently swapped out a back wheel from a donor Interstate I have which had a good tire. My tire was down to cords--scary. Lesson learned. If you skidded your tire in a panic a long time ago when your tread is "bald" you might have a patch that's propagated down from that panic-stop incident that's showing cords!

Getting to the point ( always a problem with me--sorry ): The CX wheel with the bad tire wouldn't index with the splines on the GL shaft-drive when I was putting it on there just so I could move the donor bike around. It's stored on a plastic plank with two earth-anchors and straps but I moved it to the driveway to remove the wheel for-instance. I'm going to take off the old splines so I can roll the Interstate and soon I'll dismount it's front tire and swap that with the nearly-bald front tire on the CX. But why wouldn't the CX wheel splines index? The GL wheel seems to be just fine on the CX. In fact the splines went together better than they did when I broke open the original to butter-up the splines to stop the weird noise. when I remove the splines from the Comstar I'll be able to inspect them more closely but before I do that any thoughts on why I could go one way but not the other in the swapping-of-wheels? Would it be distortion or damage from the CX's having only been assembled with common "moly" grease that's not 60+% moly? If it's that bad to use regular wheel-bearing grease then I sure am glad I started poking around here when I did just out of curiousity about this swaps-one-way-but-not-the-other situation. I could just see me sitting waiting for my pal who has a truck to come get me somewhere 200 miles from home with a disintegrated set of drive splines.

I'm eager to read the wisdom and experiences of any and all who have had disasters and near disasters of this kind and whether anyone thinks it's grease-where-assembly-paste-should-be-used damage keeping the CX wheel from being able to be put on the GL/Interstate. I would have possibly taken the splines out yesterday but it rained.
 

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Welcome to the forum. Please see the link in my signature about settings.

If you haven't already done so go to the CX Wiki (also linked in my signature) and download the Factory Shop Manuals for the models you have.

The requirement to use Moly 60 on the splines is a myth, as is the idea that Moly60 is 60% molybdenum (it is only 15-20%). P. 204 of the GL500/650 FSM says "Lubricate the splines of the final driven flange and the O-ring with lithium-based MULTIPURPOSE NLGI No. 2 (molybdenum disulfide additive) GREASE" which you can get just about anywhere for a fraction of the price of Moly 60.

FWIW, my 'Wing had over 120,000 Km on it the last time I had the rear wheel off and the splines were like new (I have had it for over 100,000 of that). I probably had it for more than 60,000 Km before the "moly requirement" started coming up on the forums and I looked more closely at the FSM. Before that I used whatever flavour of grease I happened to have on hand, usually ordinary wheel bearing grease.

Something that the manuals aren't very clear on is the proper procedure for aligning the splines during re-assembly. Every time you have the wheel off you need to loosen the nuts where the final drive attaches to the swingarm and then re-tighten in the following order:
1) Axle nut
2) Pinch bolt on opposite side of swingarm
3) Final drive nuts
If the splines are misaligned wear will be accelerated.

Also, there are 2 o-rings that function to keep the grease in the splines, one in a groove in the hub (inside the spline flange) and one on the final drive. Make sure they are in perfect condition because if one of them fails dirt can get in, mix with the grease and turn it into grinding compound. I recommend replacing them if you don't know how old the ones you have are.

If you clean out all of the old, possibly contaminated grease and apply fresh moly-lith grease every time you have the wheel off and align the splines as described your splines should last a very long time.

The splines on your CX wheel should mate up with the GL final drive perfectly. In fact, the same spline flange is used on all CX500 models, GL500 and GL650. Many of us have used CX500 wheels on GL500s and it should just slide in place perfectly.

Also, your CX originally came with an 18" front wheel and your GL came with a 19" so the tire from the GL won't fit the CX wheel. How old are the tires on your parts bike? If they are more than 5 years old you would be better off to buy new ones, no matter how much tread is left on the ones you have.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hello Sidecar Bob! Thanks for the quick response.


