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  1. #1
    Born In The USA
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Redding, CA.

    GPz swing arm change

    I noticed the '81 Fyfiddy has had a loose swing arm about 5 years ago so I thought I would get right on it. I didn't get all Heino on it, I just wanted it fixed.
    I was going to pay a shop to do it as I am booked, but I shamed myself into it. I have had the new bearings for years, but was told I would need to get some tools to get them out, so I put it off.

    I bought a running parts bike (16k miles, track bike), and have used most of the good stuff that was on it (poor thing), so I thought I would check the swing arm. It was tight, so game on.

    I got one of the chocks out of the van, as the blue one has no center stand. The 1/2" wood shims are because the chocks are made for a 120 tire. I used a pair of garage sale jacks and a 2x4 to raise the back. I pulled it apart, and cleaned and painted the swing arm. It was too hot for the paint to flow out, but I didn't want to wait for morning to paint it. Oh well, it's painted.

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    I brought the other one up and tore it apart. There was nothing big I could point at to explain the side to side slop. The through bolt was not bent or worn, but was .001 smaller at each end than the blue bike, and tight in the frame. The bearings and the sleeve they ran on were not visibly worn either. The blue bike had home made brass shims as thrust washers at each side where the arm slips into the frame. That made it more interesting trying to put it together. I used all the blue bike parts.

    I got it together mostly and quit for the night. Once upon a time I would not have stopped.

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    I rode it across town today, and went over a section of grooved pavement. I noticed it wanted to "hunt" a little, so I did an alignment on it. I got out the light tubes and some bungees.

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    I used to do this on the ZRX1200, but I had to compensate for the rear wheel offset. The idea is to put the bungees close to the rear wheel with enough tension to hold, but not bend them. I checked at the front wheel on each side with the wheel parallel to the tubes. A tiny change at the axle makes a big difference up at the front, and I moved the adjuster screw 1/8 a turn at at time.

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    I used a piece of scrap to check the gaps, and kept at it until it was the same on both sides of the front wheel (front and back).

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    Like other bikes I have checked, the marks on the swing arm are not perfect, and it is 1/4 mark off on this one. I had adjusted it with the marks aligned when I put it together, but that was 1/4 mark off as I discovered, and so it didn't track straight.

    So, it is ready to ride again and it is running well, as usual.
    Last edited by Cadman; 07-22-2019 at 02:10 AM.
    You'll never know how fast you can go, until you go too fast.

    I have discovered that half of being a good rebel is knowing what to rebel against.



    2014 Ninja 1000

    2005 ZX10

    1981 GPz550

  2. #2
    Weirdly Peculiar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Where am I?

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Nice work! An interesting new use for fluorescent tubes.
    2000 Green, 1109, Mikuni 38mm TMR-MJN's, Yosh pipe, ZX-11 cams, Pods, ZX-11 Ignitor, Kwick Kill, Tealdo Stick Coils, Wyn's Sprocket Cover, Ted's Battery Out, MonkeyPincher Rack

    2010 Concours 14 ABS Ball Coddler "The Velvet Missle", 151 HP, lots 'o mods

    "A man's got to know his limitations" Dirty Harry

    He who is right all the time is never always right.

  3. #3
    Born In The USA
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Redding, CA.

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Thanks! But not a new use! That is real old school, but it works. Rich258 taught me that one.
    You'll never know how fast you can go, until you go too fast.

    I have discovered that half of being a good rebel is knowing what to rebel against.



    2014 Ninja 1000

    2005 ZX10

    1981 GPz550

  4. #4
    The Mod Father
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Lisburn.,Northern Ireland

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Yep...,good posting Bill.

    I end up with a lot of old fluorescent tubes from the lights in the school I work in...usually gather up a bunch and take them to the recycling dump..

    Think I'll hold on on to a couple now.....

    Thanks for the reminder of this old trick I'd seen before but forgotten about..

    Well done.
    "A change in behaviour begins when Jesus changes our heart "

    Carina Wells (Mum)
    RIP.

    April 2017 BOTM~2017 BOTY
    #10080

  5. #5
    President of the ZRXOA
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Nice job Bill
    Arash (pronounced "our-ash")

    CAUTION - My forum posts may be worth what you paid for them!

