Greased my swingarm today - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Greased my swingarm today

As I had both wheels off my '09 to change tires, I decided to remove the swingarm and grease the bearings. First this - the Green Hornet is always garaged when not on trips, so your results MAY differ.

With the bike on a T-rex front and Harbor-Freight rear stand, I decided to give myself some added safety margin when jacking it from under the muffler. First I put several tie-downs thru the passenger grab handles and up to the ceiling so the bike couldn't slip sideways.

Next I took a short piece of 2x6, measured the width of the muffler where it transitions from flat towards vertical (underneath) and added a couple of pieces of scrap so the 2x6 would be secure. Pulled over my trusty HD jack (3 tons???), placed it below the muffler with the 2x6 between them and jacked up to take weight off the swingarm. I did this a few times, moving the jacking point till the bike stopped tending to tilt, then jacked enough to pull the HF stand and took 'slack' out of the tie-downs.

I read the manual's instructions, then modded them a bit: 1. removed the 2 plastic pieces that cover the swingarm pivot bolt; 2. removed the small bolt holding the rear brake line secure to the right side; 3. removed the LOWER bolt and nut from my R1 shock; 4. removed the pivot-bolt's nut; and 5. pushed the pivot bolt out, letting the swingarm drop free.

First an observation - the pivot-bolt (at least on MY '09) is chromed so there was NO rust, and the bearings at both ends of the swingarm had grease, again NO rust, so I added grease to them, re-seated the seal on the left side, greased the pivot-bolt then pushed it thru right to left. The nut takes 80 lb/ft of torque, then I torqued the lower shock bolt and nut, attached the brake-line and 2 plastic trim pieces, put the HF stand back under the 'arm, removed the jack/ adaptor pair (and tie-downs) and VOILA! DONE! And COUNTING making the jack adaptor, all in about ONE hour.

Then I put the wheels with ContiMotion rubber on, and went for a ride.


For anyone who noticed - those pictures on the wall... the Silver Bullet (my 340hp '62 Vette) and Blue Heaven ('29 Ford Tudor hot rod)....
Attached Images
File Type: jpg tiedown-safety.jpg (48.0 KB, 384 views)
File Type: jpg jack-adaptor1.jpg (38.9 KB, 338 views)
File Type: jpg jack-adaptor3.jpg (61.3 KB, 331 views)
File Type: jpg swingarm1.jpg (57.1 KB, 393 views)
File Type: jpg swingarm2.jpg (65.9 KB, 383 views)
File Type: jpg jack-adaptor2.jpg (65.9 KB, 354 views)
File Type: jpg swingarm-holes.jpg (75.3 KB, 414 views)
File Type: jpg swingarm-pivot.jpg (47.5 KB, 346 views)

Ed
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Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 05-25-2012 at 11:42 PM.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 12:47 AM
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What you call a pivot-bolt is the swingarm shaft (MOUNT bolt), and it's not chromed... Did you at least pull out the sleeve (inner race/pivot) to actually access your needle bearings to clean and grease them?? If not, I'm sorry to say that you wasted your time. I see it's still in there in pic #5. It can be slipped out by hand.

Don't let jdrocks see this!

Last edited by invader; 05-26-2012 at 11:45 AM.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 01:03 AM
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When I checked mine at 2600 miles, I found that the swingarm's sleeve (inner race) was practically seized in the needle bearings, and wearing in on the mount bolt and within the frame already. No rust or lack of grease, just too tight to allow normal operation. The sleeve is supposed to stay put with the mount bolt in the frame, with the needle bearings rotating around it along with the swingarm. Needle bearings are held in place with polyethylene assembly compound which is taking up most of the available space for proper grease, but I'd had to remove the seals and ball bearing to pull it all out.
I smoothed down the sleeve with wet 1500 grit silicon-carbide waterproof sandpaper to remove the needle bearings' marks where they sat, then polishing compound, cleaned and re-packed with synthetic grease (NLGI #2). The sleeve fits a bit loosely within the frame which has to be torqued down on it with the long mount bolt, so I secured it back at 90+ ft-lbs instead of 80. It's rotating nice and smoothly now, and I don't get that strange feedback in sharps bumps like I used to.

I checked, cleaned and re-greased it before taking it out again this year at 7700 miles, and it looks great. Needle bearings are rotating freely in their polyethylene 'cage'... There is also a sealed ball bearing in the right side.


Last edited by invader; 05-26-2012 at 11:43 AM.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 06:44 AM
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The sealed bearing on mine was seized up at 60k kms, so that's worth a check too.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invader View Post
What you call a pivot-bolt is the swingarm shaft (MOUNT bolt), and it's not chromed... Did you at least pull out the sleeve (inner race/pivot) to actually access your needle bearings to clean and grease them?? If not, I'm sorry to say that you wasted your time. I see it's still in there in pic #5. It can be slipped out by hand.

Don't let jdrocks see this!
I know you have an '07 V, invader, so I have to assume the FACT that mine is chromed is a 'model-year-change-of-specs' somewhere between the '07 and '09s. I could compare it with the rear axle (NOT chromed) while all was apart.

You're right tho' - I'll be removing the swingarm again in a few weeks and greasing it PROPERLY. Thanks for the 'heads-up'.


