Streetboard Tune Up
How to grease your Streetboard's Pivot
Here at Flipside we get asked a lot of questions relating to the best ways to maintain a Streetboard. We were asked recently about what to do if your board's pivot starts to become gritty and doesn't pivot as smoothly as it did when it was brand new, so we thought we'd write an article on it, detailing a very cost effective method of keeping your board running at tip top shape that won't burst a hole in your wallet. This article relates to the WSA Standard "OG" Pivot System.
Occasionally riders can find their pivots start to make a grating noise, or they squeak and aren't as smooth as they once were. This happens when the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Oil that was put in to the pivot upon production dries out and the pivot suffers from a lack of lubrication. There can be a lot of factors that cause this - the most common being dust and dirt. If you're riding somewhere on a regular basis that is dusty, or has dirt or dead grass around then this can get in to the Pivot gradually and eventually dry it out. This can also happen if your board gets wet, for instance if you're out skating and it starts to rain, or if you ride through a puddle, over time this can eliminate the oil in your Pivot, much the same as wheel bearings.
But fear not, all is not lost. If you Oil up your pivot then it will return it to it's former glory. The best oil to use for this is Multipurpose Oil that can be purchased from any larger petrol stations or anywhere car parts are sold. A small can will cost in the region of £2 - £3 and will last a long time as not too much is needed for the Pivot task. Whatever you do, DO NOT use WD40 to lube your pivot. WD40 by nature will get in to all the areas the OEM Oil is, push it out then dry out, sure it will work well in the short term but pretty quickly it will dry out and you'll be left with metal grinding on metal, and most likely a worse situation than you started with. So grab yourself some multipurpose oil.
If you've been riding for quite some time with the gritting noise and harsh turning circle, you may find your needle bearings are shot. If you take it apart and there are rollers missing or bits of it are broken, then you'll need to purchase a new pivot. If everything is still intact, then follow these instructions:
First up you want to take your pivot apart using a spanner and allen key. Be careful when doing this as there are some smaller washers than can easily be lost if due care is not taken.
Once you've taken it apart, place your loose footplate and other half of your board to one side, then lay out all the pivot washers on a piece of paper or newspaper. Please note, you don't need to lube up the kingpin or the washer that sits in the top of your footplate, so leave those out.
The main areas that will need the lube are the large and small needle bearings with the rollers in, the spacer washer that sits in between the large needle bearing and outer pivot washers, and the outer rings on the large washers.
Start by greasing up the needle bearings with the rollers, making sure you get plenty into it. What we mean by plenty is enough to cover the washer and sink in to it, you're lubing your pivots, not taking them for a swim!!! If you absolutely drown them in oil it won't do any harm, but you'll find when you put your board back together it will start to dribble everywhere down your board, so save yourself some hassle and just use a necessary amount!
Next up after the needle bearings you'll probably be able to see black rings on some of the washers where the needle bearings have been rolling over the months/years you've been riding your board. Put a bit of lube over these areas too, and a small coating on the top of the thick spacer washer that sits inside the large needle bearing.
The final lubing is for the internal parts of the pivot. One side of each of these will have been lubed in the earlier process. Take the 2 needle bearings and the thick spacer washer and flip them over, then grease this side so that they are fully lubed up. The larger washers, and the smaller washer that sits between the kingpin nut and small needle bearing only need to be greased on one side, as the other sides are not touching the internal pivot mechanism.
Finally all you need to do is put your board back together and repeat for the other pivot. Once you've finished your board will ride like new again!
If you are unsure of the order in which your pivot is meant to be assembled, please refer to the following diagram:
*Click to view full size*