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  1. #1
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    Seasonal Butcher Maintenance: Bearings or Propack?

    I've got one long season on my Butcher, I figured I put roughly 180-200 days on it since I built it in March of this year. I'm going to strip the frame and replace all the bearings this winter. The question is do I replace just the bearings or spend more than twice as much for the Pro Pack (bearings, bolts, axles, etc, etc.)?

    What so most of SC full suspension owners do seasonally?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTSession View Post
    I've got one long season on my Butcher, I figured I put roughly 180-200 days on it since I built it in March of this year. I'm going to strip the frame and replace all the bearings this winter. The question is do I replace just the bearings or spend more than twice as much for the Pro Pack (bearings, bolts, axles, etc, etc.)?

    What so most of SC full suspension owners do seasonally?
    I've got about 200 days on my Nomad Mk2. Just had DHX Air serviced. Had them check the bearings/pivots and nothing needed. I've pumped grease through the lower linkage once myself. That's it.
    Safe riding,

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTSession View Post
    I've got one long season on my Butcher, I figured I put roughly 180-200 days on it since I built it in March of this year. I'm going to strip the frame and replace all the bearings this winter. The question is do I replace just the bearings or spend more than twice as much for the Pro Pack (bearings, bolts, axles, etc, etc.)?

    What so most of SC full suspension owners do seasonally?
    Probably don't need pro pack...you'll know when you take it apart...if bearings are seized then axles could be galled and worn and need replacing, otherwise your axles should be fine.

  4. #4
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    Highly doubt you need the propack, but as mentioned you will know when you take it all apart. Most likely you will just need the bearings.

  5. #5
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    I have a Butcher as well and I asked myself the same question. Does any of your pivot points creek or is there any lateral play in it? If so buy the pro pack. My main pivot driveside bearing was shattered and it came out in pieces. If you are going to do this your self don't for get the bearing tools. You need two differt size bearing pullers and a press. With these tools I changed all my bearing in about 2 hours. Even if you don't use a axle save them for the next time you might need them then.

  6. #6
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    I thought Santa Cruz had a lifetime warranty for bearings. I also doubt the bearings need to be replaced unless they feel gritty. You might be able to repack them with grease. People replace bearings too often in my opinion.

  7. #7
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    If it's anythign like my blur classic, it'll need a propack every year.

    Hopefully it's not like my blur classic!

  8. #8
    Tmh
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    Driveside bearing on my Butcher was totally freezed just after about 6 months of use in quite dry conditions. It also ruined the main pivot axle and bearing washer/cup. Good thing was that SC has really good customer service and replaced them under warranty.

    I would say that there's a design fault with main pivot axle because the driveside bearing inner race is located on the threaded part of the pivot axle. This let's the water and dirt inside pivot and bearing. Why not make the threaded part shorter as it is on the other pivots?

    When you get new Butcher/Nickel frame check that there's enough grease on the bearings and they are properly adjusted. And if you hear creaking noise from the pivot, it's the driveside main pivot bearing inner race chewing the main pivot axle so stop riding and change the bearing!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    I thought Santa Cruz had a lifetime warranty for bearings. I also doubt the bearings need to be replaced unless they feel gritty. You might be able to repack them with grease. People replace bearings too often in my opinion.
    Follow up. SC does stand by their bearing warranty. I called Santa Cruz to order the bearings and the gentlemen I talked to said he'd just send me the bearings for free because the bike is only a year old. I was impressed, I had my credit card in my hand ready to pay for them and he just sent them to me with out even charging me for shipping.

    I had a local Santa Cruz dealer install the new bearings and new shock bushings for about $80. I'll probably end up doing this every season.
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  10. #10
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    Before you leave the shop...

    I wanted to start a new thread on this but I don't have my "five posts" yet, so...

    Do you guys have recommendations about issues I should have the shop adjust, check for, known problems, etc. before I walk out with my new Butcher? The dealer is about 120 miles from where I live, so getting back there to deal with immediate/warranty related issues is going to be a pain. I'd like to walk out of the shop knowing that I'll be set for the first season of riding.

    I have a local mechanic I'll work with in the future, but I was wondering if there are any quirks that should checked, changed, or tweaked before I roll out with my new Butcher.

    Much obliged.

