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Final Drive Seal

To: "Concours Owners Group"
Subject: RE: Shaft/final drive leak
Martin wrote:
I've got a leak on the Concours where the final drive meets the shaft. Wondering if any of you have had this problem and if so, how much of a issue is it to fix ?

Darren Fuerst

This is a fairly common problem on the Connie.  I posted the following back in 98.  BTW, my own rear end is still leak-free.

I can only write about my own experience with a leaking final drive (86). If the leak is at the junction between the swing arm and final drive case (as mine was), there are a few possible culprits and fixes.

  • First (and I really have no idea if this is true, but this is according to a local Kawi mechanic) someone may have gone a bit overboard packing grease into the propeller shaft joint.  In my case I definitely had leaking gear oil, not oozing grease.
  • Second, the final gear case may have been over filled.  Sounds like that's not the case on your bike.
  • Third, the forward-most o-ring on the pinion gear assembly may have failed. Mine had (split).  Replacing the o-ring improved, but did not eliminate, the leak.  If you look in the service manual you'll see the o-ring that I'm talking about in the exploded diagram for the final drive.  This is easy to fix, and only requires removal of the final gear case.
  • Fourth, the forward-most oil seal in the pinion gear assembly may have failed. Mine had.  Replacing this seal fixed the leak.  Changing-out this seal is not a DIYer project as a special tool (pinion gear holder) is required.  You might be able to cobble together a substitute, but it's probably not cost effective (especially if you mung something).  The labor charges are pretty minimal if you pull and replace the pinion gear assembly yourself (by far the most labor intensive aspect of the fix).  That part of the job is not at all hard, and only requires the tools needed to remove the rear wheel and final drive case.  The steps are fully detailed in the shop manual. The seal itself is not all that expensive.  I posted the markings on my seal a few weeks ago, and Guy also posted some info that should allow you to source a "generic" seal if need be (sorry, I don't have those posts here at home).  The generic seal may be cheaper/faster, depending on your local dealer.

Hope this helps.

Article By: Darren Fuerst

Original August 2001 

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