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Discussion Starter #1
I am not trying to scare anyone. But in case you haven't looked under your bike recently, there are 3 little grease zerks on the rocker arm that connects the frame to your rear shock absorber. The rocker is made of cast aluminum.

Since these little fittings are the lowest point on the bike, if you hit a speed bump or bottom out in any way, you will probably rip at least one of them out of the casting. At this point there is no easy fix to the missing fitting because it probably took part of the casting with it. This is not a ride ending deal, but over time the grease will leak out and water will get in and eventually the shaft inside will probably start to squeak and may even sieze up.

Many riders I have spoken with recommend to replace these zerks before they get ripped out the hard way. You can buy M6-1.0 stainless steel socket head set screws that will replace these zerks. Just grease up the zerks in place, then remove them and screw in the set screws. Keep the old zerks so that when you need to re-grease, you can just screw them in. If it is already to late for your bike, join me in the joy of trying to re-tap the hole for an M8-1.25 set screw.

I hope this is helpful to everyone.
 

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just happened to me loading it in the truck last week.. i cussed a storm about the genius engineer who put it there. :(
just like i used to when you had to change the spark plugs on a late 90s chevy by removing the dog bone and rocking the engine forward to get back there.
 

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Good post JP-
A good fix for those who have destroyed a 6mm zerk is to tap the hole with a 1/4-20 bottoming tap. A standard 1/4" zerk will now fit.
 

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I believe most 900's are shipped with a minimal amount of grease. My dealer did not add any before delivery either so if you are performing your own maintenance, grease her up.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I actually crawled under the bike last night to do the set screw deal and decided to make a change. The threads seem to go all the way in so there is nothing for the screw to bottom out against. I have now switched to a M6 x 10mm long hex head bolt with lock washer. This allows the head to lock against the housing and hopefully not rattle out or in. Also, I found out that the casting is pretty thick and since the zerk was only about 5mm deep, I didn't loose all of my threads. I was able to just run a M6 tap in there to clean things up and then insert the bolt. No drilling thank God. That would have meant removing the rocker arm.
 

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I actually crawled under the bike last night to do the set screw deal and decided to make a change. The threads seem to go all the way in so there is nothing for the screw to bottom out against. I have now switched to a M6 x 10mm long hex head bolt with lock washer. This allows the head to lock against the housing and hopefully not rattle out or in. Also, I found out that the casting is pretty thick and since the zerk was only about 5mm deep, I didn't loose all of my threads. I was able to just run a M6 tap in there to clean things up and then insert the bolt. No drilling thank God. That would have meant removing the rocker arm.
Jeep Pirate

I decided to look under mine this past weekend and sure enough, the fitting has been sheared off. My question is how did you get the rest of the original fitting out of the link? Did it unscrew for you? It would be a wonderful thing if I didn't have to remove the link to drill it out.
 

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A "Screw Extractor" sometimes called an easy out. You just need to get the right size for the internal hole in the zerk. Hardware stores should have them, you just need a wrench or tee handle to put on shank of screw extractor to back out broken off piece.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, familiar with them but wasn't sure how effective it would be. There's not much room to work down there.
Hey Sandman,
I just got around to checking in and saw your message. RS900C is correct. I would start with a small screw extractor (back-out tool). On mine, the threads weren't real tight and there is nothing to rust down there, so the fittings went in and out pretty easy. So hopefully the screw extractor will work without any real problems. In fact, the ease of the screw moving in and out was why I switched to hex cap screws from the original worm screw idea. I was worried the worm screws would vibrate themselves out... or even worse, vibrate in and damage the pivot shaft. Anyway, good luck. And if anyone finds the inept engineer who did this to our almost perfect bikes, let me know. I still want a word with him. :D
 

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Thankfully I heard of this "problem" a while ago and replaced the grease fittings with hex head bolts............ I urge everyone to do this mod .
 

