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Swingarm cotter removal tips?

Classic Norton Commando Motorcycles.

Swingarm cotter removal tips?

Postby oediehl » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:43 pm

My 'new' 1975 MK III has a pretty loose swingarm, so I started disassembling it today to see what parts I need to replace. I got to the point where I removed the retaining nuts/washers from the two cotters (as the British manual calls them), but I can't get them to budge. My understanding is that I'm supposed to drive them up and out of the swingarm so that I can then remove the spindle, but I gave some pretty good whacks with a hefty plastic mallet (as best I could in the limited space), and nary a budge they gave. When I gave up for the day I filled the 'reservoir' spaces above the cotters and below the rubber caps with WD-40, in the hopes that it will soak in and loosen things up. If that fails I'm thinking I may have to just accept that I'll need new cotters, and see if I can get a pair of vise grips on the exposed threads and try twisting side to side, in hopes of breaking them loose that way. Any other suggestions? A heat gun or propane torch? (probably catch something on fire with the latter)

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Re: Swingarm cotter removal tips?

Postby Mike B » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:14 pm

They can not be twisted, you will only break off the studs. Try putting a nut at the end of the threads, and use a use a small automotive hydraulic jack, or use a real hammer, preferably with a good sized punch.

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Re: Swingarm cotter removal tips?

Postby L.A.B. » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:17 pm

oediehl wrote:I got to the point where I removed the retaining nuts/washers from the two cotters (as the British manual calls them), but I can't get them to budge. My understanding is that I'm supposed to drive them up and out of the swingarm so that I can then remove the spindle, but I gave some pretty good whacks with a hefty plastic mallet (as best I could in the limited space), and nary a budge they gave.


Firstly, when removing cotters, leave the nuts on to begin with, just unscrew them by a turn or two so they are level with the end of the cotter as not only does the nut provide a bigger surface area to hit against, but also helps to prevent the threaded end of the cotter from being distorted as you will probably need to use a hammer rather than a plastic mallet to shock them loose. If the nuts are damaged during the removal process they can easily be replaced.
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Re: Swingarm cotter removal tips?

Postby o0norton0o » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:24 pm

You also may be able to use a small "C" clamp to drive the stud upward by putting a socket on the top bolt, then loosen the nut to the end of the bolt to apply the clamp pressure between the nut on the bottom and the top of the socket which is over the bolt. That will drive the bolt up inside the space in the socket. You won't have to hit anything...
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Re: Swingarm cotter removal tips?

Postby concours » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:19 am

An aluminum drift (NOT brass) , hit with a steel hammer, will yield best results.
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Re: Swingarm cotter removal tips?

Postby Nater_Potater » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:41 am

concours wrote:An aluminum drift (NOT brass) , hit with a steel hammer, will yield best results.

Why not brass? Just curious...

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