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Thread: Bad bushings?

  1. #1
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    Bad bushings?

    This is probably a dumb question, but aside from pulling them apart how can you tell if your bushing needs to be replaced? I have had my 5-spot for 3 years and grease the bushings every 2-3months. On my last ride it just didn't seem as smooth an normal so I went to regrease them and found that both o-rings around the bb bushing are stretched out of shape. I assumed immediately that the bushing needs to be replaced - is this correct? Searching the forum, it sounds like the lifespan on the bb bushings are 2 years...so I'm guessing its time.

    This brings up another question...can it damage the frame to ride on a bad bushing? Who knows how long I've been riding before noticing it. And, would it be incredibly stupid to keep riding it while waiting for the parts to come in, or is just a matter of performance?

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
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    Check Tscheezy's guide in his signature or in Turner's website XC maint link for details on bushing service...

    The rubber o-rings are only dust shields. Some are loose to begin with and some get a little loose as the pressureized grease from the pivots push their way out. This has NOTHING to do with the pivot conditons. If your bike operates smoothly and there is no play in the pivots, then you're fine.

    If you're really curious and want to do some service, check TS's guide and swap the pivots about as the one over the BB tends to wear faster than the ones on the seat stay or rocker pivots.
    Last edited by Bikezilla; 11-10-2006 at 09:46 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcdawg
    This is probably a dumb question, but aside from pulling them apart how can you tell if your bushing needs to be replaced? I have had my 5-spot for 3 years and grease the bushings every 2-3months. On my last ride it just didn't seem as smooth an normal so I went to regrease them and found that both o-rings around the bb bushing are stretched out of shape. I assumed immediately that the bushing needs to be replaced - is this correct? Searching the forum, it sounds like the lifespan on the bb bushings are 2 years...so I'm guessing its time.

    This brings up another question...can it damage the frame to ride on a bad bushing? Who knows how long I've been riding before noticing it. And, would it be incredibly stupid to keep riding it while waiting for the parts to come in, or is just a matter of performance?

    Thanks!
    The bushing is really thick, when it will be time to replace it, the shaft will be loose inside of the bushing. Because it is thick, it will be loose for a long time before you'll actually have metal on metal contact. The inner shaft is steel, so it is tougher than aluminum, therefore if you let the bushings go really bad and you wear though the nylon, you'll damage the frame. But you'd need to ride for a really long time with a really loose bushing to do that.

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  4. #4
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    It would be helpful to know how much you weigh and how many hours per week you ride to guess if you should be seeing pivot wear or not. My 130# GF rides about 5 hours per week and it will take half a decade for her to wear a pivot out while I ride a little more, weigh 185#, and can put wear on my main bb pivot in 18 months.

    Really only the main bb pivot ends up experiencing wear as this is where most of the torsional stresses are concentrated. Put the non-drive side crank arm parallel to the chainstay, and with your left hand squeeze the crank arm and chain stay together about half way down the crank arm. With your right hand, spread the two apart again, alternating squeezing and spreading. The easiest way to spread them is to put your hand palm-up, and push on the chain stay with your thumb and pull towards you with your fingers. Stare at the bb pivot as you alternate squeezing and spreading and see if you can see any hint of movement. If you see some, time to replace the pivot hardware. It's very easy. Check my signature.

    The only way I can think of that you could damage the frame would be to have the pivot shaft sieze against the bushing, causing the bushing to rotate inside the frame rather than the shaft to rotate inside the bushing. Pivot wear would make this less likely rather than more likely since the gap between the bushing and shaft would get looser, not tighter over time. I think you have little to worry about.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

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    Thanks!

    Thanks for the responses, guys! I'm 175lbs without equipment. The first season on the bike I was riding 12-15 hours/week. The past two years have been 3-6 hours/week riding about 6 months/year. It definitely feels less smooth than normal, but I haven't noticed any play. I'll try tscheezy's method with the crank tonight and see if the bb bushing is loose.

    So, its pretty easy to replace the bushings? I do most of my own bike maintenance - except for more complicated things like shocks. I have checked out the guide on Turner's site, but will need to pick up a few tools. Can you pick up the torque and torx wrenches at home depot?

    If the bb bushing does need to be replaced, is it best to just replace all of them?

    Thanks again for the responses! I absolutely love this bike - good to know the frame is most likely fine. And, good to know I can get in a ride tomorrow.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcdawg
    Thanks for the responses, guys! I'm 175lbs without equipment. The first season on the bike I was riding 12-15 hours/week. The past two years have been 3-6 hours/week riding about 6 months/year. It definitely feels less smooth than normal, but I haven't noticed any play. I'll try tscheezy's method with the crank tonight and see if the bb bushing is loose.

    So, its pretty easy to replace the bushings? I do most of my own bike maintenance - except for more complicated things like shocks. I have checked out the guide on Turner's site, but will need to pick up a few tools. Can you pick up the torque and torx wrenches at home depot?

    If the bb bushing does need to be replaced, is it best to just replace all of them?