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I just checked mine out. One is busted off, another, well lets just say I'm glad I looked at it before I took the bike out again. The third is tucked away enough that I feel fine leaving it as is. To the hardware store.
 

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Thankfully I heard of this "problem" a while ago and replaced the grease fittings with hex head bolts............ I urge everyone to do this mod .
Thanks for the info. I want to ask a couple of newbie questions to make sure I understood everything before I do it. I even had to google what a zerk was. But apparently I gather a zerk is a little adapter that latches to a grease gun to make it easy to inject grease. You guys are saying that this adapter can break off, leaving a piece of adapter in the threading.

So to prevent that from happening the zerk should be unscrewed and replaced with a M6 x 10mm long hex head bolt and lock washer. So does this affect the grease that's in there when you plug it up with a screw? Also I assume that the zerk would still be necessary when greasing. So it would need to be replaced when greasing? Where are these located on the bike?

Finally, I guess when I get my bike delivered I will go ahead and do this. But should I add some more grease in the zerk before plugging the hole? Meaning, is there such thing as "too much grease?" Is there a tube of something called "motorcycle grease" that I buy?

Heh after typing this I realize I have a lot to learn. Seems fun though. Thanks for the help.
 

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Thanks for the info. I want to ask a couple of newbie questions to make sure I understood everything before I do it.
You assume correctly, oneor11. The zerks being talked about are three metal grease fittings positioned on a crossbar at the bottom of the bike. They look sorta like busts (statues of the head and shoulders).

Removing the zerks will have no effect on the grease that is already there (if any), but it would be smart to ensure the area is fairly clean before removing them. Keep the zerks so you can use them when it comes time to grease again. But, yes, you should grease the bike first before removing the zerks and putting in your replacement bolts.

By your questions, i'm going to assume that you don't have nor have used a grease gun. You can buy small guns and cartridges that fit into them at most any hardware or auto shop. The little guns will work fine for working on the bike. I generally use bearing grease, but i'll leave it to the others to correct me if something else should be used in this location.

Connect the gun tip to the zerk and squeeze the handle until you see grease just start to exude from the ends of the crossbar. If you're dripping on the floor you've put in "too much grease". :D
 

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OK, here is where they are:

Look at the back end of the bike, just in front of the rear tire


Now go under the bike


Two are on the bottom of the rocker arm casting. Note one is already sheared away and the other I just put back in for this picture.


The last is on the front of the casting, you can also get a better look at the one that has sheared off.
 

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Awesome Helek. Thanks for taking the time to post the helpful info. That seems simple enough. I am bracing myself for the wife though. I can hear it now. "WHAT!?!?! You don't even know how to ride and there you are taking parts off the bike?" Heh heh heh.

Edit: Jimmy, thanks for the pictures. This makes it very clear. Man this forum is great.
 

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Hmmm, Jimmy's bike looks different down there than i remember of my 09 custom. I'm gonna have to take another look at mine, maybe post a picture of it too.
 

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Hey Sandman,
I just got around to checking in and saw your message. RS900C is correct. I would start with a small screw extractor (back-out tool). On mine, the threads weren't real tight and there is nothing to rust down there, so the fittings went in and out pretty easy. So hopefully the screw extractor will work without any real problems. In fact, the ease of the screw moving in and out was why I switched to hex cap screws from the original worm screw idea. I was worried the worm screws would vibrate themselves out... or even worse, vibrate in and damage the pivot shaft. Anyway, good luck. And if anyone finds the inept engineer who did this to our almost perfect bikes, let me know. I still want a word with him. :D
Thanks Jeep Pirate

At least with a grease fitting, there's already a hole in the middle to put the EZ-out unlike a broken screw. I guess the guy who decided on grease fitting location didn't really know just how low the link is to the ground on this bike. I think a button head screw would be perfect as it is well radiused and would tend to glance off of any speed bumps rather than break. My dirt bike uses them on the skid plate and I've bounced it off of some really big rocks without shearing them.
 
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