I’m going to powder coat the swing arm, and the bike has 83,000+ miles on it. So I am removing the swing arm bearings and will replace them.
BMW used two different style bearings on the airhead swing arm: an unsealed 30203 bearing that was changed part way through the 1981 model year (01/1981) to a sealed bearing, FAG 540619. Changes in the swing arm bearing assemble were made at the start of the 1981 model year (09/1980) when the pivot pin was shortened and the dust cap changed to accommodate the 30203 bearing with the shorter pivot pin. Then in January 1981, the sealed bearing was added with it’s included dust cap.
I’ve removed the 30203 bearings before using the tool from Cycle Works.
Cycle Works Bearing Puller Kit
But it won’t fit inside the captive sleeve of the sealed bearing. And I can’t remove the inner race without a puller as it is captive due to the sealed bearing design. So I bought a set of blind bearing pullers for less than $60.00.
This kit has a slide hammer and a set of puller legs when more force–that will be required for the outer race extraction–is needed. There are various size expanding sleeves that cover a wide range of bearing diameters, so I bought it.
Less Than $60.00 Blind Bearing Puller Set
I made a collar so I could use the blind puller to remove the outer race. It cost me $7.00 in parts. I used it to remove on of the outer races and it worked nicely. So, if you have a set of blind bearing pullers, or buy a set like I did, you can remove the outer race by making your own collar.
Washer Rests On Edge Of Tube That Holds The Bearing
Blind Bearing Puller With Jaws Ready To Extract Outer Race
FAG Sealed Bearing Disassembled During Removal
Here is a link to the documentation I wrote about how I did this work.
I’m going to powder coat the swing arm so I need to remove the drive shaft. BMW used two different drive shaft designs on the airheads changing the design in the 1981 model year. This 1983 RS has the second design drive shaft.
Pre-1981 Drive Shaft Components and Swing Arm
Pre-1981 Drive Shaft With Tapered End That Shrink Fits Into Bell Coupling
I’m going to have the heads on this project dual-plugged. Before I sent them to Randy Long who does this work, and more, I did an inspection of the valves to see what I could learn. I documented this work here:
I’m going to have the Nikasil cylinders on this bike replated and honed to match the new 9.5:1 pistons I’m going to install in this build. I’ve learned from a well versed airhead mechanic, Tom Cutter, at Rubber Chicken Racing Garage, that the connecting rods are subject to deformation over time such that the distance between the hole centers of the big end and little end of the rod becomes a bit longer than when new. It’s worth having them checked and the flat of the connecting rod cap machined to achieve the design distance between the hole centers. This is not very expensive and ought to reduce wear and tear on the wrist pin and crank shaft throw.
It’s quite straight forward once you have the top end removed as I document in this write-up: