Author Topic: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool  (Read 24974 times)

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Offline Tundra Tom

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Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« on: October 22, 2014, 12:26:24 pm »
Fellow Cogger's,
I thought it would be interesting to pass this tool around the forum for those that want to use it.
It is used to set the steering head bearing torque which on my C-14 was loose. It's the kind of tool you really only need once or twice as in if you are changing your bearings.
So here's how this works:
Reply to this thread that you want it shipped to you. When you receive it, use it within a couple weeks and then you pay to ship it to the next person on the thread that wants it.
The idea is not to let it sit around in your garage (like it has been in mine) for months on end but use it and pass it along.
The procedure itself is easy. Maybe someone like Fred can post it here. Let me know what your thoughts are.



"When my time has come I'd rather be in the Saddle then the Recliner"
1974 Kawasaki H-1 500
1975 Norton 850 Commando
2013 BMW GS 650 Sertao
2008 Suzuki Bandit 1250 Yes, I ride all four of them.:)

Offline Flat-spot

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2014, 02:53:20 pm »
T-Tom,  FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC  of ya!!   PM w/my address coming. :great:
'08 C14
There is no such thing as too much ammo, unless you are on fire or trying to swim.

Offline Tundra Tom

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2014, 03:06:03 pm »
Here's what Fred Harmon posted regarding setting the torque:

According to Kawasaki, the torque value in the manual is used to seat new bearings, not to adjust them. In general, I've found it will get you in the ball park, but the only way to really adjust bearings properly is by feel. Kawasaki calls for 18 ft/lbs on the adjuster, which seems to be close to what other manufactures call for on similar bearings. Honda has you put a spring scale on the forks at a right angle and measure the amount of resistance needed to make them move and tighten or loosen the adjuster to get the desired amount of resistance (2-3 lbs to make it move). However, you have to be careful not to let resistance from hoses and wire harnesses mess up your readings.

The method I have used with good success is to jack the front end up so the front wheel is off the ground, and then slowly start to tighten the adjuster in small increment and check the side to side feel of the steering at the wheel after each adjustment. I continue to tighten until I just start to feel resistance in the side to side movement of the wheel. Once I can feel the resistance, I then go back and start loosening the adjuster nut, just to the point the resistance goes away. Once the resistance just disappears, I stop loosening and lock it in place.

 In order to use this tool, you have to remove the top triple tree from the bike so you can get the socket on the stem. There are a few different ways to attack this, but the best way is probably to unbolt the handle bars from the top triple tree clamp and then loosen the fork pinch bolts and totally remove it from the bike. The other method would be to leave the handle bars connected and try to lift the whole thing out of the way enough that you could get the tool on the stem. Since the clutch and brake hoses and wires run up the handlebar stalks you will be limited in how much you can manipulate it. This is why I think it's probably better to just unbolt the handlebar stalks from the triple tree and then let them hang down out of the way so you can extract the triple tree.

From Me: As for jacking up the front end you can use a scissors jack with a piece of wood under the header pipe while on the center stand. Do this AFTER you have the steering nut exposed. Be CAREFUL to raise it just enough to get the front tire off the floor. It is quite unstable so don't do anything too drastic while jacked up.
Also I set the handle bars onto a towel in front of the dash.

Flat-Spot - PM sent....
« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 05:41:42 pm by Tundra Tom »
"When my time has come I'd rather be in the Saddle then the Recliner"
1974 Kawasaki H-1 500
1975 Norton 850 Commando
2013 BMW GS 650 Sertao
2008 Suzuki Bandit 1250 Yes, I ride all four of them.:)

Offline Walker18

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2014, 03:29:27 pm »
I'm in serious need of the steering head bearing tool, it's loose, and recently feeling ~sloppy~..
Sure glad you stepped up and offered this! May I PLEASE enter my name on the list!

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2012 C-14  'Rudy'

Offline Flat-spot

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2014, 03:43:08 pm »
Walker18,  PM me w/your mailing address and it'll be on its way when I'm done.   :great:
'08 C14
There is no such thing as too much ammo, unless you are on fire or trying to swim.

Offline Tundra Tom

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2014, 04:28:15 pm »
Flat-Spot, Going out today via USPS. I found a nice small round Tupperware container to send it in. This should survive many miles. :great:
Let me know when you receive it.
"When my time has come I'd rather be in the Saddle then the Recliner"
1974 Kawasaki H-1 500
1975 Norton 850 Commando
2013 BMW GS 650 Sertao
2008 Suzuki Bandit 1250 Yes, I ride all four of them.:)

Offline 2fast

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2014, 06:14:54 pm »
Cool Tom....whadda guy!  You should stick a list inside that each user can add their name to when they send it on.   :tool:
Brian in Minnesota

Offline JerBear

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2014, 08:28:19 pm »
I was going to make one at work when I got a chance.  I needed to measure the specific sizes to do that. Does anyone have any dimensions for the OD and ID with the tool you have?  I am willing to make a few but as the OP says the actual usage of this type of tool would be seldom.  I am feeling a very slight clunk when braking and releasing with the front brake but when I changed the front tire I checked for play in the forks and didn't feel much.  I have 26000K on my bike and have not touched the bearing tension. It would be a good idea to have this before I tear into it.
2008 Silverdammit C14

Offline Flat-spot

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2014, 10:40:37 pm »
Thanks T-Tom, will do.

2fast,  I'll start a travel log, maybe a US map too.

