Author Topic: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool  (Read 26081 times)

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Offline Tundra Tom

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2014, 12:26:29 am »
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.

It's really quite simple. From page 1:
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.
"When my time has come I'd rather be in the Saddle then the Recliner"
1974 Kawasaki H-1 500
1975 Norton 850 Commando
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Offline Jlewis50

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2014, 12:01:40 pm »
I received the tool before Christmas. I plan on completing the adjustment this weekend. Drop me a note for whomever needs it next.

Offline Tundra Tom

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2014, 12:55:00 pm »
I don't believe there is anyone in the que. Any takers?
"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 #28 on: January 06, 2015, 05:56:27 pm »
Bump - Anyone want to check your steering head bearing torque?
"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 #29 on: January 15, 2015, 01:05:33 pm »
Bump......
"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 #30 on: February 05, 2015, 04:01:51 pm »
Bump......
"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 Mikes14

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #31 on: February 05, 2015, 10:52:38 pm »
I'm a new owner with an 09 C14 with 38k miles and I'd like to adjust the head bearing. Please let me know how I should proceed. Thanks.

Mike

Offline Tundra Tom

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2015, 11:35:23 pm »
Mike,
PM me your address and I will pass it on to the current holder. As per my first post you will foot the bill to ship it to the next recipient. Instructions are further back in the thread, it's quite easy.
"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 Mikes14

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #33 on: February 06, 2015, 09:31:57 am »
Mike,
PM me your address and I will pass it on to the current holder. As per my first post you will foot the bill to ship it to the next recipient. Instructions are further back in the thread, it's quite easy.

PM sent. Thanks Tom.

Offline Mikes14

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2015, 06:06:32 pm »
I received the tool today and hope to get to the project within 2 weeks. I'll post when I'm finished.

Thanks.

Mike

Offline Tundra Tom

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #35 on: February 23, 2015, 03:48:34 pm »
Mike,
Thank you for the update. So far no other requests. Any takers feel free to reply and PM me your address.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2015, 12:59:20 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 Alan_Yucius_FL

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2015, 01:52:29 am »
Tom, Alan here in S. Fl.  Just PMd you about the Steering Head Bearing. Where is the tool now?   How many hrs does it take to adjust the bearing vs changing both the top and bottom one?  Has anyone found out that one bearing is worn more than the other?  Mine were changed under warranty at 35,000 but now I have 103,000+ on my 09 C-14. Still under warranty but don't know if they would change them again.   May try to squeeze them again for replacement. ;)   Thanks      RIDE SAFE      ALAN

Offline Mikes14

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #37 on: February 26, 2015, 07:44:17 pm »
Tom, Alan here in S. Fl.  Just PMd you about the Steering Head Bearing. Where is the tool now?   How many hrs does it take to adjust the bearing vs changing both the top and bottom one?  Has anyone found out that one bearing is worn more than the other?  Mine were changed under warranty at 35,000 but now I have 103,000+ on my 09 C-14. Still under warranty but don't know if they would change them again.   May try to squeeze them again for replacement. ;)   Thanks      RIDE SAFE      ALAN

I have the tool and should be finished with it next week.

Mike

Offline Mikes14

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #38 on: March 08, 2015, 05:43:10 pm »
I am finished with the steering head bearing tool and when someone else needs the tool, please let me know. Along with Fred's videos this tool made the job so much easier.

Thank you.

Mike

Offline Alan_Yucius_FL

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #39 on: March 09, 2015, 01:29:01 am »
Mike, How long did the job take and what did you find?   Thanks   ALAN

Offline Mikes14

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #40 on: March 09, 2015, 09:46:38 am »
Mike, How long did the job take and what did you find?   Thanks   ALAN

It took about 1 1/2 hours and other than the bearings being really dry (and according to Fred's video's, very common) no surprises. I greased everything up and re-torqued everything to spec. The steering feels very good. Compared to where it was, it feels tighter, so I would guess with 38K miles, it was due for an adjustment. The bearings looked like new.