    2005 Green RessuREXtion - Amateur 1224 & Six Speed Installation - Oct 2015 BOTM - Yamaha R6 - Aprilia RS250s

  6. #6
    BadAss Hooligan
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    near Hamburg, Germany

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Nice job indeed and thanks for bringing up that procedure that - even it might be old - I did not know before.

    I have the same adjusters on my Gipsy and did not trust them to straighten that wheel out on the marks. Now I know what to do.

    I feel a little sorry for the blue one. She looks like something that could/should be brought back to life.
    Godspeed Jaco. You're missed down here mate.

    Member number # 10085 ----------- BOTM July 2018 ----------- Restoring the old Gipsy

  7. #7
    Born In The USA
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Redding, CA.

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Quote Originally Posted by Black-ZRX View Post
    Nice job indeed and thanks for bringing up that procedure that - even it might be old - I did not know before.

    I have the same adjusters on my Gipsy and did not trust them to straighten that wheel out on the marks. Now I know what to do.

    I feel a little sorry for the blue one. She looks like something that could/should be brought back to life.
    Ha!! Come and get it!

    I went to look at it in Menlo Park $$$. Guy had a big corner office, with photos on the shelf of when he was in the Special Forces. He was driving a Hummer. $$$ He said there was a time he rode it to appointments.

    We walked into the underground parking garage, and it was back in a corner. I saw new parts on it. He said he took it to the dealer if it needed anything. I said, "I'll take it." "Aren't you going to start it?"

    I made one loop around the garage and into the back of the El Camino I had at the time. I have used; the seat, forks, Fox shocks, fork brace, petcock, a caliper, voltage regulator, the wheels, speedo cable, and now the swing arm. I still have the spare engine/trans with 16k on it. I think I have gotten my $200 out of it.
    You'll never know how fast you can go, until you go too fast.

    I have discovered that half of being a good rebel is knowing what to rebel against.



    2014 Ninja 1000

    2005 ZX10

    1981 GPz550

  8. #8
    BadAss Hooligan
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Shiny Side Up ^

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Name:  attaboy.png
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    Big Harry

    "As you swim the river of life, do the breast stroke. It helps to clear the turds from your path!"
    George Carlin

  9. #9
    President of the ZRXOA
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Quote Originally Posted by Cadman View Post
    Ha!! Come and get it!

    I went to look at it in Menlo Park $$$. Guy had a big corner office, with photos on the shelf of when he was in the Special Forces. He was driving a Hummer. $$$ He said there was a time he rode it to appointments.

    We walked into the underground parking garage, and it was back in a corner. I saw new parts on it. He said he took it to the dealer if it needed anything. I said, "I'll take it." "Aren't you going to start it?"

    I made one loop around the garage and into the back of the El Camino I had at the time. I have used; the seat, forks, Fox shocks, fork brace, petcock, a caliper, voltage regulator, the wheels, speedo cable, and now the swing arm. I still have the spare engine/trans with 16k on it. I think I have gotten my $200 out of it.
    Heck yeah you did! (Get your $200 worth)
    Arash (pronounced "our-ash")

    CAUTION - My forum posts may be worth what you paid for them!

    2005 Green RessuREXtion - Amateur 1224 & Six Speed Installation - Oct 2015 BOTM - Yamaha R6 - Aprilia RS250s

  10. #10
    BadAss Hooligan
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    near Hamburg, Germany

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Probably more intelligent than me - buying a 250€ bike and throw close to another 2,000€ at it.
    Godspeed Jaco. You're missed down here mate.

    Member number # 10085 ----------- BOTM July 2018 ----------- Restoring the old Gipsy

  11. #11
    Devils’ Advocate
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Large and Prickley

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Quote Originally Posted by BASpro View Post
    Nice work! An interesting new use for fluorescent tubes.
    I have a pair of 8' tubes here if you'd like them. I replaced them in the shop and haven't got around to disposing of them.

    ooooooooooooo

    WARNING: ELS Products MAY CONTAIN, or be Made With, Patented Parts, Tools, Components and/or Apparati. Manufacturing Facility DOES Contain Nuts.

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    Pete Aronson
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  12. #12
    Weirdly Peculiar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Where am I?

