XR400 swingarm bolt

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by DrLewall, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. DrLewall

    DrLewall Master of bating

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    If you have a frozen stuck pivot bolt, read the QUOTE..it may help you a bunch

    Now, on to the nightmare!

    I have been putting this off for a while now. About a year ago, I thought I would try and remove the swingarm bolt out of the XR400. I have soaked it several times with all kinds of penetrating oil to no avail. I have even gotten the assistance of a couple of friends to help me beat on this thing, complete with 500lb pnematic impacts, with no results. So this has been on my mind alot.

    About 3 weeks ago, we went for a ride. The XR started to miss so I nursed it home. Tried to change the plug but the cheap plug wrench rounded off the plug. Now is the time to pull the motor, do a top end on it and fix that damn swingarm bolt and a fe other things.

    ok, so myself and inmate Mossycreek decide to tackle this. We come up with a bar that we will turn down on the lathe and then use this bar as a punch and see if we can't beat the bolt out.

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    So we turn down abt 3 inche enough to fit thru the frame just enough to get a good solid seat and hit on the bolt..we laid the XR on its side and some wood to protect the cases just incase the hammer missed.

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    The only thing we accomplished was knocking the threads completetly out of the swingarm bolt nut. :huh The bolt did not budge.

    So now, we are eyeballing the 20 ton press over in the corner. We lay the XR up on the bike table and raise it up enough to fit the back end into the press.

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    So mossycreek starts pumping it...he had to get up on the table so he could apply more pressure :eek1 we had that handle TIGHT! Could not push down any more on it. It was quite tense in the shop. We just knew something was going to pop or explode..nadda, nuttin..bolt did not move! :bluduh

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    So now we whip out the drill..sorry, no pix of this process, doesnt matter anyway cause drilling the bolt out did not work either! :huh What a mess!

    last resort, out comes the sawzall...

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    Now I can get the saw in there enough to cut out the bolt..and that works..FINALLY I get the motor out
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    Now I have to get the remnats of the swing arm off the motor.
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    once the swing arm is chopped off, I slide the end pieces off and find that the bolt is rusted tight to the bushings..I take the grinder and cut into the bushing and finally get it off.

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    I then take the sledge and beat on the bolt and finally it starts to move. I soaked it with some liquid wrench and that seemed to help. The end of the bolt started to mushroom a bit and after knocking the bolt back and forth thru the motor mount a couple of time to loosen it up some more, I then cut off the mushroom end and drove the bolt out...all in all, I have abt 10 hrs into this trying to remove this damn bolt.

    Many have suggested that I install zerks into the swingarm. Sure thats a good idea but I think from now on, the swing arm bolt will get pulled EVERY YEAR and lubed..if I have zerks in there, then all I would do is grease it and not pull it to check it..I dont EVER want to go thru this again so the bolt get pulled annually, PERIOD!

    I have another swing arm on the way and I really hated to cut this one but I had no choice. Let this be a lesson to you guys, check that swing arm bolt often!

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    #1
  2. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    Glad you finally got it out Doc. What an ordeal. Great write up and good advice.
    #2
  3. Dragon43

    Dragon43 If you insist.

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    I think there is a reason 2 of my bikes are hard tails..... :bluduh
    #3
  4. ThereisnoSpoon

    ThereisnoSpoon High Enough

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    The same thing happened to the XR400 that I had. I had pulled everthing apart a coule of times and greased and never siezed the swingarm bolt and the last time I tried to take it apart it was siezed. Never say never.

    I didn't take the removal process as far as you did. I went a different direction - I sold it. I really liked that bike too. :cry
    #4
  5. DrLewall

    DrLewall Master of bating

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    but I really like this bike too..for the kind of riding I do, it is PERFECT! I do admit tho, as I get older and the old knee has really gone down hill, the thought of an electric start drz400 is very tempting..but I feel that this old XR is worth sinking some more money into and I am willing to kick it as long as I am able to and who knows, I may invest the extra $1400 for the electric start kit for it..gosh I love this machine! even tho this part is a major PIA!
    #5
  6. katbeanz

    katbeanz earthbound misfit, I Supporter

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    :huh Dang Doc, sorry you had to go to such extreme measures.
    #6
  7. mcma111

    mcma111 Long timer

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    Boy Oh Boy, You sure showed that bolt who's BOSS...:lol3:lol3:lol3
    #7
  8. Elvis70

    Elvis70 No speed traps in the sky

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    I would take it out every 6 months after that ordeal. Jeez, never seen anything like it. Mechanical engineer I used to work with would of loved it. His favorite tools were the sawzall and the cutting torch.

