Swingarm, Shock Arm Lubrication Question - Anyone Lubed Those Yet?

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#1
Has anyone pulled off the swingarm to lubricate the bearings in there? Some manufacturers are notoriously stingy with the grease when they pack swingarm, shock arm, and steering head bearings. The service manual says to do it at 32,000 miles, but if there is not enough there in the first place, it might be nice to know, and get it done earlier.

My KLR was almost completely dry when I checked those bearings at 2000 miles, and my WR450 was so dry that all the shock linkage bearings were toast at 1300 miles.

Thanks.

Mark R.
Albuquerque
 

liguorien

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#2
I'm in the process of geting there....
At least, thats my plan ;)
I'll let you know how it goes...
I've already undone the shock asembly, and it was super dry... But I don't know if it was due to my water crosings.....
Oops fogot to mention that i'm at 17 000 km...
 

MGB

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#4
Recently removed the shock to install a shock sock, both shock mounts were virtually grease free.

I disassembled the two wishbone bolts, virtually grease free. I'm thinking I'm going to do the swingarm bearings and the large wishbone mount soon....
 

greg the pole

There are no stupid questions, only stupid people
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#7
snakebitten said:
Better yet, hurry up and get to 32,000!
well you say that, but when I went to change the fork oil in my...forks, the steering head nut was so loose that I undid it with my fingers,
book says 100 odd foot lb.
If it's easy to do, why not check it, especially if you spend time off road.
may do a pictorial this weekend time permitting
 

BWC

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#8

Did the swing arm & relay arm service so maybe these pics. might be of some help. Muffler has to be removed to do the swingarm pivot and the muffler/exhaust pipe needs to be removed to get the last bolt out of the front pivot point on the relay arm.

Didn't get a pic. of removing the final drive,its pretty easy. Remove the 4 closed head nuts after removing the rear wheel assem. and slide out the drive shaft assem. from the swingarm housing.

Took this pic. to show the nut for the swing arm bolt which has a retaining plate ( two screws and plate just to the right of the U-joint) Manual says to remove the plate. Dosen't need to be. Just use a 27mm (1 1/16) socket , same size as rear axel nut, and remove the swing arm bolt after removing the shock, rear brake master cylinder cover, brake stay, lines etc. off the swing arm.

Once apart pivot shaft and bearings were in good shape although very litttle grease, as usual. The grease seals at each end keep the crap out pretty good. What does need a bit of grease is the swing arm pivot bolt as it had a spot of rust on it. And from having to try and remove frozen swing arm bolts from dirt bikes a little lube now is a good idea.

Couple of tips:

-use some anti-sieze paste on the muffler clamp bolt and the nuts at the cylinder head. Will need new gaskets to reinstall the muffler/exhaust pipe to insure no leakage
-when putting the drive shaft back in, put the bike in gear so you can turn the final drive a bit to engage the drive shaft splines back into the front U-joint assem.
- and leave the four closed head nuts loose on the final drive to swing arm housing till you have installed the rear wheel and axel, then tighten them up.

So is it all worth doing on a low mileage bike. (31,000 km) We have winter here :-[
At the least, supporting the rear wheel, removing the swing arm bolt, and a little of your favorite grease on the bolt is easy to do and will allow you to get it apart in the future as it seems to be the one part that got the rust.

I think this kind of reads like those badly written Chinese assem. instructions you get with the kids new bike. :D Once again a shop manual is really a good investment if you are going to tackle a few of these jobs.
 
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#11
Excellent write up. Thanks. It looks much easier than the service manual shows.

BTW, that swingarm is a real work of industrial art. It is amazing how such a complex hollow shape can be cast from metal, with correct thicknesses where they need to be.
 

erenet

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#12
markjenn said:
Why?
- Mark
I don't think I read that on the service manual, but it's a good idea. By leaving the 4 bolts slightly loose, it'll allowed a good alignment of the wheel axle from the left to the right (pumpkin not twisted) when installing the wheel. It might be hard to tighten the 2 inside bolts of the pumpkin to specs with the wheel installed. To do that we may have to give the 4 bolts a good squeeze without the torkwrench, remove the wheel again, finish tighten the 4 bolts to specs then reinstall the wheel.
 

Koinz

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#13
OMG, nice job on that.
Excellent pictures and great write up. I will definitely reference this when I get to it. Thanks. ::012:: ::003::
 

dcstrom

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#14
Nice writeup BWC. I have 32,000 miles on the bike now, due for a chassis lube. I'm in Guatemala now but have a guy lined up to do it in El Salvador (Mario, who also supplied my new K60's). He's basically a BMW guy, but between the two of us and some write-ups like yours, I'm sure we'll figure it out :D
 

HoebSTer

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#15
dcstrom said:
Nice writeup BWC. I have 32,000 miles on the bike now, due for a chassis lube. I'm in Guatemala now but have a guy lined up to do it in El Salvador (Mario, who also supplied my new K60's). He's basically a BMW guy, but between the two of us and some write-ups like yours, I'm sure we'll figure it out :D
Trevor, Good to see you are going strong!!! If the guy can fix a beamer, he can lube a few splines for you, but much easier. ::022:: Take care and always enjoy reading your posts.

Jef
 

BWC

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#16
markjenn said:
Why?

- Mark
erenet's post pretty well covers it, and I found it posted somewhere here, and it made sense to help avoid any chance of the rear axel being tight to reninstall through the wheel/final drive assem. due to possible misalignment. Kind of like torquing cylinder head bolts evenly, just good practice I would think. Another tip I found was to insert the rear axel temporarily, part way in from the left side to help support and align the drive hub splines as they are a bit awkward to install into the final drive. Tried it recently and it helps . ::008:: Bernie
 

markjenn

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#17
On the torquing the pumpkin bolts before or after installing the wheel, I could see this going either way. You might correct some minor misalignment in the twisting direction down the axis direction of the drive shaft, but you also might tend to create some misalignment in the vertical axis by hanging 50-lbs of whee/tire on the pumpkin before it is bolted up solidly to the swingarm.

Judgment call, but since the service manual says nothing about an issue here and does specify a build sequence in which the pumpkin bolts are torqued to final spec prior to wheel install, I'm inclined to not overthink this one. This doesn't prove it is a bad idea, but I don't see anything to prove it is a good idea either.

- Mark
 

liguorien

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#18
Well, it's done :)
Takes about an hour or so to get the job done.
You'll need
27MM socket
19MM Allen
6,7,8 MM Allen
12, 14, 17, 19 MM socket and Wrench.

Glad I did it cause there was some water in the main pivot point in the swingarm...
A bit of water also in the two bearings for that pivot.

I can tell you that there's not much grease on anything down there....
But now it super lubbed-up :p

Next winter, I'm geting a proper work bench...... ::008::
 

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