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Quote Originally Posted by KWICK View Post
    I have a pair of 8' tubes here if you'd like them. I replaced them in the shop and haven't got around to disposing of them.
    I devised a way to use lazzers years ago, same procedure. Thanks.
    2000 Green, 1109, Mikuni 38mm TMR-MJN's, Yosh pipe, ZX-11 cams, Pods, ZX-11 Ignitor, Kwick Kill, Tealdo Stick Coils, Wyn's Sprocket Cover, Ted's Battery Out, MonkeyPincher Rack

    2010 Concours 14 ABS Ball Coddler "The Velvet Missle", 151 HP, lots 'o mods

    "A man's got to know his limitations" Dirty Harry

    He who is right all the time is never always right.

  13. #13
    Hooligan
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Rhode Island

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Quote Originally Posted by Cadman View Post
    Ha!! Come and get it!

    I went to look at it in Menlo Park $$$. Guy had a big corner office, with photos on the shelf of when he was in the Special Forces. He was driving a Hummer. $$$ He said there was a time he rode it to appointments.

    We walked into the underground parking garage, and it was back in a corner. I saw new parts on it. He said he took it to the dealer if it needed anything. I said, "I'll take it." "Aren't you going to start it?"

    I made one loop around the garage and into the back of the El Camino I had at the time. I have used; the seat, forks, Fox shocks, fork brace, petcock, a caliper, voltage regulator, the wheels, speedo cable, and now the swing arm. I still have the spare engine/trans with 16k on it. I think I have gotten my $200 out of it.
    Save it you will find more stuff you need . I have an old race bike I got for parts for mine too .My son used to ride mine before he got his zrx . He stopped for a pizza one day and a guy told him he had the same bike in his back yard and he could have it . So we went and picked it up . My son cleaned the carbs and got it up and running so no parts bike for me . Now when I replace stuff on mine he takes my take off stuff for his . Need to get my carbs clean again and start riding it . Did go get it this spring and bring it to my home garage so maybe I will get to it soon .

    Yours is beautiful

  14. #14
    Born In The USA
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Redding, CA.

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Thank you. It is a 10 footer, and could stand a complete restoration.

    The two bikes are a set, and will go to a new home together some day.
    You'll never know how fast you can go, until you go too fast.

    I have discovered that half of being a good rebel is knowing what to rebel against.



    2014 Ninja 1000

    2005 ZX10

    1981 GPz550

  15. #15
    BadAss Hooligan
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Birmingham, AL

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Nice work Bill... never done it with F-tubes before but great idea.

    You soon learn in the old bike world those adjustment notches can't be trusted. For some strange reason the GPz line were some of the worst for Kawasaki's.

    The red bike looks really nice.... brings back so outstanding memories, thanks for sharing

    Wayne

  16. #16
    Born In The USA
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Redding, CA.

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Thanks, Wayne.

    When I got the red bike 20 years ago, it had been in my friend's barn for 5 years. Corroded from one end to the other, dog ate the seat (the seat you see on the blue one was the repaired one off the red). He had seen me repair a CB350 that had been apart for 17 years with engine trouble, and thought I could fix this one up and we would sell it. I took it apart enough to clean, repair, and paint some parts. I cleaned up the carbs and it ran really good.

    I was between jobs and was broke, but wanted to keep it. "I'll pay ya some day." "OK, here's the title." I found entertainment I could afford for the price of a couple of gallons of gas.

    I went through it again years later, but never a restoration. On a tight road, it's as happy as a bike can be.

    BTW; The marks might be more accurate these days, but the '05 ZX10 is off by the width of the mark, and the '14 Ninja 1k is off by 1/8th of the segment of measure.
    Last edited by Cadman; 07-22-2019 at 03:18 PM.
    You'll never know how fast you can go, until you go too fast.

    I have discovered that half of being a good rebel is knowing what to rebel against.



    2014 Ninja 1000

    2005 ZX10

    1981 GPz550

  17. #17
    BadAss Hooligan
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Birmingham, AL

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    My pleasure

    Great story Bill... always neat to know how people end up the GOOD OLD stuff. Those little 550 and the 750 were really cool bike and super fun to ride.