    Thanks again for the responses! I absolutely love this bike - good to know the frame is most likely fine. And, good to know I can get in a ride tomorrow.
    All the bushings, with exception of the Horst Link, have the same dimension. I typically rotate them around during my semi-annual maintenance. The main pivot experiences the most wear, as Tscheezy pointed out, by a long shot. If it is loose, examine the other ones closely, but it is unlikely they will need to be replaced.

    And, while torque wrench is a good idea, I just snug up my bolts. I have not had any problems. I have, however, run into problems with a used Turner frame I had, where the previous owner used Green Loctite, instead of the recommended Blue. I nearly stripped my bolts getting these out. So stick to the Blue when you reassemble.

    _MK
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  7. #7
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    I bought all my torx sockets at Sears, but Home Despot should have them too, and you can find torque wrenches for under 30 bux that are not that hokey bendy bar type - you want the clicky type....these are very affordable and will be ever useful.....why rely mere guesswork - get a torque wrench...Home Despot also sells torque wrenches, but the non-bendy bar types are a lot of money. But, mailorder may help! see below:

    http://www.mrtool.com/browse.cfm/4,233.htm - 20 bux
    http://www.mrtool.com/browse.cfm/4,234.htm - 25 bux


    It's super easy to change out the bushings. You just need something with a flat end, to gently tap the bushing loose from the opposite side....Tscheezy's how to on the turner website is exemplary.....although I use a gigantic cast iron "C" clamp [yes, it's spectacularly way too much tool for the job, but I like it] to press in my bushings instead of the clicky clamp shown on the how-to....Be a little creative and you can find your own method too!

    Good luk! and don't be afraid of messing things up - it's really quite foolproof if you don't rush it the first time.
    Last edited by jokermtb; 11-10-2006 at 10:55 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Haven't you heard. Bushing don't go bad, only bearings go bad!

  9. #9
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    The "bendy" type torque wrenches are supposed to be more accurate, especially at lower torque ranges.

  10. #10
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    Most torque wrenches found in places like Sears or Canadian Tire are meant for automotive applications and their low-end range is typically off the charts for more bike torquing applications. Case in point, referring to Tcheezy's guide (big thumbs up for that), 3.2, 4.2 and 17 ft-lbs of torque is pretty low.

    I opted to get a cheap torque wrench that measures in in-lbs by fishing around on Ebay and what-not. I bought mine from a Canadian outfit called Boss Tools. The brand they sell is called "Michigan Industrial Tools" and this is the one I got for about $20:
    http://www.bosstoolsupply.com/index....OD&ProdID=2876

    Use Froogle.com to try to find one as it's a handy thing to have.
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  11. #11
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    Harbor Freight...

    has a selection of affordable torque wrenches. I picked up a flex beam style that reads in inch lbs and just convert foot to inch lbs when necessary. I found out the hard way after doing a valve adjustment on my brand new RMZ450. I was using a Crafstman torque wrench that started at 10 ft lbs. to re-torque the head cover to a 10 ft lb spec. Needless to say, it didn't work, and cost me $500 for a new cam bridge/head assembly . I now use the inch lbs flex beam for my MTBs and my mx bike (unless it requires at least 30 ft lbs. or more).

  12. #12
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    What people don't realize about the mechanical wrenches is they go to a yield point and then click back to a set point. When you're dealing with larger torque values, some leeway isn't so bad, especially when the fasteners and the bosses are stronger. When you're dealing with tiny numbers, that yield before the click can sometimes be 200% the value you need.

    With a beam type, even though they aren't so cool to use, they are cheap, even for Craftsman, which offers a lifetime warranty on this one. They also don't suddenly yield, but go gradually and are recognized to be more accurate, but less blingy.

  13. #13
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    ouch!

    reminds me of a funny/not so funny story about the first time I ever changed a clutch on my dirt bike......I completely missed the in/lbs and ft/lbs distinction as I torqued down the tiny little clutch basket screws - pop, one head gone. Undaunted, I tried another - musta been a fluke! Pop! Off came another bolt head! WTF!!!

    Yeah, after I worked out the snapped bolts out of the clutch basket with lots of patience and an exacto knife blade, I discovered that yes, there is a difference between in/lbs and ft/lbs.....I felt pretty silly at that point, but only had to buy a couple of replacement bolts.....
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    Beam me up!

    [QUOTE=jokermtb
    "that are not that hokey bendy bar type - you want the clicky type...."

    The hokey bendy bar type never go out of adjustment, but as pointed out they need to be purchased with the job at hand in mind. Park sells two different ranges for this reason. The two tools cover most of the jobs that you will do on a bike.

    The click type need to be reset to zero after use so that you don't over stretch the spring over time. Frankly, my Sears click type that is 30 years old has been bounce around and call me a cheap bastrd, but I'm not going to pay $60 to re-calibrate the tool.

    Go to the Park website and note the ranges that they have chosen. You can find cheaper versions of off brand beam torque wrenches or give Park their due.

    Cheers,

    Kane

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