Bartman post I tried to copy pictures as well...
Having purchased left over rear calipers from Honda of Russellville (HOR) before, I decided to go to them to see if they had the parts I needed. Sure enough, they had a new, 2015 final drive take off listed on their eBay! store but they didn't have a drive shaft. I called HOR and spoke to Tevin in their internet parts department. He told me they had a new shaft there, they just hadn't listed it on eBay! yet. So he made me a deal...new, 2015 final drive takeoff, rear rotor, drive shaft, FREE SHIPPING and no tax...all for $209. I think I got a pretty good deal considering a new shaft from PartZilla.com is $240+, a rear rotor is $404+ and the final drive itself is $984+.
After getting the bike on the jack and securing it, first step was to remove the rear wheel. Easy enough. 5 nuts. Drop the wheel and slide it out.
Next was the right side muffler. Very easy to do. Loosen the two bolts (shown in this picture) ALL THE WAY (the nuts will stay in their holder on the clamp) using a 6mm hex socket. Once that was loose, there is one bolt mid-way down the muffler, on the top, between the saddle bag and muffler. Remove that bolt (the nut stays attached to the muffler) and slide the muffler back. Not hard to do. It might take a little extra persuasion.
Here you can see the muffler removed.
Next step was to remove the rear brake caliper. First, I removed the brake pads. I chose to do this because the new final drive I got has a new rear rotor and since it is thicker than my old rotor, I was going to have to compress the pistons in the caliper to get it to fit and while the caliper is removed, why not clean the pads, pistons, etc. If you plan on taking the rear rotor off your old final drive and put it on the new one, then removing the brake pads isn't necessary. So, using a 5mm hex socket, remove the pad pin bolt the hold that pads in and drop the pads out the bottom.
Next, remove the caliper. Two bolts. Very easy. One bolt is where the socket and extension is. The other is highlighted in the picture. Once you remove the caliper, be sure to support it using bungie cord or wire tie to take the strain off the brake line hoses.
After you take the caliper off, slide the brake hoses out of the little "clip" highlighted in the picture. Very easy. Note: If your new final drive includes this clip (mine did), there is no need to remove this UNLESS your bike has ABS. The ABS Speed Sensor is mounted to that little clip. It's just a little plastic thing held in place by one of the bolts that hold that clip in place. Removing it (the clip) is very easy. Two 8mm bolts. You'll need a 1/4" drive ratchet, a 1/4" X 6" extension, a 1/4" u-joint and your socket. There is very little room between the saddlebag sub-frame and where those two bolts are located. The u-joint on the end of the extension makes this painless. Remember, you ONLY have to take this clip off is your bike has ABS or your new final drive doesn't include the clip.
Next is the removal of the final drive itself. I'm including some lessons I learned that the service manual doesn't tell you. You really need a rubber mallet (I got this one from Harbor Freight and it worked great). You should also have a 17mm, 6 point wrench AND a 17mm Gear Wrench. The 17mm 6 point eliminates the possibility of rounding off one of the nuts that hold the final dive in place (it also fits the gear lube fill nut on the final drive). I got this one from Sears. Very reasonable. This should be in everyone's tool box. When you put the wrench on the nuts that hold the final drive in place, using the rubber mallet to "persuade" them to let go is MUCH easier than trying to muscle them loose. The reason for the Gear Wrench is one nut. In the image below, the nut highlighted that's on top, there is less than 1/2" of room to move your wrench up and down to tighten or loosed that nut. Trust me, get a Gear Wrench. It's makes the process MUCH LESS aggravating.
Anyway, remove the four nuts that hold the final drive to the swing arm. I've highlighted the location of the two "outboard" nuts. There are also two inboard, on the other side of the swing arm. Once all four are off, the rubber mallet REALLY comes in handy.
