June 28, 2007
I couldn't tell you how tempted I was to not removing the swingarm to inspect everything. This year has been pretty busy, but with more bike riding and house projects than anything else. So far, I've ridden over 10,000 miles, this year, which included doing a SaddleSore 1000 on the ST2 (a SaddleSore 1000 is completing 1000 miles in less than 24 hours - Vicki did this ride with me on her R1, and my odometer said that we did 1102 miles in 19 hours and 43 minutes). I also currently have my 748 torn apart for a 12k-mile service, which includes inspection of the rockers for flaking chrome plating.....
To pull the swingarm off, I had to remove the slip-ons for the exhaust and the rear head exhaust header, since it goes through the swingarm. I wasn't really wanting to remove the header, but, from what I've seen of this bike, I felt that I just HAD to inspect the swingarm. I'm glad I did.
Removing the swingarm wasn't difficult to do at all and took little time. After its removal, I discovered that the two sealed bearings on the right side of the bike were locked solid. The only way I broke loose the inner race was when beating the bearing out of the swingarm. They both were in bad shape. I also discovered that these are the same bearings that are used as wheel bearings. I decided to buy the two bearings, and instead of dealing with the spacers that were made for the rear wheel to use 12mm wide bearings instead of the factory 16mm wide ones, I decided to just buy two additional bearings for the rear wheel. Here is a diagram I created to show the spacers and other components for this right-side bearing arrangement...
Here is a picture of them laid out on the floor...
I removed every bolt in the suspension linkage to inspect the needle bearings and seals. All of the seals and bearings looked good, so I cleaned them and repacked them with wheel bearing grease. The bearings that mount to the underside of the swingarm had a rust coloring to the grease, which led me to believe that some water had gotten to them. If the bearings were salvageable, I didn't want to wait for seals if I removed them, so I tried another approach. To clean the bearings while still installed, I used a can of penetrating oil on them. I sprayed some into the bearings, would spin the bearings some, spray some more, rotate the bearings some more, spray more oil into them.....This cleaned the bearings amazingly well, and I was able to feel that the bearings were fine. I let the bearings drip-dry, then took compressed air to them to blow out as much of the penetrating oil I could. I then repacked the bearings with a wheel bearing grease.
The original rear shock had a little over 29,000 miles on it, and it was looking a bit worn and had fluid leaking from it. I had earlier picked up a rear shock with only 9000 miles on it from eBay for under $50, so while everything was apart, I swapped out the shocks. If I decide to get a shock rebuilt, I now have two spares (including the one on the Pile of Paso).
The only problem I had installing the swingarm is that the pivot bolt where the suspension linkage mounts to the frame was a little too short. I don't know what bolt the previous owner had swapped it with, as all the other bolts appear to be the correct size. How do I know that this bolt was too short?.....While Vicki and I were gradually torquing the bolt to the correct factory spec, we heard a loud pop and the bolt starting spinning very easily. Appearantly, the first two threads of the bolt and nut were not able to hold 40 ft-lbs of torque as it stripped the threads from both the bolt and the nut. Not wanting to wait for the correct bolt and nut to be ordered and arrive, I pulled the one off of the "Pile of Paso" and put finished reinstalling the swingarm and wheel assembly....with the inclusion of an original chainguard that I had picked up from Paul at NPR Ducati.
During the last few months, I thought I had the battery on the Battery Tender Jr, but it turned out I had unplugged it at sometime. This resulted in the clock draining the battery to the point that it won't take a charge. Looks like I'll be buying another battery for it in the near future. It appears that I am to the point of putting the exhaust back on the bike, perform final torquing of the bolts on the front end, and then I will run some fuel line and see if the bike will start. Once I get the bike running, I'll bleed the brakes and clutch systems, paint and reinstall the grab bar and taillight assembly (the grab bar was removed because the chrome was flaking......I wonder if the same people did the rockers in my 748...), then put the bodywork back on the bike and ride it....I'm getting closer!!!
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