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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 04:00 PM
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in reference to the title... giggity.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 08:41 PM
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I asked a dealer mechanic about the need to grease the swing arm and steering bearings. His advise was don't touch them, the grease is sealed in and they'll be worn out and need replacement by they time they need more grease anyway (40 - 50K kms)
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-26-2012, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Sprocket View Post
I asked a dealer mechanic about the need to grease the swing arm and steering bearings. His advise was don't touch them, the grease is sealed in and they'll be worn out and need replacement by they time they need more grease anyway (40 - 50K kms)
Telling you to not do such maintenance on suspension and steering components is very poor advice. Mine needed much attention from the start. I've cleaned and greased the swingarm bearings twice now, and can be assured of extended trouble-free service and optimum functionality.
I had also checked the steering bearings, and had found them to be sufficiently greased. It is still definitely good practice to pop it apart once in a while to clean, grease and adjust properly.

Oh, the mechanic tells me I don't need to touch anything. It's maintenance free. Yay!! Just wait till it breaks down and replace all the parts, or until I crash and burn.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invader View Post
What you call a pivot-bolt is the swingarm shaft (MOUNT bolt), and it's not chromed... Did you at least pull out the sleeve (inner race/pivot) to actually access your needle bearings to clean and grease them?? If not, I'm sorry to say that you wasted your time. I see it's still in there in pic #5. It can be slipped out by hand.

Don't let jdrocks see this!
Well, today, since it's been raining forever (it seems), I followed up on invader's post and removed my swingarm AGAIN, but this time pulled out the sleeve and greased the needle bearings properly, though they were well-greased when I went in, then put it all back together. Took me 2 hours from putting it onto stands to taking it off the stands. I'm including a few more pics, some of which show the rear axle and the swingarm pivot bolt which IS chromed as I reported earlier.

I saw no evidence of rust anywhere, nor lack-of-grease.

Here are 6 more pics: first is the V set-up for the job; second is detail of my "jack adaptor"; third is lower shock mount detail; fourth compares the non-chromed axle with the CHROMED swingarm pivot bolt; fifth is needle-bearing detail (that's the 'sleeve' in the top-left corner); and the sixth shows attaching the lower shock bolt.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg swingarm1.jpg (81.1 KB, 156 views)
File Type: jpg swingarm2.jpg (54.4 KB, 172 views)
File Type: jpg swingarm3.jpg (69.6 KB, 193 views)
File Type: jpg swingarm4.jpg (121.6 KB, 189 views)
File Type: jpg swingarm9.jpg (64.4 KB, 185 views)
File Type: jpg swingarm10.jpg (66.2 KB, 191 views)

Ed
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 03:50 PM
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Thanks for this Ed,
Takes some of the unknown out of this project for me.

Great pictorial.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 05:19 PM
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So, it's good to have grease between the swingarm mount bolt and the inner bearing sleeve to prevent oxidaton buildup. Where you really need grease is on the outer circumference of the sleeve on which swingarm bearings ride on.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 07:41 PM
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You can support the bike from the muffler? I've got a lift table but looked under the V and saw the muffler and said ... "no way I'm resting the weight of the bike on there" .... I was wrong?
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
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You can support the bike from the muffler? I've got a lift table but looked under the V and saw the muffler and said ... "no way I'm resting the weight of the bike on there" .... I was wrong?
i wouldnt on just muffler alone, id do like they did and use a strap to hang it and jack as a just in case
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 08:44 PM
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i wouldnt on just muffler alone, id do like they did and use a strap to hang it and jack as a just in case
If I'm reading the OP correctly, the straps bore little to no weight. They were to stabilize - not lift. The jack was under the muffler with wood between jack and muffler "to stabilize".

So full weight of bike was on muffler??? (sans wheels)

Fasteddie?

Last edited by Gatorfan; 10-31-2014 at 08:49 PM.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-01-2014, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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If I'm reading the OP correctly, the straps bore little to no weight. They were to stabilize - not lift. The jack was under the muffler with wood between jack and muffler "to stabilize".

So full weight of bike was on muffler??? (sans wheels)

Fasteddie?
The straps were holding all the weight UNTIL I jacked the muffler a small amount so I could remove the swingarm, then I pulled on the straps to get "back" the weight, till I reversed order to put it back together.

Hope this helps.

(When I put the knobbies on, last Saturday, w/ T-Rex stands at each end, rather than ALSO remove my front fender, I "jacked" enough to get the front wheel out. REALLY HELPS having some help when you release the jack....)

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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-01-2014, 06:03 PM
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^^ Yes it does.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-01-2014, 07:51 PM
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Couldn't you put jackstands under the foot peg mounts? That's what I did for installing the lowering link.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-02-2014, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Couldn't you put jackstands under the foot peg mounts? That's what I did for installing the lowering link.
Never thought of that....

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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-02-2014, 09:46 PM
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I will try the jack under the footpegs trick next time..that sounds like a winner. My pegs already off... nothing in moderation, started with getting a new chain, which is the gateway drug to sprockets, tires, and soon, swingarm service and whatever else, (some powdercoating?).

Fortunate to have use of this walk-behind elec. forklift till spring. Then, no shop, no shop access, gone- family business being liquidated after many years. Figure I better make sure the bike is checked out before then, also gives me something to do in the winter comin up here, keeps me off the (ice covered)streets.

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