Santa Cruz Bicycles

Bearing Overhaul Instructions (Blur & Nomad)

Tools required:

  • Bearing Tool Kit
  • Grease Gun (included with frame)
  • (2) ll/16" or adjustable wrenches
  • 9/16" or adjustable wrench
  • Pliers
  • Loctite 242 or 243
  • Mallet
  • Seal pick
  • Metric Allen wrench set
  • Torque wrench
  • Almost all of the bolts on this bike are titanium, so don't use your 10 year old rounded off Allen wrenches. Just the fresh ones, please.

Step 1: Remove Lower Link

The BLT.2/Nomad.2 are designed to be serviced very easily, and does not require removal of cranks, bb, rear wheel or brake to service the pivots. Feel free to leave it fully assembled.

  1. Using a 5mm Allen wrench, remove the two bolts from the non-drive side of the lower link.
  2. Use the same Allen wrench to remove the tapered washers from the pivot axle. Wedge the Allen wrench into the bolt hole and side load it to pop the tapered washer out. (Fig. 1)
  3. Using an 8mm Allen wrench, loosen and remove the pivot axles (Fig. 2)
  4. You may need to tap them out from the drive side once they are fully unthreaded, as sometimes there will be too much friction to pull them out by hand. (Fig. 3)

 

Step 2: Remove Caps and Seals from Lower Link

  1. You should be able to remove all 4 bearing caps by hand.
  2. Pull all 4 bearing seals out with a seal pick or awl. A small blade will work in a pinch. (Fig. 4)

 

Step 3: Remove Lower Link Bearings

  1. You will need the larger of the two bearing removal tools from the BLT.2/Nomad.2 tool kit. Assemble the remover as shown, with the smaller jaws inside the bearing. The flat face of the tool should sit on the bearing. (Fig. 5 )
  2. Slide the removal driver in from the opposite side between the two jaws of the removal tool. Push until the flat face on the driver bottoms on the jaws. (Fig. 6 )
  3. Using a rag or some other sort of padding, hang one half of the link off of a table or vise anvil.
  4. Use a mallet or hammer to tap bearings out while holding the link to the table. The bearings are not held in with Loctite like on the last blur, so they should come out pretty easily. (Fig. 7 )
  5. Repeat for the other 3 bearings.
  6. If you have difficulty removing any of the bearings, see the end of these instructions for an alternate method.

 

Step 4: Clean Lower Link

  • Once all of the bearings are removed, clean the inside of link to remove old grease and dirt. It is important to have the inside of the link clean, so the loctite on the pivot axle is not contaminated later.

 

Step 5: Install New Lower Link Bearings

  1. Assemble the press tool onto the link as shown, with the open side of the bearings facing in. (Fig. 8)
  2. Tighten the nuts by hand to snug everything up. Make sure the bearings and bearing drivers are aligned properly with the link.
  3. Use a pair of 11/16" or adjustable wrenches to press bearings in to the bottom of the bores. Stop immediately if one is going in crooked. Remove it and try again. (Fig. 9)
  4. Repeat for other pair of bearings.
  5. Press the seals on with the smooth side in. It is important to get these seated all the way, so use a blunt object (a 5mm Allen wrench works well) to press the outer diameter of the seal all the way down. (Fig. 10)
  6. Apply a small dab of grease to the protruding part of the bearing caps and install all of them into the seals. Rotate them to ensure there is not excessive friction from the seals. If any are rubbing, remove the cap and re-seat the seal. (Fig. 11)

 

Step 6: Install Lower Link

  1. Clean pivot axles, bolts, and tapered washers of grease and loctite.
  2. Install lower link assembly onto the swingarm first. Make sure it is oriented so that the bump stop properly contacts the swingarm yoke.
  3. Apply Loctite 242 to the threads, and coat the external surface of the slotted end of the axle with grease. (Fig. 12 )
  4. Use an 8mm allen wrench to thread the axle through the link and into the frame. The axle should be only snug- not tight. Think of it like adjusting a headset- you want it as loose as possible while still removing any lateral play. It will vary slightly, but tightening it to 35 in/lbs is a pretty safe bet. This is not very tight
  5. Apply grease to the external surface of one of the tapered washers, and install one of the M6 bolts through it. Apply Loctite 242 to the threads, and tighten to 110 in/lbs. (Fig. 13 )
  6. Repeat steps c- e for the front pivot.

