Super Sport swingarm bearing removal
I recently had to remove my swingarm bearings due to water intrusion and rusting of the needles.
I searched using the search function for this site and found nothing of real substance that could guide anyone, regardless of experience through the process.
I'd first state that unless you absolutely HAVE to replace them, don't. It is a right pain to remove them, and more difficult if the engine is still mounted in the frame. IOW, don't replace them just because.
Second, I'd not proceed on this job without having the bearings and seals in hand. The part number for the bearings is an SKF p/n HK 2016. You'll need 4. The seal part number is Chicago Rawhide p/n CR7410. Again, you'll need 4. Both numbers can be cross referenced to the bearing/seal supplier of your choice.
I had my engine sitting on the work bench in order to accomplish this task so while it was far from easy, I couldn't imagine doing it while lying on the floor with the bike supported by stands.
Once the swingarm is removed, the outer seals need to be removed next. Those are relatively easy and can be carefully removed with a common screwdriver.
Once the outer seals are removed, there is a snap-ring/circlip/retaining ring inside the bore that stops the inner seal during installation. These are a split type and have no holes or "ears" for removal and there is one on each side.
There is a good chance these will be damaged or destroyed in the removal process. The clip can be reached from the opposite side through the pivot bore. I imagine there are a number of ways to approach removal but I used a simple hook scribe like this:
Working from the left side of the engine, I was able to reach the right side snap ring, and using the pointed end, lever the ring out of its groove. The angled cut is there for doing just that. Then I used the hook end to grab the unseated ring and pull it free of the groove. It resembled the end of a coil spring when I got it out of the void.
Keep in mind, that's as far as you'll be able to move it until the bearings and seal are out of that side. Also, it is easier to do just one side first. Once the bearings are out of that side, there is more room to work on the opposite side. Only just though.
Once the snap-ring is out, it can just rest in the void behind the bore. To remove the bearings and remaining seal, a puller of sorts must be manufactured. It's easy, and here is how to do it.
I went to a big box hardware store and bought a 2 pack of flange nuts, 12mm X 1.75 thread and an 80mm bolt of the same size and thread pitch.
I ground off one side of the flange until it was even with the flat in the hex of the nut.
And then, ground down a second side, directly opposite the first hex flat.
I chose the 12mm size based on the flange outside diameter being only slightly smaller than the bearing outside diameter. By grinding the flange down on two sides, the nut will now fit through the bearing and seal.
Once the nut is inside the bore, I used a magnetic pick up tool from the opposite side to manipulate the nut so that the flat side of the flange was up against the inner seal. Once the flange is in the bore, it self centers fairly well. Now, the bolt can be threaded into the nut.
Next, I used a puller bridge made from a piece of 3/8" thick steel that I fabricated years ago for removing a steering wheel. A puller of almost any sort can be made to work so long as it will bridge the bore.
I used a discarded wheel bearing race (from a 1997 Chevy Blazer...but an old steering head race would work also) as a stand-off to have room to pull the bearing into. The relatively short thickness of the bearing race required me to add a second one later as I ran out of threads on the bolt. The outer bearing had already come out enough by then to grab it with vice grips and pull it out.
Place the flat side of the race against the swing arm boss, with the puller bridge across the top of the race. Put the bolt through the hole in the bridge, through the race and thread it into the nut. I did this until the bolt was snug enough to hold the puller bridge and the bearing race in place. Once in place, time can be taken to square everything up so the bearing doesn't end up stopping against the stand off as it emerges from the bore.
After that, just use a suitable wrench or socket/ratchet combination to tighten the bolt. As it tightens, it will draw the seal and bearings out of the engine.
Note that it will take significant effort initially to get all three parts moving, but once they start, it doesn't take near as much effort to keep them moving.
A good light is essential to see what is going on inside the bore. The snap ring split can be quite difficult to locate, and as mine was packed with grease, it was just that much more difficult. The grease had to be cleaned out first.
Trying to both locate the split, while shining a bright pen light through the bore hole AND reach through with the scribe was maddeningly tedious at times. Even when the right side bearings seal and snap-ring were removed, trying to remove the counter shaft side snap-ring was not easy.
Putting the flange nut in without the bearings and seal in the way was easy. Again, I just used a magnetic pick up tool to hold the nut, and put it through the bore and put the flat end of the nut against the seal. Then, just a repeat of the same steps with the puller bridge, bearing race and bolt.
I used a lubricant on the bolt threads as well as on the underside of the bolt head so that it didn't gall on the puller bridge.
No heat, hammer, punch or drift is required for this to work. It is safe, doesn't damage anything except the inner seals and is cheap to do. I didn't have to buy any special tools, though if you don't have suitable puller bridge, and making one is out of the question, they are cheap enough to buy at any auto parts store.
The set above is $16.99 from Summit....I imagine you could find something similar almost anywhere for a similar price. You don't need the entire thing, as the bridge is the only part you'd use for this.....sean
Excellent work it makes me want to try one!
Now go come up with an easier way to change rear wheel cush drive rubbers!
After reading through my initial post a few times to make sure it made sense, I realized there are a few things I should add to it, and maybe post additional information in separate posts.
To that end, the cost for the bolt and 2 pack of flange nuts was South of $4.00 in case anyone is curious.
The magnetic pick up tool is a cheap telescoping one I got at the same big box hardware store in the tool section. I think it was around $3....maybe $5. I've had it a while and don't remember.
It looks like the one above, minus the additional mirror options. ..... sean
Circlips/snap rings/retaining rings/ spring rings...
Ordered new ones from Ducati Omaha today. OEM P/N 88440531A. The online microfiche identifies them as a "Spring Ring".
The price was $0.99 each for a grand total of $1.98. So I ordered some other stuff to make it worthwhile.
I'd have just edited my previous post with this information but apparently the edit tab goes away? I dunno, but it wasn't there when I tried to edit my previous post....sean
Is there any reason the spring rings couldnít be replaced with the eyelet type as long as the eyelets didnít interfere with the pivot shaft ?
My reasoning for going with stock is that A) they're $0.99 each. A traditional external locking snap ring of the proper size (24mm?) was about $0.75 at my local ACE Hardware.
B) The stock snap ring is actually not very rigid. All it is meant to do, at least from what I can tell, is to stop the inner seal from being sent any further inward on installation. It doesn't need to be very rigid.
C) Not being very rigid means it is relatively easy to extract with the method I used. If one were to use a more rigid traditional snap ring, it might prove impossible to remove.
There is no room to work a set of snap ring pliers in the bore. Particularly not with the inner seal and two bearings sitting in front of it.
That would require an approach from the opposite side and you'd never get a set of pliers in that deep. Even if you could, there's no room to open them.
That was my logic tree when deciding to just go with stock. I figure if it came down to it, and these had to be done again, at least the endeavor has been documented and the installation hasn't deviated from stock.
I also figure these would probably get done once in the lifetime of the motorcycle so they may not ever be done again. You never know though......sean
Thanks, Sean. Sounds like youíve worked out all the little details. Nice write up.
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