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Renewing Swingarm Bearings (with DIY tools) on KTM 950

Discussion in 'Dakar champion (950/990)' started by wiseblood, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. wiseblood

    wiseblood Denies further magnets Supporter

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    This was done on a 2007 KTM 950 SMR, but it probably works the same for all the other 950 (and 990) KTMs.

    I just finished renewing my swingarm bearings. Not terribly difficult, but I thought I'd post a brief how-I-did-it in case it helps someone else.

    Remove the swingarm.

    You need to remove the wheel. My chain was already off because I'm also renewing chain & sprockets, but you should be able to do this job without breaking your chain.

    Three things you need to remove now: Mud flap, big pivot bolt, and the lower bolt holding the shock in place. The first is straight-forward enough. The pivot is not a big deal. The shock bolt has a couple tricks: First, you need to access the bolt by removing the rubber stopper on the left side of the swingarm. Just pry that bastard out.

    You'll need a largish hex socket to reach in and unscrew the bolt. Hardest part is getting the shock loose. It is a bit pressed into the swingarm. Manual says it will just come off if you "press down." :lol3 A rubber mallet is very helpful to tap the swingarm down, off the shock.

    [​IMG]

    Ok, that's just a warm-up preamble. The real challenge is removing and re-installing the bearings. :deal

    Pry out the seals with a screwdriver. On the left side of the swingarm (chain side) there are two "stop washers." Remove those. Pull the spacers and the "inner sleeve." Set those bits aside for later.

    Inner sleeve:

    [​IMG]

    Now, you have to remove the bearings. This is the hard part. There is a "tool" you can buy. But, I was able to fab up something suitable for $4 in hardware from Home Depot:

    [​IMG]

    Using a 32 mm socket on one end to hold the tool against the swingarm, and a 7/8th socket on the other to press out (and in!) the bearings worked incredibly well for me.

    [​IMG]

    Side by size w/ bearing (removed):

    [​IMG]

    That's a 1/2" x 10 inch bolt with a hex head on the end. There are two different sized washers. The smaller-sized one needs to be small enough to fit into the swingarm outer race, but needs to be slightly larger than the diameter of the bearing. (Home depot size codes are "AOB" for the larger, and "AGB" for the smaller. You need three of the smaller. I'll measure them when I get home if anyone needs the exact dimensions.)

    Small washer:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A keen observer will see an extra (third) of the smaller-sized washer. You don't need that for removal, but you'll need that for installation. More on that later. :deal

    So, just run the long bolt through the whole shebang. Run it from the outside of the swingarm to the inside: Otherwise, particularly on installation, you may not be able to get the tool out.

    So, now the fun part. Tool should look like this:

    [​IMG]

    (Yes, that's a friggin pipe wrench. I didn't have a 19mm combo wrench at home! :lol3)

    Just start tightening the bolt. Keep on going. Assuming you have properly aligned the small socket against the bearing, it will break loose and start pressing out. Eventually, it will come out the other end, and you will find it in the body of the larger socket:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    :clap
    #1
    sonoran and DistortedAxis like this.
  2. wiseblood

    wiseblood Denies further magnets Supporter

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    Installing New Bearings

    This is also pretty easy with the fabbed up tool. Note that the side of the bearing with the etched writing should face OUT. I used a bit of engine oil to lube the race and the outside of the bearing. Any grease should work fine.

    The tool will be assembled slightly differently for installation. This is where you will use the smaller washer to make this job super simple. :evil Because the smaller washer is bigger than the bearing, it will STOP when it gets to the race. The effect will be that the bearing will be perfectly installed. Should look like this:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    What you see above, from left to right:
    1. Swingarm
    2. Bearing
    3. Small washer
    4. 7/8" socket
    5. Big washer
    6. Small washer
    7. 19 mm socket (to tighten bolt)
    Align the bearing in the swingarm race as best you can. Snug up the tool. Put your socket and combo wrench in place, and start slowly. Make sure it is aligned. If in doubt, stop and reposition everything.

    [​IMG]

    The bearing will get better aligned once you start pressing it in, but you want to start as best you can.

