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by Jay Fichialos

This is one of those jobs where having the right tool makes all the difference. So if you don't have a pivot bushing replacement tool get one from a friend or, for members of LCUSA, borrow one from the club exchange.

First things first, how do you know your engine bushings need replacement? Two factors generally lead to replacement, first dry rot cracking in the rubber, as the rubber ages it becomes brittle and provides less and less shock absorption. The second factor the leads to the bushing needing to be replaced is when the rubber is pinched or fails at the top allowing the engine to pitch abnormally to one side. Both of these problems are the result of age and its effect on the exposed rubber. Luckily the remedy is an easy 45-60 minute job.

If the engine is still in the bike you'll need to remove the rear floorboards (although the job could probably be done with the floorboards on, I think it opens up a bit more room to work). Next remove the engine pivot bolt allowing the engine to swing down, it's a tight fit but the work can be done from this point. If the engine is out of the frame your all set, in either case at this point your ready to begin removing the old bushings, first attach the outer sleeve over the bushing, run the bolt through the center and on the inside attach the smaller cylinder drift that matches the inner diameter of the bushing. With a wrench and/or ratchet on both sides draw the old bushing out.

Your a quarter of the way done and probably 10 minutes into the job. Now take your new bushing and align it to the engine bracket. You want to make sure the first hole in the rubber of the bushing is at three o'clock or just below and the other holes follow counter clockwise, this is very important if you want the engine to ride correctly and avoid transmitting vibration to the frame. When you have the holes lined up correctly you want to press the bushing in the hole straight so that as you begin to pull the bushing into place it's not at a angle straining the pivot arm and potentially damaging it. Once everything is in place and lined up, attach the large drift to the outside of the bushing and the dished drift to the inside, thread with the bolt and draw the new bushing into place.

Repeat the procedure on the other side and the job is done. Reattach the engine to the frame and your ready to go. The new bushings should last another 20-30 years of use. Many thanks to MB Developments for the tools. ◊◊◊


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