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Hello Everyone!
I purchased a 2017 Release 3 about a year and a half ago, and the bike has been great aside from one issue that keeps popping up.

About a year ago (roughly 6 months after purchasing) I noticed a horrible grinding sound from the upper suspension pivot, so I figured I would start the servicing process since it seemed quite simple. Upon removing the noisy axle (upper pivot closest to rear wheel) the bearing was destroyed - it fell apart, and there were no balls in there at all. It even marred the pivot rocker from rubbing metal on metal. Diamondback CS was amazing as always, and classified the bearing as faulty. They sent me an entire new hardware kit, and reimbursed me after having my LBS put everything back together.

Flash forward to now, about 1 year later. I decided to do the level link service again, and it seems this particular pivot has once again started to act up. I did the lowers with zero issues, all bearings were smooth. Upon moving to the top right pivot that I previously had issues with I was not able to actually remove the axle. It un-threaded from the swing arm, but would not slide out of the frame - I had to gently tap it with a rubber mallet to get it out. After struggling immensely to get this axle back in after greasing I noticed that the rocker does not move freely at ALL on this axle, in fact - its quite stiff, and feels notchy even though the bearings are butter smooth. Is this normal? I had read on here about alignment issues with the aluminum frames, could this potentially cause that pivot to not move freely from having extra pressure from being unaligned?

All the axles were torqued to 15nm with a torque wrench, and the individual bolts at 8nm per DB

TLDR: Servicing Level link, previous axle issues (DB is awesome), rocker pivot is super stiff, and 1 particular axle difficult to remove. Frame issue or normal?


Thanks so much in advance!
 

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