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Old 06-11-2019, 05:55 PM   #1
knight rod rob
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Transmission Bearing

Hello Everyone

Well I am in trouble again. Almost 2 years later that trans output bearing has failed again. I am taking it apart again. Dont know why it is failing. I have a couple thoughts. Harley sold me a old bearing thats been sitting awhile. I need to try a different oil. Mobil one as of now. Or I ride it to hard. I dont think thats it. I dont do burn outs, but I do red line often at least 3 times a week. I will send pics of failed bearing. I need to know if there is a better bearing out there. Either that or its a lube issue. I went to drain oil and that drain plug had small metal particles on it. I knew from last time what that might be. And sure enough there is play in bearing and noise. The belt was not to tight like I thought the reason was the last time it failed. So if you race guys or gals have any experience with this issue let me know.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:17 PM   #2
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sounds like your bearing is either overloaded radialy or sideways to fail.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:38 PM   #3
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You can only mount it one way. As far as load I would think that is not supposed to be an issue. Unless two up is an issue. Approx 300lbs together. I guess I want to know if there is a better bearing or is it a oil issue? Click image for larger version

Name:	bearing damage vrod.jpg
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Anyone have any knowledge of this failure. This is what the last bearing looked like. I am still working on tearing down engine.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knight rod rob View Post
You can only mount it one way. As far as load I would think that is not supposed to be an issue. Unless two up is an issue. Approx 300lbs together. I guess I want to know if there is a better bearing or is it a oil issue? Attachment 532809

Anyone have any knowledge of this failure. This is what the last bearing looked like. I am still working on tearing down engine.
Rob: I'd be inclined to send the best pics of the components to a bearing manufacturer or the old bearing itself and have them inspect it. They can probably tell better as to the cause. Sounds like the only thing you can do is switch oil, to something like Amsoil, not that Mobil 1 is crap. Mobil1 formula has changed over the years so it's possible but you'd think any decent oils shouldn't promote failure. This of course is speculation and it might not be lube related but actually bearing quality instead. Determination by analysis would be the best first step. I for one am very curious why you have the bearing fail too soon. As for belt tension, depending on the arc of the swing arm, softness of shocks, might lead to a too tight situation with two up. You could load up and have someone measure the shock bolts center to center. Then strap the bike down to duplicate this measurement and check what the belt tension is at that measurement. As the bike heats up, sprockets expand and swing arm soaks up some heat, it will be tighter then the cold tension check as well. Texas is hot at times. Logically one would think the left wheel bearings would be going out before the trans bearing being they are the weaker of the two. Do you go through these things too?
Ron
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knight rod rob View Post
You can only mount it one way. As far as load I would think that is not supposed to be an issue. Unless two up is an issue. Approx 300lbs together. I guess I want to know if there is a better bearing or is it a oil issue? Attachment 532809

