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#68743 - 03/01/07 2:16 am Heavy oil or grease in the swing arm bushing  
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yellow_cad Offline
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Folsom, CA
I just got a '73 Interstate with 22,000 miles and a swing arm bushing that seems in good shape. Should I use the 140w gear oil or grease for the bushing?


Jim

1970 Triumph Bonneville
1973 Commando Interstate
1971 OSSA MAR
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#68744 - 03/01/07 2:22 am Re: Heavy oil or grease in the swing arm bushing  
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joepenoso Offline
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toronto
use 140 oil or if you can't find it I used STP

joepenoso

#68745 - 03/01/07 2:27 am Re: Heavy oil or grease in the swing arm bushing  
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RF Whatley Offline
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North Georgia, USA
Cad -
I've seen a lot of people place a grease nipple on Norton swing arms, but I have yet to see one that properly lubricates the bushings. Go with the above.


Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!

RF Whatley
Cornelia, GA

"Shop Boy" at Rodi British Bikes
#68746 - 03/01/07 7:09 am Re: Heavy oil or grease in the swing arm bushing  
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Norfolk, UK
Do not (under any circumstances) use grease for the standard Commando swinging arm. The sintered bronze bushes are designed to work with heavy (gear) oil.

#68747 - 03/01/07 11:53 am Re: Heavy oil or grease in the swing arm bushing  
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beltdriveman Offline
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Is it easier to ask a question on these pages than to open and read a manual???
The manual stare EP140 oil. Oilite/sintered bronze bushes are impregnated with oil which rises to the surface to supply lubrication. Grease will stop this as does incorrect machining of it.
HOWEVER my veryt olde Manganese Bronze oilite bumph oilite bush bumph states that SAE40 oil is the std lubricant contained within the oilite bushes.....so did Norton suggest ep{140 SO SOME ACTUALLY stayed within the quickly well worn gap??
Actually, having just spoken to what WAS Manganese Bronze before a management buy out the bushes are as std soaked and impregnated in SAE30 oil. They also stated that for use with stainless steel shafts they impregnate with a 1% 'moly' oil because of the interaction between the stainless and the oilite that can and does cause galling.
Its amazingly simple to pick up the phone and get correct info.
Personally I dont think for swinging arm pivots you cam beat 50p each sealed for life ball race bearings and bung two in each side. Wonder if thats possible with Commando sw arms??.... 'IMPROVE YOUR HANDLING 500%...fit one of our new Comando swinging arms with ball race pivots.......ONLY $500 exchange'. And people would buy them and many would probably tell the World about the improved handling.
No spell or grammewr checks.

#68748 - 03/01/07 12:42 pm Re: Heavy oil or grease in the swing arm bushing  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,949
Rich B Online happy
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Stone Creek OH USA
BDM sez:

"Its amazingly simple to pick up the phone and get correct info." - For those who live on the eastern side of the pond, it is easy to make a call when the supplier is UK based. Little more difficult for the forum members that live on the western side of the pond. Most don't like the trans Atlantic phone charges..... laugh


Life is too short to drink cheap, bad beer.
#68749 - 03/01/07 1:14 pm Re: Heavy oil or grease in the swing arm bushing  
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ludwig Offline
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belgium
BDM , ball or needle bearings will only improve handling compared to WORN bushings .

#68750 - 03/01/07 1:23 pm Re: Heavy oil or grease in the swing arm bushing  
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Kommandokenny Offline
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McKellar,Ontario
The phone has been replaced by the internet.
Yellow,don't listen to him,[bdm] the forum is for finding and exchanging info. Ask away, I like to answer the easy ones. laugh

As far as the heavy oil in the swing arm goes use the 140 and I mix in a little STP.

I have a machinest freind who has scrolled the pin, or the inside of the bushings, and packed them with grease. I don't know the downside yet, but she don't leak bigt


If Norton made an airplane,would you fly in it?
#68751 - 03/01/07 8:00 pm Re: Heavy oil or grease in the swing arm bushing  
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beltdriveman Offline
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I agree. Dont you go and listen to someone who just to confirm what he already knows, having been involved with a tad of real Engineering over the decades and has an Oilite book, picks up the phone and talks to the technical guy at Oilite Bearings Ltd who make the bushes.... go look up such info on the net... if you can find it.
Assuming you are capable of doing so go look up their telephone number, phone him yourself and learn some FACTS about their products. But I guess anyone who goes and uses grease with oilite bushes is beyond even divine help.

#68752 - 03/01/07 8:16 pm Re: Heavy oil or grease in the swing arm bushing  
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beltdriveman Offline
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Dear Rich B, Gosh and when I want info from race car people in California or from cylinder sleeve people in Los Angeles or Technical managers in Dallas or poor olde Bob Oswald up there in Parkesburg etc it costs me ALL of 3 pence a minute. (Thats 1 1/2 cents a minute) If your calls cost more suggest you start moaning or geting some competition going....As for the time difference big deal, if this olde fart can allow for it anyone can.

