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Rebuilding the final is an expensive and daunting task unless you have the special tools for it. Most folks that have one fail just buy a nearly new one from a trike shop. Most trike shops will have takeoffs that are new with barely any miles due to new wing conversions. A lot will sell them for less than $200.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
If the old oil was at the correct level when you checked it, it may not have been leaking to begin with, or it finally settled down when it hit the correct level.
If you really want to rebuild the final drive go for it. Did you ever replace the O ring and the cap? Simple things first.
I did. (see post 37 and some earlier).

Now here are some pictures that I hope someone can explain.
It's really hard to see in the third photo, but there is oil in that hole at the bottom of the swing arm. Can anyone tell me what that hole is there for?
Note: everything was wiped dry before I took the bike (2013 GL1800) out for a 135 mile spin. What you see is what was there afterwards.
I did wipe the area down after I took the first two pictures and noticed the oil in that hole when I pointed a flashlight at it.

Now, it's hard for me to imagine the leak originating at the seam between the final drive and the swing arm, given that oil has moved forward and up from there, BUT, I'm certainly open to hearing a reasoned alternative explanation. Does anyone have one?

Also, I did purchase an extended warranty on the bike. Does anyone care to chime in on whether this is a warranty repair item? or, will I be told (once again) by the dealership that this is wear and tear? (at 27,850 miles? and much earlier given the caked up soot I had to chisel away from this area.)

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That’s a weep hole for the pinion. You need to pull the final off of the swing arm and pull out the joint shaft to see if it’s dust seal is rolled over and also check the pinion bearing seal for leaking. Look in the “Final” section of the service manual and there’s a few pictures showing the joint shaft and it’s dust seal.
 

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The final drive is supposed to wick some oil onto the pinion joint, there are a couple of journals there to allow this.
And, there is a seal that is supposed to keep that lubricating oil on the pinion and out of the swing arm.
That seal is a 27 X 43 X 7 mm lip seal. It is part number 91261-ME9-005.
It is possible that the seal is allowing fluid to wick past and into the swing arm. But, I really don't know how it would have failed so early in the life of your bike. Has the final drive ever been removed that you know of ?
 

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The final drive is supposed to wick some oil onto the pinion joint, there are a couple of journals there to allow this.
And, there is a seal that is supposed to keep that lubricating oil on the pinion and out of the swing arm.
That seal is a 27 X 43 X 7 mm lip seal. It is part number 91261-ME9-005.
It is possible that the seal is allowing fluid to wick past and into the swing arm. But, I really don't know how it would have failed so early in the life of your bike. Has the final drive ever been removed that you know of ?
We are talking about the joint shaft dust seal, there’s been some of them in the past that were accidentally rolled over during the build at Honda.
 

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I think we are talking about the same thing but I had not heard this seal called a dust seal.
It is entirely possible that I am in the right church, just the wrong pew.
SwingArm.jpg
 

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I think we are talking about the same thing but I had not heard this seal called a dust seal.
It is entirely possible that I am in the right church, just the wrong pew.
View attachment 273107
That’s it, the service manual refers to it as a dust seal, but it does let a little oil get into the swing arm and come out of the weep hole hidden by the dog bone thing when it’s bad or installed improperly.
 

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That’s it, the service manual refers to it as a dust seal, but it does let a little oil get into the swing arm and come out of the weep hole hidden by the dog bone thing when it’s bad or installed improperly.
We are in tune. It is what I was thinking is causing his issue. I guess the assemblers could have goofed and rolled the seal or maybe installed it backwards on the shaft.

Easy enough to check, but a bit time consuming and labor intensive. The rear wheel needs to come off. Removing the left muffler will make it easier to remove the final drive attaching nuts. The brake caliper needs to come off the final drive and stuffed out of the way and then removal of the final drive itself. I've done it about four times this last couple of months.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
We are in tune. It is what I was thinking is causing his issue. I guess the assemblers could have goofed and rolled the seal or maybe installed it backwards on the shaft.

Easy enough to check, but a bit time consuming and labor intensive. The rear wheel needs to come off. Removing the left muffler will make it easier to remove the final drive attaching nuts. The brake caliper needs to come off the final drive and stuffed out of the way and then removal of the final drive itself. I've done it about four times this last couple of months.
I found the dust seal in the Service Manual (page 14-7). Since you both (MichaelB and Techdude2000) seem to agree that a leak out of the "weep hole" (the one above the dog bone?) may be due to a manufacturing or assembly issue, I'm going to pass on doing this myself. My extended warranty covers me until June 2021.

To answer your earlier question MichaelB, no, the final drive has never been pulled.



I am curious about this whole "weep hole" thing. Is there not fluid inside the swing arm? If so, how does it not flow out of this weep hole? Earlier in this discussion, DSurley identified another "weep hole" at the bottom the final drive unit. See post 34 this discussion. Oil dripping from that weep hole started me on a quest to locate the source of that leak. As mentioned before, that oil came from the final drive filler cap, and now that that's snugly torqued down, the final drive weep hole is dry. The leak from the weep hole above the dog bone (swing arm case) has probably always been there judging by how caked in grime the entire area was. (Nice that the dealership said NOTHING when they were obviously in the area most recently to replace the rear tire, or the multitude of times the bike's been in for scheduled service. - but I digress)

So, how exactly do these weep holes work? What am I missing?


As an aside, I was going to ride the bike to my shop this morning to remove the dog bone and have a closer look at that weep hole. Sigh, the bike wouldn't start... MIL lights point to CKP sensor (code 19). I guess the dealership will have to tow the bike in to deal with both matters - hopefully both covered by the extended warranty. I already posted to Techdude2000's discussion about the bike not starting, so if you have feedback, see that instead of diverting the discussion here.
 

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each of the two seals in the final drive has a place for the oil to collect and drain out so it does not cause more critical issues
the one at the bottom of the drive, so it doesn't foul your brakes, no brakes would be a bad thing
the front weep hole, I didn't know it was there, so I learned something too, would let the oil getting past that seal before it tries to fill the swing arm and either with enough oil take out the U-joint, or find some other exit in front of your rear tire,not good either
 

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Discussion Starter #51
each of the two seals in the final drive has a place for the oil to collect and drain out so it does not cause more critical issues
the one at the bottom of the drive, so it doesn't foul your brakes, no brakes would be a bad thing
the front weep hole, I didn't know it was there, so I learned something too, would let the oil getting past that seal before it tries to fill the swing arm and either with enough oil take out the U-joint, or find some other exit in front of your rear tire,not good either

I get that, but where does this oil collect? In tiny cavities above the weep holes? At the bottom of either case? A mechanic friend said there may be a channel on the inside of the case where oil might enter at the top of the channel. I'm ALMOST curious enough to try to find a used final drive unit, just so I could peek inside the case. Oh, and a "dust seal"? How's "dust" going to get inside the final drive in the first place?
I think we are talking about the same thing but I had not heard this seal called a dust seal.
It is entirely possible that I am in the right church, just the wrong pew.
View attachment 273107
Where did you get that part diagram? Partzilla shows that oil seal for $10.35 - still a couple of bucks more expensive than your source. Honda Powersports price is $43.65. Yikes!

If the dealership doesn't cover this on warranty, I'll have to do some serious research with online shopping for parts.

Thanks
 

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Partszilla and MrCycle have cheap prices compared to the dealers and Honda. The weep holes are there for one reason, to let you know a seal is leaking. Your water pump has one as well to let you know the seal between the coolant side and the bearing side has failed. The clutch’s slave cylinder has one that will dribble hydraulic/brake fluid down the front of the engine if it leaks. There’s a channel or space in the assemblies that route the leak to the weep holes. The water pump weep hole will exhibit coolant dribbling down the housing when it’s seal fails. The inside of the swing arm is dry and hollow when nothing is leaking. As far as the dust seal name, that’s probably a booboo by the writers of the service manual. We’ve found lots of mistakes through the years with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #53
Partszilla and MrCycle have cheap prices compared to the dealers and Honda. The weep holes are there for one reason, to let you know a seal is leaking. Your water pump has one as well to let you know the seal between the coolant side and the bearing side has failed. The clutch’s slave cylinder has one that will dribble hydraulic/brake fluid down the front of the engine if it leaks. There’s a channel or space in the assemblies that route the leak to the weep holes. The water pump weep hole will exhibit coolant dribbling down the housing when it’s seal fails. The inside of the swing arm is dry and hollow when nothing is leaking. As far as the dust seal name, that’s probably a booboo by the writers of the service manual. We’ve found lots of mistakes through the years with it.
I spent a little time on E-Bay tonight looking at pictures of Final Drives and Swing Arms. I think I have a better understanding of the design elements now. So, that "dust seal" is really an oil seal that's supposed to keep the oil contained in the final drive. That seems fairly cut and dry, except for the part that the "joint shaft assembly" (page 14-7 of the Service Manual) is actually a part of the swing arm (Post #46 above). I guess I'd need to see the inside of a final drive to understand what seal could be giving up oil in there that would weep out of the bottom of that case.

