The bike is a 1991 gl1500 with a Champion 2+2 sidecar on it.
I put a Dunlop auto snow tire 175/60 r16 tire on the back last fall. When I did I serviced the drive line of bike. I put the correct moly grease on the U joint splines, final drive splines, etc, went through about everything back there. New O rings and seals everywhere and other parts as necessary. Since I had the wheel apart I replaced the wheel bearings. Then in the cush drive I replaced the drive damper rubbers, alloy center adapters for the rubbers and retaining plate that hold the dampers in place.
The bike had 120,000 on what may have been the original parts and they were looking rough. 8000 miles later now and the tire is down to the wear bars. Time to replace it. I have decided to try to run a 185/65 R16 with a high wear rating. A friend came by and pulled the rear wheel off and we had a look inside. The aluminum center bushings in the rear wheel rubber dampers (cush drive) had machined their way through the retaining lip in the rubber and are wearing away the retaining plate. They are trying to head away from the wheel towards the final drive and sidecar. You can see the damage to the rubber damper at the top and bottom of the hole the bushings shown sit in if you look at the pointer in the picture. The retaining plate has about .010 of wear in a few places. (pencil points to one) Those aluminum center bushings are themselves machined down. .060-090 or on the side that was rubbing on the pictured retaining plate. The one on the left is turned over to show what they look like when installed. It's worn down side is facing down.
They look worse in person than in the pictures. All those new and expensive parts failed in only 8000 miles of driving. They look about like the parts I took out that were probably original with over 100,000 miles on them. The exception being that the center holes are not out of round.
My friend and I both re read the 2 manuals for the bike that I have looking for where I screwed up while assembling the cush drive last fall. Everything is and was installed as it should have been. The axle and other bolts were tightened with a torque wrench that was in calibration to the values in the Honda manual. I'm baffled. If your wondering the Aluminum bushings were completely in place inside the rubber dampers. I triple checked because I knew this car would work this bike quite hard.
How are those of you with this same bike and a similar sidecar making these cush drive parts last?
I assembled these without moly lube on the pins that fit into the aluminum bushings. I'm thinking that in this case they might need to be lubed because of the extreme load that the car puts on the bike at highway speeds? Maybe this is the exception to the rule?
Another thing that surprised me was that though I packed the outer splines of the drive hub assembly with as much Honda moly lube as I could get into it, the moly lubricant was almost oil-less on disassembly . Where the hub rotated on the aluminum wheel the moly had lost all of it's oil and but had formed a hard coating over the wheel protecting it. All the Orings had been replaced when I assembled it.
Help and suggestions are greatly appreciated. The parts that have expired are about $150. Before I order another set I thought I would get some advice on the matter.
Also is there any way to reuse any of these parts? Was going to flip the aluminum bushings over and run them again? Not sure if the plate is still good with the divots in it. Since I am wearing through this stuff so quickly I don't know if I should just run them to failure or buy all new shiny pieces and and start again.
What do you think? Hopefully someone knows what is up here.
PS I also posted this at a goldwing forum which had a sidecar forum trying to get the widest exposure and best advice I could on making this cush drive hold up.
Posted 8/18/2016 2:45 AM (#90384 - in reply to #90351) Subject: RE: rear wheel dampers gl1500
Location: Eastern WA
I think I am going to machine up some aluminum spacers to make the damper blocks stay in place, make it so they can't slide toward the retaining plate.
I'm going to try lubing the pins next go round too. I can't imagine that it will shorten the life to shorter than the 8k miles I am getting now. I am in a position where I don't have much to loose.