Swingarm Bolt - Help I can't get it out!!!

I just got the shock/forks rebuilt for my 92-CR250

Before putting the new susp. in I'm trying to replace the bearings in the swingarm and linkage.

It was very stiff!!

I was able to get the linkage off quite easily but I can't get the swingarm bolt out.

I pounded on that thing all nite last nite with an impact socket and a 4 lb. hammer.

I don't think it moved an 1/8 of an inch. I did drop some oil in hopefully to loosen it up

but didn't seem to help much.

My next approach was to take the wheel/brake assembly off and lay the bike on it's side, drop more oil in, and work the swingarm up and down for awhile and beat on it some more???

Would applying heat to the Aluminum swingarm be OK???

Hate to apply too much heat, cause the bolt runs through the cases.

If this doesn't work I'm stumped. Can one cut through the bolt with a hack saw to get it off??

Any tips would greatly be appreciated.

I'm going to post this on a couple of the other forums for hints too. :):D:D

Try a lighter hammer. Sometimes it is the jolt, not the force, that seems to move frozen parts.

Good luck,


I have had a couple swingarm bolts like that in the past. I would Highly recommend NOT heating the aluminium casing. I have removed the bolt in the past by cutting off the nut with a dremmel tool and then using a punch to "Gently tap the remaining portion of the bolt out. Cutting off either end of the bolt will accomplish the same thing.

Good Luck...

Bonzai :)

Thanks Guys!

I have tried small hammer/big hammer approach.


I was able to get the nut off rather easily.

The head is 1/2 moon shaped and countersunk

up inside the frame tube so can't really get at it.

The bolt is so stuck to the bearing that the bolt rotates with the swingarm. Honda used a hollow bolt here too ???? But a solid bolts on the linkage??

My guess is the hollow bolt is bowing under pressure.

Anybody use the hack saw idea???

Again thanks for all replies......

I hear you.

The problem if the bolt has (Welded) it's self to the bearing, beating on it is probably wedging it tighter in the casing. If you cut the bolt off , you have a 50/50 chance of being able to get a brass drift in the other side to help free the bolt from the race. I would lubricate the snot out of the thing from both sides with WD-40 after you cut the bolt end off. Getting the swingarm out of the way should help, the weight of the arm on the bolt may be just enough to keep it from rotating and loostening up.

If you can cut off the bolt with a hacksaw and leave just enough exposed to get a pair of vise grips around , you stand a pretty good chance of being able to rotate the bolt and break it free.

Take your time....

Bonzai :)

IDENTICAL problem w/ my 91 CR250. I had to squeeze a hacksaw into the 4 joints of my swingarm and frame and cut through the pivot bolt.

As a HEADS UP, there are 2 plugs (one on each side) on your engine that the pivot bolt fits through. These ARE NOT replacable. You have to buy new cases :) to get these 50 cent pieces of steel. I brought my cut up one to a machinst and had him machine me a new one. I tried to heat treat it as best I could prior to installing the new pivot bolt.

I went through these guys, http://www.servicehonda.com/parts.htm, for my replacement parts. They had the best price back then...???


Uh oh- you got me on this one. "brass drift"

And I thought myself mechanically inclinded :)

I think I agree with you that the bolt has welded itself to the bearing.

What say I "Somehow cut the Head Off" and the get and EZ out stuck up in the hollow bolt just to get it turning(hopefully) while someone is doing that I'm hammering on the other side?? I kinda like that idea.


Patience :D:D Me!!

NH Kevin -

Oh no, I knew someone was gonna say that.

And a big thanks for the heads up on the case plugs. What a shocker that would've been :D

BTW - while recently buying parts none were fitting my bike, later finding out my bike is a 91 :):D

Here's my standard method when this happens.

First try slackening all engine mounts to the rear of the frame and try with hammer and drift again. Sometimes helps. If it still won't move, get a drill bit the same diameter as the bolt and drill both ends off the bolt. Easier to control than the dremel. I think the hollow pins on some motocrossers must be a pilot hole for doing this. :)


That would work, anything that you can use to roatate the bolt and spray WD-40 in between the bolt and the case will work.

a Brass Drift is a punch made of brass. It is softer than the Steel bolt and the hardened end of the casing.

Much less chance of damage vs using a steel punch.

Bonzai :)


The more I think about it the engine may have it in a bind.

I like the pilot hole theory :)

Man this board is a "Great Resource"


Thanks now that I know what your talking about I'll see about picking one of those up on the way home too. Don't think I've ever seen one of those a Lowes, but never looked for one either.

Sorry about your luck with the S/A bolt. Are you the original owner and/or do you know how many times it has been removed and greased? It has been my experience that if it has been a long time (if ever) between greasings, you will NEVER get it out by pounding on it. I've been told by a close friend that an acqauintance of his had the same experience with a 1998 CR 80. They went as far as lifting the whole bike and putting the swingarm bolt on a hydraulic press. Supposedly they used an absurd amount of pressure on the bolt to no avail. They ended up cutting it out with an electric Saws-all. The same thing happened years ago to me with an ancient Honda 3-wheeler. It is amazing how tight rust and dirt can hold the bolt. Lubricants seem to help very little once it is stuck.

