Oiling Swinging Arm

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Jun 3, 2005
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Hi,

I need to get some of the EP140 oil into the swinging arm of my Commando. I haven't got an oil gun to force this in through the nipple, is there any other method to achieve this?

Neil
 
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You can tilt the bike on it's side and remove the nipple or complete end cap and pour it in with an oil can. It should soak into the wicks so it doesn't need pressure (which indeed might cause something to pop off)
 
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I find the only way to do it is to forget the nipple & remove end cap & pour it in with bike on its side. Does anyone in uk have source for 140 oil> I have been using chainsaw oil which is a bit thinner but lasts 12 months between fillings
 
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Geoff said:
I find the only way to do it is to forget the nipple & remove end cap & pour it in with bike on its side. Does anyone in uk have source for 140 oil> I have been using chainsaw oil which is a bit thinner but lasts 12 months between fillings

Excuse my ignorance Geoff, but what do you mean by the end cap and how does it come off?

Cheers
 
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Neil said:
Hi,

I need to get some of the EP140 oil into the swinging arm of my Commando. I haven't got an oil gun to force this in through the nipple, is there any other method to achieve this?

Neil

I use 90W gear oil and put it through the nipple with a small grease gun I bought from Walridge Motors. Seems to work fine. You can also put a length of plastic tubing on a syringe and squirt it through the hole in the center of the swingarm cradle after removing the screw. Bit hard to get at though.
 
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My '74 Mark IIA only has the swing arm spindle locking bolt and even if I got it out, I don't think there is room to put it back in. How do you remove the swing arm end plug to add oil? Was the grease nipple installed in the end plug?
Thanks
Mike
 
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mkjen said:
My '74 Mark IIA only has the swing arm spindle locking bolt and even if I got it out, I don't think there is room to put it back in. How do you remove the swing arm end plug to add oil? Was the grease nipple installed in the end plug?
Thanks
Mike

You must have the welch plugs without any grease nipple? You can always drill and tap one of the welch plugs and install a nipple if you want. Otherwise, you have to get oil in through the spindle locking bolt with a syringe as I describe above. I am not sure what you mean by "I don't think there is room to get it back in". It is threaded so I don't see why it can't be removed to add oil and reinstalled. Can you please elaborate?
 
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Tpeever, what I meant was that without removing the rear wheel, I wouldn't be able to get my hand in there to start the spindle bolt.
Is what you suggest like the Old Brits article on removing the Mark III welsh plugs?
Thanks,
Mike
 
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Hi All - I use a small oil can with a trigger pump, to add the gear oil.

I remove the nipple from the cap & pump the oil in through the hole...
 
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mkjen said:
Tpeever, what I meant was that without removing the rear wheel, I wouldn't be able to get my hand in there to start the spindle bolt.
Is what you suggest like the Old Brits article on removing the Mark III welsh plugs?
Thanks,
Mike

Yeah, getting at that spindle bolt with the wheel on is a tight squeeze alright! I want to try getting mine off today and then squirting oil in through the nipple. With the spindle bolt removed, I should see oil starting to come out which will tell me that the assembly is full of oil. I'll let you know if it's possible.

When I rebuilt my swingarm last year with the Heinz Kegler swingarm fix, I installed the older style caps with the long thin bolt that runs all the way through the spindle and tightens them up. One of these caps had a threaded hole for a nipple. When I originally got the bike it had the welch plugs with no nipple and I couldn't figure out how the hell I was going to get oil in it!! The article on the Old Britts site describes a good way to remove the welch plugs but I am not sure there is enough room to accomplish this on the bike. Getting at the swingarm at all while on the bike is difficult!

If I were you, I think I'd try drilling and tapping a small hole in your welch plug. Then you can fill the oil through the hole and seal it back up with a small bolt and gasket.
 
