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Old school BMXer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my 5.5 since there were first released in early 2004. I have never serviced the lower pivot bearings. On several occasions, I've pulled the shock and the rear wheel and the swingarm pivoted rather nicely. However, this last Saturday was a different story. It was very difficult to move the swingarm, and getting it to move the last few inches required a lot of force. It was obvious that my bearings were toast.

I removed the lower pivot bearings and found that the bearings in the front tri showed far more signs of rust on them. More on that later.

Although I had a couple sets of bearings on the bench (I always buy replacement parts when I buy a frame, and I have two VPP frames), I wanted to see if I could save these (E-man, who posts here thinks I'm nuts).

I popped the seals off to expose the bearings....and rust. I soaked them in WD40 for a bit. With a pair of pliers clamping the inner race and channel locks holding the outer race, I was finally able to make them move. It took even longer to to make them turn.

After a couple soakings with WD40 and parts cleaner, I finally got them to spin. In all reality, I thought they'd work great for a pivot bearing, so I regreased and reinstalled them. The suspension is so plush! I forgot how nice it is! Next, an RP23....(more good info at a later date).

I found the cause of the increased rust in the front tri bearings. The cavity where these bearings are is open to the bottom bracket area, which we all know is exposed to water. The seat tube pierces the bearing cavity. I applied silicone on the open seam to prevent the water from entering the pivot bearing cavity from the bottom bracket.
 

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rain rain go away...
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1,195 Posts
yeah, i taped that hole. if the bearings were totally rusted, cleaning then lubing them isn't going to last that long. i would suggest popping in a new one.
 

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How'd you get them out? I'd assume you used a bearing puller or is there another way to do it? I think I'm in the same predicament. Mine are full of crud and totally locked.
 

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peachy-B said:
hammer them out or make your own bearing puller.... change 'em w/ a new bearing.

Hammer them out, eh? How would I go about that? Are they relatively easy to get out? I don't want to risk damaging anything.... :D
 

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Old school BMXer
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2,695 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Simple as that. I use a hammer and a drift for the first bearing. For a drift, you can be creative. I've used a long 5/16" bolt. If you want to reuse the bearings, be nice to the seals. For the second bearing, you can use some sockets that fit into the frame and match up with the inner race.

To press the bearings back in, use a bolt, nut, and washers with the same diameter as the ID of the bearing. Doing this, you can press in both bearings at one time.
 
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