#68753 - 03/01/07 8:32 pm Re: Heavy oil or grease in the swing arm bushing  
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johnm Offline
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New Zealand
Actually the problem is at the US end. Despite the supposed competion in telephones and especially mail and courier systems US prices sending international are stunning.

To courier Fedex mail or otherwise send a small parcel from the US to NZ is extraordinarily expensive. On my experience up to ten times more expensive than mailing it using Royal Post and NZ Post United Kingdom to New Zealand. (and its slower- gets stuck in LA for a fortnight)

They do need some competion but given the trade protection barriers the US put up against the rest of the world they only get the US based companies competing - and they are inefficient and charge extortionate prices.

On the flip side the machine parts are generally far higher quality than those made in the UK.

So you get a choice. Fast and cheap transport of rubbish parts from the UK.

or slow and expensive transport of good parts from the US.

That should get soemone worked up !!

and on the original question.

Use the heavy oil not the grease.

It can be hard to get it in. I drilled and tapped an extra hole in the end cap on my 850 to let the air out as you put the oil in. Confusion comes from the fact some books recommend using a grease gun to put the oil in.

#68754 - 03/01/07 8:36 pm Re: Heavy oil or grease in the swing arm bushing  
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78AMIgrad Offline
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Juneau, AK
Come on people! This is a Forum for exchanging ideas and knowledge, be it fact, or off a tad and in need of some correction! And personal or actual road experience sometimes throws the actual written engineered word out the window due to the application, ie., Norton motorcycle.

I don't care who you call, if they are not familiar with the actual application to which the technology is applied, it's all suspect. But still you have to take the information as supplied and apply it to the technology, ie, Norton motorcycle.

#68755 - 03/01/07 9:54 pm Re: Heavy oil or grease in the swing arm bushing  
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L.A.B. Online content
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Norfolk, UK
Quote:
Originally posted by Kommandokenny:
I have a machinest freind who has scrolled the pin, or the inside of the bushings, and packed them with grease. I don't know the downside yet, but she don't leak
Using grease with Oilite (sintered bronze) really isn't a very good idea (scrolling would just reduce the bearing area I would think?) and I don't think the Norton factory 'did it for a bet' but because Oilite is a good bearing material for the application.
Where they possibly did fall short was ensuring the design actually kept the oil where it was supposed to be, and many 'loose' swinging arm bush problems are down to the spindle becoming loose in the cradle, before the later 850 cotter located version.

Possibly the way in which Oilite bearings actually work and why the need for OIL as a lubricant instead of grease isn't fully understood?: http://www.smallparts.com/products/descriptions/tbb-sbb-fbb.cfm

QUOTE:
------------------------------------------
"Oil cushioned Oilite® Sintered Bearings are fabricated from metal powders and contain approximately 18% oil (by volume). This vacuum impregnated oil supplements the strong, pure bronze structure and forms a hydraulic cushion to absorb unusual shocks and impacts, allowing the bearing to carry heavy loads. Self-lubricating Oilite® bearings are separated from the shaft by a protective film of oil. The oil is supplied through thousands of interconnected, oil impregnated pores. Oil rises to the bearing surface when the shaft is in motion and is reabsorbed by the bearing through capillary action when the shaft is idle."
----------------------------------------

So it should really only be necessary to keep the bushes a little damp with oil, and not to flood them with oil, as the 'active' oil is retained within the Oilite bearing structure itself.


Quote:
originally posted by beltdriveman:
ALL of 3 pence a minute. (Thats 1 1/2 cents a minute)
That's actually nearer 6 US cents I think!

#68756 - 03/02/07 12:59 am Re: Heavy oil or grease in the swing arm bushing  
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Kommandokenny Offline
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McKellar,Ontario
I understand the oilite philosophy, but as you are aware the oil leaks out. I bet lots of riders are running around with dry or near dry bushings.
Filling up the swingarm with 140 is not a fun maintenance chore.. If thats the case, then like I said the grease caper might be better than nothing and won't leak out.
On my bike I rigged up a 1/4" socket head screw with a small hole drilled down the length of it, in the pivot hole. I attached a length of plastic hose to it, and keep the hose full of lube, and if some oil leaks out the swing arm, its replenished automatically down the tube.


If Norton made an airplane,would you fly in it?
#68757 - 03/02/07 2:48 am Re: Heavy oil or grease in the swing arm bushing  
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Kommandokenny Offline
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McKellar,Ontario
Quote:
Originally posted by beltdriveman:
picks up the phone and talks to the technical guy at Oilite Bearings Ltd who make the bushes.... go look up such info on the net... if you can find it.

http://www.smallparts.com/products/descriptions/tbb-sbb-fbb.cfm
.


