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  1. #1

    2001 XL LTD Midshaft/Intermediate shaft to driveshaft slop

    I can't seem to find information about my potential problem on the forums (may already exist, I dunno), so I figured I'd ask the question. I guess maybe some background info is useful:

    I got a decent 2001 XL LTD labor day last year w/ a blown engine. Rebuilt the whole engine. The engine is still in the laundry room eager to be started. Working my way to the pump, I decided to give the PTO coupler a spin (the one on the midshaft, not the engine) and it appeared to be bent a little. In other words, the coupler didn't seem to spin perfectly, seemed to have "run-out" of like 1mm or so in crankshaft terms.

    So I pulled the intermediate housing, and to my surprise and enjoyment, the midshaft slid off the driveshaft nicely. I've read lots of posts about how to get the thing to budge. I literally just slid it off with little effort. Driveshaft splines were greasy and not corroded up. Splines on the driveshaft look good I think, the edges of the splines seem sharp and not rounded over. It looks like machining marks are still present on the tops of the splines too.

    Now the bearing in the midshaft seems to be shot as there's play in it and that's what caused the midshaft to look like it was a tad bent. The bearing feels sloppy and a tad rough so I'm probably going to rebuild the guts of the midshaft (grrr).

    Now my question has to do w/ the splines stripping out on these skis (XL/XLT 1200's, GP1200R's etc). While the driveshaft splines seem fine and undamaged, I can't really tell how great the mating splines are in the midshaft coupler. I *think* there is a little play at that interface where the driveshaft splines mate with the midshaft coupler splines. In other words, when I turn the PTO coupler on the midshaft, it seems like it rotates a little before I can feel the driveshaft start moving. Is this normal to have a little play there or should that spline to spline mate be pretty tight? I don't really know how much play is there, but I guess I'm just wondering if there should be any at all. I guess it can't be a super tight fit or the coupler would have to be pressed on and off regardless of corrosion in there.

    I'd hate to go rebuild the stupid midshaft housing guts and then have the midshaft coupler splines strip out, especially since the engine and everything is all apart now.

    If I do need a new midshaft coupler, is the one from SBT any good? It's a bit over 1/2 the cost of the OEM coupler. I don't think I'd want used in this case....

    Thanks for the help!


  2. #2
    Well...I guess no one really knows the answer? =) I think I may have answered it myself. I was able to clean up the midshaft/intermediate shaft and looked down inside where the driveshaft mates with a tiny, super bright flashlight. Those "splines" looked good too as far as I could tell and appear that they'd mate well to driveshaft. Most of the slop was removed once the splines were greased.

    I ended up removing the intermediate shaft from the bearing housing. I'll see if I can measure the slop between the driveshaft and the intermediate shaft coupler now that the housing is out of the way.

    Also as some have posted about the grease tube that should have grease pumped in every now and then, my tube was nearly empty. A 2" section of brown turd grease came out while being filled w/ new stuff. If nothing else, it seems like it's a good idea to pull that grease tube off the intermediate housing and pump new grease through till it comes out of the end of the tube. I forget how many pumps it was, maybe like 20 w/ a standard hand pump grease gun? That's a lot of years for grease to finally get there if you only do a couple pumps per year.

    Likewise my intermediate shaft housing was lacking grease inside, and had a lot of water in it. Time to rebuild that too :-/

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