  11. #11
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    Replaced all bearings with the Propack after 3 full years of riding on my Nomad Mk2, older ones where fine when opened though, just a little dry (put grease only twice a year).
    I just needed to treat my bike to another 3 years of even better bearing life.
    Now everything works just fine and smooth as butter.

  12. #12
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    When I had a local Santa Cruz dealer replace the bearings in my Butcher, he recommended that the bearings get replaced every season. If they don't its easy for them to seize in there and then they're damn hard to get out. He said the longer travel SC's (Nomad, Butcher, Blur LT, etc.) put more stress on the bearings. Seemed to make sense.
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  13. #13
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    Anyone have good luck removing the bearings with a punch and hammer, or is it absolutely necessary to spend $90 on the two removal tools? (im willing to buy the app link removal tool, dont wanna put that little link in a vice, but it seems like the others should be able to be carfully punched out). thanks.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwyooaj View Post
    Anyone have good luck removing the bearings with a punch and hammer, or is it absolutely necessary to spend $90 on the two removal tools? (im willing to buy the app link removal tool, dont wanna put that little link in a vice, but it seems like the others should be able to be carfully punched out). thanks.
    You could probably get away with it, but they do make it easier. You just dropped several thousand on a bike . . . what's $90 to take care of it?
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by OO7 View Post
    You could probably get away with it, but they do make it easier. You just dropped several thousand on a bike . . . what's $90 to take care of it?
    Gee thanks for the helpful response. i already know its "probably" doable, and theprice ratio of tools/bike. btw its not just $90; bearings+3 removal tools +install tool=almost $200. I need to save $ when possible, and if using cheaper tools (even if it takes longer) works fine for a job i only do once a year or two then why not. Ive had good luck inthe past with simple homemade tools for things like headset cups, bb and wheel bearings, and shock bushing/needle bearings. If anyone here has actually tried to remove butcher bearings with a simple punch, please chime with how successful it was. thanks.
    Last edited by dwyooaj; 04-30-2012 at 07:44 PM.
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  16. #16
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    and shock bushing/needle bearings.
    I'm starting to have bushing problems on my lower shock mount, and I need some advice.

    1) How do I know what size bushing I need?
    2) Where can I buy bushings as well as the aluminum reducers?
    3) What tools can I make to handle the removal and install of the bushing?

    Thanks.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    I'm starting to have bushing problems on my lower shock mount, and I need some advice.

    1) How do I know what size bushing I need?
    2) Where can I buy bushings as well as the aluminum reducers?
    3) What tools can I make to handle the removal and install of the bushing?

    Thanks.
    1. depends on the shock, fox,rockshox,xfusion are all the same, manitou is different, not sure about marz.

    2. Most lbs's have the bushings and perhaps reducers, your shock or bike manufacturer should sell the reducers. Or i think universalcycles.com?

    3. sockets (one just slightly smaller than the outer diameter of the bushing to push it out with, or you can push out the old bushing with the new one, and a bigger socket on the other side to push the bushing into) and a vice.Disclaimer: be VERY CAREFUL lining it all up straight, if not you might damage your shock eyelet, and if you do dont get mad at me! Mtnbiker4life also sells specially made tools for this on the classifieds here, and so does realworldcycling.com (and i recommend rwc's needle bearing kit for the lower shock mount instead of a bushing, smoother suspension action and much longer lasting)
    Last edited by dwyooaj; 04-30-2012 at 08:07 PM.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by OO7 View Post
    You could probably get away with it, but they do make it easier. You just dropped several thousand on a bike . . . what's $90 to take care of it?

    I considered buying the all the tools to do this but my local SC dealer did all the bearing replacement and shock bushing replacement for about $80. They did the job in less than 24 hours and did it perfectly. Much easier that spending more on the tools, waiting a week to get them and possibly f'n it up myself.
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  19. #19
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    My shock is a Fox RP23 Boost Valve(no Kashima), and my frame is a Blur LT2. However, I can't find the bushings/reducers for sale at Fox's website or at SC's website.

    I read up on the bushings v. needle bearings replacement, and PUSH doesn't recommend the needle bearings, so I'm sticking with the bushings.
    Last edited by happyriding; 05-01-2012 at 01:34 PM.

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