Author Topic: U-joint catastrophic failure  (Read 690 times)

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Offline bikerhawk

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U-joint catastrophic failure
« on: July 14, 2018, 09:13:34 pm »
I was having a glorious 10 day trip from KC up through Yellowstone, down to Colorado & back home...until it ended on I-25 about 65 miles north of Casper, WY, last Monday.  Without any warning and while cruising down the road at the speed limit (80 mph), all of a sudden I lost drive.  Pulled in the clutch, revved the engine, sounded great.  Let clutch back out...BANG BANG SNAP BANG JERK CHUG BANG.  WTF?! 

I get pulled over, dismount and see a large amount of smoke pouring from the rubber boot over the bevel drive/shaft connection.  After very quickly realizing this was a trip ender, it took 3 hours to be rescued from the middle of nowhere and get in to a decent sized town.  During those 3 hours--thank goodness the weather was kind during the middle of the afternoon, cloudy and 85 degrees--I contacted my wife, posted my issues on Facebook and scanned my COG directory for folks nearby. 

While still on the side of the road--somehow, I had cell signal, otherwise I might still be out there; I saw ZERO highway patrol units the entire 3 hours I was stranded--I then received a call from Jeff Kerkow, North Central AD, who had become aware of my plight.  We were supposed to meet up in the Black Hills that week, but the event was unfortunately called off at the last minute.  So he says he has the time, a trailer, and could come out there from Le Sueur, MN, load me up, run me back home, then get himself home in time to head out to Gathering on the Green.  All I needed to do was cover his gas.  That's insane enough to work--let's do it!

I finally got a flatbed with a Condor wheel chock out there to tow me the 68 miles ($$$) in to a room in Casper, where I got some decent sleep before Jeff pulled in at 7:30 AM Tuesday.  We loaded up quickly & hit the road for the 833 or so miles back to Lawrence, KS, splitting the driving duties.  We arrived in Lawrence about 11:30 PM, unloaded & sent Jeff on his way back north.

There are no words to thank Jeff enough for his amazing act of kindness.  All I can do is hope to be able to pay it forward someday.  And I do have a trailer, so if anyone ever finds themselves in trouble in my area, please look me up in your COG directory.  For those who are still on the fence about joining COG, this is an example (admittedly, an extreme one) of why we say "join for the bike, stay for the people."  #COG4life, as the young kids would say.   :D

Now, on to the autopsy...this gets gory.

I was already planning to do some rear end work to do the Mean Streak 17" rear wheel & dual piston brake conversion once this trip ended, so I was well on my way to accessing what Jeff & I were guessing was wrong.  I'll let the pics tell the story further once I get them reduced in size, but I am definitely in needed of a C10 driveshaft.  The U-joint is DESTROYED.  PM me if you have one available.  I am trolling Ebay also.  Want to get this done, back rolling & behind me ASAP.
Tom Hunt
Lawrence, KS - Kansas AAD - COG #9207, IBA #68392
1998 C10, 104k miles (mine)
1994 C10, 35k miles (SWMBO's)
2002 KL250 Super Sherpa

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: U-joint catastrophic failure
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2018, 09:42:39 pm »
saw your F/B post... bummer...

I have a spare, or maybe 2, but for the prices I am seeing on ebay right now, I suggest you hit one there for a 'buy it now' price, most are low priced, and back when I was buying 'spare parts', I paid more than they are selling for now.

don't know how much 'additional damage' occurred, might look at the whole ball game...
https://www.ebay.com/i/362208790182?rt=nc&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D20160908110712%26meid%3D8cf08a7478554899aaa61d5c2db6cb7b%26pid%3D100677%26rk%3D15%26rkt%3D27%26sd%3D172460155571%26itm%3D362208790182

you will probably need some other stuff, boots, springs, etc... so make a list...

shafts only,
here
Iowa
https://www.ebay.com/i/382099692938?rt=nc&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D20160908110712%26meid%3D946a2f7ec1ee49298049b833816c7138%26pid%3D100677%26rk%3D6%26rkt%3D30%26sd%3D232597352801%26itm%3D382099692938

Cali
https://www.ebay.com/i/322945800615?rt=nc&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D20160908110712%26meid%3D946a2f7ec1ee49298049b833816c7138%26pid%3D100677%26rk%3D5%26rkt%3D30%26sd%3D232597352801%26itm%3D322945800615

free shipping
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2000-94-06-KAWASAKI-ZG1000-ZG-1000-CONCOURS-REAR-DRIVE-SHAFT-DRIVESHAFT-OEM/332651362009?_trkparms=aid%3D555018%26algo%3DPL.SIM%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D20160908110712%26meid%3D8174a497f88c4350b99af3976e98aff2%26pid%3D100677%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D26%26sd%3D322945800615%26itm%3D332651362009&_trksid=p2385738.c100677.m4598#viTabs_0

