Swingarm bearing removal tutorial.

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Swingarm bearing removal tutorial.

Postby ICRage42 » 07:45 am May 10 2013

This tutorial is for bikes with a worn suspension. Swingarm bearings needing replaced to the point where there isnt much of bearings left and little to press on bearing. Rusted neglected and thrown in wet sat in a shed for 10 years bike.

What tools you will need.

1.threaded rod (hardware store, parts store) usually about two or three pieces 10 inches or so. I picked up a size that went through a half inch socket and three 1 ft pieces.

2. get nuts and washers for threaded rod. Get like 8 nuts and 8 washers.

3. small propane torch ( i use a camping cylinder with a propane attachment) heat gun is pretty much useless.

4. can of compressed air duster spray. I bought some at kmart here.

5. wrenches to tighten up nuts

6 two appropriate size sockets. One that fits tight in hole to press out bearing and the other being larger diameter in size to hole to allow the bearing to be pressed into and out of bore.

A good reference to a video showing this setup for bearing installing. Your going to use the same setup to remove the old bearing. http://www.youtube.com/v/wiFDNRdRhS0

Now that you have an idea of how to get set up. Heres what I had to do to remove my bearings. I had no bearings left and little to bite on to press out.

1 Pop the seals and thoroughly clean bearings or whats left. Remove any dirt and rust and any burs that can get in the way.

2 get your threaded rod setup and sockets and get wrenches ready.

3 now heres the only thing that saves you time. The duster spray. A million uses lol. Wear gloves and glasses and dont be a tool and use common sense. Flip it upside down and spray the old bearing on the inside. You wont have to do much and dont hit the swingarm. Couple squirts so to say. Let it dry and feel it to see how cold it gets. This will tell you if your hitting it enought. With it cold try to as fast to set up your threaded rod and sockets.

4 once setup tighten down on the nuts to proceed to press old bearing out. Once it gets tight STOP! You have enough pressure on it.

5. Take off your wrenches otherwise hot potato. Grab your propane torch and heat up the outside of swingarm at bearing point. All the way around try to make it even heat. Dont be afraid you might have to get it somewhat hot. (which is why heatgun would take too long).

6 at this point you should start to hear some tink tink tink. Youd think its the metal cooling its actually your bearing sliding out. Its not gonna just slide out easy tho. Your gonna have to keep tight and heat again and again. You might get to a point where now since you have it moving and its still hot to just wrench it out. The swingarm cools quick and youll have to heat atleast two more times.

7 tighten heat........tighten heat.....I would think at this point your getting the idea. Till your bearing comes out.

8 clean the bore

9 use a new rod and washers and use the same setup to install your bearings.


Why the duster spray. Well I tried without using it and wasnt producing any results. Once used I was able to move the bearing at first. I believe it was enough of a expansion to break that rust seal on the bore. After that only heat is needed. I removed three p.o.s. bearins/races etc in less then 20 mins. Took longer to get the spray and rod down the road. Really kicked myself in the rear for not thinking of it earlier. I did use the spray only the first time. Since heating up the swingarm I didnt want to crack it by spraying it onto swingarm. This stuff you actually can flip it upside down and spray a lock and freeze the lock and smash lock with a hammer. So I didnt want to damage the swingarm.

I did use a vice to hold the swingarm which helped a bit. I wouldnt say you would need a vice tho.

When cleaning the bore before using heat I wouldnt use any brake cleaner. viewtopic.php?f=77&t=7771 I used a quick drying electronics cleaner. I got a ton given to me and I keep getting impressed with it.


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Kinda screwed the pooch here I painted my frame and covered everything so couldnt get to anything so I was struggling to locate threaded rod and some nuts and bolts and gave up and went shopping lol. The last set of bearings must of been replaced at one time. They were the easiest so far and were a cakewalk when removing.

Hope this helps.
If you cant fix it with a hammer, you have an electrical problem.
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Re: Swingarm bearing removal tutorial.

Postby KarlP » 05:09 pm May 10 2013

Nice write up. I've never used the liquid air to cool stuff, but it seems like it would do the job. I've usually just used the threaded rod and sockets and tightened the heck out of everything and then hit it with the propane until it popped.
On my CR there was not enough left to grab and I had to use a dremmel and cut the race until I could get behind it and peel it out.
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'99 CR/KDX Hybrid with that RB stuff done to it
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Re: Swingarm bearing removal tutorial.

Postby carts69 » 10:14 am May 12 2013

Yes very nice write up IC Rage42 containing good info, will be replaceing mine very shortly & it's good to see that the good old workshop press can be bypassed with threaded rod/nuts & washers, never thought about the air duster cans to aid removal :bravo:
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Re: Swingarm bearing removal tutorial.

Postby KDXrider1989 » 09:37 pm Jun 27 2013

yep, my bearings were easy to pop out using this procedure. now my real problem is installing the new ones without damaging them, its like every time I start tightening on the threaded rod the bearing goes sideways. I figured out the hard way that the side with the letters/numbers should be facing out while being pressed in
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Re: Swingarm bearing removal tutorial.

Postby bufftester » 11:15 pm Jun 27 2013

Pop the bearings in the freezer for an hour then use a heat gun to heat up the bearing seat on the swingarm, they should slide in like butter
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