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Stelvio Swingarm Service

Discussion in 'Stelvio Chat & Tech' started by leafman60, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. leafman60

    leafman60 Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    I serviced my 2012 Stelvio NTX swingarm today (15,000 miles) and captured a few images that may be helpful for anyone else doing this job. I recommend doing this chore in order to insure your bearings are properly lubricated and adjusted.

    Sorry for the date stamps on the images.

    Before launching into this procedure, I consulted anecdotal accounts, other postings as well as the factory shop manual that leaves much to be desired.


    I first removed the muffler to provide better access. By the way, it weighs about 18 pounds.
    [​IMG]

    Next, the rear brake caliper was removed wrapped in protective plastic and set aside on the floor. The wheel was removed as was the ABS sensor, my tubing CARC, and all tubing was snapped out of the plastic retainers under the swingarm. Everything attached to the swingarm should be detached and laid aside. The control arm was then unbolted and tied up out of the way. Cut the big diameter nylon tie off the boot where the swingarm attaches to the transmission and pull the boot away from the swingarm.
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    I placed a wooden block under the CARC for temporary support.
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    The shock absorber link connection to the swingarm was then unbolted.
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    Next the final drive or CARC had its four bolts loosened but not totally removed. A piece of wood and a mallet was then used to gently rap the CARC loose from the sealer that had been used when it was previous bolted to the swingarm.
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    The 4 CARC bolts were then completely removed, the CARC easily pulled off and set aside. Though position of the driveshaft vis-à-vis the CARC is not critical, I marked my shaft ends since I wanted to later reconnect the shaft on the splines in the same position from where it came.
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    By the way, the CARC weighs 22.5 pounds.
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    Next, the two pinch bolts on the left side of the swingarm were loosened.
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    Then the special castle nut tool was used to remove the preload bushing. This bushing is tightened only to 10NM so it is easy to remove.
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    If you do not have the special castle nut tool, any adjustable hook wrench would work for removal.
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    The preload bushing is removed from the swingarm pivot pin and set aside. More on this part later.
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    Next, the swingarm pivot pin is removed with a large hex or Allen tool. My pin was not even finger tight and it should have 60 NM of torque.
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    The swingarm pivot pin is removed while steadying the swingarm with another hand.
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    The swingarm pivot pin.
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    Next, leave the driveshaft attached and just easily work the swingarm out and off the driveshaft and set the swingarm aside.
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    Be careful not to lose this insert in the left side bore of the shock linkage bolt bore.
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    You do not have to actually remove the driveshaft to service the swingarm bearings. However, I wanted to wipe the splines of its connecting shaft with grease (none was there) so I removed the shaft. Using a drift on the U joint, a smart rap will release the shaft from the splines where it is retained by an internal spring clip. This procedure does not damage the the retaining clip so don't worry.
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    The swingarm itself weighs 7.5 pounds.
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    The driveshaft weighs 4.5 pounds. The total weight of the swingarm, shaft and CARC is 34.5 pounds.
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    You can see the bearing and its rubber seal here on the right side of the machine. The seals just pull out of a shallow bore and the bearings just fall out of their races.
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    My bearings had minimal grease. Thankfully, they cleaned up nicely and did not show permanent scars or marks.
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    Everything was cleaned-up. The bearings were packed with Teflon additive grease, the races wiped with the same and the bearings with seals positioned back into their bores. The seals were just fine but, in retrospect, I'd use new seals anyway.
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    I then wiped those gearbox splines with some molybdenum grease.
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    I also made a little side trip regarding the newly installed shock linkage dogbone as per the recent recall. I removed mine and inspected the needle bearings for grease. Again, only minimal grease was present in these bearings too. I added grease to all three bearings and reinstalled the linkage piece.
    [​IMG]

    Next, the driveshaft was positioned and easily snapped on to the newly-greased output shaft in the same position from which it came. The shaft was then guided into the swingarm and the swingarm worked back into position on the frame over the newly-greased swingarm bearings.
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    The swingarm pin was cleaned and lightly greased.
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    At this point, the manual says to screw the preload bushing onto the swingarm pin and then insert the assembly through the frame holes to mount the swingarm. I found the job easier to first insert the swingarm pin and get it started in the threads on the right side of the swingarm and then thread the preload bushing onto the pin. Once this is done the pin can be tightened down to its 60 NM first and then the preload bushing tightened to its 10 NM. Having the castle nut tool is helpful when using a torque wrench for this adjustment. Using a conventional hook wrench would require tightening the castle nut snug to feel.

    This is an interesting design. The pin screws into the swingarm's right side and is tightened to 60 NM. This does not put any preload on the bearings. The preload bushing on the left side is threaded onto the pin, into the pinch bore and up against the left side bearing. When the preload bushing is tightened to 10 NM, this puts proper preload on the both bearings. The pinch bolts are then tightened to hold the preload bushing in place.
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    With the swingarm reattached, a light bead of silicone type sealer was applied to the mating surface for the CARC, the CARC had its splines lightly greased and aligned to the driveshaft and repositioned on the swingarm.
    [​IMG]

    The CARC final drive had its bolts tightened in a cross pattern to the specified 50 NM and all the items removed from the CARC reinstalled and properly torqued. The front boot was repositioned on the swingarm and secured with a new, commonly available, nylon tie. The control arm is attached at 50 NM. 50 NM for the brake caliper. The wheel lugs at 110 NM.
    [​IMG]

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    This is not a complicated job but being meticulous and cleaning everything will consume a lot of time. In the end, however, you'll have peace of mind that this job has been properly done. Now, I've got my mind on those steering head bearings.
     
    Fred Neely and jdub like this.
  2. QueenslandKen

    QueenslandKen Just got it firing!

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    Thanks very much for the good write up, it will be bookmarked.

    It's a bit ominous to have a lack of lubrication, something like Mr Yamaha would do.

    Might do a service on the swing arm just in case, peace of mind.

    Cheers
    Ken
     
  3. Fiat500

    Fiat500 Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Excellent write up,
    Have just completed the same job on my 1200 Sport and you have it down to a T.

    I think 4 years later they still have the same guy putting the ass-end together as
    my pivot pin was also hand tight and the bearings had even less grease.

    Apart from having to make up a few service tools to remove bearing cups from frame and to install new it is very easy to work on, but here is a couple of things I found.

    One of the paired needle bearing in the link was water damage and as I could not get hold of full compliment needle bearings from a supplier I replace them with original and found they are now Torrington brand and 14mm( I Think) wide, down from 17mm.
    Guess they are OK when paired but hope it can take the load where the shock mounts as there is only one.

    Also in picture 18 of the bush in the link that bolts onto the swing arm, I did not like how the flange nut is only a few millimetres bigger than the hole in the link so made a short bush for the other side.

    Last of all I got hold of some Bell Helicopter spline grease, not sure if its any better than other spline grease but if its good enough for something that is held up by its weakest link then its good enough for me.

    Cheers,
    Steve
     
  4. leafman60

    leafman60 Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    The effectiveness of swingarm bearing seals are of some concern to me.

    Look at these pics-

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    First picture shows the race installed in the frame. Behind the race, you can see the inside seal next to the swingarm. This seal appears to contact the swingarm pin and seal the swingarm pin-bearing joint.

    The second picture shows the bearing cone installed (on the left side) and the outer seal in place. Notice that this outer seal is in place against the frame and the outside of the inner bearing race. These outer seals do not seal to the swingarm pin itself. There is question as to whether they even seal to the swingarm hence leaving the joint between the swingarm pin and the inner race exposed to water.

    The The fixed distance between the swingarm ears that fit outside the bearings on each side solely determine the contact with these bearing seals.

    Considering the way in which the bearing preload system works, I am not yet certain there is a very tight seal to prevent water from migrating between the swingarm pin and the bearing inner race and eventually the internal roller bearings themselves.

    As the preload bushing is torqued down to 10 NM the machines boss on the right swingarm side is pulled up against bearing inner race. This machined surface is shown here-
    [​IMG]

    The machined boss looks large enough to also make contact and seal to the rubber seal surrounding the inner race but this is questionable.

    On the left side, the preload adjuster is pulled up against the bearing inner race in order to effectively preload both the left and right side bearings by pulling their cones together. Nothing "pulls" the left side swingarm up against the bearing seal to insure a tight seal. Only the fixed distance between the swingarm ears determines this.

    After proper set-up, my left side shows a gap between the rubber seal and the swingarm that measure about 3/32 of an inch. This provides an easy way for water to penetrate down to where the preload bushing makes contact with the inner race and to the swingarm pin itself. I see no means to stop water migration into the bearing by way of the joint where the swingarm pin enters the bearing inner race.
    [​IMG]

    This gets even worse. The gap on the left side swingarm ear that allows the two pinch bolts to clamp down on the preload bushing provides an even greater entry point for water to migrate inside to the unsealed preload bushing, the unsealed swingarm pin and into the bearings by way of the pin.
    [​IMG]

    At first, I thought about trying to improvise a rubber washer or o-ring section to seal the gap between the swingarm and the bearing as well as puttying-up the pinch bolt gap with some non-hardening sealer. I may try this but I'm not sure how effective it would be.

    The most effective fix I can come up with would be to remove the swingarm pin and have an o-ring groove machined into the pin at both ends at positions inside the inner bearing races of both bearings. With proper O-rings installed, this could effectively prevent water migration pass the swingarm pin and into the bearings.

    This seems to be a problematic design, especially for a dual-sport motorcycle that is very likely to be ridden through creeks and mudholes as well as in normal rain conditions.

    This may also explain the dry bearings. Perhaps the bearings ARE being adequately greased at the factory but the poor sealing of the bearings is allowing water ingress that is deteriorating the bearings and washing out the grease. That would explain why some people find their bearings coated with ample grease and others find theirs in poor shape.