JerBear,  I'll post up dimensions when it gets here.
'08 C14
There is no such thing as too much ammo, unless you are on fire or trying to swim.

Offline seagiant1

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2014, 10:49:10 pm »
Hi,
     I thought I heard somewhere that the steering head bearing was not greased that well? Anyone thought of doing that? Hard,easy???
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” -Samuel Adams

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Offline Flat-spot

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2014, 09:49:55 am »
Since it doesn't spin, (in fact barely moves) Mama Kaw might have figured it was better dry so that dirt particles could fall on through instead of "sticking" around to cause damage.  Actually I have no flippin clue.  Brain strolling aimlessly. ::)
'08 C14
There is no such thing as too much ammo, unless you are on fire or trying to swim.

Offline seagiant1

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2014, 02:33:14 pm »
Hi,
       Saw this!  http://www.zggtr.org/index.php?topic=3444.0

Diagnosing and detecting worn or loose steering head bearings
« Last Edit: October 24, 2014, 02:59:11 pm by seagiant1 »
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” -Samuel Adams

"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it"
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." George Orwell

Offline Flat-spot

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2014, 08:16:30 pm »
JerBear,  as promised, here are the dimensions.

                                   O.D.    2.000"                   
                                   I.D.     1.750"                   

                Each "tooth"     Thickness     .125"   (result of above dimensions)
                                        Width           .187"
                                        Height          .178

             
'08 C14
There is no such thing as too much ammo, unless you are on fire or trying to swim.

Offline JerBear

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2014, 01:21:29 am »
Thank you very much flat-spot.
2008 Silverdammit C14

Offline Tundra Tom

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2014, 01:11:42 pm »
All right then. Flat-Spot was it now. Next up: Walker 18.
Maybe post results and tips when finished?
"When my time has come I'd rather be in the Saddle then the Recliner"
1974 Kawasaki H-1 500
1975 Norton 850 Commando
2013 BMW GS 650 Sertao
2008 Suzuki Bandit 1250 Yes, I ride all four of them.:)

Offline Flat-spot

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2014, 01:37:39 pm »
Walker 18,  VERY sorry it took me so long.  Post office said you should have it Wed. or Thur. 
Took me 3 tries.  Make sure you go for a test ride before you send it on.  If it's a tiny bit too tight the bike won't want to keep a straight line.  Spooky.
'08 C14
There is no such thing as too much ammo, unless you are on fire or trying to swim.

Offline Jlewis50

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2014, 10:11:57 pm »
Can I get on the list for the socket?

Offline Flat-spot

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2014, 12:21:22 am »
Jlewis50,  send a PM to Walker18.  I believe he has it.
'08 C14
There is no such thing as too much ammo, unless you are on fire or trying to swim.

Offline Rasmith

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2014, 01:23:10 am »
Pretty Cool
I did the same "Pay it Forward" on another forum with a stem bearing removal tool I made. Amazing how far the tool has traveled so far
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Offline Walker18

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2014, 01:59:58 pm »
Jlewis50,  send a PM to Walker18.  I believe he has it.

Sure do, received it a few days back. I'm improving the packing material to foam, shaped a bit for
the tool, and should last for quite a while. Send me a complete mailing address so I can cut and paste
to a label. It's going to be about a week until I can perform the adjustment and get it shipped to you..

AMA# 1088783
2012 C-14  'Rudy'

Offline Tundra Tom

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2014, 03:14:39 am »
Jlewis50,  send a PM to Walker18.  I believe he has it.

Sure do, received it a few days back. I'm improving the packing material to foam, shaped a bit for
the tool, and should last for quite a while. Send me a complete mailing address so I can cut and paste
to a label. It's going to be about a week until I can perform the adjustment and get it shipped to you..

Thanks for improving the packaging Walker. Let us know how it works out
"When my time has come I'd rather be in the Saddle then the Recliner"
1974 Kawasaki H-1 500
1975 Norton 850 Commando
2013 BMW GS 650 Sertao
2008 Suzuki Bandit 1250 Yes, I ride all four of them.:)

Offline Tundra Tom

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2014, 02:18:32 pm »
Just bringing this back to the top.
 PM sent to Jlewis50. Anyone else in need of this?
"When my time has come I'd rather be in the Saddle then the Recliner"
1974 Kawasaki H-1 500
1975 Norton 850 Commando
2013 BMW GS 650 Sertao
2008 Suzuki Bandit 1250 Yes, I ride all four of them.:)

Offline Walker18

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2014, 10:04:18 pm »
Shipped out to Jlewis50 this morning, might be in by xmas, but no guarantees..
As for the packing, it'll handle a paint shaker, or a FedEx truck ride!


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Offline Stlheadake

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2014, 01:33:36 pm »
Can anyone tell me how involved this procedure is?  I have basic tools, and basic mechanical knowledge, but I'm a little worried it might be much.  I really feel like mine are loose.  I can feel a little 'clunk' in the bars when I hit rough roads, and the bike has always had that goofy shake when you take your hands off the bars. 

Offline Tundra Tom

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2014, 12:24:39 am »
Shipped out to Jlewis50 this morning, might be in by xmas, but no guarantees..
As for the packing, it'll handle a paint shaker, or a FedEx truck ride!

Thank you for the update !
"When my time has come I'd rather be in the Saddle then the Recliner"
1974 Kawasaki H-1 500
1975 Norton 850 Commando
2013 BMW GS 650 Sertao
2008 Suzuki Bandit 1250 Yes, I ride all four of them.:)