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Neil, sorry about delay in replying, have not been on forum for several days. The end cap is the round plate with the grease nipple in. If you undothe small hex bolt in the middle it will come off. The bolt is long & engages with the cap the other end of swing arm. Then with the bike leaned right over, just pour the oil in & replace cap. I am not sure about usng EP gear oils as they do attack some kinds of plain bearings, perhaps ther people know better than me about this, also an EP140 gear oil is not the same viscosity as a straight 140 oil, but a lot thinner
 
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Fixing leaks at the swinging arm

Can some of you guys who have worked on the swing arm of a Mk2 with the grease fitting on the RH side explain what is involved to stop a leak at this point? Specifically, can the o-rings (which I assume are the cause of the leak) be replaced with the arm basically in place? The factory manual is not clear on this, they address it in the context of removing the power unit and the swing arm.

If I get into this job just trying to fix the leak, is there more that I should do as part of the job while I am in there. The fresh lube part is understood.

Sorry for the hijack, but it seems related to the other questions.

Thanks.
 

L.A.B.

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Geoff said:
I am not sure about usng EP gear oils as they do attack some kinds of plain bearings,

SAE 140/EP140/EP90 gear oils are all listed as the recommended oils for swinging arm bearing lubrication. If there had been any problems with the EP type attacking the Oilite bush material I think it would be known about by now, but I don't recall hearing anything about swinging arm bush erosion before? Perhaps others have? I think I remember reading somewhere that modern EP oils are formulated so that bearing erosion doesn't generally occur at normal (engine) running temperatures?
 
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Re: Fixing leaks at the swinging arm

Michael A. said:
Can some of you guys who have worked on the swing arm of a Mk2 with the grease fitting on the RH side explain what is involved to stop a leak at this point?

What's leaking? Maybe some RTV needed around the nipple?

My MKII has the MKIIA style swingarm, which has Welch plugs pressed into the ends and no nipple. Oil is retained in felt plugs that fit into the spindle bore and wick to the bushings via felt discs. The only way to remove the plugs is to destroy one (right side) with a drill hole and pull the plug with a slide hammer. Many people install an oil nipple before reassembly, but it's not OEM on the MKII's I've seen.

Specifically, can the o-rings (which I assume are the cause of the leak) be replaced with the arm basically in place? The factory manual is not clear on this, they address it in the context of removing the power unit and the swing arm.

The swingarm can be removed easily after pulling out the spindle. Wheel off, and shocks removed of course. There's a retaining bolt (1/4" fine thread) on top of the cradle tube that must come out first (rather inaccessible but doable).

The spindle is accessible from the right side after removing the end cap. Easier if the footrest and kick lever come off first. The spindle has 1/2-20 threaded holes in the ends, you screw a bolt in and yank. If the spindle isn't corroded it should slide right out.

Whatever is inside there (o-rings, felt plugs) depends on the build date on your bike. Mine was made 8/74
 
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Oiling Swinging Arm
 
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How thick are the righthand Welch plug and felts? I'm going to add a nipple but don't want to drill and tap too deep and hit something expensive.
Thanks
 
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hewhoistoolazytologin said:

Wow!! Is that your oil filler for your swing arm? Great idea. I had heard about someone who fitted some sort of clear sight glass with plastic tubing leading into the spindle lock bolt hole so he could see the oil level. Looks like you have found an equally effective solution!
 

L.A.B.

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mkjen said:
How thick are the righthand Welch plug and felts? I'm going to add a nipple but don't want to drill and tap too deep and hit something expensive.
Thanks

The welch plugs are only sheet metal pressings, but if you drill in the centre you shouldn't hit anything as the swinging arm spindles are hollow.
 
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Would be just perfect...if the o rings around the bushings didn't leak. Have had this setup since 1977 and the bushings are still tight, never had to replace the shaft, just drill it for the two bolts that hold it in the transmission cradle. Typical Norton upgrade. Just don't like the leak-through method of lubrication... :wink:
 
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