Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Virtual pivot maintenance

The Rampant, Rune, Pyre and Legend have virtual pivots which are very easy to maintain using the clever axle and grease port system

From time to time, its good maintenance practise to flush the grease through the bushings on the axles, to keep everything running 100% sweet.

The IGUS bushings are made from a self lubricating polymer but since mountain biking is a dirty, wet environment it makes sense to do a little preventative work from time to time

Its very simple to use, and you can re-grease your bushings in less than 5 minutes using simply a 2mm allen key, grease gun and a rag

Stage One - remove the plastic cover from each of the grease ports, as seen in the image above

I have labeled the main pivots 1,2,3 and the smaller pivots 4

The main pivots have the grease port flushing system as these pivots take most of the load and have axles running through the frame.

The smaller pivots 4 do not need a grease port but its probably a good idea to disassemble it from time to time to clean it up and check everything is 100%

Stage Two - remove the set screw. Each pivot has a small set screw which is removed using a 2mm allen key - in the image above I am using a Park AWS-10 multi tool but in the workshop I would normally use a seperate 2mm allen key as its easier to rotate in a confined space

Before you get the grease in there and make things messy, its worth checking the pivot bolts and axle head are tight, take your allen keys and snug them up just to be sure

Once the set screw is removed from the pivot, you are ready to use the grease gun

Stage Three- greasing the pivot. I am using a Dualco grease gun with high quality waterproof bicycle grease. Push the gun tube into the pivot and pump the gun a couple of times, until you meet resistance and grease starts backing up

Replace the set screw, wipe excess grease with a rag and replace the plastic cover

Repeat this procedure for each of the main pivots 1,2 and 3

After the procedure, you will see dirty / old grease working its way around the pivot axle edges, this is normal and means your new grease has flushed your pivots clean, give this dirty grease a wipe clean otherwise it might end up on your nice riding pants :(

happy trails!

Rob C


Anonymous said...

Can you PLEASE post the same thing for a Wildcard?

rob c said...

the Wildcard doesn't use the IGUS bushings but has sealed ball bearings

best practise with ball bearings is to remove the pivot axles from time to time, rotate the inner ball bearing race about 1/3rd of the way round, and then replace the axle

this prevents the ball bearing race wearing in one spot and reducing the life of the bearing

the other trick is to use a very fine blade (like a scapel) and lift the outer bearing shield - do this carefully to avoid bending or denting the shield

you can pump some grease into the bearing using a grease gun, or just smear in with your finger, and replace the shield

this will effectively relubricate the bearing as they can get dry if contaminant like mud or water get through the shields

another trick I do is with the axle removed, and fresh grease pumped into the bearing, press the chuck of an electric drill against the inner bearing race and give it some RPMs, this distributes the grease throughout the bearing assembly

if the bearings get super graunchy and need replacement, you can punch them out using a socket set and drift hammer, and replace with new bearings (available from any good industrial bearing supplier)

the bearing codes are 608 2RS (2 rubber shields) for the smaller pivots, and 6003 2RS for the swingarm pivot

buy decent quality, branded (i.e. NSK, GMN, etc.) engineering bearings and fit them carefully using a socket of the correct diameter so it only presses on the outside of the bearing race, if you press on the inner race or bearing shields you will damage your new bearing before its even fitted!

If your bearing is a slightly loose fit in the bearing socket, you can Loctite Red gap fill compound to secure the bearing, leave to dry overnight before riding