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~40K miles: Shock Linkage Bearing Replacement Essential?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Chickenstrip, Jun 17, 2020.

  1. Chickenstrip

    Chickenstrip Long timer

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    Hey folks,

    I recently discovered that the steering bearings on my 2002 Triumph Sprint were shot - they've been replaced now. It's got me thinking that the shock linkage bearings may also need attention. In an ideal world this would just mean cleaning out the old grease (what's left of it) and smearing in some new, but I'm wondering if, after nearly 40,000 miles in all kinds of weather, it's predictable that the bearings will need replacing (looks like a PIA). If it is predictable I'll order replacements before diving in.

    If you have a favorite YT tutorial, or tips on the process from your own experience, I'm all ears.
    #1
  2. bwringer

    bwringer Gimpy, Yet Alacritous

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    A powerful relative of Murphy's Law is at work here. Do not defy it.

    If you don't order bearings, they will be trashed.

    If you do order bearings, you'll only need a bit o' grease.

    I believe there are some seals in there you may want to refresh too.
    #2
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  3. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    Grease (quality waterproof grease) will probably be enough but you need to hold the bike up somehow and it needs to be SOLID because you'll have to lever the rear wheel up and down to get bolts out and back in. Something like a 2x4 across a garage ceiling hatch and a chain hoist works well.
    Most bikes with center stands it's a no-brainer except where the stand itself stops you getting at the linkage bolts. So eyeball the job first, work out things like does the stand or exhaust have to come off.

    Just did the job on a DL1000 @30,000k's. It was easyish apart from - one bolt head had been friction welded to the linkage plate that side. Also note those bearings usually aren't caged, so you clean everything down on the outside so there's no dirt there, push the inner HALF way through, grease that side, repeat on the other side. If you pull the inner right out it's usually 'tinkle tinkle tinkle' time.

    And it was well worth it, I was thinking of putting in an aftermarket shock the rear was so harsh, now, very nice. And yes they were dry but not damaged dry.
    #3
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  4. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Sloppy 300 rider Supporter

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    I would say if the steering bearings are shot. The linkage bearings are probably also shot. The number of miles does not matter much but where it is ridden and how it is washed. You can trash the bearings in 10k miles pretty easily.
    #4
  5. Chickenstrip

    Chickenstrip Long timer

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    Thanks for all the advice, guys. Yeah, Murhpy's Law has bitten us all more than once I imagine. I may buy the bearings just in case. Part of the problem is that I have a 'shade tree' set-up, being an apartment bldg dweller, so doing the tough work of bearing extraction can be a PIA. I'm hoping it's just a matter of greasing, but preparing for more can't hurt.
    #5
  6. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Sloppy 300 rider Supporter

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    I am not familiar with the Triumph linkage but some linkages can be taken partially apart. As in one arm can be removed. You can get a look at the bearings and idea of what you may be dealing with. With minimal effort. Even if you get it all apart and that are trashed. You can put it back together with a little fresh grease and do the full job at a later date. Just don't loose any of the needle bearings.
    #6
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  7. bwringer

    bwringer Gimpy, Yet Alacritous

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    Agreed -- partially pulling the bolts to look and whack some grease in there would be the most prudent idea if tools are limited. Don't get into a corner you don't have the tools and facilities to get out of.

    Last time I did swingarm bearings, I removed the swingarm and used my hydraulic press (about 100x easier and safer than whacking sockets with hammers).

    Since a Sprint is not a dual-sport, the odds are actually pretty darn good that the bearings are in good shape. But, y'know, Murphy's Law...
    #7
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  8. Chickenstrip

    Chickenstrip Long timer

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    Mission accomplished! The bearings were in decent shape so I wiped out the old grease and wiped in some new. Pretty impressive given the age and mileage of the bike.
    Scrambling around the bottom of the bike trying to hold the nut in place on one side of the bike while turning the bolt on the opposite side :hack
    #8
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  9. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    Congrats and thanks for posting the followup.
    #9
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