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Thread: Grease nipples in rear suspension linkage?

  1. #1
    apriliaforum expert MartDude's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    Shropshire, UK

    Grease nipples in rear suspension linkage?

    I've been putting off servicing my rear suspension linkage for too long, so I'll be doing this over the winter.

    Has anyone fitted grease nipples to the dogbone? Having searched for quite a while, I've found several posts about contemplating doing this, but none where someone's actually done it.

    I've a slight worry that drilling & tapping for nipples might weaken the dogbone - or am I being a touch paranoid?

    Also, any recommendations for the best location for grease nipples?

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  2. #2
    apriliaforum expert DanV990's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
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    Noel put zerks on his dogbone. The first link below tells you how he did it. The other links are for some more threads on greasing the dogbone if you want to do some more reading.
    Quote Originally Posted by theknurl View Post
    Zerks or grease nipples;
    lubing the dogbone or conrod and swingarm is a pain,
    to make it easy,the extra stuff you need;

    3- 90 deg Zerk fittings or grease nipples
    matching drills and taps
    RTV silicone
    3mm x ~23mm washer*
    thin screwdriver
    EP grease
    wash pan and solvent
    vise or press
    grease gun

    > loosen front head pipe, remove rear head pipe
    > support frame, remove rear wheel and countershaft sprocket
    > remove swingarm and chain
    > remove dogbone and original suspension plates
    > CAREFULLY remove bushings from dogbone and swingarm
    > with the magnet remove the needles
    > CAREFULLY pry the seals out*
    > press the bearing races out, wash them and the needles
    > drill and tap the holes in the center 90 deg to the long axis, on the same side of the dogbone
    > mount the Zerks 90 deg to the long axis
    > drill and tap the swingarm in the center of the lug, right in front of the tire
    > mount the Zerk pointing to the left
    > with 3mm washer press the 6 races back in*
    > with a light coat of RTV silicone on the outside remount the 6 seals
    > put some grease in the races, refit the needles, make sure that the races ARE FULL OF NEEDLES, none left out [the dealer left 2 out @ swingarm recall]
    > put the bushings in
    > put the swingarm in, remount CS sprocket
    > mount the dogbone with the Zerks on the bottom pointing LEFT
    > mount your NEW SUSPENSION PLATES
    > mount the pipes
    > mount rear wheel, adjust chain
    > lube the Zerks with the grease gun

    *optional for those of you that live where it rains, there is an 18mm x 24mm x 4mm double lipped with a spring seal available, if you use the 4mm wide seal use a ~3.5mm washer to seat the bearing races, so there is a gap between the races

    now when you change your oil and filter, on the same side, lube the 3 Zerks, an easy straight shot [grease nipples, for those of you on the other side of the road]

    NB; shortened '73 CR250 wrist pin needle bearings replaced the 2 missing ones
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  3. #3
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  4. #4
    apriliaforum prov-nov wrenched's Avatar
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    UK midlands
    No but now you mention it.....
    As it happens and after one or two scary reports surfaced I have the fairings off my Fut and am about to check the pins and bushes. The addition of nipples is so obvious; when it's pointed out! I'd have no worries about stress in the link but, as I think the description says, I'd put them on the mid-plane and at 'top' or 'bottom' as fitted to the bike. Th'ol Duc had just such on it's swinging arm. Being new and not entirely familiar with the Futuras swing-arm I'll reserve comment on that, but it's probably only a case of siting them where you can get at them with the bike assembled. Would give much peace of mind. I'd have to restrain my enthusiasm a bit though, as it would be possible to push the o-rings out under the pressure. I read recently about a mod which eliminated the end-float which seem to be present in the fulcrum pins. If this is the case it would be as well to do this mod at the same time - or get some bearings with proper built-in seals.
    Blue '03 RST stock-ish, mapping tweaks, rear hub brg mod.
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  5. #5
    apriliaforum prov-nov wrenched's Avatar
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    I managed, fairly easily to my surprise, to pull the expansion box free and dismantle the rear suspension linkage last night and bought some shiny new nipples in the bearing shop at lunchtime. I'll go home tonight and look to see if I've an M6 tap in the box. I should correct my misapprehension above; the seals are captive in the 'drawn cup' needle roller races so no worry about blowing them out with the grease gun. They were getting dry although just about serviceable. The spacer/inner track I got round to cleaning before bed time was pitted slightly but as it's range of movement and speed is very low I don't see a problem for a bit longer. The dogbone has clearly been having a fight at the rear end with one triangular plate. No wonder when you consider there's nothing to control thrust or take up the rather large axial clearance. I thought about using aluminium to make thrust washers at first of all but aluminium against aluminium isn't that clever. Then decided maybe Nylon would be a better bet, or 'Tufnol' which I think is nicer to machine.
    If/when I get that far I'll post some pics but there is a thread already.
    Blue '03 RST stock-ish, mapping tweaks, rear hub brg mod.
    It's NOT raining!!