Anyone have any knowledge of this failure. This is what the last bearing looked like. I am still working on tearing down engine.
Is the bad section in the outer race just in the one spot and all the way around on the inner race?
If so and that bad spot on the outer was at the rear side of the motor then this would suggest excessive pre-load. e.g. belt tension.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:56 AM   #6
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Its not all the way around. I am thinking once the race started flaking it got under the rollers and on we go. 😆. Yeah I did not check the swing arm info u gave since bike is practically disassembled. But this I will give a check. Its a double row bearing, you would think it should not have these issues. Since the bike is supposed to handle these stresses during a launch etc. I am really starting to lean toward the oil. The idea of engine oil sharing gear oil never sat well w/ me. Gear oil needs to be a bit heavier around 75 wt. Oh yeah u can believe I will find out what this failure is before going back together. Please anyone give me any info you might have also, and I will keep u posted as I go thru this.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:07 AM   #7
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You checked belt tension at several spots?
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knight rod rob View Post
Its not all the way around. I am thinking once the race started flaking it got under the rollers and on we go. 😆. Yeah I did not check the swing arm info u gave since bike is practically disassembled. But this I will give a check. Its a double row bearing, you would think it should not have these issues. Since the bike is supposed to handle these stresses during a launch etc. I am really starting to lean toward the oil. The idea of engine oil sharing gear oil never sat well w/ me. Gear oil needs to be a bit heavier around 75 wt. Oh yeah u can believe I will find out what this failure is before going back together. Please anyone give me any info you might have also, and I will keep u posted as I go thru this.
The pic you posted appears (although not very clear) to show the damage concentrated at one point on the outer race, hence my previous question. Do you have any better pics. I repair a lot of automotive transmissions so have seen many types of bearing failure, and from what you can see in that pic I would say that doesn't look like a lubrication fault, but more like excessive side loading. Better pics might reveal more.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coastrider View Post
The pic you posted appears (although not very clear) to show the damage concentrated at one point on the outer race, hence my previous question. Do you have any better pics. I repair a lot of automotive transmissions so have seen many types of bearing failure, and from what you can see in that pic I would say that doesn't look like a lubrication fault, but more like excessive side loading. Better pics might reveal more.
I tend to agree. Load failure but it still bugs me why the wimpy wheel bearing under the same loads don't go out, so is it a combo of load and lube related. I do know Amsoil is GL1 rated, but so are several or most good motorcycle oils with a shared gearbox/engine.
Ron
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:25 PM   #10
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I tend to agree. Load failure but it still bugs me why the wimpy wheel bearing under the same loads don't go out, so is it a combo of load and lube related. I do know Amsoil is GL1 rated, but so are several or most good motorcycle oils with a shared gearbox/engine.
Ron
I think the rear pulley bearing is also a double row isn't it? And perhaps the forces are somehow different pulling on the small pulley versus the large pulley. Guessing really but might be something to do with why one fails and not the other.
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:08 PM   #11
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I think the rear pulley bearing is also a double row isn't it? And perhaps the forces are somehow different pulling on the small pulley versus the large pulley. Guessing really but might be something to do with why one fails and not the other.
True. Trans would have more rotations for sure then the rear wheel due to the ratio at the same radial loads.
Ron
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:47 PM   #12
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I would not think the belt is the issue. The belt looks good no abnormal wear. Pulley also. The bike is smooth running no pulses. I just Dont think its external. Since I hear people running with chains and all kinds of higher power engines. Like I said the bearing will only fit one way. My belt always rides toward the outside of the pulley. And I kept slightly on the loose side thinking thats why it failed the last time. At least the first bearing made it to approx 75k. This time only about 15k. There is no shaft movement in the case. I will have engine on the floor Thursday. I only work on it a couple hours a day. Gota work and pay for this 😆 I just wonder if its a bad bearing. I have the belt tensiin gage. That belt is ok. I was wondering if hard decel can be a problem. Just thinking.
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Old 06-13-2019, 03:00 PM   #13
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the pulley flange can be very tight to fit.you havent hit it on with a hammer have you?
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:22 PM   #14
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Just throwing it out there - couple things - one has anyone used a air ratchet removing the front pulley or yoke bolts / nuts ? two how about hammering the drive yoke nut lock down ? The H-D tools for this ( Ron beat me to the yoke holder on an ebay buy ) seem overkill but I'm not too sure - at least you gotta hold the back brake to loosen them but the tools isolate excess forces to the bearing so you need to appreciate that. Can't imagine that Mobil 1 is so bad that a bearing would fail - maybe that SYN 3 crap but even then still probably not. Where that bearing is fretted/abraded is very telling - got any more photos ?
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:08 AM   #15
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Aside from an actual oil starvation problem, personally I think you are on the wrong track with oil. If the lubrication quality of the oil was so poor that a hardened steel double row bearing can fail, just imagine what kind of mess the soft crank shell bearings would be in.
Engine oil is more tha adequate for conventional gears, it is hypoid type gears that require heavier weight EP oils. There are for sure more automotive transmissions running std engine oils and many using thin ATF without problems. I seriously doubt any riding styles would cause this also, look at all the videos you see of people aggressively abusing their bikes. There would be stories everywhere of failures.
Be sure to mark the bearing as to its position in the case before you remove it so you can see the relative position of the damage. I still tbink it will be on the rear side.
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