    Notice this picture taken before any cleaning. You can see significant grease from the factory that remains behind the outer race. This may be evidence that a pretty good slathering of grease WAS provided on the assembly line and the problem may be poor sealing of the swingarm pin.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. john zibell

    john zibell Moderator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    leafman,

    I believe you are looking for a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. If you thing this sealing arrangement is not good, look at Tonti or Loop Frame swing arm pins.
     
  6. leafman60

    leafman60 Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Perhaps so, John The thing with this bike is that one is apt to have the swingarm pivot exposed to a lot more water than is the case with the street bikes. I cant tell you how many times I cross water or ride in rainy/wet conditions and get everything down there wet.
     
  7. Farway

    Farway Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Very good write-up indeed. I think I made a comment somewhere also noting the complete shortage of grease on such a vital part of the bike, worth spending a couple of hours looking into, will certainly pay dividents later on.
     
  8. AlanNZ

    AlanNZ Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    Great description thanks Leaf Man. Is the castle nut socket you used a guzzi special tool or are they a stock item that you can buy from an engineering supplier? Who supplies them?
    Regards
    Alan NZ
     
  9. john zibell

    john zibell Moderator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Alan, it is a Guzzi tool, but check the store tab. I think Todd sells them for less.
     
  10. Fiat500

    Fiat500 Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Hi Allan,
    if you have trouble getting a socket I have machined one up along with some other tools to remove and replace bearing cups in the frame if needed and would be glad to send them up.

    Cheers,
    Steve.
     
  11. pyoungbl

    pyoungbl Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Steve, saw your mention of machining up a special tool to remove the bearing cups (from the engine case, to support the swingarm bearings). I'd be very interested in seeing a photo of that tool. The bearing cups look like they will be a real bugger to remove, no way to just use a drift and knock them out.

    Thanks,
    Peter Y.
     
  12. Fiat500

    Fiat500 Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    This is it Peter,

    I did try a small reverse two legged puller first but ended up with 4 legs!
    and you could carefully grind or even more carefully shrink weld them out but I was to anal.

    Left is the back nut that fits over split collars to stop them spreading.
    EN24 (4340 H.T) split collar with tangs to fit recess in frame that are cut into bearing shoulder.
    And tube nut to take load when using slide hammer
    .
    All parts are drilled and tapped to fit our slide hammer(1/2"UNF).
    O.D of split collar is the same as small diameter of bearing cup.(About 37.50mm)
    Tangs are just under 12mm wide by 4mm high with radius to suit, I just kept grinding and filing until tangs fitted recess.
    Split collar did not need a taper where it fits into back nut, I don't know why I did that but you do need to grind back corner at tang end to clear bearing shoulder.

    So screw back nut onto slide hammer, fit collar into bearing cup and screw in slide hammer. tighten back nut over collar and finally screw on tube nut.
    A few good smacks and if there is any justice in the world then out it will come.

    Cheers,
    Steve.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. uzidzit

    uzidzit Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    My standard blind bearing puller set worked just fine...I also saw that my piston pin puller would have worked as well when I did this job....not sure where leafs stock exhaust came from my stock can was more like 28lbs :shock:
     
  14. pyoungbl

    pyoungbl Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Steve, I'm impressed with your clever solution to this problem. If you would consider making another set I'd like to be first in line.

    Peter Y.
     
  15. Fiat500

    Fiat500 Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    I borrowed a blind bearing puller but found because of very small rad in bearing cup and that the back shoulder was eccentric to the bearing seat and protruded into the bore that I was not happy how it engaged.
    In the end I never gave it a go because I did not want it damaged and cups were far from lose in the frame.

    Peter, if you want to contact me off site I will see what I can do.

    Cheers,
    Steve.
     
  16. AlanNZ

    AlanNZ Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    Thanks John and Steve. I probably need to make myself a list of the common special tools and place an order for them.
    Regards
    Alan NZ
     
  17. Fiat500

    Fiat500 Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Would still be glad to send what I have up when you need them Allan, just contact me off site.
    I would even let you keep them in exchange for the Eldorado!

    Cheers,
    Steve.
     
  18. leafman60

    leafman60 Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    28 pounds ! Sheeze ! As shown in the pics, mine weighed 17.5 pounds, the muffler only.
     
  19. uzidzit

    uzidzit Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    That is the only reason I put the Mistrel on mine. it was just crazy heavy. maybe they installed 2 cats in mine :blink:
     
  20. aquila01

    aquila01 Just got it firing!

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    Firstly thanks for the posts and pictures on the subject I made great use of them on my 06' Breva 1100. It might help to know that if you can't get a 15mm Hex Allen wrench for the swingarm pivot bolt a 9/16" is a snug fit and just works fine. Also the swingarm pivot nut socket tool can be bought via the UK on Ebay -turbosuzukis, for less than £10.00 + Carriage, S/Steel and CNC quality too.
     

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