It really is a shame that the manufacturers get away year after year with the miniscule amounts of grease on the suspension pivot points of $6000+ motorcycles. If you don't believe me, buy a new dirt bike and immediately disassemble it and see for yourself. It looks like a thin coating of vaseline on many of the main pivots. My used 2000 WR 400 suspension pivots looked terrible when I bought it in May. It may be too late for yours, but one of the first things owners of used and new bikes should do is remove and lubricate ALL pivot points on the ENTIRE bike. Then grease it at least 2X a season. Trust me it is worth it to you and to any subsequent owners.

EricZ -

I agree completely. Trust me this has been a big eye-opener for me and once I get this accomplished(if ever) I will be doing the same thing to my 02 426.

I don't know which owner I am, I bought it about 7 years ago. It's been sitting mostly since then cause my life got outta control(family wise)since then.

I've never had it apart but didn't have time to ride it to worry about it. I'm sure the previous owner never touched it......

Even the Pivot Works bearing kit I bought has about 10 cents worth of vaseline on them, and I'm sure it would last about 10 seconds out there in this summer heat......

Looks like I may be dragging out my Sawzall if things don't start looking up here :)

wooooo back,

before you go drilling or cutting or causing any more damage you could try heating the whole thing up first.(not with a blowtorch)

An old pommie motorbike mechanic once showed me a trick that not many people would consider trying but it has worked for me heaps of times when things dont want to come apart.

Dont laugh, but try boiling the kettle and then slowly pouring the entire contents over the area you think the bolt is sticking, try to concentrate the heat and get it as hot as possible and then take to it with your brass drift and trusty hammer. You cant overheat anything and damage the aluminium, burn paint or rubber seals or anything like that but nine times out of ten you will hear a loud "crack" as the two different types of metal expand at different rates and free themselves.

I,m not kidding and it only takes a few minutes to give it a try. Everyone I,ve ever recommended this method to for wheel bearings, seized axles, swingarm pivots etc, laughed at me at first but have come away totally amazed with how easy things come apart when this method is used. More importantly you can't wreck anything like you can with a blow torch. Try heating it once or twice and if that doesn,t work then you may have to resort to cutting/ grinding/ drilling and buying new parts.

hope this helps

I do it everytime I have to replace wheel bearings and they practically fall out after a good splash with the kettle.


Heres one more bit of advice. I have used Aerokroil by Kano laboratories (615) 833-4101, I used to do Pool repairs and this stuff worked wonders on frozen bolts of all kinds. You will throw away all your WD 40 after you buy a can of this stuff! WD 40 is a water displacer primarly, it does so so on frozen stuff, this stuff IS the real deal. Now when you spray the area, walk away, go inside and have a beer. You can't rush a job like a stuck bolt come back every few hours and give it a shot, 24 to 48 hours give it a try. Stop using WD 40 on frozen bolts!

P.S. I do NOT work for Kano Labs

I've done 3 of these.

It is easy.

Get a blow torch & have a low heat setting.

Put the torch hard up to the pivot bolt so that the flame goes inside the hollow pivot bolt on the threaded side. You dont want any of the flame excapeing onto the frame. It will only take about 10 to 15 seconds to heat up. It is important not to over heat the bolt because you will melt the seals & bearings . Let it cool down & then start to hit it out. If it doesn't move reheat it again the same way but this time make it slightly hotter. It is a good idear to have some water ready to cool the seals. Let it cool again & try to hit it out again. It should come out easy.

Well I did try to heat it up last nite by using a torch, placing the flame inside the bolt.

I've soaked it with Liquid Wrench....

I've realized though that it's only the left side

of the swingarm that stuck not the right. Cause hammering causes the swigarm to bind against the frame but the right side isn't getting jammed against the engine cases. So I guess I'm 50% there :)

Next step to drill the bolt out just past the frame and sawzall the bold between case and swingarm. Least this way I can get the Swingarm off then work with the stuck parts easier......

I appreciate all the help I've been getting from you guys !!!

the hot water is a good idea, and im sure would work and control the heat involved. the object is to make the swing arm and engine case expand, loosening the grip on the bolt. if you heat the bolt you must wait for it to cool completly before trying to drive it out because you have made it bigger than the hole.i would heat the bolt as a last resort. i have worked on heavy equipment for years and have found that when just heat wouldn't free something. that heating then rapidly quenching with water will free most things especially when dissimilar metals and aluminium oxide are involved. after a few heat/ quench cycles heat one last time and try to drive the bolt out.

Have you got a long weekend to play with it or is the better half got other plans....

Mine is making me go to a family BBQ tomorrow, but I talked her into letting me go to Kentuck in Anniston in the morning as long as I make it back by 2pm.....

Keep at it...you'll get it out.

Bonzai :)

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