    You sure did a nice job bring that one back to life a long time ago... I would love to have a 550, 750 or my best ever Kawasaki GPz900R... lots of difference when talking the 900 but is one sweet handling and performing bike.

    I'm sure your 550 turns some heads even today as it did back in the day!

    You're right about the mark... their never spot one but seem to be closer this day and time

    Wayne

  18. #18
    BadAss Hooligan
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Davenport,Florida

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    I wrote a letter to Kawasaki about the side play in my 81 gpz550 swingarm, they said .030 was acceptable and sent some shims along with the reply .
    #1212

  19. #19
    Weirdly Peculiar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Where am I?

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Remember when we aligned wheels with string? What a PITA that was but it's what we had\knew\were taught...

    The marks on my ZRX are off by half a mark.
    2000 Green, 1109, Mikuni 38mm TMR-MJN's, Yosh pipe, ZX-11 cams, Pods, ZX-11 Ignitor, Kwick Kill, Tealdo Stick Coils, Wyn's Sprocket Cover, Ted's Battery Out, MonkeyPincher Rack

    2010 Concours 14 ABS Ball Coddler "The Velvet Missle", 151 HP, lots 'o mods

    "A man's got to know his limitations" Dirty Harry

    He who is right all the time is never always right.

  20. #20
    Weirdly Peculiar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Where am I?

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Quote Originally Posted by eddy21 View Post
    I wrote a letter to Kawasaki about the side play in my 81 gpz550 swingarm, they said .030 was acceptable and sent some shims along with the reply .
    The first winter I had my H1 500 we went through the chassis and suspension. You could move the rear tire more than a half inch sideways due to the plastic swingarm bushings being shot at less than 10K miles. We machined some bronze Oilite bushings for it and corrected the track which was just over 3\8" out by machining new rear wheel spacers. Some Koni shocks and fork work, and it became a pretty good handling bike. No more sideways lurching when I hit the throttle or brake. No more surprises in the middle of corners. Wheelies tracked straight every time.
    2000 Green, 1109, Mikuni 38mm TMR-MJN's, Yosh pipe, ZX-11 cams, Pods, ZX-11 Ignitor, Kwick Kill, Tealdo Stick Coils, Wyn's Sprocket Cover, Ted's Battery Out, MonkeyPincher Rack

    2010 Concours 14 ABS Ball Coddler "The Velvet Missle", 151 HP, lots 'o mods

    "A man's got to know his limitations" Dirty Harry

    He who is right all the time is never always right.

  21. #21
    Born In The USA
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Redding, CA.

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Quote Originally Posted by eddy21 View Post
    I wrote a letter to Kawasaki about the side play in my 81 gpz550 swingarm, they said .030 was acceptable and sent some shims along with the reply .
    I wonder if that is where those shims I found in the blue bike came from. They were pretty worn, but better than nothing.

    If a guy had a helper, he could measure for shims and get a better fit. I needed four hands to put that thing back together.
    You'll never know how fast you can go, until you go too fast.

    I have discovered that half of being a good rebel is knowing what to rebel against.



    2014 Ninja 1000

    2005 ZX10

    1981 GPz550

  22. #22
    Born In The USA
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Redding, CA.

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Quote Originally Posted by BASpro View Post
    The first winter I had my H1 500 we went through the chassis and suspension. You could move the rear tire more than a half inch sideways due to the plastic swingarm bushings being shot at less than 10K miles. We machined some bronze Oilite bushings for it and corrected the track which was just over 3\8" out by machining new rear wheel spacers. Some Koni shocks and fork work, and it became a pretty good handling bike. No more sideways lurching when I hit the throttle or brake. No more surprises in the middle of corners. Wheelies tracked straight every time.
    I have never tried the string.
    Kwick mentioned making bushings to tighten up the swing arm. Actually, I did not expect or think about side play. I thought what I was feeling was worn out bearings. Something more to look for next time.
    You'll never know how fast you can go, until you go too fast.

    I have discovered that half of being a good rebel is knowing what to rebel against.