The drive will not just fall off the swing arm. There are dowels around the bolts that help hold the drive onto the swingarm. You have to gently, POUND THE **** OUT OF THE THING to get it to come loose. I got under the bike and used the mallet to GENTLY but FIRMLY hit the rotor on the edge, toward the front of the bike. In other words, your trying to get the drive to go toward the back. Once it starts to get loose, you have to GENTLY but FIRMLY tap the drive on side where you fill the final drive with oil. Back and forth, back and forth. Be careful. As it gets loose, it'll come off and the final drive with the new rotor weights about 40lbs. Once you get it off, you'll see this:
Inside the swing arm is the drive shaft. If you're not replacing your drive shaft (Honda calls it the "propeller shaft"), then skip this part. That said, you REALLY should replace your drive shaft if you're replacing your final drive. Here is the rationale. Lets say you're hearing noise coming out of the back of the bike and you decide it's either your final drive or drive shaft. If you only replace the final drive, and button everything back up and still have the noise, then you have to take everything back apart to replace the drive shaft.
Here is a picture of a guys bike I worked on in the parking lot of the Ramada Inn here in Jacksonville. He was attending the Iron Butt Rally when he thought his final drive failed. And he had just had the final drive replaced (and didn't replace the drive shaft) a few thousand miles before the trip, out in Los Angles. After dropping the final drive and noticing how smooth everything felt, I pulled out his old drive shaft.
Luckily, I had a new, spare drive shaft on hand.
Get NEW trike take off's. Not ones that have been used and you have no idea how many miles they have on them.
Anyway, look up inside the swing arm and you'll see the shaft. You might be able to get it out with your fingers. I used my needle nose pliers to grab the shaft and pull on it.
Once it starts to come out, just pull it out...GENTLY! No big deal.
Look up inside your swing arm. It should look brand new. Mine did. If you see grease, dirt, grime, then you probably need to replace the rubber boot that goes between the swing arm and the rear engine casing. If everything looks good, reverse this process.
First, get some good moly grease ($4 for a 1lb can at Pep Boys, Auto Zone or Advance Auto). It'll last you FOREVER! You don't need much. Put grease on the splines on the inside of each end of the drive shaft. Not a lot. You don't have to pack the ends. Just cover the splines real good.
Insert the new drive shaft back into the swing arm. Getting the shaft back onto the splines coming out of the transmission, I thought would be difficult. It wasn't. Just slide it in and wiggle it around. It'll go on.
Next, grease the splines of the shaft on the final drive. Not a lot. You've already greased the drive shaft in the step above.
This next part takes a little muscle because the final drive is heavy. To put the new one on, first make sure those dowel spacers are on your bolts that come out of the final drive (they might be stuck inside the swingarm. If so, that's OK. Next, insert the splines coming out of the final drive into the rear of the drive shaft. It'll be obvious. Wiggle the final drive a little and the bolts will go back into the swing arm. Put a couple of nuts on to make sure the drive doesn't fall off. Be sure to support the drive until you get at least one nut on the bolt. Then start tightening the nuts. Evenly. Take turns on each bolt to make sure the drive goes SQUARELY onto the swing arm.
Once you have all four tight, tighten the three you can get to, to 65 ft. lbs. It'll be obvious which one you can't get a torque wrench on. Use your best guess based on how much force you used to tighten the other three.
Next, put the caliper back on. Two bolts. 33 ft. lbs. Then put the brake pads back in and tighten the pad pin. 13 ft. lbs.
Do a little cleaning while your under there. I use Simple Green. Spray it on. Wipe it off.
Put your wheel back on. 5 nuts. 80 ft. lbs.
Clean up and go ride!
Hope this helps give you the confidence to do this. If I had taken this to the dealer, parts alone would have been close to $2000 retail. And labor? I shutter to guess. My local dealer charges $125/hr plus "shop fees, rag fees, fluid fees, cigarette fees and the list goes on. And then tax of course.
I could have done this in about 2 hours, but I piddled. I cleaned. I drank two glasses of tea and yaked with Clarkster for about 20 minutes.
If you need a new final drive, do it yourself. I have about $215 invested and about 4 hours of work. And when I was done I took it out for a 10 mile run. She runs like a top!
NOTE: Since I first posted this on another board, it's been 6 months and I've put close to 5,000 miles on the new final drive and drive shaft. Zero issues.