Chassis - Page #3 Front Ball Joints, Spindles, Hubs and Wheel Bearings

Oct. 01, 2005 By Patrick J Chicas
Front Ball Joints, Spindles, Hubs and Wheel Bearings

Miracle Substance? Considering, the lack
of maintenance on the
bike, the condition of
the often fragile
u-joint boots, is a

                                                                                                The ball joints look fine. Again, there are no cracks or tearing of the rubber boots and the movement of the mechanism is smooth without excessive play. Our spindles appear to be mostly undamaged, they are not bent and the bearing race is smooth and not pitted or scoured like the wishbone arm bearing spacers. Only the inner dust seal surface shows wear which, can be smoothed with abrassive cloth.

Spared by the Squid! The spindle bearing
surfaces look good. Note, the light wear
on the dust seal
                                Although the wheel bearings look fair, we are sure that they were contaminated by dirt or moisture then cleaned and lubricated haphazardly. The tip off is the extremely poor condition of the inner dust seals. We will replace all bearings and seals as "rebuild" practice. Inspection of the front hubs revealed no issues of concern. We will clean, repaint and redress the wheel lug threads. Rusty discs can be dressed with emory paper. Front Brake Assembly

Check the discs for deep scouring or if they are bent or warped. Place the disc on a flat surface such as a formica countertop or plate of glass. A mirror is handy. The disc should lay perfectly flat on the surface. If there is any deviation, the disc must be replaced or brake performance will be poor. Our discs were mechanicaly okay but, dull and ugly. There are a number of trick looking, slotted and drilled discs out on the market. We expect to acquire a set for our bike.

Inspect Brake Disc (Rotor)
to be true
Lay the disc on a perfectly
flat surface. If the disc
is not true to the flat
surface, it's JUNK.
Our disc pads were well worn but, fortunately not to the point of damaging the disc. The previous, "Squid" owner probably didn't use traditional brakes too often to slow the bike. Nope, this caveman drug his feet "Fred Flinstone" style. The calipers look fine with no indication of leakage. The hoses look fine but, in line with the neat rotors we plan to get, we'll replace the ugly black factory, lines with braided, stainless steel lines. Which will DRAMATICALLY improve brake feel and performance.

Swing Arm and Shock Linkage

Not Spared by the Squid! Lack of a nylon chain
allowed the chain to
deeply wear the soft
aluminum, swing arm. Note, the crack that
almost spans the
swing arm beam in
Our original swingarm was badly cracked at the bolt boss where the nylon chain guard is fastened. Also, the previous owner ran the machine for a long period without a guard which allowed the chain to wear deeply into the aluminum of the swingarm. Both issues could be corrected however, we chose to replace the arm with a clean, used component obtained from Neandrathal's Cycle Salvage, With the arm, the folks at Cycle Salvage, included a complete shock linkage and rear axle carrier.

The shock linkage is a very intricate component that rides in a set of very large, caged roller needle bearings. Examine the bearings and bearing, race surfaces for wear. We will replace the bearings for we found the surfaces to be clean and smooth. If you find pitting and scratches you can attempt a cleanup with emory paper. If the damage is deep, the race surfaces must be replaced. We will replace all seals and bearings in this assembly as "rebuild" practice.

Check the splines at
the end of the axle
for wear. A missing
or cracked spline
spells "fatigue", the
axle should be replaced. Ours is fine but, we will
use a wider (+2 inch) axle
to enhance handling.

The swing arm bushings were heavily pitted and will be replaced. The swing arm shaft shows considerable damage from poor assembly techniques and will be replaced with a used component from Neandrathal's Cycle Salvage .

Rear Axle Carrier and Axle and Hubs

The rear axle bearings were in decent shape but, will be replaced for good measure. Rear axle bearings are a high wear item on the Quadzilla due to the huge torque and heavy weight, be prepared to replace them often. All seals are replaced as a default procedure. Although the rear axle was straight and true and the inboard and hub splines are in good shape we will replace this component with a "Durablue +2" extended width version to enhance handling..As well as their guarantee against bending.

Rear Brake Assembly

Use the same technique for the rear disc as described for the front when evaluating condition. The rear disc is exposed and even with a high quality skid plate is prone to bending or warping. Our disc is fine but like the front discs, it did not clean up well so, we will also replace it and the front discs with a drilled and slotted aftermarket component. Like the front components, our rear caliper and hoses are fine. We'll keep the caliper, replace the pads and use aftermarket braided hose in replacement of the original. We have opted to dump the parking brake on our bike. This feature is totally useless and only ads weight and clutter We'll use a block off plate for this mechanism on the rear caliper as provided by Krause Racing "Sidewinder" stainless steel rear sprocket and "Quadra-Max" o-ring chain. Although the steel sprocket weighs more than an aluminum piece, the lifespan with the matching chain is incredble. With proper mainteance, we expect that we will not replace the chain and sprocket again for many years.  Note: Don't "lube" your O-ring chain. Just a light spray of WD-40 after a wash or operation in water. Chain lubes are sticky and only attract grime, which will cause premature wear and failure.

Not Yet! Various parts, destined
for the chrome shop. Yikes! Those yellow
A-Arms are squidly!

Chrome Shop

Since our bike will spend a good amount of it's life in the dunes where "image" can be important. We have opted for some chrome and polish. The swing-arm will be sent off to be polished. The list of pieces destined for the chrome shop includes the A-arms, inner disc brake dust plates, the footpegs, kick start lever, magneto cover, just about any small part that bolts onto the swing-arm and various other parts that either blend in with like plated components or, standout in proper (or sometimes improper) contrast.

Next Month Mr. Dune will cover the dissasembly and evaluation of engine, trans and primary drive components. There are numerous, important techniques that are an absolute "must know" in this process. Don't miss it!! Stay tuned!! Newsletter
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