 

Step 7: Remove Upper Link

  1. Use a 6mm allen wrench to remove the rear end of the shock.(Fig. 14)
  2. Remove the seatstays from the upper link as you did the lower link. Sometimes the collet axles get hung up, especially the lower pivot on the upper link. If the non-drive side seatstay starts bowing out when you unthread this axle, tap it back in once you have unthreaded it about halfway (opening a small gap between the seatstay and link). It should come out easily once you have done this once, but you may need to loosen and tap a couple of times progressively to get this one out. (Fig. 15)
  3. Remove the upper pivot axle and remove upper link.

 

Step 8: Remove Upper Link Bearings

  1. These should come out just as the lower link bearings did. See step 3a-3d. Be especially careful to cushion the carbon from the workbench (or whatever you are hanging the link off of) when tapping the bearings out.
  2. Use the smaller tool as shown to remove the small upper bearings. If you have difficulty removing any of the bearings, see the end of these instructions for and alternate method.

 

Step 9: Install New Upper Link Bearings

  1. All 4 upper link bearings should have seals on both sides. Install them so the black seal faces out- and blue in.
  2. For installing the upper bearings, don't use the press adaptors. Just tighten the nuts right onto the bearings. (Fig. 16)
  3. Press the seals on with the smooth side in. It is important to get these seated all the way, so use a blunt object (a 5mm Allen wrench works well) to press the outer diameter of the seal all the way down.
  4. Apply a small dab of grease to the protruding part of the bearing caps and install all of them into the seals. Rotate them to ensure there is not excessive friction from the seals. If any are rubbing, remove the cap and re-seat the seal.

 

Step 10: Install Upper Link

  1. Clean pivot axles, bolts, and tapered washers of grease and loctite. Apply loctite to the threads, and coat all externalnon- threaded surfaces of the axle with grease.
  2. Use an 6mm allen wrench to thread the smaller axle through the link and into the frame. The axle should be only snug- not tight. Think of it like adjusting a headset- you want it as loose as possible while still removing any lateral play. It will vary slightly, but tightening it to 35 in/lbs is a pretty safe bet. This is not very tight
  3. Apply grease to the external surface of the small tapered washer, and install the M5 bolt through it. Apply loctite 242 to the threads, and tighten to 100 in/lbs. (Fig. 17)
  4. Repeat steps a-c for the lower pivot, and torque the M6 bolt to 110 in/lbs.
  5. Apply Loctite 242 to the shock bolt and install the shock onto the upper link.
  6. Torque to 190 in/lbs. (Fig. 18)

 

Step 11: Add Grease to Lower Link

 

  1. Follow the instructions included in the grease gun package to load a grease cartridge into the gun. Squeeze the trigger until you get a consistent flow with no air pockets.
  2. Use a 9/16" or adjustable wrench and some pliers to loosen the nozzle on the gun. Hold the nut stationary and loosen the knurled cap with pliers. A vice with axle clamps also works to hold the knurled cap. (Fig. 19)
  3. Don't loosen the cap too much, just enough where you can press the gun onto the grease fittings on your lower link.
  4. Once it pops onto the fitting, tighten the knurled cap down so the gun grips the fitting. (Fig. 20 )
  5. Fill the link until you feel the pressure increase, then stop.
  6. Loosen the adjusting nut on the grease gun a turn or two and pull gun off the link 

 

Derailleur Hanger Change

  1. Use a 4mm allen wrench to remove both bolts. 
  2. Apply loctite 242 to bolts and install new dropout. Hold hanger straight while you torque the bolts to 80 in/lbs.

 

One of the bearings exploded when I tried to remove it- what do I do now?

  • Unfortunately angular contact bearings are not very strong when you side load them in the opposite direction they were designed to be loaded in. So, sometimes when removing them, they will come apart. The removal tools will remove the outer race if needed, you just need to reverse the orientation of the removal jaws.
  • Remove all of the seals and balls from the broken bearing, and clean out the grease so you can see what is going on.
  • Assemble the tool as shown (fig. 21), making sure that the center tab of the jaw sits perfectly flat on the bearing race.
  • The easiest way we have found is to hold one jaw fully to the side of the bore, and flat against the bearing. While holding this jaw in place, use the rod to separate the two jaws (fig. 22).
  • Just make sure they both stay flat. Usually you can just hold the link in your hand and tap the rod and bearing out. If need be, hold the link on the edge of a table to tap it. The bearing race should come right out (fig. 23).