    Just keep tightening. It will be obvious when you reach the stop! When you get to the point, you simply won't be able to tighten it any more. Back out the tool, and behold your magnificent work:

    [​IMG]

    Hope this helps someone!

    :beer
    #2
  3. TwoRats

    TwoRats Adventurer

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    Cool - thanks!
    #3
  4. gefr

    gefr Life is a trip

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    A nice write up.
    A question rises from your detailed manual. The bearing side with the letters looks sitting in recess. Do the small washers have a slightly smaller OD in order to push the bearing in the recess? or do you tap it with the plastic mallet?
    Was inserting the shock in the swingarm too difficult? Did you file the shock washers to make it slip in easier on reinstallation?
    Cheers.
    #4
  5. wiseblood

    wiseblood Denies further magnets Supporter

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    Neither. When I was done, the bearing was flush with the inner race, as you see it in the final picture.

    The fact that the bearing was marginally recessed on the outside in the "before" picture serves no purpose. Probably, if was simply driven too far in initially. On my swingarm, the OEM-installed bearings were slightly recessed inconsistently: One was more in from the outside, the other from the inside. It was less than a MM in either case.

    As long as it's not sticking out either end, you should be good! :beer


    It was a bit of a pain, but not at all like pressing in a machined part. You just gotta wiggle the shock a bit and tap it with a rubber mallet while you do. Eventually you'll find the right angle and it will go right in. There were no washers I could see.
    #5
  6. keener

    keener Speed changes you.

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    Excellent write up thx! I had a go at it a few weeks ago, but I could not remove the swing arm shaft out! I stopped to research it some more before buying a bigger hammer! How did you remove yours?

    BTW, Shock should have 2 cotton washers at the bottom joint, one on each side. A fat pry or a flat head helps with removal as well as installation of the shock to position it.
    #6
  7. wiseblood

    wiseblood Denies further magnets Supporter

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    Do you have part numbers for the washers? I don't see them on any of the parts fiches. Not on the swingarm OR monoshock parts diagrams!

    I didn't have any problem with getting the swingarm pivot out. I know some (Pyndon, if I recall correctly, for example) had a bitch of a time. My guess is that is caused by water intrusion.

    FWIW, I put anti-sieze all over the bolt before I put it back in.
    #7
  8. keener

    keener Speed changes you.

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    The cotton washers are under bushings. Nothing goes after the bushings, I think that's what you experienced. See:

    [​IMG]

    #86
    5018.0365 ADAPTOR BUSH KGW D=32 14X32

    #87
    5018.0159 SHAFT SEAL RING KG W D=32

    #87 is the one worth replacing if you take the shock out after a long time.

    The pivot bearing at the bottom of my shock was seized. My theory was the cotton washer (#87 seal ring) got dry and let water in. Its a good practise to lube them once in a while with a drop of engine oil on each side. They will save the experience pivot bearing. One that pivot bearing goes, you will hear squeezing noise.

    #8
  9. wiseblood

    wiseblood Denies further magnets Supporter

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    Ahhh... Got it. I didn't remove the bushing. Maybe I'll take a look at that.
    #9
  10. loph917

    loph917 Beard Bros Racing

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    maybe you'll have the bike ready to go for next spring. but now i know who to call when i'm ready to do mine!
    #10
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  11. keener

    keener Speed changes you.

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    Removing the bushings may require patiently punch them out with a flat head and light hammer.

    You can check then joint. just hold it with your thumb and index finger and rotate it. It should rotate and pivot to left and right easily.
    #11
  12. wiseblood

    wiseblood Denies further magnets Supporter

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    :lol3 :thumb

    Hey, I'm nearly done!

    [​IMG]

    Just gotta:
    1. Finish installing the new-to-me oil tank
    2. Install radiator
    3. Install exhaust
    4. Install carbs & airbox
    5. Fill with coolant & oil
    6. Balance carbs
    7. Install tank, shrouds
    8. Ride it! :ricky

    Just this "work" thing is slowing me down. :deal
    #12