Mike

Offline Alan_Yucius_FL

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #41 on: March 09, 2015, 08:38:07 pm »
Mike , Did you grease BOTH the upper & lower bearing as far as cleaning & regreasing or only the upper in a hour and a half?

Offline Mikes14

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #42 on: March 09, 2015, 11:01:01 pm »
Mike , Did you grease BOTH the upper & lower bearing as far as cleaning & regreasing or only the upper in a hour and a half?

Both. I cleaned both areas with a rag and packed them well with grease. I was fortunate that the lower bearing popped right back in the housing on the first try. Pretty simple job. The most difficult part of the entire job was removing and reinstalling the plastic shield where the horn mounts above the fender. Other than that, pretty simple.

Offline Alan_Yucius_FL

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #43 on: March 15, 2015, 08:18:33 pm »
Mike, Sent you a PM. Would like the tool next. Thanks   ALAN   :great:

Offline Alan_Yucius_FL

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #44 on: March 22, 2015, 01:18:30 am »
Used the FLOATING SOCKET WRENCH to adjust my Steering Head bearings at the Fl. TECH SESSION held at Steve Sefsick's house today. (3/21/2015)  It went SPLENDID!!  Left the SOCKET w/Steve so he could do his own C-14 bearing. He will pass it on to who ever needs it. Contact him Steve Sefsick   Forum name:  Steve in Sunny Fla.    Any trouble getting in touch w/him let me know & I'll hook you up.        Should have engraved the tool when who ever used it as a permanent record. Small letter names so it could fit many names.    Thanks for the tool and will be intouch when I need it again.      RIDE SAFE & RIDE OFTEN!!               ALAN in S. Fl

Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #45 on: March 22, 2015, 11:25:40 am »
Yup, I've got it, need to do my 09, then maybe a check on the 12. I mean the tools here, why not  ;) steve
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Offline TimR

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #46 on: March 22, 2015, 09:57:06 pm »
I took my 09 to Westside located in Spokane WA for service. I have heard good reports from a couple of people. One rides a C14, the other the big 2000cc cruiser what ever that is.

My 09 is on it's second ext warranty which was bought following directions on the site. The reason I bring this up is because I wanted the triple tree bearings serviced. I know big $ but I'm keeping this bike for awhile.

I mentioned the triple tree was a bit loose and could feel it on hard stops. The service guy said this being loose might be a warranty issue. Now if it is that will be sweet!  I'll keep you posted on the result. 
Blue 1975 Z1B 900, Red 09 C14     I might not be perfect but at least I don't ride a Suzuki

Offline Alan_Yucius_FL

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #47 on: March 22, 2015, 11:31:52 pm »
I took my 09 to Westside located in Spokane WA for service. I have heard good reports from a couple of people. One rides a C14, the other the big 2000cc cruiser what ever that is.

My 09 is on it's second ext warranty which was bought following directions on the site. The reason I bring this up is because I wanted the triple tree bearings serviced. I know big $ but I'm keeping this bike for awhile.

I mentioned the triple tree was a bit loose and could feel it on hard stops. The service guy said this being loose might be a warranty issue. Now if it is that will be sweet!  I'll keep you posted on the result.

Tim, The dealer did my 09 C-14 once at 35,000 miles under original warranty. But it was like trying to pull my own teeth. I stayed on them and Momma Kawi said do it. Almost 80,000 miles later and we (at Steve's Tech Day yesterday) re-adjusted the bearing to eliminate the clunk. 99% better than it was.  Good luck w/the dealer and be sure to mention it is a SAFETY ISSUE because of high speed wobble..

Offline TimR

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #48 on: March 22, 2015, 11:38:28 pm »
Thanks for the info. High Speed wobble? I doubt I'll see it on this bike. The old 900 wobbles at 112 but haven't had a chance to see if it's still there yet. Last time I was going to check it I got stopped running through the gears at 82 in a 60. (our local highway is a two lane and posted at 60)  I got a warning, whew!
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Offline Tundra Tom

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Re: Traveling Steering Head Bearing Tool
« Reply #49 on: April 15, 2015, 01:12:14 pm »
Bump.....
"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.:)