Date: 20-06-24  Time: 07:15 am

Author Topic: HOW TO: Replace swingarm bearings.  (Read 40653 times)

John Silva

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HOW TO: Replace swingarm bearings.
« on: 02 January 2011, 06:39:54 pm »
Originally posted by pointer2null on 30/05/2009

This is a guide, if you choose to follow it you do so at your own risk. I accept no responsibility for any errors or omissions.

Make sure you have all the tools you need before starting. A range of spanners and sockets are a must. You will also need a long metal drift (30cm), a hammer and the replacement bearings. This is important as the old bearings will be destroyed by the removal process. You will also need a torque wrench capable of torquing to 115NM.

Read these instructions first before starting!

The main swing arm pivot bolt is very tight (115NM) so you may want to loosen it before doing anything else. Make sure you have a good correct fitting socket! Unless you have hands of steel using just a socket and normal bar will be very difficult. I used a length of old scaffold bar to extend the socket bar.

Steel hands and superhuman strength?

Extending the bar makes things a lot easier.

CAUTION. If you just pull on the end of the bar then instead of undoing the nut you will simply lift the bike and probably end up toppling it over. When trying to undo a very tight bolt like this remember you are trying to apply a turning force to the bolt, so place one hand on the pivot and one on the lever. Push on the pivot while you pull on the lever:

By using two hands like this your effort is transforming into a rotational undoing movement and not a bike toppling lifting motion. Just loosen the bolt at this point - do not completely remiove it.

Start by removing the rear wheel, rear brake caliper and (optional but makes more space) the silencer.

Loosen the torque arm bolts, remove the hydraulic hose clamp and guide from the top of the swingarm then undo the rear brake calliper. Support the calliper or tie it up so you do not put strain on the hydraulic hose. Don't stand on the rear brake pedal!
Undo the rear axle nut. Release the chain tensioner lock nuts and tensioner nuts. You will need to slide the rear wheel forward to get the chain off. Withdraw the rear axle bolt - sometimes it needs a gentle tap with a hammer to start it moving. Be careful not to damage the end of the bolt or the thread. You can use the rear axel bolt nut to protect the thread by screwing back on a few turns and then using a piece of wood to protect the end while tapping it gentle with a hammer.

You should now be able remove the rear wheel by rolling it backward. Do not loose the two spacers that may drop off.

Put these, the washer and nut on the rear axle bolt and put it out the way.

Next withdraw the two chain tensioners.

At this point I tied the rear brake calliper to the frame to keep it out of the way.

You should now be able to gain access to the bolts that hold on the bottom of the rear shock.

Remove these and the top of the wishbone bolt.

Next remove the covers from the swing are bolt
The Left side (as you are sat on the bike) of the bolt is semi captive so you only need a socket on the other side. This nut is very tight! Be careful not to topple the bike over when you are trying to undo it.

Remove the nut and withdraw the bolt. The swing are should now be free. You may have to pull the bottom the the shock forward in order to get it out.

The swing arm bearings are covered by two caps:

Remove these.

The pivot shaft should slide out relatively easily.

You can also inspect/clean/replace the linkage components at this time - whether you do or don't make sure they don't fall out and get lost.

All the bits we have removed so far: 

Now to remove the bearing. Hold the swingarm in such a way that you can use the metal drift to tap out the old bearing. Insert the drift from one side and tap around the edge of the bearing on the opposite side of the swing arm.

The bearing may well disintegrate during this process. Keep rotating the drift around the circumference of the bearing so it comes out straight.

[Limit reached]The green piece of wood is behind the bearing and not under it.

[Limit reached]
The old, and destroyed bearing!

If the bearing breaks up completely during removal and leaves only the outer part in the swingarm you can use a chisel to carefully cut it and then 'peel' it out.

Next you need to fit the new bearings. These should be pressed into place using a special tool. I haven't got one so I carefully tapped them in. Before fitting them cool them in the freezer for an hour. This causes them to shrink fractionally which makes fitting a little easier. You can also warm the swingarm causing it to expand slightly.

Hold the bearing in place and gentle tap it with a piece of wood, so that it starts to go in. Make sure it stays straight or it will jam. Using the wood to prevent damage to the bearing gently tap in it. You can also use a socket of the same size as the bearing to tap it in the last few millimeters. Make sure you only tap the outer part of the bearing or you will damage it.

[Limit reached]When you do it, don't hold a camera, hold the socket!

When done the bearing should sit just below the level of the swingarm
[Limit reached]
Grease the bearing and pivot shaft with molybdenum disulphide grease (work this into the needle rollers).

Refitting is basically the reverse of removal.

Make sure you tighten and torque all bolts to the correct torque as specified in the manual.

Set the chain tension correctly.

Since you have disturbed the rear brake, pump the pedal a few times when it's all back together in order to re-seat the pads.
« Last Edit: 07 January 2011, 03:44:21 pm by John Silva »
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Re: HOW TO: Replace swingarm bearings.
« Reply #1 on: 23 June 2019, 08:13:15 pm »
I tried cutting my bearings out with a chisel... it destroyed the chisel and made absolutely no impression on the bearing whatsoever. Maybe I bought cheap chisels but that bearing outer body material is hard as f*ck! I found the spacer (pivot shaft) was the best drift I could find and as mine was nackered I was gonna be replacing it anyway.

If anyone's struggling to find parts (2001 FZS1000) I found Fowlers was great because they have the technical schematic that you can zoom in on to find the exact bits you need. Spacer (pivot shaft), 2 bearings and 2 caps is about £170. They have the grease seals that go either end of all the other suspension bearings too at about £2.70 a pop - Haynes says they should always be replaced...

Thanks for the tips and the excellent write-up!!