Fla.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/94-06-Kawasaki-Concours-1000-Zg1000a-Rear-Drive-Shaft/173105085790?_trkparms=aid%3D555018%26algo%3DPL.SIM%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D20160908110712%26meid%3D8174a497f88c4350b99af3976e98aff2%26pid%3D100677%26rk%3D4%26rkt%3D26%26sd%3D322945800615%26itm%3D173105085790&_trksid=p2385738.c100677.m4598

Minn.
https://www.ebay.com/i/263337408025?rt=nc&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D20160908110712%26meid%3D8174a497f88c4350b99af3976e98aff2%26pid%3D100677%26rk%3D7%26rkt%3D26%26sd%3D322945800615%26itm%3D263337408025

« Last Edit: July 14, 2018, 09:47:46 pm by MAN OF BLUES »

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Offline cra-z1000

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Re: U-joint catastrophic failure
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2018, 09:48:44 pm »
Bummer , but you gotta love old bikes , bet you'll be back on the road for less than 100 bucks .  :motonoises:
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Offline bikerhawk

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Re: U-joint catastrophic failure
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2018, 10:30:56 pm »
I need to check the pumpkin for extra play and make sure the inside of the swingarm is OK. The swingarm bearings were nearly perfect, no play whatsoever. The bevel gear feels tight & smooth. Pretty confident at this point that all I'll need is a shaft.
Tom Hunt
Lawrence, KS - Kansas AAD - COG #9207, IBA #68392
1998 C10, 104k miles (mine)
1994 C10, 35k miles (SWMBO's)
2002 KL250 Super Sherpa

Offline SteveJ.

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Re: U-joint catastrophic failure
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2018, 10:42:29 pm »
Bummer, but it could have been worse for you and/or the bike.

Jeff and his spousal unit are good folks, but I already knew that.  :great: :beerchug:

Hill City in September? I'm thinking seriously on it after Spider.
Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SiSF)
Tick Tock, baby (Ironbuttal)
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'15 Versys650LT, '98 KLR650, (back home), '99 C-10, 234k miles sold

Offline bikerhawk

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Re: U-joint catastrophic failure
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2018, 12:42:53 am »
Here we go, kids...the promised forensic photos.  Those who get squeamish easily may want to turn away...  :o
Tom Hunt
Lawrence, KS - Kansas AAD - COG #9207, IBA #68392
1998 C10, 104k miles (mine)
1994 C10, 35k miles (SWMBO's)
2002 KL250 Super Sherpa

Offline bikerhawk

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Re: U-joint catastrophic failure
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2018, 12:56:25 am »
Upon further inspection...

Swing arm bearings: arm was really tight on the bike, but left side bearing did feel a bit notchy when off.  New bearings & races to be ordered, since I'm in that far already.

Swing arm itself: a couple of areas inside that I want to clean up with a Dremel & repaint, but otherwise just fine.

Bevel gear: super tight & smooth.  No play whatsoever.

Pumpkin: maybe 0.5mm of play.  Seems fine, I think (correct me if I'm wrong).
Tom Hunt
Lawrence, KS - Kansas AAD - COG #9207, IBA #68392
1998 C10, 104k miles (mine)
1994 C10, 35k miles (SWMBO's)
2002 KL250 Super Sherpa

Offline Stasch

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Re: U-joint catastrophic failure
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2018, 10:20:19 am »
Sorry to hear of your mishap, and especially since it was a trip ender.

Anybody know of other failures or ideas on why this failed for bikerhawk?
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Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: U-joint catastrophic failure
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2018, 10:31:08 am »
 I'd say it was just a driveshaft failure. I can't think of anything that would cause it other than the u joint, and the bevel drive and final drive are probably unaffected. Pretty ugly though.  :??:  Steve
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Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: U-joint catastrophic failure
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2018, 06:20:42 pm »
I didn't  mean to infer the rear drive was needed when I gave that link, I just thought that with all that shrapnel flying around in there, the ebay assembly I noted would give him all the 'bits' in a one stop purchase, as it seemed a pretty low price,
good luck on the rebuild.
 :great:

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and if you are gonna call me names... it's MR. Analdweeb if you please...

Offline bikerhawk

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Re: U-joint catastrophic failure
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2018, 06:58:28 pm »
I'd say it was just a driveshaft failure. I can't think of anything that would cause it other than the u joint, and the bevel drive and final drive are probably unaffected. Pretty ugly though.  :??:  Steve
My current theory is metal fatigue, maybe hairline crack(s) on the sides of the joint on the bevel gear side. I'm thinking the cracks opened gradually to the point where it allowed the bearings to come out if the housing. Then the bits flying around caused the rest of the damage in the time it took me to stop. I found one of the bearings inside the swingarm...still looking for the other one.

