Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Lawrenceville, PA, USA
Re: Alaska preparation
Well, spent a couple of hours this morning in the garage. As usual with the LT, it was good news/bad news and the LT has maintained its trend since new of never having a maintenance only event. At least one repair is always required.
I had been hearing a troublesome squeak as I mounted or dismounted the bike the last few riding months last year. I suspected it was the bronze bushings in the FD and I was unfortunately correct. They were not only dry this time, but the right side had pretty much become one with the pin, but first the good news.
I drained the FD as I had not changed the oil since the clutch work nearly 20,000 miles ago. The gear oil looked like new. Very clean. And the drain plug barely had any residue on it. It appears that after 47,000 miles the Tom Cutter rebuild is holding up extremely well.
The attached pictures tell the story pretty well. After the good news on the FD oil, I got the bad news when I tried to remove the FD. The left locknut broke loose almost too easily. I used a 1/2” breaker bar, but it did not take all that much force to break it loose. Similarly, the left pin came out pretty easily. As is normal with these bronze bushings, there is some extra force when they hit against the swing arm since they are too big to come through the hole, but it was not excessive on the left side.
The right side was a different story altogether. I gave a pretty hard push on the breaker bar with no luck. So, out came the heat gun and I heated this up quite well and then the pin broke loose with a good tug on the breaker bar. However, after three or four revolutions, the pin locked up tight as the bushing hit the swing-arm. I turned it pretty hard before getting concerned about stripping the swing-arm threads. So, I sprayed penetrating oil all over the threads of the pin, both inside and outside and worked the pin back and forth a few times to try to get the threads well lubed. I wanted to minimize the torque on these threads and lessen the chance of galling them or pulling them out.
I added more heat and kept working the pin in and out. After about an hour of this, I decided that the swing arm was likely going to have to sacrifice itself as the pin did not seem to be coming out any farther and would lock up pretty tight as soon as the bronze bushing hit the swing arm. So, resigned to buying another swingarm, I gave the breaker bar a good push. I got that funny “yielded metal” feeling as something let loose. I figured odds were that the threads had parted company with the swing-arm. However, the pin then turned pretty easily the rest of the way, which is usually not the case when threads fail and no aluminum came out with the pin. I suspect that as the bushings became more bound up on the pins, the were twisting the pins forward on each hard bump which tended to loosen the left pin, but tighten the right. At least that is my theory.
As I was cleaning up the swing arm, I caught my finger on the inside edge of the right hole and noticed that the innermost thread had separated. In looking at it as closely as I can with the phone, it appears that only the innermost thread is damaged so I don’t think that will compromise the swing-arm significantly. I think I can cut it off with a sharp knife and it will be good to go.
Well, the JL bushing experiment was a complete bust. The pins are pretty well damaged so I will replace those and see if I can find the thread that mentioned a more reasonably priced source of OEM-style bearings. Now the fun part of trying to drive the races out of the FD...
Oh, one more bit of good news. The rear EBC disc is holding up extremely well also. Well, off to look up the pin part numbers.
2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)
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Last edited by Voyager; Feb 7th, 2019 at 12:26 pm.