I've already gone out and bought some Honda brand M 77 assembly paste. I guess I may as well clean off the moly/graphite grease I buttered 'em up with and put a little of that on there since I've got it (??) I'm glad to hear you've had good luck with your splines using the moly grease. Since the GL 500 i is now officially in the "donor" category anyway I'll chance trying the loosening of the three nuts between the swing-arm and final-drive and see if that achieves alignment so I can put the donor back together and have full function ( like if I want to put it in gear and use the clutch for a brake when I'm moving it around because it's not so far to reach ) in just in the interest of keeping all the parts recoverable if/when needed. I have better luck with keeping things together as they go.

These are both used bikes so I have no idea what some genius might have taken off and put on from what and why. I don't have the Honda service manual ( I thought I saw links to that online where I read about using M 60 or even Krytox ( and that stuff is pricey too but it sure did sound like some good assembly-paste for those splines--- the author of the post said something to the effect that NASCAR techs had found they could lower the operating temperature of such splines by as much as 150° by buttering those up with this Krytox Teflon paste. I have two service manuals and one's an "official Honda publication" ( which I don't find too impressive but I got it free with the bike so... ) and all either say about reassembling the back wheel is reverse-order with nothing about the three nuts between the swing-arm and final-drive housing but like I said, I'll try that to see if I can get the CX wheel onto the interstate. Why not?

The splines of the wheel coming off the donor interstate went right together with 0 argument. Even when I'd taken the wheel off at the last tire change ( I had a set of brand-new Dunnies put on and boy did that ever make a difference--until that first panic-stop/skid where I got my "tank slapper" ( if I take my hands off the bars too long--yeah I know: why am I taking my hands off the bars? Answer: just to see what would happen ;') when I brought the wheels back from the shop and put 'em back on I had a little balkiness getting the splines to align.

Oh well. My trip to the shop which had the Honda M 77 assembly paste wasn't a total waste. A guy walking by tried to buy my Marquette Outfitters camouflage cap off me for his cap collection ( 'til he saw I'd side-cuttered-off the Knob of Pain in the center of the top of the cap ) and I got to wander around Donelson's Motorcycle Museum for awhile. That's an interesting experience. They even had a bike in there this time with a Wankel-type rotary engine and an old Harley 125cc with a girder-type front suspension which had rubber-bands ( I kid you not! ) for the springs. What was that Wankel... a Norton maybe? I should have taken a picture--it would have lasted longer.

Yup---Norton http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-W-LOyTInzkI/TrHKg4RXWMI/AAAAAAAAQS4/hFCkBei2TaY/s1600/norotn.f.jpg

As to the wheel/tire sizes. Like I said, these are used bikes and I know not what was done to them before I got 'em. The GL 500 i has a 19" 100/40/19 on it. The 81 CX 500 c I'm riding has a 110/40/19 on it. The one I'm going to put on it will be a little skinnier and I'm a bit nervous about that but I'm sure I'll get used to it and might even wind up liking it better ( if I don't wind up in a veggie ward ). Yeah, the rubber's older and no-doubt has started to auto-vulcanize. But they're just too new to toss--still a paint stripe around the tread--and at the rate I get things ( not )done why not wear the tread off 'em on the road instead of letting them sit and rot 'til they start cracking? They won't have that same like-a-new-bike feel I got with the brand-new set but they're sure going to be superior to the spitfires it came with which were probably decades old. They were *hard*. I never noticed how bad they were 'til I got a brand-new set back in June 2015. I guess I got my money's worth out of those. I tried mostly using the front brake on those to see if I could equalize the wear somewhat but the unequal wear must all be a function of drive-wear and static load. I've usually got at least 30lbs of something on the back seat ( or more--sometimes it's more like 70lbs ) of groceries or reverse-osmo water/sodas so it's almost as if I have a little kid passenger all the time with me too.

Oddly enough my Clymer service/repair/maintenance book ( ISBN 0-89287-295-0 ) seems to be indicating my CX 500 c should have had a 15" rear wheel.

