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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys and gals,

I am a new owner --since last June-- of a Kawa 2006 Vulcan Mean Streak 1600cc (18000Km), and new member of this Forum. My last bike was a CB900f that I cared for, during the last 20 years...

This bike is equipped with a drive shaft for final drive that should, I believe, keep the rear wheel clean at all time. It was true up to my very last ride when I noticed after returning home that the rear wheel rim was covered of oil spills on the drive side. It seems that an oil seal is loosing and I believe that this situation may bring troubles if not taken care of. I downloaded a few pages from the service manual and have some related questions:

-Can an oil seal on the final drive be replaced by an home mechanic?
-Once the rear wheel and the drive shaft cover are removed, can we just pull out by hand the drive shaft and the gear case assembly or is it more complicated?
-Is there a procedure for this work explained somewhere?
-Is this repair urgent or can I use this Vulcan again without repairing, checking oil in the gear case before leaving (my rides are usually in the 550-650 Km)?

Thanks for the help,

MeanSt (Pierre)
 

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Sometimes a small amount of oil will vent out of the final drive. The mechanic at the Kawasaki dealership, told me that some of the bikes blow a small amount of oil out the vent, if the final drive oil is filled as per the manual. My 1600 has done it a few times, usually right after a service check, and once the oil reaches a slightly lower level it stops leaking. So first thing to do is check the oil level, and if it is only a bit below the recommended level, keep an eye on it. If it is a large leak, get it checked right away, as it may be a seal going bad.
Usually the oil spot on mine is about the size of a penny, and it only does it a couple time and stops.
I can't help with whether or not it is a job a home mechanic can do.
 

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I agree it's probably from the vent. If you do have to take it apart it's a pretty easy job.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks for the tip. However, the oil spill under question here is present all around the rim. Returning home on autoroute during my last ride, my speed was in the area of 130 Km/hr for most of the part, with a few peaks at 160 (I never stay long behind large trucks). That speed may be the source of the spill, but I will consider replacing the seal if this spill occurs again. I'll check the oil level before my next ride, of course!

I believe that regular differential oil will do the job...

dlars: Yes I am interested. Will send my email, when my minimum of 5 messages will be posted
 

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Even if it is the seal , it's pretty easy to take the wheel off and get to the gearbox. Your rear wheel will slide off of a spline on the gearbox, it may require some jiggling. It may be the seal between these two components that is leaking. The gearbox will remain on the drive shaft (with drive shaft cover) sticking out the back of the transmission. It's a pretty easy process if you are mechanically inclined at all. I'll be on the lookout for that PM with your email.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Even if it is the seal , it's pretty easy to take the wheel off and get to the gearbox. Your rear wheel will slide off of a spline on the gearbox, it may require some jiggling. It may be the seal between these two components that is leaking. The gearbox will remain on the drive shaft (with drive shaft cover) sticking out the back of the transmission. It's a pretty easy process if you are mechanically inclined at all. I'll be on the lookout for that PM with your email.
Got pictures of the leak, but don't know how to add those. Or, I may simply not have the permission to add pictures yet. However, those picture would only show the evidence of a serious spill that requires attention before the gear box ever dries out. There is even sing of a small spill behind the center washer.

-Oil level: Should I fill up until the level reaches the filling hole? (I have some old Valvoline 85w-90 that should be adequate for this).

In order to replace the outer oil seal of the 'Gear box', I believe that this task requires to have the unit on the work bench in order to install the new seal properly. I guess that I will have to remove the drive shaft from the transmission for this task. If this is the case, the proposed pages of the Service Manual will be very appreciated.

I will PM my email after this 5th message.

Again, thank you dlars for the information.
 

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Got pictures of the leak, but don't know how to add those. Or, I may simply not have the permission to add pictures yet. However, those picture would only show the evidence of a serious spill that requires attention before the gear box ever dries out. There is even sing of a small spill behind the center washer.

-Oil level: Should I fill up until the level reaches the filling hole? (I have some old Valvoline 85w-90 that should be adequate for this).

In order to replace the outer oil seal of the 'Gear box', I believe that this task requires to have the unit on the work bench in order to install the new seal properly. I guess that I will have to remove the drive shaft from the transmission for this task. If this is the case, the proposed pages of the Service Manual will be very appreciated.



I will PM my email after this 5th message.

Again, thank you dlars for the information.
Sorry, I wasn't really thinking straight when I posted about sharing the manual as it is copyrighted material.....0:)
 

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Got pictures of the leak, but don't know how to add those. Or, I may simply not have the permission to add pictures yet. However, those picture would only show the evidence of a serious spill that requires attention before the gear box ever dries out. There is even sing of a small spill behind the center washer.

-Oil level: Should I fill up until the level reaches the filling hole? (I have some old Valvoline 85w-90 that should be adequate for this).

In order to replace the outer oil seal of the 'Gear box', I believe that this task requires to have the unit on the work bench in order to install the new seal properly. I guess that I will have to remove the drive shaft from the transmission for this task. If this is the case, the proposed pages of the Service Manual will be very appreciated.

I will PM my email after this 5th message.

Again, thank you dlars for the information.
I would just start by jacking it up, removing the shocks, and taking the rear wheel off. Once that's off you should be able to tell if the seal on that face is bad. Here is info about gear oil from the manual plus a couple other pics
 

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Tank you dlars. With these pictures and other informations, I was able to remove the end drive unit. Looking from the right side, it became clear to observe that the oil spill originated from a defective oil seal. With a new oil seal in hand, a Kawasaki genuine part, I am now in the process of removing the defected one from it's location.

Just to give an idea of how easy this task is, the process described in the service manual refers to first, removing the ring gear assembly (probably with a special puller) and heating heating this ring gear assembly in an oil bath at 300`F; "then pry out the seal with an awl (??) or other tool".

The method that I have chosen is somewhat different: I made used of a drummel to cut it's top center all around the circle, making shure not to scrach the walls in the process.

The rest of the task should be easier...
 

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Tank you dlars. With these pictures and other informations, I was able to remove the end drive unit. Looking from the right side, it became clear to observe that the oil spill originated from a defective oil seal. With a new oil seal in hand, a Kawasaki genuine part, I am now in the process of removing the defected one from it's location.

Just to give an idea of how easy this task is, the process described in the service manual refers to first, removing the ring gear assembly (probably with a special puller) and heating heating this ring gear assembly in an oil bath at 300`F; "then pry out the seal with an awl (??) or other tool".

The method that I have chosen is somewhat different: I made used of a drummel to cut it's top center all around the circle, making shure not to scrach the walls in the process.

The rest of the task should be easier...
Perfect, I'm glad to hear you had no trouble taking it apart. I enjoy doing stuff like that myself, even if I've never done it before. You learn something new plus you get a sense of accomplishment..........oh, and save some money too :smile2:
 
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