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  1. #1
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    VPP Linkage Overhaul Pictorial

    Apparently many people are having problems with their vpp linkage creaking after only a few rides. Many members, namely TNC, has suggested a method of eliminating this problem by lubricating the two lower pivots with anti-seize compound. I tried my best to illustrate how this is done. It took approximately 30 minutes to complete and thats snapping photos so i would bet you could complete this in about 15-20 minutes. Let me know if I there is anything i can add.

    I started off by getting the tools i needed. The tools used consisted of two 5 mm allen keys, a hammer, the anti seize compund, and a punch found at any hardware store.


    Next, i set the frame up on a table, and began to take the two axle bolts out. i decided to remove the axle on the swingarm first rather than the mainframe as i felt like it would be easier later. insert two 5mm allen keys in the pivot bolts. use one to hold the bolt, and the other to turn. these were pretty tight for me but you'll be able to get them out. ONLY ONE BOLT WILL ACTUALLY COME OUT OF THE AXLE. Once you remove the allen bolt, pop out the bearing cap with either your allen wrench or a small knife.




    Next, it's time to remove the axle from the pivot. Insert the drift punch into the side of the axle you removed the bolt from. Keep in mind you don't need as large of a punch as i have, just something that has a long, thin end you can insert into the axle. With the punch inserted and the frame held, begin to lightly tap the end of the punch. The axle will begin to come out the other side. Continue to tap the punch until you can remove the axle by hand. After removing the axle, use a degreaser to wipe down the axles making sure you are thorough to remove all the grim and grease that may have accumulated.



    You now can slide your swingarm down.


    Repeat the same process for the other pivot. Once you have both pivots removed, its time to lubricate them with anti-sieze compound. I chose what TNC recommended with is Permatex Anti-Seize lubricant. Any auto parts store will care this product. BE CAREFUL WITH THE LUBRICANT. This stuff easily gets over everything. The piece that connects the two pivots is very difficult to clean off if you manage to get the lubricant on this piece.



    Once you have the axles lubricated considerably, its time to re-insert them into the pivots. Make sure everything is aligned then lightly tap the axles back into their respective pivots. Put the bearing cap back on and apply loctite to all bolts that were removed (2). The recommended torque is 100 lbs. for all lower pivot bolts, but if you're doing it by hand, make them relatively snug. The rest is pretty self-explanatory, just be careful not to get the lubricant all over everything.


    After you have reassembled the two pivots with your anti-seized axles, wipe away the excess. After this, you should be good to go and you'll hopefully will have creak free performance for a good while.


    Let me know if i can provide you with any other pictures. If you have any questions regarding how this was done, please let me know and i'll try to help as best i can. I told KC i'd thank her for helping with the photos.
    Last edited by jpk1080; 11-06-2006 at 04:53 AM.

  2. #2
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    Excellent walk-thru. The only thing I might add it that the axle-bolt tightening torque is like 80 in/lbs. which is actually not very much. If you are tightening them as much as you can by hand you are probably 3-10 times this amount. As long as you're not stripping out anything I would think that's okay though.

  3. #3
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    corrected thanks.

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    I'm not certain because I haven't separated my lower pivots yet, but I have taken apart my shock mount, and you're supposed to put loctite on the bolts before you reinsert them... I thought that the lower pivots should be loctited as well?

  5. #5
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    A couple things......

    1) After removing the axles, I use White Lightning "Metal Prep" to remove any residues left over from old grease.

    2) You left out the Loctite process for the fixing-bolts.

    3) Santa Cruz has increased torque specs on all VPP bikes. IIRC, the lowers are now 100 inch-pounds across the board. Check the SCB website for all new torque specs or e-mail them.

    Good job overall, thanks for taking the time to put this up.

