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I understand that it is possible to re-lubricate the swing arm bushings without actually removing the swing arm. Sounds like a good idea, but I wonder about the correct grease to use in the process. If I squeeze in fresh grease from the outside without cleaning the bearings of old grease, compatibility would be an issue – would it not? Is anyone aware of a grease that would be universally compatible with the stuff used at the factory?

I have 56K on the clock, and the bike has rarely been ridden in the rain. What is typical of the condition of the bearings at that point?
 

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The bearings move very little, they shouldn't be subject to a lot of wear. I'd like to know how it's possible to get new grease past the seals and into the bearings without removing the swingarm.
 

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I`ve ridden 1500s to 200,000 miles and never worried about greasing the swing arm. I have a swing arm from a trike conversion here I will probably throw away some day as it is.
gumbyred
 

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wideload wrote:
...I have 56K on the clock, and the bike has rarely been ridden in the rain. What is typical of the condition of the bearings at that point?
It's the Age of the grease that affects it, more than the milage... After about 5yrs old, the oil evaporates and no longer lubes as well. That said, the bearings are likely in perfect condition, other than having old grease.


wideload wrote:
I understand that it is possible to re-lubricate the swing arm bushings without actually removing the swing arm. Sounds like a good idea, but I wonder about the correct grease to use in the process. If I squeeze in fresh grease from the outside without cleaning the bearings of old grease, compatibility would be an issue – would it not? Is anyone aware of a grease that would be universally compatible with the stuff used at the factory?...
Steps:
1/ Remove the rear wheel, drive hub, and drive shaft
2/ Remove both left nut and axle bolt, then the right, from the swing arm. You may need a breaker bar if this is the first time they've been removed. You'll need to make or buy a "castle-like" socket to turn the nut
3/ The swing arm will now pivot side-to-side, enough so that you can reach in and remove each swing arm bearing one at a time... You can actually pull/rotate the swing arm back so as to amost fully expose the bearing.
4/ Clean the bearing seats in the swing arm, the bearings themselves, and the surrounding work area.
5/ Pack the bearings with grease (I use Belray waterproof), and re-install.
6/ Install the right hand axle bolt, and partially install the left hand one.
7/ Torque the right hand axle bolt
8/ Snug up the left hand axle bolt. Hint: Lift the swing arm up-and-down... simultaneoulsy snug up the bolt until the swing arm barely moves, at which point Loosen the bolt about a 1/2-turn and test again... the arm should move smoothly, yet be snug.
9/ Install the lock nut on the left axle bolt, and torque it also. Verify again that the swing arm moves smoothly up and down.
 

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Thanks for the step by step description Alex.

Cleaning up the old bearing eliminates my concern about mixing grease types. So - one is able to pull out the bearings by hand? On other bikes I worked on, I had to saw (plastic bushing) or drive out the old bearings with a drift.
 

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wideload wrote:
...So - one is able to pull out the bearings by hand? On other bikes I worked on, I had to saw (plastic bushing) or drive out the old bearings with a drift.
Yes, the bearings are easily removed by pulling out with your finger... They are tapered roller bearings (in a race), as found in automotive wheels, sitting in a tapered cone.
 
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