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bbcmat 09-11-2011 06:27 PM

How "grease swingarm" on 91 paralever?
My 91 R100GS operators manual has a picture of greasing the swingarm with a grease gun behind the black plastic covers on the swingarm shaft.

I don't see a fitting or a grease well behind my black covers - what am I failing to see?



bmwrench 09-11-2011 07:09 PM

Airhead swingarm pins are greased with a conical grease gun tip. An old-fashioned chain saw tip grease adapter works nicely. However, the swing arm bearings on Paralever bikes are not supposed to be greased, as the swingarm vents through them.

Many Paralever bikes have no grease retainer behind the bearings and you could squirt several quarts of grease in there without it getting to the (sealed) bearings.

Grider Pirate 09-12-2011 01:55 PM


Originally Posted by bbcmat (Post 16834341)
My 91 R100GS operators manual has a picture of greasing the swingarm with a grease gun behind the black plastic covers on the swingarm shaft.

I don't see a fitting or a grease well behind my black covers - what am I failing to see?



You are failing to see nothing. The swingarm pivot bearings on the paralever bikes are 'permanently' lubed, which is the manufacturers way of saying you can't lubricate them (without significant dissassmebly). I don't see any reason they couldn't have put a cup behind that race, but then, I don't understand why they didn't 'size' the oil canisters to be the correct depth when fully seated either. :evil

bbcmat 09-14-2011 02:47 PM

Thanks Guys!


CptImagine 12-11-2012 10:09 AM

This might work ??
I'm just reassembling my 93gs, the right swing arm bearings failed . Bone dry and in pieces before I got home . I read the insanity of bearings acting as breathers for the cast swing arm . Does that not mean there's air where grease is supposed to be ? I packed the hey outa the new bearings before installing them in the swing arm . Then smeared a bit back of the bearing . I previously drilled a 3/32" hole on the bottom of the swingarm, on the FD end, center of the boss cast there for a drain plug . I put a 1/16" brass cotter pin in the hole and spread it out . Rain water won't enter, if it gets submerged, I pull the FD rubber boot off that night . Why the SW would develope pressure is beyond me, but the 1/32" air space at the cotter pin should " breath". I just hope it doesn't "suck" air . The driveshaft, FD bearings, and SA bearings are an anual ritual with this MC . Having one or the other fail every year, or about 25k . I figure, when the greasable driveshaft needs grease . The FD bearings can be greased . Now I can use my finger to repack the SA bearing as well . Maybe it will become an ongoing maint schedule or I'm hoping . Has anyone done this, or have a comment about it ?

jackd 12-11-2012 11:52 AM

What kind of grease are you using for your drive shaft? I've got one of those aftermarket units that Ted Porter sells, but there is no documentation with the unit to tell you what to use. For that matter, there isn't even a parts list - and these things are supposedly re-buildable.

bereahorn 12-11-2012 08:01 PM


Stagehand 12-11-2012 08:11 PM

I'm using a regular green BelRay grease on and in the driveshaft. I have the same one you do, Jack, the Emrald Isle one?

Those are pretty good ideas, Cpt. I'm not sure why it pressurizes, other than an enclosed space that changes shape a little bit and heat ups and down, etc. When it does though, I think it pukes the grease out of the bearings, backwards, I think. I like the idea of a different vent than the SA bearings, but maybe something like the airbox valve. That valve is uncomforatable bigger than 3/32 but maybe there's something similar out there.

jackd 12-11-2012 08:24 PM


Originally Posted by Stagehand (Post 20230283)
I'm using a regular green BelRay grease on and in the driveshaft. I have the same one you do, Jack, the Emrald Isle one?

I never heard it called a name. It came in a nice black cardboard box and had nothing in the way of literature enclosed with it. I e-mailed Ted for some info but he had nothing to share with me - I guess he is in the dark as much as we are. I do know the grease in the bearing cups is green....

In my aviation maintenance world, we have been warned not to mix certain greases because they react together and start solidifying. Not a good thing. Gee I never thought about it - I could start a grease thread....