I'm already getting better cornering with just the rear tire changed. The front doesn't have enough tread to ride confidently on wet roads but at least it's not skinned down to the cords like the rear one turned out to be. I only noticed that before setting out to the astronomy park for our club's Friday night "open house" and I wanted to be there so I did go anyway but I was not enjoying humping my 500lbs of pure fun and sheer terror nearly so much that night! I almost came back the feeder-road route but my charging system's on the fritz and it was a question of whether the light was going to last me or I was going to go home more slowly and having lights all the way home won out. After that trip I kept my forays real local 'til I got that changed-out. I had a flat on the rear at highway speed before and it wasn't a real enjoyable experience but I'm still here but the people where I live don't even see me a lot of times when I *have* a light on. Have any theories on whether the diode-block/regulator off my donor will work on the current rider? I have reason to hope it might but the Voice of Experience might save me some rooting around in the prior threads...

Thanks again for the rapid response!
 

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Honda M77 is a rebranded Dow Corning product that they are selling instead of Moly 60. It is assembly paste like the Moly 60 and is intended for use when re-assembling engines. It is not intended as a lubricant for splines.
This is what can happen when you use Moly assembly paste on the splines instead of the correct lithium based grease with a small percentage of molybdenum. Dan is a knowledgeable guy from the Naked GoldWings forum and he used Moly paste instead once. Note that it is contaminated by metal particles from the worn splines.

Go to any local auto parts place and get some ordinary NLGI2 Lithium based grease with Molybdenum additive and use it for everything on your bike that needs grease. And make sure those O-rings are in good shape.

As for getting the splines on the CX wheel to mate with the ones on the GL final drive, just hold the wheel in place and jiggle it around a bit and it should go in. The instructions about loosening the final drive nuts was intended more for the bike you are using. If you did not loosen them when you put it together please go back and loosen everything off and re-tighten it in the correct order so that the splines are aligned.

As I said, check the date codes on the tires and don't use them if they are more than 5 years old. Old tires can look perfect when you put them on and start to crack as soon as you start using them because the "rubber" is constantly flexing in use. As well, they might feel soft to you but rubber grips asphalt by flowing into the texture of the road surface and it can't do that if it is even a bit harder than it was when new. It might seem wasteful to throw out old tires that have lots of tread but the cost of a hospital visit will usually be more than the price of new tires, not to mention replacing bent or broken bike parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You'd think that even an aftermarket service/maintenance book marketed by Honda would mention loosening the three swing-arm-to-final-drive fasteners, tightening the axle nut, punch nut and then the three swing-arm-to-final drive nuts would have been mentioned.

Why would they omit it---to sell new drive splines? For some reason the original owner's manual that came with the GL 500i has managed to separate itself from the other books. It would be nice to see what that had to say on the subject. Probably if you had to change a tire in the field to take it to the dealer to have it redone correctly as soon as possible.
 

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the "swedish method" has never been needed or recommended for the cx 500 or any bike other than the first gl1100s to compensate for a mis alignment in the swing arm assembly

that caused pre mature wear on the splines

it is not used on any other honda by there recommendation

it urban myth not honda lore
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
murrayf,

If I'm understanding you correctly you're saying the procedure to loosen the three fasteners swingarm2finaldrive, tighten axle nut, tighten pinch bolt and finally to re-torque the 3 swingarm2finaldrive fasteners is called the "Swedish method" and is really only needful on an 1100cc Goldwing? Did I get that right? So let me ask this then. Would it harm anything ( besides me using another of my cotter-pins up---glad I opted for the big plastic box-full ;') to perform that procedure on CX500c? It doesn't sound that much more of a problem. So my next question: does it harm anything for me to indulge in possible "overkill" just to be on the safe-side? Sometimes I do little rituals just for the sake of doing them. I blow a Huntsman's Horn out the front door every day when I turn on or off the front porch light for example.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey Sidecar Bob,

