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I had a creak on the 05 motolite that I wanted to track down. I checked the main pivot. The chainstay felt notchy as I cycled it up and down. I pulled the main pivot bolt, the driveside outer bearing spun freely - it did not feel notchy. The lh side outer bearing, I could not even spin with my finger. I stuck the pivot bolt in and rotated the bearing and I could feel it was really notchy. I probably have 2000 miles on the bike. I noticed this notchy feel last year, but did not both pulling the chainstay off. The number of wet rides I have been on are very few - probably 3-4.

With the chainstay off, I noticed that the rh side mainpivot bearings were flush with the surface, but the lh side were a bit proud of the surface. I have alway noticed that I had less of a gap between the tire and the chainstay on the lh side than the right. Not sure if the bearing being proud has anything to do with this.

I took the chainstay and flipped it 180 degrees from normal position. In this position the surfaces of the horst links touch the ground and top surface of the main pivot holes touch -- but there is rocking. Touching on 3 points ( 3 points make a plane) the fourth point on the horst link has a few mm of gap to the surface of the floor. Now I realize that this is not a machined surface plate, but something is out a little -- whether it is out of tolerance, I can't answer that.

So, on to the questions. Anyone else have any concerns with alignment of the rear that they have experienced with their own ride? What type of milage are others getting out of their bearings (main pivot)? What is the best method to remove the main pivot bearings and the best way to install for a home wrench? Any take any pictures of their home install process?

Thanks
Ed
 

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"El Whatever"
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If you're not getting the four points touching, definitively you have some misalignment.

To start with, the bearings not flush is not normal and when they're flush on both sides the swingarm slides in rather tightly. So a proud bearing could cause the yoke to open a bit.

The procedure is on Titus' page...
 

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About the bearings.....

Hello Ed,

I'm on a 2005 ML and it's half way thru its 4th summer season. I have about 3500 miles on the bike - about 1000 miles of off-road miles per summer with this bike.

I live in Anchorage and it can be quite wet so I routinely check / clean / repack my bearings on the ML. I'm still on the original main pivot bearings. Like yours, mine are notchy, and the Non-driveside has always been worse. I can however get mine to rotate, but again I clean and repack about 3 times a summer. The non-drive side is not sheilded like the drive-side bearings. I've had to replace my non-driveside bearing on my X-type BB now three times, but not the main pivot bearings.

I'm not so worried about the notchiness, but rather if there is any play in the swing arm. At that point when there's play, a bearing replacement will be necessary.

Titus recommends using a drift pin to knock out the old bearings. Hit the inside bearing at 12, 3, 6, 9 o'clock drift and keep doing that until the bearings are out. I'd soak the bearings inside and out with some penetrating oil (WD 40) for a couple of hours before you drift them out.

I've not noticed any obvious alignment problems with my frame. If it's not perfect... it's pretty darn close and not bad enough to cause a problem.

Good luck,

EndUser
 

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Pivot bearings

I'm on a 2005 ML replaced all my bearings but not bushings February of this year.
The pivot bearings (outside 2) I repacked before with Rockn' roll grease.
My outside 2 pivot bearings were virtually seized, the swingarm would not drop on its own any more if released when holding it at top of travel(with wheel off)
Drifted the 4 bearings out with a punch & pressed new ones in. Fine since then.
I live in a seaside environment so that may have accelerated the deterioration of the bearings via sea salt & beach sand (occurs on the trails I don't ride on the beach)
Your swingarm certainly is out of alignment maybe check with Titus tech support if there is still something like that available...
 
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