Lots of questions on the COG FB page--almost accusations--of "how could you possibly have not known there was a problem...noise, vibration, etc." Well, I'm here to tell ya, there was no prior warning. Quite a few trolls over there, eh, Steve?
Tom Hunt
Lawrence, KS - Kansas AAD - COG #9207, IBA #68392
1998 C10, 104k miles (mine)
1994 C10, 35k miles (SWMBO's)
2002 KL250 Super Sherpa

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: U-joint catastrophic failure
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2018, 07:27:34 pm »
Tom,
don't beat yourself up over it, in the end, you're safe, and it is an easy fix... :truce: :truce: :truce: ;)
Oh, and NEVER listen to the F/B Trolls... most of them never repaired or owned a C10... and have no clue...
Face it, it's a 20 year old bike, with 100+k miles on it, and the drive shaft on these have no way to re lube the U joints... that is practical (maybe a hypdermic, but who wants to do that..?)

Thing break, it's had a long hard life, smile, and thank it for going as far for so long, as it already has... and with a new shaft, has many more miles left to go... :great: :great: :great:

30 YEARS OF KAW.....Rich R. (the other one..)  COG 5977  JUSTAMEMBAHNOW
and if you are gonna call me names... it's MR. Analdweeb if you please...

Offline SteveJ.

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Re: U-joint catastrophic failure
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2018, 07:52:01 pm »
When my shaft went bad I had no clue until I went to put it in gear. It happened one block from my house. I was returning from a two week trip and stopped at the neighborhood beer tree for a couple of cold ones. I hopped on the bike to go the last block home and heard the u joint clank when I put it in gear.

A couple of hours earlier I had hooked up with a rabbit on I 75 and was running just under a ton for over an hour. Timing is everything.

BTW, mine went at about 165k miles.

I'll be in Colorado for a month yet iffn you wanna swing by.   :motonoises:

Current stock is Denver Graham Cracker Porter, Kilt Lifter Scottish Ale, and Shiner Bock.  :beerchug: :beerchug:

Have fun.

On TDY near Montrose Co for the start of monsoon season.
Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SiSF)
Tick Tock, baby (Ironbuttal)
Steve J  Tavares, FL, one of the Floriduh Steves
'15 Versys650LT, '98 KLR650, (back home), '99 C-10, 234k miles sold

Offline roadisattva

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Re: U-joint catastrophic failure
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2018, 04:58:51 pm »
Tom, I have not been on the forum for awhile, sorry to hear of your misfortune.  I have a parts bike in my garage in Roeland Park 30 miles from you with a shaft and all the rear parts. I will be home for a few days sometime Saturday. You are welcome to any bits you need.

Roadisattva, another Steve





Another Steve

Offline bikerhawk

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Re: U-joint catastrophic failure
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2018, 06:45:35 pm »
Tom, I have not been on the forum for awhile, sorry to hear of your misfortune.  I have a parts bike in my garage in Roeland Park 30 miles from you with a shaft and all the rear parts. I will be home for a few days sometime Saturday. You are welcome to any bits you need.

Roadisattva, another Steve

Hi, Steve:

Wow, thanks for the generous offer, but I think I'm in good shape. I'll be out of town Saturday through Monday, then the shaft I ordered on Ebay should be here Tuesday. All the other potential damage checked out well, but if I find a problem later, I'll look you up.
Tom Hunt
Lawrence, KS - Kansas AAD - COG #9207, IBA #68392
1998 C10, 104k miles (mine)
1994 C10, 35k miles (SWMBO's)
2002 KL250 Super Sherpa

Offline bikerhawk

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Re: U-joint catastrophic failure
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2018, 04:53:14 am »
Received a shaft from a 2006 C10 today, got everything cleaned up, bearings repacked, swingarm refitted, and MS wheel & brakes installed. Rode my steed tonight for the first time since that awful day 15 days ago. I am pleased to report that all is good. Gearbox, bevel drive & final drive are all sound. I'm gonna love that MS wheel. The brakes still need some more work...still some air trapped somewhere within that 2-pot Tokico with twin bleeders. After that is sorted...the next 100K  :motonoises:
Tom Hunt
Lawrence, KS - Kansas AAD - COG #9207, IBA #68392
1998 C10, 104k miles (mine)
1994 C10, 35k miles (SWMBO's)
2002 KL250 Super Sherpa

Offline SteveJ.

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Re: U-joint catastrophic failure
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2018, 02:10:51 am »
Received a shaft from a 2006 C10 today, got everything cleaned up, bearings repacked, swingarm refitted, and MS wheel & brakes installed. Rode my steed tonight for the first time since that awful day 15 days ago. I am pleased to report that all is good. Gearbox, bevel drive & final drive are all sound. I'm gonna love that MS wheel. The brakes still need some more work...still some air trapped somewhere within that 2-pot Tokico with twin bleeders. After that is sorted...the next 100K  :motonoises:

 :great: :beerchug:
Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SiSF)
Tick Tock, baby (Ironbuttal)
Steve J  Tavares, FL, one of the Floriduh Steves
'15 Versys650LT, '98 KLR650, (back home), '99 C-10, 234k miles sold