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  1. #1
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    Replacing bearing issue in Motolite

    I am in the process of replacing the bearings in my Motolite. The old ones were not destroyed but starting to feel notchy when I took them out.

    I have tried pressing in new bearings for the main pivot and every time I get the inner one all the way in, it does not want to move. It's like the bearing seizes in place, almost as if the bore of the hole in the frame is too small and compressing the bearing or something.

    I should have taken it as a warning when the main pivot bolt needed to be hammered out. The question is, is this normal (for the inner bearing to be extremely tight and unable to spin by hand (which I can't imagine) or is the frame defective in some manner (not drilled out sufficiently or something like that). The reason I am connecting dots is because the main pivot bolt should be tight but I doubt I am supposed to hammer it through with that much force.

    I've tried various combinations of pressing the inner bearing in, pressing the inner bearing in most of the way then beginning to press the outer bearing in, pressing all 4 bearings in (with compression sleeve) and assembling the bike to see how it operates, but nothing is making those inner bearings turn the way I think they should. They will turn with effort with the pivot bolt hammered through but my concern is that (aside from the stiction in the pivot when operating like this) it is going to wear a groove and eventually break the pivot bolt.

    When assembled, the inner bearings won't spin by hand but the outer bearings operate normally, and the inner bearings spin freely until they start moving into position on the inside of the frame... almost as if the bore in the frame is tapering in or something, causing a binding in the bearing.

    Thanks for any advice or experience.

  2. #2
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    I didn't experience that with mine. I replaced them only one time though. I hate to say it but maybe try sanding out the inside where you think it may be out of spec. Just a mm shaved off over the entire circumference may make a difference. Gotta be sure you keep the bore perfectly round and don't go too far.

    If I were doing this I might try very fine paper and only moving in one direction, full circles all the way around the pivot bore.

    Your other option is to use a dremmel and p

  3. #3
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    I didn't experience that with mine. I replaced them only one time though.

    I hate to say it but maybe try sanding out the inside where you think it may be out of spec. Just a mm shaved off over the entire circumference may make a difference. Gotta be sure you keep the bore perfectly round and don't go too far.

    If I were doing this I might try very fine paper and only moving in one direction, full circles all the way around the pivot bore.

    Your other option is to use a dremmel and polishing compound and see if you cannot remove any material that way.

  4. #4
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    I've used a "heat gun" (paint removal device) to CAREFULLY heat up the bore to make the brgs go in easier. If you heat it just past the point where it's comfortable to touch, it hasn't hurt the Al any. You have to move fast since the heat dissipates quickly.
    whatever...

  5. #5
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    It's not really a matter of physically getting the bearings in, but that once they are in, the inner ones are so tight that they won't spin. My suspicion is that the ID of the bore is too small, putting too much pressure on the outer bearing race which then makes the inner race too small for the pivot pin and the dimension between outer and inner races too small for the bearings to spin freely.

    At this point I'm interested to see if anyone else has had an issue like this or I have a one-off frame with an issue.

  6. #6
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    Re: Replacing bearing issue in Motolite

    I don't have the save bike, but when I did mine on my yeti I had the same problem, until I figured it that the bearing want seated all the way. I had to do it three times to get it to seat flush and square

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

  7. #7
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    There is a shoulder the inner bearing sits against in the Motolite frame that should prevent the bearing from being crooked, although that's a good thought to consider.

    If the shoulder is machined crooked I have even bigger problems.

    So far, since options have been limited, I've been slowly sanding the inside of the frame to open it up. I started at the point of the inner bearings being seized and am now at a point where they are moving but feel notchy. The plan is to open them up a little more and then use green Loctite to hold the bearings in place (should they need any reinforcement).

  8. #8
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    How have you been pulling the bearings out? You may have toasted them by pressing and pulling too many times. I'd stop where you are and try pressing in some new ones. Use a very thin layer of grease and see how they feel.

    On my ML, I was more concerned with the Horst bushings and the bearings in the rocker than I ever was with the main pivot bearings. If they were right, they got left alone.

    For proof of this, try to induce movement of the Horst pivot at the bushings and see what kind of stiction there is. You'd be amazed that a bike with so much stiction in a pivot could feel so smooth on the trail. Once you do this you will realize that slightly notchy main bearings are no big deal.

  9. #9
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    Typo. If they were tight, not right. No side play, no touch.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cchase86 View Post
    I've been slowly sanding the inside of the frame to open it up.
    What exactly is the id used to place the fresh bearings and what are you using as a press?

    Don't remove any more material from the frame.. it needs to be measured accurately

  11. #11
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    I'm using a Wheels Mfg. bearing press to put the bearings in the frame.

    I didn't measure (with numbers) the dimensions of the frame and bearing, but I did use a set of calipers to measure the ID of the frame and compared it to the OD of the bearing. The frame was too small. You could tell something was not right just from the effort required to press the bearings in. I've pressed bearings on other frames without using this kind of effort.

    I spent about 4 hours sanding the frame and continually pressing the bearings in to check my work and see how it was going. After 4 hours they were pressing in firmly and rolling fairly smoothly so I called it good enough, put green Loctite on the fresh bearings, and installed.

    All I can think is that the frame heated up as they cut the bearing space, causing the hole to be tapered as it went in.

    All is well now, hopefully. The pivot bolt still went in very firmly.

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