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Grease in swingarm

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Every dirtbike I've owned, until my YZ426, had grease fittings on all joints of the swingarm. Now I'm wondering if I should check this bike for grease. I've heard the stories about how it may not have been properly greased at the factory too. How much of a concern is this? I ride the woods almost once a week and do occasionally hit water holes. Is it really nessesary to break it all down just to find out? And should it become a regular maintanence item as well?

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Yes you should break it down. I stay (try to stay) dry when I ride and I do mine over the winter each year. Also, if you ever do buy a bike with zirks (grease fittings) again, don't trust them. They help but do not replace the occassional break down and regrease.

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I just finished putting my 05' CRF250R back together yesterday. I picked it up thursday and starting taking it apart friday afternoon. I really can't believe how little grease they use on all the bearings. I did the stearing stem and all of the bearings on the shock, linkage and swingarm. I didn't do this to my 03' CRF450 and it costs me after the first year. I had to replace the swingarm pivot bearings. This time I know it's done right. I highly recommend taking it apart before you even ride it.

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YZ426 [...] wondering if I should check this bike for grease.

Is it really nessesary to break it all down just to find out?

And should it become a regular maintanence item as well?

yes, Yes, YES. (wow... that sounds like my wife... LOL).

i did a "linkage greasing howto" writeup for the 250F FAQ;

the process for your YZ426F will be exactly the same.

from the 250F FAQ index page,

http://thumperfaq.com/sitemap.htm

see the process here:

http://thumperfaq.com/swingarm.htm

while you have your hands greasy, see also

http://thumperfaq.com/steering.htm

and

http://thumperfaq.com/wheel_bearings.htm

any questions, just let me know. i've done this a few times. :)

http://losdos.dyndns.org:8080/public/moto-kitchen/DSC00011_sm.jpg

http://losdos.dyndns.org:8080/public/motomisc4/IMG_0150_sm.jpg

http://losdos.dyndns.org:8080/public/motomisc4/IMG_0178_sm.jpg

http://losdos.dyndns.org:8080/public/motomisc4/IMG_0183_sm.jpg

http://losdos.dyndns.org:8080/public/linkage/DSC00441_sm.jpg

http://losdos.dyndns.org:8080/public/linkage/DSC00452_sm.jpg

jim aka the wrooster

'01 wr250f

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Thank you all, especially wrooster for the pics and directions (very informative).

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Wrooster, I've done the relay arm and connecting rod bearings now. I got the string cheese out and repacked with Bel-ray. Some of the needles were slightly dis-colored (surface rust?), and I used a little steelwool to clean that up and everything went back together well greased. BTW, a feeler gauge works well to dislodge the needles and cheese. Now I'm on the swingarm itself and it appears to have a different set-up. First of all there is real grease in there (black) and second I can't seem to pull out the bearings. Instead of the "cheese" it seems to have a hard plastic casing around the needles. I got this bike used and am wondering if the first owner put in something other than OEM?

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Wrooster, I've done the relay arm and connecting rod bearings now. I got the string cheese out and repacked with Bel-ray. Some of the needles were slightly dis-colored (surface rust?), and I used a little steelwool to clean that up and everything went back together well greased. BTW, a feeler gauge works well to dislodge the needles and cheese. Now I'm on the swingarm itself and it appears to have a different set-up. First of all there is real grease in there (black) and second I can't seem to pull out the bearings. Instead of the "cheese" it seems to have a hard plastic casing around the needles. I got this bike used and am wondering if the first owner put in something other than OEM?

g-d,

the roller bearings at the end of the swingarm are held captive by an inner cage. neither the rollers nor the inner cage can be removed for cleaning.

see

http://losdos.dyndns.org:8080/public/moto-kitchen/DSC00015_sm.jpg

note: on my '01 WRF (pic above) the inner cage is steel. i don't know if later bikes or aftermarket bearings have different material cages.

if the swingarm bearings are corroded or otherwise damaged, you'll need a press to force them out of their recesses. some folks have had luck by substituting a large vise and an appropriate pair of sockets.

assuming that the swingarm bearings are in reasonable shape, you need to clean out the old grease and get some new stuff in there. to learn how, read the following thread, and scroll down to my post of 12-12-2003, 08:28 PM:

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=802997

(it's about 1/2 down that long thread)

one final thing: steel wool and bearing maintenance do not mix. bits of steel wool (actually it's iron) will remain behind, and in the presence of a miniscule amount of water the iron will oxidize and become iron oxide -- which you know as rust. iron oxide is VERY hard, and in fact is used for making sandpaper and grinding wheels. iron oxide is *not* what you want going around with your bearings, as it will cause rapid wear. ensure that your bearings have been very well rinsed in solvent after using steel wool. the better alternative when working on machinery is brass or bronze wool -- available at your local marine/boating store.

jim aka the wrooster

'01 wr250f

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Got it Jim. Yeah the cage's are steel not plastic, I'll rinse out and repack them this morning. And I rinsed off the steelwool in alcohol before assembling the other bearings too but I'll use the bronze next time. Thanks again, Mark

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One issue I had during re-assembly is how in the bleep-bleep are you supposed to get a torque wrench on the nut for the connecting rod to frame assembly? I had to use a universal joint plus extension, hard to use the wrench accurately under those circumstances. :) Otherwise, I'm glad I did this maintenence and appreciate all the encouragement. :)

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