  6. #6
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    yeah. you should apply loctite to the bolts, but i guess i looked over this as my frame was brand new, and the loctite was still fresh. i'll make the necessary changes to the post. thanks for the input.
    Last edited by jpk1080; 10-28-2006 at 03:31 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogie Man
    I'm not certain because I haven't separated my lower pivots yet, but I have taken apart my shock mount, and you're supposed to put loctite on the bolts before you reinsert them... I thought that the lower pivots should be loctited as well?
    Yes clean them off thoroughly and loctite...those bolts coming loose is a main cause of creaking. While having the crankset off, I suggest dremeling part of the small ring so that you can fit an allen key in to tighten the lower pivot that is normally not reachable with the crankset on (with my xt crankset at least). This allows you to easily check torque on the bolts and keep them snug.

    Can anyone else confirm if there is a revised torque spec of 100 in/lbs? This is the first I've heard of it. The santa cruz pdf still says 80 in/lbs http://www.santacruzbicycles.com/tech/blur_tech.pdf

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpk1080
    yeah. you should apply loctite to the bolts, but i guess i looked over this as my frame was brand new, and the loctite was still fresh. i'll make the necessary changes to the post. thanks for the input.
    You may want to reconsider. I skipped the loctite when I mounted a new shock on my new BLT. After a couple of months, it started creaking pretty badly, so I checked over all the bolts, and the shock mount bolt had managed to work itself out about 1/8"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJBlur
    Yes clean them off thoroughly and loctite...those bolts coming loose is a main cause of creaking. While having the crankset off, I suggest dremeling part of the small ring so that you can fit an allen key in to tighten the lower pivot that is normally not reachable with the crankset on (with my xt crankset at least). This allows you to easily check torque on the bolts and keep them snug.

    Can anyone else confirm if there is a revised torque spec of 100 in/lbs? This is the first I've heard of it. The santa cruz pdf still says 80 in/lbs http://www.santacruzbicycles.com/tech/blur_tech.pdf

    - Santa Cruz is known for updating their website slowly. Shoot em' an e-mail for an update.
    Good tip BTW on the dremel-notching of the granny ring.

  10. #10
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    Thanks JPK. Useful and informative.

  11. #11
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    Well, there ya go. This should be very helpfull to any VP bike owners out there. Very good job & good descriptive pics I might add. Can't wait to get my VP Free and do th' preventative maintanence.


    Thanks for your efforts.
    "Why are you willing to take so much & leave others in need...just because you can?"

  12. #12
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    Great job! Very descriptive.
    Gotta do mine very soon.
    Where do you buy the Anti-Seize Compound? Home Depot?
    "Hesitation is the Mother of Failure!"

    ~~ 951 for Dirt & Roadster for Asphalt ~~

  13. #13
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    Mudd

    Quote Originally Posted by Mudd
    Great job! Very descriptive.
    Gotta do mine very soon.
    Where do you buy the Anti-Seize Compound? Home Depot?
    - Check just about any auto parts store, they'll have it. Be careful with the Permatex, it REEKS and it will jack-up any piece of clothing that you get the stuff on.

  14. #14
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    By the way, if you notice that your bike does not have the new lower pivot bearing seals as shown in the attached link (old style in top of pic, new style in bottom of pic), I would shoot an email to SC customer service and ask for the new end caps and bearing seals. I just purchased a pro pack last month and it came with the new seals, so not sure when they started putting them on new bikes, but looks like the bearings might last a lot longer with these seals.http://www.corystarr.com/erics/New%2...ngs/index.html

  15. #15
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    ... and if we just ...

    Most Excellant, good walk through. It,s time to greese Bessy!
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  16. #16
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    yeah i definetly need to do this to my V10 but worry about jacking up my bike
    [SIZE="3"]150mmx15mm hadley V10 hub [/SIZE] for sale PM ME

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  17. #17
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    i hear you man. i didn't want ot mess with mine either in fear mostly of scratching it up badly but it really wasn't difficult at all. just take the necessary precautions such as protecting your frame, making sure you don't get lubricant over everything, aligning the pivots when putting the axles back in before you start hammering, etc.

