Swingarm to shock bearing gone bad?..........

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#1
One of my buds who owns a 99 300 EXC recently had a bearing go bad where the rear shock joins the swingarm. To check this, he said to put the bike on a stand, and check for up and down play by moving the tire. Well I did and sure enough I had some play in it. Have any of you guys noticed this and is this something urgent that should be fixed or even be fixed at all until it just goes bad? I haven't noticed it in my riding but if it is going to ruin something else then i wann go ahead and replace the bearing.

KaTMandoo
 
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#2
yes, you should change out the teflon bearing as soon as you get a chance. If i remember correctly, the bearing goes for about $50 US at KTM shops and is easy to change with the right sized bearing driver (chrome socket, hehe). I have seen completely worn bearings wear into the swingarm itself causing major headaches. Assemble it dry and never lubricate it as WD40 and the like destroys the teflon inside.

bigS
 
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#3
I just replaced the bearing myself. I used a NONE teflon coated bearing ie a greasable one. In my opion the greaseable one would be a better way to go as you can load the bearing up with a good moly grease and make it sealed against the bad stuff that tries to get into it. Also you can clean/re-grease it a few times a year. NEVER grease the teflon coated one. Topkea KTM has the KTM replacement "kits" for something like $50, bearing, seals, and the spacers but I ordered the bearing from a bearing supply house. Need more details then e-mail me.
 
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#5
I did not remove the swingarm, you can if you want to check these bears also. I needed a 6" "C" clamp to push the bearing in place also.
 

KaTooMer

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#6
I would highly recommend removing the swingarm. Better access to the bearing, and it doesn't take long to remove. Plus, the side-to-side force of pounding the heim bearings in and out can't be good for the swingarm bearings.
 
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#7
I pressed the bearing in/out with some sockets/wood and a "C" clamp. NO pounding for me! The socket fit inside the swingarm "housing" and the wood on the other side was so the clamp would not dig in. I did have to go back and forth to center the bearing.
 
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#8
Ok, since I've decided to replace it now after hearing you guys' responses I have another question. I have no working on motorcycle experience minus oil changing, and routine maintenance and the like. Ive never really ahd to replace anything major like this on a bike before. Should I do this bearing change with me and my friend? He knows a little bit about motorcycles but more from the 1980-85 circa i think(he quit riding in '85).

In other words how technical is it on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the hardest?

KaTMandoo
 
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#9
Technically, it is easy. The had part is getting the bearings in and out without tearing up the swing arm and new bearing. I would say it is a 5. I would take the swingarm off. Put the new bearing in the freezer for a couple hours or more, makes it go in a little easier. Someone sells a tool for doing this, Erider, EE ? If noting else go to thier web site and check it out to get an idea how to fasion your own. Be patient and carefull. If you have problems post here, I think there are enough of us that have done this someone can help.
 
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#10
It's a 4 maybe a 5 given your lack of experience.... It's not hard and is pretty straight forward... remove the wheel rear brake(just from the swing arm not the line) unbolt the rear shock then the swing arm, press or beat the bearing out press the new in making sure that it is centered and reverse steps you will be riding in about an hour,, if you have any problems just post it
 

KaTooMer

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#11
Couple other things...After removing the shock bolt, you'll first need to pop out the metal bushings (the bolt goes through these). They tend to get a bit corroded in there and need a drift or maybe even a longer screwdriver; attack it from the opposite side with help from a hammer. Then you need to pop out the old seals. I've been able to use a small screwdriver to pry around the edge of the seal and get it to pop outta there. After those two items are removed, you'll have free access to the heim bearing.
 

TexKDX

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#13
You guys pulling the swingarm are NUTS. This is a 5 minute job with a few hand tools. Put the bike up on a stand. Unbolt the shock, fish the old seals out with a screwdriver, tap the old bearing out with a socket, tap the new one in to center, tap in the seals, rebolt the shock. Job done.
 
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#14
Hey Tex don't you think it would be a good idea to repack the
swing arm bearing since one bearing has gone bad the other @
least need to be repacked
you really don't want to but those bearings
 

TexKDX

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#15
Bultaco290 (and BTW I know what a Bu 290 is :)) -

Yes and no. Yes, it is a good idea to make sure your swing arm bushings are lubed. But no, the failure of the shock bushing may not be an indicator that the swingarm bushings need lubed. That lower bushing seems to be able to go to crap pretty quickly sometimes if if gets the wrong stuff in it. In that case, if the swingarm is known to be OK based on your maintenance schedule, then pop the puppy out, a new one in, and go ride. There have been reports here that in some cases the bushings are lasting just 3 months.

My point in the earlier post was that removing the swingarm was not necessary to perform the operation. On the other hand, is it a good idea to check over all the bearings (wheel, swingarm, shock pivot) and lube/replace as necessary? You bet. Your point is well taken. I checked mine over the other day when putting in new pads, and sure enough I had play. It is in the wheel bearings though which will be replaced this weekend.

BTW, what year 290? How much do you ride it?