I checked date codes. The rear tire off the GL500i donor-bike has a 2012 date. So that one should absolutely be safe. The front tire I'm going to dismount off the donor's front wheel and put on the CX500c's front wheel has a 2011 date code. I suspect that guy whose project-bike the GL500i was before he got sick probably bought those tires at the same source at the same time to put brand-new rubber on his bike but maybe they filled his order with the oldest tire ( for the front ) they had left and it was one year older or something. I'm going to "chance it" given the fact the first set of Spitfires ( I rode the rear one 'til it was flat like a "slick"--that must have been an extra-miles type tire or something ) were probably at least 3 decades old and yes, the sidewall rubber had lots of little cracks. I had a wreck but it was entirely operator-error-related, nothing to do with the tire condition. If the 100 profile tire seems tolerable to me when I put it in service I'm pretty sure I'll get along fine and thanks for the concern. I tend to slow down when I think I need to. I'm not racing. I'm not trying to prove anything or grind any pegs. I figure just getting there and back alive every time is all the "proving" I need to do. I've had a few learning experiences to show me that even a simple maneuver can slam you to the pavement instantly and make you oh-so-glad you tightened the chin-strap on that $3at-the-Goodwill-store helmet if everything doesn't happen to be "just right".

As to expensive trips to the hospital I've had more of those associated with the types of bikes where you're the engine than with the ones with engines bolted to the running-gear. And some where I should probably have gone to the hospital but declined ( it usually hinges on whether I'm "with it" enough when the cop calls for the ambulance to decline medical assistance or not. I'm going to use the 2011marked tire and if it gives me trouble I'll give you first-dibs on the I-told-you-sos ;')

That said when I put brand-new rubber on 'er in 2014 I vowed at that time to just put on new tires every time I replaced front pads. Once these 2012/2011 tires have the tread worn off 'em I'll go back to that new-pads resolution. It was like buying a brand-new bike as far as the handling/ride/"feel". I couldn't believe it. I'm probably lucky I didn't "go aggressive" and kill myself doing something stupid when those tires were brand-new. I could take my hands off the bars at any speed without having a big "tank slapper" begin to develop when they were brand-new.
 

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it does not necessarily hurt anything

how ever everytime we disturb something for no reason we introduce humanity to it

my grandfathers rule if it is not broken why fix it or risk breaking it

i just get tired of people "adding things that "need to get done

that from what i see by the repair work i do just get in the way of people doing the needed maintenance on there bikes

and frankly i always have to much to do to waste time on things that dont need doing
 

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I understood that aligning the splines that way wasn't mentioned in the manuals because Honda recommended it in a service bulletin that was issued after the manual was published and the aftermarket guys just copied what was in the FSM. It is sometimes referred to on this forum because it is associated with a member from Sweden but I knew about it before it was called that, possibly from GoldWing forums.

Cotter pin? The CX500C has a cotter pin in the axle? The parts drawings show it so I looked at a couple of other CX500 models and all of the CDI models seem to have a cotter pin in the axle :icon_eek: I wonder how necessary it is - the GL500 and the 650 models don't have them.....

Re tires: Those should still be OK to use. If they have been sitting in the sun for any significant part of that time I would inspect them more frequently than if they had been stored in wrappers in a warehouse and I would take it easy on the brakes and don't go too fast for the first while until you scrub off any contaminants on them, like you would new ones that might have mould release. I just had visions of you using some 10 or 15 year old ones.
 

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I believe in the Swedish method. If you loosely mount the final drive unit onto the swingarm and rotate it back and forth you will see that some have up to 3 or 4 degrees rotational movement possible.

Only one position through this movement is square to the axle though.
 

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If the final drive is fastened securely to the swingarm (nuts are tight) how can tightening the axle pull it into alignment?
How ??
It does not change nothing.

Or You do it this IMHO wrong way:
At first tighten the axle on the right and the left side of the swing arm and then fasten the nuts of the final drive.
IMHO some bearings will be not so happy.
 

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it will flex check it with a dial gauge

try it both ways in fact try to mis align it and tighten every thing

it will pull into alignment spec

but all you that want to do go for it you cant fight a belief founded or unfounded

i will still bet that out of all of you honda is the better engineers and they know there products

so show me one alignment procedure that involves a cx or gl any where published at any time

or a service bulletin

you guys like making a beautiful SIMPLE machine more complicated

these are wonderful bikes made for lots of miles and riding

not playing around and inventing more work

sorry Bob i think the sport or wrenching is for bored people that have it as there only hobby

i want to ride not wrench THAT IS WHAT ATTRACTS ME TO HONDAS JMO !
 

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The best advice in this thread, make sure O-rings are good,

use the right grease. bolt together securely, ride
 
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