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Discussion Starter #1
Manual recommends suspension lubrication at 15K miles. This requires removing the swing arm and rocker arms. I have not done this before and wondering if there are any tips to removing and installing the swing arm. The service manual does not provide a lot of detail.

I am working on the bike by myself and concerned the swing arm removal may be difficult for one person, that is a big chunk of steel and I don't want is crashing to the floor when I pull the pivot pin. Looks like the rear caliper needs to be removed and the brake line removed from the swing arm suggestion on how to prevent brake fluid form getting all over the place when doing this?

Any suggestions most welcome.

WB
 

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Hey WB, just go and find the instructions for re & re of the Baron's (or the Scootworks) "Adjustable Rear Lowering Kit" which will get you through the removal of the link arm...and expose those needle bearings in the link arm. The pictures in the instructions show how it all goes together. This part is pretty simple.

I never did access the "upper" bearings in the swingarm...which looks like you need to remove the rear wheel; brake calliper (likely without removing the brake line...just remove the calliper and tie it off out-of-the way); rear shock; the rear mud guard; drive belt cover; rear pulley cover; coolant reserve tank (tie it off); and all bolts connecting the link arm and tie rod. Much bigger job.

Watch out for the seals and collars...re-assemble in the exact same order without damaging the seals.

Its really handy to have the Service Manual - section 13-16 "Suspension" for this job (well, for most maintenance jobs on the VN900)...of course...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Shadow, I have the service manual which is good but does not provide a lot of detail. My guess is the upper swing arm bearing is as if not more important for lubrication as the lower bearings. The rear brake line is attached along the swing arm if you drop the swing arm with it still attacked it will most likely damage the brake line, in addition it will be a lot easier to lubricate the bearings with the swing arm totally removed form the bike.

I am Not a mechanic and don't wrench on stuff as a regular hobby. I was hoping to find a youtube video on this but did not see one, the youtube videos on doing the valve clearance check were great, lots of tips that are not in the service manual.

I have the rear wheel off and changed the tire, mud guard etc. off, down to removing the brake line pulling the upper swing arm pin/shaft. Hoping to get some tips on lowering the swing arm and raising it again for installation by one person.

WB
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Was a bit of work to get the swing arm off and back on but not too bad. I used a small bottle jack under a short 2X4 to support the swing arm in place while installing it. Just taped over the brake line to prevent a lot of brake fluid dripping out.

My guess is a lot of folks skip suspension lubrication as it is a bit of work for those that are handy and a lot of $$ at the dealer for those that are not.

PS. The factory is pretty skimpy with the grease, there was not much to be seen or felt anywhere. Looked like they use some kind of clear grease.

WB
 

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@Wild Bill
Do you believe lubricating with a straw spray would get lubrication where it is needed in this particular case?
Would be nice to have a few grease zerks in there, wouldn't it?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Durox, There are seals on the ends of all the joints to keep dirt out so a spray lubricant would be pretty much useless as very little if any would get past the seals.

Yes some zerks would be great, there use to be some on the unitrack but they would often get broken off so Kawi removed those on later models, mine is a 2011 and does not have zerks on the unitrack.

Since you have to remove the rear wheel etc. to be able to remove the swing arm it can be a lot of work for just suspension lubrication and you will need to bleed the rear brake line adjust belt tension etc. as you put things back together.

I needed to replace the rear tire so figured since I have to remove the rear wheel for that I was at least of a third of the way to getting at what was needed to get the suspension lubricated.

WB
 

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That makes sense, thank you.

I am fortunate to have the zerks intact on the unitrack.. I'll have to get a hex bolt or two and use them as plugs.
First time I lubed the unitrack it was quite dry. At the time I didn't use a pump, just filled it from a tube. I now use a pressure gun, but what I wanted to say is that very little if any needs to be added once a year since I filled it up under pressure. So I'd say that a sealed unitrack would work too considering there isn't much movement in that component. As I recall, in the past a few guys noticed on first service the lack of lubrication from factory...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Durox, I would suggest allen screws instead of hex bolts to use as plugs after you remove the zerks. They can be screwed down flush to the unitrack housing. Hex heads could get ground down if you are bottoming out making them difficult to remove.

WB
 

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you guys have made this way too complicated, you don't need no zerks so forget it, this only needs to be done once in the whole life of your bike, all you do is grab a wack of grease in your hand and grease the hell out of the swing-arm rod from end to end, then stuff as much grease as you can get inside the hole with the needle bearings, shove it in there, buy a new tub of bearing grease just for this job and expect to use half of the tub, put it all back together and presto, never do it again, you will probably die of old age before ever having to do this again, and buy some rolls of cheap paper towels to clean up the mess, enjoy
 

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by the way, installing zerks to pressure grease the rod and needle bearings on the inside is not a good idea, because to install a zerk you need to drill a hole on the metal swing-arm pivot support, and doing this puts metal shavings on the inside that are near impossible to get out, you want metal shavings from a drill bit being installed on the inside to co-exist with needle bearings and grease? you'll never get those metal shavings removed
 

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the only way to clean out the drill bit metal shavings inside the swing-arm pivot support is to completely remove the sealed needle bearing packs from both ends and pull swipe the whole inside of the support completely dry of everything with a cloth and re-install the needle bearing packs
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Btom, I agree drilling and tapping to install zerks is not a good idea for the reasons you stated but it would be easier if Kawi had installed some.

Grease can tend to dry out over time. I assume your suggestion to pack as much grease every where you can is that filling every void with grease eliminates most air from getting into joints and effectivly preventing the grease from drying out. Is that correct?

WB
 

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air does not dry out wheel-bearing grease, heat does though, no heat inside the swing-arm pivot cavity, not to my knowledge anyways, but if concerned about grease loss then do the swing-arm pivot bearings grease job rather than zerk installs, I can't see that much grease drying out over the life-span of your bike, removing the swing-arm is not all bad once you're done it once you know the routine, use a small jack to brace under the swing-arm, I used a car hand crank jack, one mistake I made was bending my rear brake cable, bought and installed a new cable, been there done that got the t-shirt
 
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