Steering head bearings replacement

Done a good mod that people might want to copy? Post it here - full step-by-step instructions and pix.

FAQs can go in here too
FasYankee
Minimoto racer
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed May 04, 2016 10:03 pm
Location: Where you'd least expect!

Steering head bearings replacement

Postby FasYankee » Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:44 pm

Ok, so when I discovered that my steering head bearings were knackered due to over torquing I ordered up a set of all-balls tapered roller bearings.

The swap is time consuming a little but generally easy.

First you need to remove the front mask, bars, controls, front brakes, wheel. No need to disconnect the brake lines, just remove the master cylinder off the bars and the calipers from the forks and put the whole system aside.
The clutch and the throttle tube will just hang after disassembly as will the front electrical box that is mounted above the bottom triple tree. To remove the mask you'll need to disconnect any wiring. No need to mark anything because all of the connectors are different so there's no way to plug in things incorrectly upon reassembly. I used a come-along attached to an eye-hook screwed into a ceiling joist to lift the front of the bike and rested the lower moto-hooligan crash bungs on top of some jack stands.

When you're removing the fork tubes to avoid scratching the heck out of them spread the triple clamps with a plastic tipped screwdriver or flat blade with some tape covering it and wedge a couple pennies in them to keep them spread:
Image
Image

The ignition has security screws attaching it to the top clamp, better to unplug the ignition and leave it attached rather than fettle with the screws:
Image
With the front end removed it looks like this:
Image

Next remove the races from the head tube. Easiest way I've found to do this is with a section of 1.25" pipe. The pipe offers a better purchase area on the race. Slide the pile in the head tube at an angle until it catches on the backside of the race. Lightly tap on the other end of the pipe while adjusting the pipe in a circular motion. You need to work the race out rather than blast it out with one blow. After the races are removed clean the head tube area and feel the race seats with your finger to look for any imperfections or gouges...there shouldn't be any. If there are knock down any high spots with a bit of emery paper. You want the race seat to be smooth for re-assembly.
Image

Get yourself a set of seal/race drivers:
Image
IMO this isn't an area you should skimp on, using a block of wood or PVC pipe is a recipe for disaster. Easy to gaff up the races on install without the proper tool. They're cheap enough and worth every penny.
Select the proper driver, 50mm in this case is perfect. Make sure the outside of the race is free from any debris, marks or other imperfections and place it evenly in the head tube. A little assembly grease will assure it seats smoothly and will protect the head tube from corrosion.
Place the driver evenly on top of the race and lightly tap it into place. You'll know when the race is completely seated by the different sound it makes when tapping the driver.
Image
The purple looks nice against the orange, no?

You should have already inspected the bearing packaging and verified that all the parts (bearings, races, seals and o-rings) are there. Reference a parts diagram to make sure you have everything. A note on the bearings/races. The upper and lower bearings and races are exactly the same. The upper and lower seals are different.
Image

Use the package that the bearings came in to pack the new bearings with grease. Really work the grease into the cage making sure that it's sufficiently packed with no dry spots.
Image

Re-assemble everything in reverse order, follow all torque specifications especially the top bolt for the triple clamp. There's only one bolt for torquing the steering head bearings, on top of the triple clamp. 12nm and use some locktite. Follow the front wheel installation method (loose pinch bolts, tight axle nut, loose caliper bolts). Bounce the front end vigorously to seat the axle correctly then tighten the pinch bolts. Zip-tie the brake lever back and then tighten the caliper bolts. This will center everything correctly.

That's it......now enjoy your buttery smooth steering!

User avatar
Sarasota_Steve
moderator
 
Posts: 1202
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:14 pm
Location: Sarasota, FL, USA

Re: Steering head bearings replacement

Postby Sarasota_Steve » Fri Jun 03, 2016 4:33 pm

Good post. Does not seem as intimidating as it sounds.
Thank you for the effort to post a how to. :)
Ride Hard,
------------------
Sarasota_Steve
08 990 SDR

User avatar
Aphex
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1860
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:08 pm
Location: So Cal

Re: Steering head bearings replacement

Postby Aphex » Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:25 pm

Good write up!

I instantly recognized that HF race driver kit :lol:
08 SD, Mivv Suono, Rottweiler airbox. Current map: One some guy sent me from the internet.

Me so Hoony.

FasYankee
Minimoto racer
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed May 04, 2016 10:03 pm
Location: Where you'd least expect!

Re: Steering head bearings replacement

Postby FasYankee » Fri Jun 03, 2016 11:57 pm

Aphex wrote:Good write up!

I instantly recognized that HF race driver kit :lol:


Lol! Thanks, yeah that's one of the things from HF that because of its simplicity you can rely on from them......there's nothing to break! Actually I have a bunch of stuff from them, as long as you realise they're not industrial strength tools and use them as such they're a bargain......I think I paid less than $30 for that set.

User avatar
Aphex
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1860
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:08 pm
Location: So Cal

Re: Steering head bearings replacement

Postby Aphex » Sat Jun 04, 2016 12:20 am

Yup I love HF it's blessing and some times a curse that I have one so close. Their hex sockets and torx sockets are a good value as well.
08 SD, Mivv Suono, Rottweiler airbox. Current map: One some guy sent me from the internet.

Me so Hoony.

FasYankee
Minimoto racer
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed May 04, 2016 10:03 pm
Location: Where you'd least expect!

Re: Steering head bearings replacement

Postby FasYankee » Sat Jun 04, 2016 2:18 am

Aphex wrote:Yup I love HF it's blessing and some times a curse that I have one so close. Their hex sockets and torx sockets are a good value as well.


I almost got that MC lift table for $119 'cause the girl rang it up incorrectly......alas I couldn't help myself and spoke up that she'd entered it wrong......I figure the $200 difference would have hurt her more than me..... :roll:

User avatar
bazz21
Two wheeled terror
 
Posts: 195
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:28 am
Location: great alpine road oz

Re: Steering head bearings replacement

Postby bazz21 » Sat Jun 04, 2016 5:56 am

good right up but next time never take the cones out that way u do more damage to the tube with out knowing about the best way is to run a weld bead around the cone let cool and they will fall out second use the old cones and a piece of all thread and press the new cones in


Return to How to do it!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests