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Discussion Starter #1
I discovered a small leak (a drop here and there) coming from the little black Allen Head screw at the absolute bottom of the Final Drive case. (see photo below)

The leak is not coming from either the drain plug or oil filler cap.

272669


I checked the parts diagram for the final drive assembly at Partzilla.com but this little screw (and washer?) is not anywhere in the diagram.

Can anyone tell me what this screw is for? And what to do if it leaks oil? Is there a torque setting I need to know about?

Please help,

Thanks

Norm De Plume...
 

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It’s not supposed to be a screw, on my ‘05 it is a drain passage for oil leaking from the big seal. So it doesn’t get on the brake rotor or too much of the wheel/tire.
I might pull the wheel and check the seal for leakage. If it’s leaking, buy a trike take-off. OR buy that new re-geared final drive just out on the market. I want one of those my self.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ahhhh! Thanks for the clarification.
The final drive cover had been caked pretty thickly with oily black grime. I'm going to assume that the leak was the culprit. I'll check the transmission oil level to see where it's at, then keep an eye on the amount of leakage.

The service manual is silent on details of doing anything with the final drive - other than checking the oil level. Is there a workshop manual that details the steps involved in removing, inspecting, replacing gaskets (assuming there are any), reassembling and torqueing a final drive? Or do I consult the YouTube Service Department.

I no longer have confidence in the dealership I've been using these last 30 years, so am considering being my own Service Tech.

Suggestions?
 

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Ahhhh! Thanks for the clarification.
The final drive cover had been caked pretty thickly with oily black grime. I'm going to assume that the leak was the culprit. I'll check the transmission oil level to see where it's at, then keep an eye on the amount of leakage.

The service manual is silent on details of doing anything with the final drive - other than checking the oil level. Is there a workshop manual that details the steps involved in removing, inspecting, replacing gaskets (assuming there are any), reassembling and torqueing a final drive? Or do I consult the YouTube Service Department.

I no longer have confidence in the dealership I've been using these last 30 years, so am considering being my own Service Tech.

Suggestions?
If you ride quietly, :unsure:, you can hear a final drive bearing failing. But your hearing needs to be pretty good. Really bad 1’s will be felt as you are riding. The last 1 I diagnosed was found while test riding a friends wing along the freeway barrier and having the sound echo back. He didn’t believe me until a month later when it would grind and lock up on him when slow riding. He had, of course, picked up a replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Are Goldwings notorious for final drive oil leaks? I've hunted around on the net and that seems to be the response I get in searches.

There are no odd sounds coming from my rear wheel. I've had the bike on a stand and listened for that "early warning sign" of a failing final drive.

Could it be something as simple as one or more of the four bolts connecting final drive to the shaft (?) isn't properly torqued down? or simply a bad seal (not that that's an easy fix).

I just finished changing the air filter and as long as the bike is on the jack stand, I plan to change the final drive oil. I guess I'll know how much oil I've been losing after inspecting the level. Also, I've cleaned the entire area and will be able to spot in short order where the oil is coming from.

And I thought I got away from oil leaks after when I switched from Norton Commandos to Hondas... ST1100 (25 years - dry as a bone) Gl1800 (6 years - leaks..) ugh
 

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I had a similar leak on my FJR. Replaced the seal in the differential. Leak returned. Ended up being a plugged vent on the differential. I have 2008 wing also with no problem.
 

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Are Goldwings notorious for final drive oil leaks? I've hunted around on the net and that seems to be the response I get in searches.

There are no odd sounds coming from my rear wheel. I've had the bike on a stand and listened for that "early warning sign" of a failing final drive.

Could it be something as simple as one or more of the four bolts connecting final drive to the shaft (?) isn't properly torqued down? or simply a bad seal (not that that's an easy fix).

I just finished changing the air filter and as long as the bike is on the jack stand, I plan to change the final drive oil. I guess I'll know how much oil I've been losing after inspecting the level. Also, I've cleaned the entire area and will be able to spot in short order where the oil is coming from.

And I thought I got away from oil leaks after when I switched from Norton Commandos to Hondas... ST1100 (25 years - dry as a bone) Gl1800 (6 years - leaks..) ugh
Not really, I might try checking that vent, somehow, to see if your final drive is pressurizing The drive. Get a large rubber tube that could seal around the fill plug opening, and use a little, very little, air pressure to test. That’s all I would do to confirm it isn’t the vent. The seal could leak for ever and not ruin the bearing. It’s the running out of oil that will kill it. Now, if the bearing is moving around in there, then seal will leak because it can not possibly seal at an angle. Bike on center stand, use a ratchet strap to secure it to the front wheel (so it doesn’t fall off the center stand), and try wiggling the rear wheel. Leverage a pry bar against the swing arm to try stronger leverage. And carefully watch for movement. If you get it to move, it will fail, hence the seal leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Turns out the simplest explanation is often the best. That final drive level check cap was the culprit. There's no way to get a torque wrench on the business end of that filler cap to torque it down - at least not without dismantling the right side exhaust, but I got a ratchet box-end wrench on it and tightened the cap a smidge more. What do you know? The leak (from there) disappeared.

The Service Manual (Page 3-20) shows the filler cap and torque settings. But as pictured on that page, the muffler is still in place. Yet another instance of poor documentation in that resource. (I'm starting a list...)
 
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