Silver Ghost Restoration-Part 11 Removing Subframe and Rear Drive

The Ghost has an oil leak from the transmission neutral switch and, the subframe is broken.  So Branden and I removed the old subframe, shocks, swing arm and rear drive and the transmission.   Well, he did the work and I watched 🙂

Removing the subframe is straight forward.   We removed the rear tail light and turn signal assembly earlier when we removed the rear fender for paint preparation.  To remove the subframe, we disconnected the wiring harness from the tail light assembly and pulled it forward out of the front hole in the subframe.

Pulling Taillight Wire out of Subframe

Pulling Tailight Wire out of Subframe

Then we removed the bolts connecting it to the frame, the swing arm and the shocks so we could take the subframe off.  You can see the broken section of subframe tubing Branden is holding.  I had it welded about 8 years ago, but it didn’t hold up.  Hence, the used subframe I scored on eBay.

Broken Subframe

Lower Subframe Bolt

Detaching Subframe

Next we removed the battery and battery box.  In getting the battery box out, one of the lower rubber isolation bolts had a nut that we couldn’t remove.  It had corroded and rusted enough that it was in between a 10 mm and 9 mm wrench size.  So, we had to drill it out from top side to remove it.   It’s the one on the right.

Frozen Battery Bolt

At this point, I put a board under the front of the oil pan to help support the bike so it wouldn’t fall forward when we removed the rear drive, swing arm and transmission.  Then Branden drained the gear oil from the transmission, drive shaft and the rear drive.  He also removed the tachometer cable from rear of the transmission by loosening the bolt.

Before Tranmission Removal

There are four bolts that that attach the transmission to the engine.  You can see one of them in the upper left in this picture.  There is a nut on the upper right used to attach the right side air cleaner housing and then two more bolts on the bottom.

Top Transmission Bolt

On the bottom of the transmission is the clutch throw out rod.  Remove the clutch cable and then pull the C-clip on the top of the pin that attaches the throw out rod to the transmission.

Next, we loosened the drive shaft rubber boot to expose the universal joint.  It attaches to the transmission output shaft with four twelve sided bolts.  You can see one of them in the picture.  Use a box end wrench to take these bolts off. We found that sitting on the rear tire while pressing the rear brake kept the drive shaft from turning while Branden loosened the bolts on the universal joint.

 Pulling Rubber Boot Exposing Universal Joint

Sitting on Tire to Keep Drive Shaft from Turning

Next, we pulled the swing arm nuts using a socket that had been turned down to fit inside the swing arm housing.  Then we backed out the bearings the nut secured so we could slide the swing arm and rear drive off the frame.

Cut Down 27mm Socket

 Pulling the Swing Arm Bearing

Swing Arm and Rear Drive Removed

Rear End Removed

After that, we slide the transmission to the back and off the spline on the rear of the engine.  When it cleared the engine output shaft, we  pull it out on the left side.  It wasn’t too heavy, but both of us supported it as we witdrew it so we didn’t score the splines or put let the transmisson hang on them.

You can see the old transmission neutral switch on the bottom of the transmission (I turned the transmission upside down, so the switch is on the top in this picture) just above the shift lever.  The phenolic securing the switch to the nut had separated and I could spin the center of the switch inside the nut.  Yeah, that would let gear lube leak past the switch all right.

Transmission On the Bench

The transmission splines were dry and need to be lubricated, but otherwise, they look to be in good condition.  I had them replaced at about 50,000 miles when they failed.  I hadn’t lubricated them at 24,000 miles, so I deserved that 🙁  It looks like they can do with some molylube again.

Tranmission Splines In Good Shape

Last, we removed the rear drive from the drive shaft by removing the four nuts that attach the swing arm to the rear drive.

I cleaned up the transmission, rear drive and the swing arm which was pretty caked with dirt and dried gear lube from the leaking neutral switch.  I’m going to paint the swing arm and also do some spot painting of dings on the frame which are a lot easier to get to with the transmission removed.

Rear Drive Removed from Swing Arm

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