    Seems this is a problem with the XR's. What can you do to further prevent moisture in there? Mine don't go through the damn engine. Wondering if the heating and coolling from the engine adds to the problem? I would say it does.
    #8
  9. Ghost_Mutant

    Ghost_Mutant looking for bionics

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    :eek1......................

    I have this press in my garage, and I can't imagine getting to the point where you can't move the jack handle any more and not have something get seriously bent and broken! :huh


    I take it this is the remaining bushing that is still rusted solid on the remains of the bolt?

    Did you try PB Blaster on this? If this bushing is still rusted solid, then you've ended up with a great test case for the PB Blaster claims. I don't suppose you would be interested in soaking this in some PB Blaster overnight to see if it will break the bond?

    I started using PB Blaster on some items in my XR500 rebuilds, but I had nothing this bad to deal with. I was impressed with the results of the PB blaster on some bushing to shaft(ed) rust. Normally I do what you did, get out the sawsall.......... and the hammer............. and the torch............ and the grinder. :rofl

    Remind me not to buy used stuff from not so dry places. :lol3
    #9
  10. DrLewall

    DrLewall Master of bating

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    Yes..that is the remaining bushing on the bolt..which will now be a drift punch in the shop...the PB blaster did soak abt half way down the removed bushing and we tried to twist and tunr it to no avail, thus the cutting wheel marks. The shinny part of the bolt is where I took some emery cloth to clean up the rust a little in order to get the case bushing off. Sorry I dont have any pix of that episode but as we beat this out of the case, the case bushing came out and was butted up next to the main swingarm bushing. We then put this into the press and used a torch to heat up the case bushing and then pressed the bolt down and out of the case bushing..it was pretty much covered in rust..thus the heat mark on the bolt


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    #10
  11. Uncle Meat

    Uncle Meat n00b

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    I bought an abused XR400, had to rebuild the motor and found myself in the same shape.
    Soaked it and sledged it for a week.
    No luck.
    So I put a small gas welding tip on my cutting torch.
    Since the bolt is hollow, I blew the flame thru the bolt until parts were starting to glow.
    Started with the sledge again and it started moving.

    LOTS of heat is your friend!
    #11
  12. Luke

    Luke GPoET&P

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    Wow!


    When I saw your other post about cutting off the swingarm I thought you were giving up a little early. Was I ever wrong.

    I've pulled the swingarm bolts on six of these, and only one of them needed the big hammer. Nothing like this. Of course, these bikes were all from CA. The '97 still had the factory grease on it.

    The other five were newer models and only one had grease on it, and that looked like it was done by a PO.
    #12
  13. Zuber

    Zuber Zoob Supporter

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    Hummmm, wonder why shops don't like working on old bikes?
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  14. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild Rumble, rumble

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    #14
  15. MacMan

    MacMan Been here awhile

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    I had a mate who told me stories of having to put his whole bike in a 20T press. Until today, I had trouble visualising it.

    Gruesome!
    #15
  16. HackFlipper

    HackFlipper Adventurer

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    What an adventure Doc. I literally just sat down after coming in from the garage and finally getting the engine out of my '99 xr400. I started pulling it last week. After using the torch and an air hammer on the swingarm bolt it broke loose. Only I had mushroomed the threaded end and had to cut the head off of the bolt. I then drove it out the otherside. I am lucky only sank about five hours into that bolt :dog Now to get the shift spindle repaired.
    #16
  17. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

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    Thats gonna take a lot of filler rod to weld back together :huh
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  18. patR1

    patR1 Australia

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    last week i wanted to take the engine out of my xr400r 2004 model.
    the swing arm bolt stopped me doing this.
    Thats when i started to research and came upon this post. WOW if i saw this earlier never would of bothered but already stuffed the thread of the bolt so had no choice...
    after 4 days it finally came out here are some tips:

    5Kg Hammer, SOLID steel bar very heavy duty with a big diameter so you can hit it hard with out a miss.
    Penetrating oil.
    took me 3 days missed a one blow and mashed my clutch case too ....
    but on the fourth day it started to come out slowly....:freaky

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    i also stuffed up the bolt face. but welded another one on it and it finally was better grip and turned,
    also make sure the other side (bolt face) is supported by wood or metal , otherwise the bolt does go out slowly from the nut side of the frame, but incorrectly as the frame starts to stretch!
    #18
  19. Abominable

    Abominable Adventurer

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    How did you get through the steel bolt. I've been going at it with a recip saw, angle grinder, and die grinder. All with no luck. Just making a mess of things. Where did you cut?
    #19
  20. whisperquiet

    whisperquiet Motorcyclist Supporter

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    #20