Replacing small seal behind needle bearing. - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Replacing small seal behind needle bearing.

A couple of days ago I replaced the large o-ring seal and large seal in the rear end hoping it would take care of the infamous leak where the wheel hub and FD housing meet. Was scared to replace the smaller seal #92049-1210 because I dont have a bearing puller and didn't want to get in over my head. Put it back together and rode the bike about 90 miles and unfortunately there was the damn leak again - obviously it was rear end oil as it was quite transparent and didn't pick up too much grease or dirt to make it turn dark. CRAP! - Here we go again! This time I was determined to learn how to replace that damn small seal no matter what! Following is what I did.

As you probably know, the needle bearing has to be removed to get to the small seal. I managed to remove it without any special tools, like the $300 Kawasaki bearing puller - UGH! After removing (and destroying) the small snap clip #92033-1187 that sits above the bearing I went at the bearing at an angle with a flat blade screwdriver from the outside through the axle hole. (Be careful not to damage the edge of the hole itself with the screwdriver) First I caught the edge of the needle rollers themselves and pounded them out. The inner roller cage deforms and they fall out with a little persuasion - all 24 of them! After these are knocked out, a nice edge on the ID of the bearing sleeve is exposed to which you can drive the flat blade screwdriver against to pop it out. It will takes a few pretty hard hits with a hammer in various places evenly around the ID and it will pop out. The small inner seal will then be exposed and can be gently pried out. Then a small amount of grease around the outside of the new seal and some even finger pressure will get it seated fairly well. It can then be tapped home carefully around the outside edge with a small flat punch, being careful not to hit the sealing lip itself.

Next, spread some grease on the outside edge of the new bearing and gently tap it in with a hammer and something flat like a large metal washer, being careful not to hit the rollers themselves. (NOTE: There is a small hole through the side of the bearing that must be lined up with the hole in the FD casing to permit oil flow) I then "set it" all the way in around the edge with a small flat punch, again being very careful not to hit the rollers. If you hit and deform the rollers and/or "cage" that holds them, the bearing is trash and you'll have to start over. After this replace the small snap clip # 92033-1187 with a new one and you are done.

Take your time and be careful with your hits! Also make sure the assembly is firmly suppported with something fairly soft like pieces of wood covered with a cloth so as to not damage the aluminum housing.

I apologize for not taking any pics of this procedure as my camera died. Also, if somebody else has R & R'd the small seal and needle bearing using this method and documented it on the website - I'm sorry for being redundant!

Now I have a question... is it necessary to grease the needle bearing? If I understand correctly, oil will flow in and around the bearing. For this reason maybe grease is not necessary? Any advice?

Thanks! I'm feeling kind of proud! When I get it all put back together, hopefully the leak will be gone! I'll let you know!

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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By the way, My VN750 is a 1998 with about 13K miles on it.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 11:25 PM
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Good writeup dino. I beleve you are the first to mention replacing this particular bearing and seal.
From your description of the hole in the bearing race for oil flow, I would think no grease is needed.
In any event, I have always greased wheel bearings and such, before installing them.


1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Ol' Hoss! Now I'm still waiting for the replacement snap clip that holds everything in place. Funny how a small metal clip prevents you from getting out and riding!

Any thoughts from anybody else on greasing the needle bearing? My only fear, and maybe unwarranted, is that grease might prevent oil from flowing freely around the bearing. The clearances between the bearings and "cage" are quite small. I'm also thinking the grease will "dissolve" anyway once the oil hits it and all will be fine. Think I might be overanalyzing this!


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-28-2012, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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I ended up putting a small amt of Moly paste on the needle bearings just for extra insurance and put everything back together and back on the bike. Took about a 90 mile test ride last night and NO leaking at the hub!!!! Yayyy! Was especially careful to only put in 150ml of lube in the rear drive as is called out in the manual, and didn't go crazy on the amount of Moly paste on the wheel splines. This may have helped get rid of the leak as well.

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