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FIX-IT: How-To Replace Swingarm Bearings

3) The complete removal and inspection of your swingarm should be done annually for trail riders and monthly for racers.
October 7, 2016
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Regular maintenance of your ATV is important. Oil and filter changes are key for routine procedures, but there is more to keeping your quad in tip-top shape. At both ends of your quad there are sets of bearings, seals and spacers that need to be addressed on a regular basis too.

This month we are going to show you how to inspect and replace the bearings on a sport quad swingarm. To help with the project, we are using a swingarm bearing kit from Pivot Works. Contact them at (515) 402-8000 or www.pivotworks.com.

1) With the quad on a stand, grab the rear tires and rock them from side to side. This will expose any worn-out bearings in the rear surrounding the axle or up front at the pivot points.
1) With the quad on a stand, grab the rear tires and rock them from side to side. This will expose any worn-out bearings in the rear surrounding the axle or up front at the pivot points.
2) Remove the brake caliper and spin the axle. If it spins smoothly with no resistance, the carrier bearings are good. If you feel bumps or grinding, the rear carrier bearings should be replaced. With the caliper installed there will be a little extra resistance from the brakes so it needs to be removed.
2) Remove the brake caliper and spin the axle. If it spins smoothly with no resistance, the carrier bearings are good. If you feel bumps or grinding, the rear carrier bearings should be replaced. With the caliper installed there will be a little extra resistance from the brakes so it needs to be removed.
3) The complete removal and inspection of your swingarm should be done annually for trail riders and monthly for racers.
3) The complete removal and inspection of your swingarm should be done annually for trail riders and monthly for racers.
4) The front needle bearings tend to go bad if the outer seals fail or if you ride in a lot of water. The use of a pressure washer can damage them too.
4) The front needle bearings tend to go bad if the outer seals fail or if you ride in a lot of water. The use of a pressure washer can damage them too.
5) Remove the dust covers and any retaining clips that might hold the bearing in. Then using a socket that is slightly smaller than the size of the bearing tap or press the bearing out of the swingarm. However, on this 250R swingarm, the bearing has to be pulled to the outside. This can only be done with a blind-hole puller. If you don’t have one, you can tap the bearing out with a long, skinny screwdriver.
5) Remove the dust covers and any retaining clips that might hold the bearing in. Then using a socket that is slightly smaller than the size of the bearing tap or press the bearing out of the swingarm. However, on this 250R swingarm, the bearing has to be pulled to the outside. This can only be done with a blind-hole puller. If you don’t have one, you can tap the bearing out with a long, skinny screwdriver.
6) Clean the bearing surface with light sand paper or a Scotch-Brite pad. Make sure it’s smooth and nick- or groove-free and ready for the installation process.
6) Clean the bearing surface with light sand paper or a Scotch-Brite pad. Make sure it’s smooth and nick- or groove-free and ready for the installation process.
7) The carrier bearings ride in an aluminum housing that slips into the rear of the swingarm. It has an eccentric shape, so it can be rotated for chain adjustment. The bearings can be replaced individually, or the carrier can be replaced as a complete unit. When installing the carrier bearing, apply a light coat of anti-seize lubricant in the swingarm and around the carrier surface.
7) The carrier bearings ride in an aluminum housing that slips into the rear of the swingarm. It has an eccentric shape, so it can be rotated for chain adjustment. The bearings can be replaced individually, or the carrier can be replaced as a complete unit. When installing the carrier bearing, apply a light coat of anti-seize lubricant in the swingarm and around the carrier surface.
8) Sometime during the removal process take your new bearings and place them in the freezer. They only need to be in there for an hour or so to make the installation process a little easier. We are using a swingarm bearing kit from Pivot Works. Contact them at (515) 402-8000.
8) Sometime during the removal process take your new bearings and place them in the freezer. They only need to be in there for an hour or so to make the installation process a little easier. We are using a swingarm bearing kit from Pivot Works. Contact them at (515) 402-8000.
9) After you have cleaned the front bearing mating surface, heat the outer edge of the swingarm for about a minute to expand the metal to help the bearing slide in smoothly.
9) After you have cleaned the front bearing mating surface, heat the outer edge of the swingarm for about a minute to expand the metal to help the bearing slide in smoothly.
10) With a vise and the same socket used for removal, squeeze the new bearing back into the center of the swingarm. Here we are using a long bolt that we can tighten like a press to slowly push the bearing into the swingarm. When both sides are finished and the bearings have a thick layer of grease on them, replace the dust seals over the front bearing. Now you can reinstall the swingarm on the quad.
10) With a vise and the same socket used for removal, squeeze the new bearing back into the center of the swingarm. Here we are using a long bolt that we can tighten like a press to slowly push the bearing into the swingarm. When both sides are finished and the bearings have a thick layer of grease on them, replace the dust seals over the front bearing. Now you can reinstall the swingarm on the quad.
11) If you don’t want to replace the entire bearing carrier, you can just replace the bearing and seals in the stock carrier. Pivot Works carries all of the bearings and seals your quad will need, sold in handy kits that make life in the garage simple.
11) If you don’t want to replace the entire bearing carrier, you can just replace the bearing and seals in the stock carrier. Pivot Works carries all of the bearings and seals your quad will need, sold in handy kits that make life in the garage simple.

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