  18. #18
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    Let me know if i can provide you with any other pictures. If you have any questions regarding how this was done, please let me know and i'll try to help as best i can. I told KC i'd thank her for helping with the photos.
    JPK

    New VPFree owner - and it appears my rig has developed the same "creak" that plagues most VPP bikes.

    I have never taken the axle / pivot assembly apart so from the pics alone it is kinda hard to tell...when you punch the axle out (ref. pics 4-5) what surface is the punch actually bearing on? is it the face-end of the axle? or is it the ID of the axle?

    Reason I ask...if it is the face of the axle, wouldn't that metal - metal contact eventually peen the end of the axle and possibly damage the starter threads for the cap? and similar for if it is on the internal dimension of same?

    I'm sure it will make sense when I take things apart...but I'm at work and well, talking about bikes is just way more fun than the wX ...
    "Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." - Helen Keller

  19. #19
    nerfherder
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    Hey, can we get this added to the existing setup database sticky?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by wXman
    JPK

    New VPFree owner - and it appears my rig has developed the same "creak" that plagues most VPP bikes.

    I have never taken the axle / pivot assembly apart so from the pics alone it is kinda hard to tell...when you punch the axle out (ref. pics 4-5) what surface is the punch actually bearing on? is it the face-end of the axle? or is it the ID of the axle?

    Reason I ask...if it is the face of the axle, wouldn't that metal - metal contact eventually peen the end of the axle and possibly damage the starter threads for the cap? and similar for if it is on the internal dimension of same?

    I'm sure it will make sense when I take things apart...but I'm at work and well, talking about bikes is just way more fun than the wX ...

    you won't damage the threads i assure you. the punch i used, not that it would matter is a drift punch. when you insert the long, skinny end, the end of the axle butts up against the section of the punch that widens. it never comes into contact with the threads at all. also, it really doesn't take much force at all, espeically if your frame is brand new, to push the axles out. if you're worried about damaging the threads though do this. unscrew the bolt as show in the picture, take the cap off one side, then thread the screw back in 3-4 turns and tap that with a hammer. it will accomplish the same thing, but just be careful you don't wack your frame. as i said, it won't take much force so you should be good. if you want to do the punch approach though, which i feel is easier (the punch was 4 dollars at ace hardware), you'll see when you get it apart that damaging the threads won't be an issue. later if your axle is hardcore siezed, i woudln't start pounding on the axle with the punch. i guess i'd try to find a longer bolt that the same size as the one that holds the axle in and thread it in a good 8 times or so and try hitting that.

    something i wanted to add. if you just got this frame, make sure you email SC for new seals for your pivots. they'll send you some for free. there is another forum that has pictures of them but it would def. be nice if you could anti-sieze your axles and put the new seals on all in one sitting. let me know if i can help you out in any other way.
    here is the link to the newer seals.

    http://www.corystarr.com/erics/New%2...ngs/index.html

    i also emailed them and had them send new seals. when they arrive, i'll snap a few pictures and add them to the pictorial if i can make it seamless.
    Last edited by jpk1080; 11-06-2006 at 06:49 AM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpk1080
    you won't damage the threads i assure you. the punch i used, not that it would matter is a drift punch. when you insert the long, skinny end, the end of the axle butts up against the section of the punch that widens. it never comes into contact with the threads at all. also, it really doesn't take much force at all, espeically if your frame is brand new, it push the axles out. if you're worried about damaging the threads though do this. unscrew the bolt as show in the picture, take the cap off one side, then thread the screw back in 3-4 turns and tap that with a hammer. it will accomplish the same thing, but just be careful you don't wack your frame. as i said, it won't take much force so you should be good. if you want to do the punch approach though, which i feel is easier (the punch was 4 dollars at ace hardware), you'll see when you get it apart that damaging the threads won't be an issue. later if your axle is hardcore siezed, i woudln't start pounding on the axle with the punch. i guess i'd try to find a longer bolt that the same size as the one that holds the axle in and thread it in a good 8 times or so and try hitting that.