By the way, your observation above, "The weep holes are there for one reason, to let you know a seal is leaking," really cleared the whole mystery up for me. That I'm losing seeing maybe a dozen drops of oil coming out of the weep hole at the bottom of the swing arm in about 150 miles of riding is something not to be ignored. The dealership will be hearing from me tomorrow.

Thanks for the education!
 

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Discussion Starter #54
That I'm seeing maybe a dozen drops of oil coming out of the weep hole at the bottom of the swing arm in about 150 miles of riding is something not to be ignored. The dealership will be hearing from me tomorrow.
I threw up the white flag. The bike was towed to the dealership on Tuesday. Killing two birds with one stone - CKP sensor error and this leak from the weep hole under the swing arm assembly. Both still under warranty (fingers crossed).
 

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I threw up the white flag. The bike was towed to the dealership on Tuesday. Killing two birds with one stone - CKP sensor error and this leak from the weep hole under the swing arm assembly. Both still under warranty (fingers crossed).
Please keep us posted on what they say and do, thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Please keep us posted on what they say and do, thanks!
A follow up call to the dealership netted the following:
They've done nothing to the bike yet, except start it. (That's right, they said it fired right up!) So I asked what they thought could have been the cause of the code 19 CKP error I received on the MIL when it wouldn't start for me. They suggested it could be a loose connection somewhere in the bike and that the jostling the bike got being loaded and unloaded from the trailer somehow (temporarily?) reestablished the connection. I asked what they would be doing to troubleshoot the issue, to which they replied, attach the diagnostic computer and look for an active code. I asked if there was a history of faults their computer could access. They said no. All that would be available was an "active" code. Other than that, they would take a look around and see if they could find a loose connection somewhere that might be triggering the fault. I can see where this might be heading...

As for the leek from the weep hole, they'll try to find some time to look at it this afternoon. I did warn them that the leak didn't appear until I had taken the bike for a longer ride. After 10 miles or so, everything looked good. Only after I rechecked after about another 130 miles did I see the oil on the dog bone.

I'll follow up again after the give me a status report.
 

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That sucks! Sounds like this dealer wants to hit you for a repair instead a warranty claim. They don’t make much money on warranty claims, but if they sold you the bike they should try to keep you from spending money on warranty items. Some dealers are better at customer service than others. As far as a bad connection goes, that’s a possibility, but to find it they will have to check the CKP’s harness connector, it’s basically the only connection that might get oxidation in it and cause this. It’s just in front of the throttle body, under the air box.
 

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Discussion Starter #59
That sucks! Sounds like this dealer wants to hit you for a repair instead a warranty claim. They don’t make much money on warranty claims, but if they sold you the bike they should try to keep you from spending money on warranty items. Some dealers are better at customer service than others. As far as a bad connection goes, that’s a possibility, but to find it they will have to check the CKP’s harness connector, it’s basically the only connection that might get oxidation in it and cause this. It’s just in front of the throttle body, under the air box.
And there's a LOT of disassembly to access that CKP connector. That's why I was glad that the fault seemed solid here. Let the dealership deal with it under that extended warranty. However, if the bike starts, and they want to sell me hundreds of dollars worth of repair work, I'll ride it home and - painful as it might be, do it myself. I'm frustrated right now, and a little pissed. But maybe, just maybe, this story will have a happy ending. If not, my education in GL1800 maintenance and repair will go to the next level. You know, there was a LOT to be said for older motorcycles - the kind you didn't need a degree in Computer Technology and Electronics to maintain. I never thought I'd grow nostalgic for my 750 and 850 Norton Commandos.
 
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