    2014 Ninja 1000

    2005 ZX10

    1981 GPz550

  23. #23
    Hooligan
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Rhode Island

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Guess I should check the swinger on mine . Could be why it always had that high speed wobble pretty much since it was new . My late brother was the second owner . He bought it with 5000 miles . It always had a wobble at like 100 -120 . You never knew when but you had to keep it doing something.
    It didnt like to just go straight . Seemed fine in the twisties .

  24. #24
    Anything other than BadAss Hooligan
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    San Francisco

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    It is unfortunate that Cadman is not fastidious and diligent.
    Member #1 - AARZRXP

    Quote Originally Posted by ckempf View Post
    Somebody wants to destroy/kill you, kill them back.
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  25. #25
    Born In The USA
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Redding, CA.

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    The guy is a slacker, I tell ya!

    Back in the real world, I don't have enough good hours to keep up with the bikes and everything else.
    You'll never know how fast you can go, until you go too fast.

    I have discovered that half of being a good rebel is knowing what to rebel against.



    2014 Ninja 1000

    2005 ZX10

    1981 GPz550

  26. #26
    Born In The USA
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Redding, CA.

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Quote Originally Posted by riturbo View Post
    Guess I should check the swinger on mine . Could be why it always had that high speed wobble pretty much since it was new . My late brother was the second owner . He bought it with 5000 miles . It always had a wobble at like 100 -120 . You never knew when but you had to keep it doing something.
    It didnt like to just go straight . Seemed fine in the twisties .
    What kind of bike are you talking about, your GPz? Mine will only go 115, WTO, tucked in, 9,000 RPM.
    You'll never know how fast you can go, until you go too fast.

    I have discovered that half of being a good rebel is knowing what to rebel against.



    2014 Ninja 1000

    2005 ZX10

    1981 GPz550

  27. #27
    Devils’ Advocate
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Large and Prickley

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Quote Originally Posted by eddy21 View Post
    I wrote a letter to Kawasaki about the side play in my 81 gpz550 swingarm, they said .030 was acceptable and sent some shims along with the reply .
    We used to replace the needle bearings with Bronze bushings we made in the shop.

    For the Honda CBX/CB750F/CB900F we used CR250 Bronze bushings everyone made for them to replace the plastic bushings.

    ooooooooooooo

    WARNING: ELS Products MAY CONTAIN, or be Made With, Patented Parts, Tools, Components and/or Apparati. Manufacturing Facility DOES Contain Nuts.

    PayPal to: Pete@Hyper-Formance.com
    Or: www.PayPal.me/KWICK
    Pete Aronson
    315 West Elliot Road
    Suites 107-487
    Tempe, AZ 85284
    602-397-4869.

  28. #28
    Devils’ Advocate
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Large and Prickley

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Quote Originally Posted by Cadman View Post
    What kind of bike are you talking about, your GPz? Mine will only go 115, WTO, tucked in, 9,000 RPM.
    Install a header, mod the intake and jet the carbs.

    ooooooooooooo

    WARNING: ELS Products MAY CONTAIN, or be Made With, Patented Parts, Tools, Components and/or Apparati. Manufacturing Facility DOES Contain Nuts.

    PayPal to: Pete@Hyper-Formance.com
    Or: www.PayPal.me/KWICK
    Pete Aronson
    315 West Elliot Road
    Suites 107-487
    Tempe, AZ 85284
    602-397-4869.

  29. #29
    Born In The USA
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Redding, CA.

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    IF I go in there, I plan to go up one main jet size to compensate for the corn. That might take me to the 9,500 red line.
    You'll never know how fast you can go, until you go too fast.

    I have discovered that half of being a good rebel is knowing what to rebel against.



    2014 Ninja 1000

    2005 ZX10

    1981 GPz550

  30. #30
    Hooligan
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Rhode Island

    Re: GPz swing arm change

    Quote Originally Posted by Cadman View Post
    What kind of bike are you talking about, your GPz? Mine will only go 115, WTO, tucked in, 9,000 RPM.
    Yours must be a dog .Mine will run up to red line no problems .Name:  a81gpz1.jpg
Views: 79
Size:  374.9 KB Must be the kerker that gives it the extra 5 mph . Not really sure to be exact as the speedo only goes to 80 on mine . Friends say around 120 topped out . Put more than my share of speedo cables on it over the years Speedo just starts jumping around after 80 till it breaks .


 

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