If Norton made an airplane,would you fly in it?
#68758 - 03/02/07 9:57 pm Re: Heavy oil or grease in the swing arm bushing  
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Norfolk, UK
Originally posted by Kommandokenny:
Quote:

I understand the oilite philosophy, but as you are aware the oil leaks out.
I'm not sure you actually do understand completely? As what leaks out is going to be surplus oil .
Once the Oilite bushes have become saturated (by 18% of their volume if the website info is to be believed?) and thus are 'self-lubricating' the rest of the oil then becomes excess oil, so they do not really need to be run in a constant oil bath in the mistaken belief that 'more is better' or that a constant oil supply directly to the bearing faces is required, as the lubricating oil will penetrate completely through the Oilite bush from wherever the Oilite comes into contact with the oil.


Quote:
Originally posted by Kommandokenny:
I bet lots of riders are running around with dry or near dry bushings.
But this 'dry' is maybe your (or their) opinion of dry? Or in other words, not running in an oil bath which for an Oilite bearing would appear to be unnecessary?
So regular application of small amounts of oil would seem to be more beneficial than infrequent large doses (unless a way can be found to contain it within the bearing?)and the later 850s at least appear to be somewhat better in this respect as there is no (intended) way to re-lubricate these bearings!

Quote:
Originally posted by Kommandokenny:
the grease caper might be better than nothing and won't leak out.
Quote from the Commando factory manual:
--------------------------------------------
"REBUSHING THE SWINGING FORK

After long usage, where lubrication has been neglected or where grease has been used instead of the recommended SAE 140 oil, the two flanged bushes working on the spindle may wear...."

--------------------------------------------

#68759 - 03/02/07 10:28 pm Re: Heavy oil or grease in the swing arm bushing  
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78AMIgrad Offline
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Juneau, AK
I once worked with a guy years ago (nearly 30yrs now) and he used to work in a factory where they made bronze bushings. From memory I beleive he told me they impregnated them with a form of Lithium grease in production. It was a breif conversation.

Whether or not these sintered bronze bushings will wick lithium grease I do not know. But I beleive he said they could. I would however recommend picking up the phone and calling the resident sintered bronze bushing guy, but make sure you talk to the right one....

#68760 - 03/02/07 10:31 pm Re: Heavy oil or grease in the swing arm bushing  
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Kommandokenny Offline
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McKellar,Ontario
Lab, Well said .
I did not know the oilite bushings would retain oil like a metal sponge.
How would one know when his bushings needed oil ?How long do they remain saturated? There is no dipstick on the swingarm. It may be better to keep them over oiled than dry??


If Norton made an airplane,would you fly in it?
#68761 - 03/02/07 11:02 pm Re: Heavy oil or grease in the swing arm bushing  
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L.A.B. Online content
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Norfolk, UK
Quote:
Originally posted by Kommandokenny:
Lab, Well said .
I did not know the oilite bushings would retain oil like a metal sponge.
(Well, It was included in the website info and quote I posted earlier) try putting a drop of oil on a spare Oilite bush, it should disappear into the bush completely in a few minutes!


Quote:
Originally posted by Kommandokenny:
How would one know when his bushings needed oil ? There is no dipstick on the swingarm. It may be better to keep them over oiled than dry??
That's it! You (we?) don't know really! Only when they're over-oiled = it leaks out! It's not an ideal situation, I suppose! And it would be wise to err on the safe side, but if most of what is put in rapidly leaks out again then that would seem to confirm the fill amount used was probably a bit excessive!

And of course the lubrication requirement for a different bearing material (like phosphor bronze?) is not likely to be the same.

#68762 - 03/02/07 11:51 pm Re: Heavy oil or grease in the swing arm bushing  
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Kommandokenny Offline
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McKellar,Ontario
When I originally read the oilte info, I understood that it wicked, and fed the surfaces.
I did not understand that it had the ability to retain and reaply oil to the pin.


If Norton made an airplane,would you fly in it?
#68763 - 03/03/07 12:04 am Re: Heavy oil or grease in the swing arm bushing  
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78AMIgrad Offline
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Juneau, AK
The best way to keep these well lubricated is to apply the prefered lubricant in the recommended manner and measure, followed by a brisk ride with radical leaning of the motorcycle to ensure even distribution of the prefered lubricant to all areas of the bushings so they will be allowed a good soaking.

Any questions? wink

#68764 - 03/03/07 12:21 am Re: Heavy oil or grease in the swing arm bushing  
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Kommandokenny Offline
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McKellar,Ontario
Ya, I know, eh ,,,
It started out as ... if I remember correctly,,, " What oil do I use in my swingarm . This forum is the '"cats *** " kk beerchug


If Norton made an airplane,would you fly in it?

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