Rob Farmer 12-11-2012 10:49 PM

Says it all -

CptImagine 12-12-2012 05:38 AM

The greasable DS is yet to be aquired
That's what started this bout with my MC . My 1st drive line failure was the right, SW bearing at +/- 20k . I replaced that SA with my spare . At that time I installed the new "greased", bearings and drilled the hole in the SA that I just now installed . About 20K later my 2nd fail was the FD outside bearing, I put my spare FD on with OEM brgs. using Honda moly paste .I put RubberChicken bushings in the then failed FD and shelved that unit . The latest was +/- 25K later, the driveshaft front yoke went away . I installed my spare DS . Upon disassembly, the outside FD brg was very lightly indexed, very little . I used some slimmy hi temp disc brake grease on those bearings, neversiezed the pin/race area and will see what comes down in several thousand miles when it comes down for a DS replacement . Also on the FD pins, having had one rust and explode in there . I now clean the SA and pins with laquer thinner . When screwing the pins in the final 3/4 threads get a dose of Permatex No.2 . You will put the threads outa the SA if you have no heat and the pin has red loctite on it . IMO . The moly paste was OK, in the bearings, but that stuff is not bearing grease . IMO I now have a spare FD, SA, but no DS . With that backround this is where I'm heading, now that there are some inmates viewing this thread currently . What is the best option , NOW, for GS driveshft replacement/rebuild ? I've poured over various sites and can not seem to find current updates . The aftermarket models must have some miles on them now . I guess i'm wondering ....A ....Who's doing the best work rebuilding ? Does the DS need to be removed to grease ? ....B ......Are they redoing the rubber connection ? .......C....... Are there more than one options for replacement versions ? Stagehand, agreed a bullet proof valve in the SA would be the hot setup . Me I'm a retired Ironworker " Simple by Choice", hence the cotter pin idea . The master engineers use the bearings for vents ???? I still am ammmmazzzzzzzed at that . Thanks for any new input . Ride safe, they're all pissed off at you or jealous .

jackd 12-12-2012 06:36 AM

I'm sitting here staring at my GS, getting ready to do my winter maintenance program. Top of the list is my aftermarket driveshaft maintenance and my biggest question is whether or not I have to remove my shaft to install the grease fittings to do the lubrication or is there enough room in there by sneaking past the boots to do the job. Any suggestions here would be well received.

The Taiwanese drive shaft is a thing of beauty, especially as the vibration damper elastomers are easily replaceable. Pop out the circlip and the whole shaft slides into two pieces. I don't have a part number for these bits but I'm sure they will be available when I need them. My biggest concern is getting the shaft out of the swing arm because it was a bit tight going in - the shaft is a couple thou' bigger than the swing arm and I had to take some casting ridges off the inside of the swing arm with a file to get the shaft in. Others have experienced the same problem - some haven't. All in all, the shaft is doing good service and I'm glad I bought it.

Thanks Rob for the Service Bulletin - I'll add this one to my files. I've never had a problem with the swing arm bearings but my final drive bearings have failed a few times. The BMW Dealer in Vancouver said that these are 'one use items only' when I bought my last set. So my guess is that they don't like being removed and re-installed repeatedly. I tend to give mine a cursory check after every ride but I tend to check them visually by looking up inside past the rear rubber boot. If there is no unpleasantness visibly, I leave them alone.

Cordless 12-12-2012 06:40 AM

Rob (or whomever),

Do you know of a place online where ALL of these service bulletins for airheads are located?

I don't have a 100GS but I've got plenty of airheads and I would like to know what BMW has to say about all of them.

CptImagine 12-12-2012 06:49 AM

Driveshaft Greasing
I've had the FD, and SA off with the DS, left bolted to the transmission . That's how I've checked mine for 65K . Remember the 4 distructabolts they use . I believe the import DS needs to be removed from the Transmission to access the grease fitting ? They list the bolts on the page with the DS . I do not know, that for sure, only what I've read . That's one of my concerns as to which DS option to buy .I'm thinking this entire maintainance program must be dealt with annually . To remain maintainance free these things need a day n a half of maintainance annually . At least that is, considering the transmission spline is supposed to be dealt with every 10/15K, alone . I believe the easiest way to lube the transmission spline is . Remove FD, remove SA, loosen Trans, slide it back to lube spline . Reinstall . Grease DS, check relube SA bearings . Check and relube FD bearings .

jackd 12-12-2012 07:31 AM

You just gave me an idea. As previously stated, I don't like disturbing my FD bearings (the BMW Dealer parts computer says they are a one use item in the notes section), so hopefully I can leave these alone for another year. What I'm going to do is undo my boots at the front and rear of the swing arm, undo the swing arm bearing pins and slide the swing arm forwards and backwards to access the front and rear u-joints for greasing/inspection. I just might get enough room to get in there. The vibration damper doesn't need looking at yet.

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