So my bike has been very squeaky lately. Every time I get on/off or hit a bump, there is a loud creaking noise coming from the suspension.
I narrowed down the noise to the pivot in the swing arm. The Climer Manual has a short paragraph on dismantling and lubricating the swing arm. The swing arm holds on to the back wheel and lets the back wheel 'swing' up and down against the spring suspension. Here is the swing arm highlighted in light red:
- Remove the swing arm bolt
- Remove all components (bushings, collars, dust caps)
- Lubricate everthing
- Put it back together
Normally the Climer manual is good about letting you know everything that needs to be dismantled to get to the parts involved in the procedure. Therefore this sounded like a very simple job to me.
Unfortunately, the Climer manual missed a lot of steps. Namely:
- Remove both exhaust pipes
- Remove back wheel
- Detach brake stopper from brake
- Detach rear suspension from swing arm
Each of these steps produced a litany of small auxiliary parts (bolts, washers, collars, clamps, etc) that must be kept track of. I finally removed the swing arm from the bike and found that the parts I needed to lubricate were fused together.
Here's an exploded view diagram of the swing arm and its components:
Here, the swing arm is in light red again. The blue parts are called bushings, the orange parts are collars and the green bit is the bolt that holds it all together. The bushings fit inside the ends of the swing arm, the collars get inserted within the bushings (and should rotate there freely) and the bolt is inserted through both collars, rotating freely within them:
The bolt was completely dry; all its previous grease lubrication had hardened onto it. The collars were fused with the bushings and could not be moved.
After trying force and extremely volitile petroleum chemicals to try to free the collars and bushings, I brought the whole swing arm to Charlie's Place and for advice. Charlie was kind enough to use a press to force out the collars from the bushings, and then extricated the bushings as well since they were ruined. I bought new bushings (luckily still available) and cleaned up the old parts so that they were free of baked on gunk.
After about 3 hours of greasy, explictive laden work I was able to get everything assembled again. And now, no more squeaks or creaks!
- New swing arm bushings
- Cleaned swing arm collars and bolt
- Lubricated swing arm pivot
- Lubricated rear wheel axle
- Installed new brake light bulb
- Installed new front and rear brake stop switches