    something i wanted to add. if you just got this frame, make sure you email SC for new seals for your pivots. they'll send you some for free. there is another forum that has pictures of them but it would def. be nice if you could anti-sieze your axles and put the new seals on all in one sitting. let me know if i can help you out in any other way.
    here is the link to the newer seals.

    http://www.corystarr.com/erics/New%2...ngs/index.html

    i also emailed them and had them send new seals. when they arrive, i'll snap a few pictures and add them to the pictorial if i can make it seamless.


    Hey jpk1080 & TNC, I personally want to thank you guys for stayin' on top of this stuff, figuring out what is actually going on w/this situation, figuring out a solution & following it through to know it works, and mainly documenting it for the rest of us. Thanks, Thanks a whole lot. It makes me feel better about gettin' a VP Free. I bought a Bullit, (black), instead because of all of the maintanence involved, but now I'm wating on my VP Free & feelin' a whole lot better about too I might add.

    Thanks again.
    "Why are you willing to take so much & leave others in need...just because you can?"

  22. #22
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    I took my entire fram apart last month, do you guys usually take all the pivots out too? I had a hell of a time getting the bottom of the upper pivot back in. just a warning you might want to leave this one in. or did i miss something when installing it back in?
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  23. #23
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    the upper pivots usually don't see as much grim, dirt, etc so naturally they need less maintanence. if you're taking your entire bike apart though, and greasing the axles, pivots, etc, you mine as well remove the top as well as you said you did. i'm surprised you had trouble though putting it back in rather than taking it out. make sure your pivots are lined up perfectly, or in your case pivot/shock bushing, otherwise you may have trouble getting the axle in smoothly. i know when i did my frame i had to have them lined up just right in order to press the axle back in. also, is it possible one of your bearing is either needing to be replaced or damaged somehow. were there any kind of marks on the axles, grooves, grouges, scratches, etc?
    Last edited by jpk1080; 11-06-2006 at 07:10 AM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by man w/ one hand
    Hey jpk1080 & TNC, I personally want to thank you guys for stayin' on top of this stuff, figuring out what is actually going on w/this situation, figuring out a solution & following it through to know it works, and mainly documenting it for the rest of us. Thanks, Thanks a whole lot. It makes me feel better about gettin' a VP Free. I bought a Bullit, (black), instead because of all of the maintanence involved, but now I'm wating on my VP Free & feelin' a whole lot better about too I might add.

    Thanks again.

    I don't mind helping out at all man, i actually kind of enjoy it. we owe all the credit to TNC though. he was able to provide enough knowledge and insight to allow me to lay out the pictorial in as accurate of a manner as i possibly could. He also provided the tools and lubricants that would be needed as well as wear to find them. Any updates on when you'll receive the VP FREE?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpk1080
    the upper pivots usually don't see as much grim, dirt, etc so naturally they need less maintanence. if you're taking your entire bike apart though, and greasing the axles, pivots, etc, you mine as well remove the top as well as you said you did. i'm surprised you had trouble though putting it back in rather than taking it out. make sure your pivots are lined up perfectly, or in your case pivot/shock bushing, otherwise you may have trouble getting the axle in smoothly. i know when i did my frame i had to have them lined up just right in order to press the axle back in. also, is it possible one of your bearing is either needing to be replaced or damaged somehow. were there any kind of marks on the axles, grooves, grouges, scratches, etc?
    I guess my terms might not be right. I was able to tap the bolt and shaft out, and remove everyting so the rear triangle was only being held on by the lower link. When it came time to reinstall the black plasic link, the lower part of the upper link was a bi&*$ to get back in and i scratched the daylights out of my frame to get it back in. does this make more sense? I guess i probrably do not have to take it completly off either.
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