  6. #6
    apriliaforum expert vonDutch's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    I've been thinking about it as well, but personally, I wouldn't use zerks but just drill a tiny hole and use one of these to lubricate:
    Last edited by vonDutch; 08-01-2013 at 04:11 PM.

  7. #7
    apriliaforum prov-nov wrenched's Avatar
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    Dec 2012
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    Suspension link greasers

    Here are some pics of my effort at fitting greasers. These were 6mm coarse threaded. The threads on the nipples were tapered so I drilled 4.8mm holes in the pedestal drill and tapped with a taper then a plug tap using the pedestal drill to align the tap. I generally mess up if I try to start taps by hand. I left the roller housings in place and I did it without taking the swinging arm off the bike. I am NOT recommending this. It meant a lot of lying on the floor and swearing trying to get the needle rollers back into the eye of the swinging arm, and of course it's pretty difficult to be clean. Also if I'd taken the swinger off the bike I could have positioned the grease in the eye facing forward instead of down which would have been nicer. I don't presently have a castellated socket for what look s like a special nut.
    PS who was it that welded one of the pipes into the back of the expansion box?Name:  IMAG0183.jpg
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    Blue '03 RST stock-ish, mapping tweaks, rear hub brg mod.
    It's NOT raining!!

  8. #8
    apriliaforum expert soofle616's Avatar
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    maybe this is a stupid question but how does the grease get into the bearings if the bearings themselves aren't drilled for the zerk? Is it just that the grease is entering between the two races and finding it's way around the bushing in the middle to fill any available space?
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  9. #9
    apriliaforum prov-nov wrenched's Avatar
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    Each pin runs in two short bearings with a gap between them. The bearings only have seals on the outside, the inward facing ends don't have any seals. At least that's the case on mine and when I replace I'll ask for single sealed variants at the bearing shop.
    Last edited by wrenched; 08-09-2013 at 08:48 AM. Reason: omission
    Blue '03 RST stock-ish, mapping tweaks, rear hub brg mod.
    It's NOT raining!!

  10. #10
    apriliaforum expert old git's Avatar
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    Worcester, UK
    Wrenched, interested to know after 2 years if this has been successful in the long term, am making a 'to do' list for the winter and thinking if something like this or just the 'ordinary' grease service is going to be done.
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  11. #11
    apriliaforum expert deefred's Avatar
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    I think two years is too short to say.
    Also with the very limited movement it will require the bearing to be torn down to check that there are no dry spots unless grease is coming out uniformerly around the seals.
    2001 RST Futura in stream Silver.
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  12. #12
    apriliaforum prov-nov wrenched's Avatar
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    Suspension greasers

    As it happens a few weeks ago I did take the linkage to pieces as the suspension was beginning to squeak. The weather had once again penetrated one of the bearings and last time I looked I knew it wouldn't be that long before I'd have to renew the bushes. This I have now done but the greaser mod hasn't been as effective as I'd hoped, never the less I still think you have a better chance of longevity with them. The lack of any kind of proper mud guarding is in my view the biggest problem. Both front and back. This is billed as a tourer for heavens sake.
    Sadly After doing all that the squeak is exactly the same!
    Blue '03 RST stock-ish, mapping tweaks, rear hub brg mod.
    It's NOT raining!!

  13. #13
    apriliaforum expert flossy's Avatar
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    A + for your original effort in your quest anyway wrenchy, great to see you had a go, still looking to pull my arm apart to get to the main bearings, did grease all the links a while ago, looked like some dogbone seals were not even present on one side so slipped in an o ring, and spaced it with a steel washer to align it up better, now to make or improvise a tool to get the arm off,

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