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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #1  
Old 30th May 2020
Scott Scott is offline
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Default '81 swingarm internals

I gutted my '81 swingarm because the internals, mostly bearings and races, were dry, rusty, and scored. I bought all new wear items and am ready to install. Here's the issue: The bearing races are .375" wide (tall?). The surface they get pressed into is .5" (that number doesn't include the threaded portion, just the smooth section). There is no "hard stop" for me to press the races against. If I could do this over, I would have measured the distance from the race to the edge of the swingarm pivot tubes. Does anyone know how far the races (#26 in the drawing) get pressed in? Thank you.



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  #2  
Old 30th May 2020
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Well, there is no set depth as the races are adjusted by the threaded collars to move

inward against the bearing cones.

It's an unusual setup in that we don't adjust the bearing to the race for clearance

but the other way around.
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Old 30th May 2020
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In other words the race goes to the outside and is pushed into the bearing by the caps. The bearing position is fixed as it is bolted to the frame with the narrow side out.

Removing the cap from the left side may have been a mistake. That cap is staked and usually removing it ruins the threads. The depth that cap is installed sets the arm centering.
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Old 30th May 2020
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i looked in the stickys for mention of not removing the left side staked nut.it's there post#10 http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=185355 rick has mentioned it more than once in posts.
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Old 31st May 2020
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So, the threads on swingarm, hexagonal nut, and left side nut (with the two holes) are strong enough to move the race without stripping? Also, I can't be the only one that finds the FSM diagram and parts manual diagram (shown) confusing as hell.
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right.the outer nuts adjust the pre-load on the bearing checked with a fish scale.
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It's not only an unusual style application ,unfortunately it's very poorly described in the service literature.

You're not the first one to scratch their head.
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Old 31st May 2020
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> ...checked with a fish scale.

My favorite part of the whole process!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmom9r View Post
It's not only an unusual style application ,unfortunately it's very poorly described in the service literature.

You're not the first one to scratch their head.
Thank you for restoring my faith in my IQ. This is my first IH swingarm and I can’t imagine why it had to be designed like this. I’ve replaced bronze bushings on older Japanese swingarms. Easy to design, build, and service. Maybe there’s an advantage I don’t understand. I believe some British bikes used tapered roller bearings as well. Surely two continents couldn’t have both been wrong.
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