Author Topic: Steering head cups and bearings install  (Read 289 times)

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Offline GKreamer

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Steering head cups and bearings install
« on: May 19, 2018, 06:25:03 pm »
While looking at new bikes last weekend at a local dealer I had my bike looked over for possible trade-in value.  The mechanic said that the steering head bearings needed replacing based upon how the bike felt when he rode it.  He did not say it was in the "unsafe" category at all, but he recommended verifying tightness and/or replacing.

As I have not replaced them yet, the way the bike feels is all that I know.  So I ordered an All Balls bearing kit.  I had planned on doing this 2 years ago when overhauling the bike so I already bought an OTC 4796 Steering Neck Bearing Race Remover.  What I'm wondering is does anyone know if an OTC 4892 Steering Head Bearing Installer will do the trick on a C10?  I have downloaded and read MOB's "Shake, Rattle & Roll" Concourier article and I see he used the actual Kawasaki cup installer tools with all thread, washers and nuts.  Just those 2 Kawasaki parts cost more than the OTC 4892.

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Steering head cups and bearings install
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2018, 07:29:16 pm »
When I replaced mine, and wrote that artical, I borrowed the Kaw tools from a close friend, and did not buy anything, but before you spend money on tools, bearings, and get all freaked out, please disassemble the area of concern, clean and examine what you have, and if there is no catastrophic damage, regrease and reassemble them. Inspection is always the first step, before spending money in gobs..
The person that told you they needed to be rpalced, likely was just digging for excuses on why he didn't want to take the trade in...which is common.

Also, if you do need to replace the bearings, that OTC puller tool is a starting point, but you will still need to modify it as I noted, by chamfering the top "ring" at a 45* angle, to a sharp edge  at the bottom of the rings outer diameter, this allows it to "catch" the edge of the pressed in cup, and pinch in along the perimeter, where the bearing cup is radiused on its edge, and mates with the positive bore of the tube its pressed into.
As the bearing cups vary dimensionally (top and bottom) on the diameter, its takes 2 different driver pilots to install them, that is why I showed the cup drivers and allthread thing... but, you can accomplish it with the proper cup drivers found in most kits, and install them either singly, or in tandem, using allthread and some big washers, or flat bar, drilled for the threaded rod to pull them in... commonly people drive them in using the tool and the handlensupplied in the kit, and hammer them in... I don't like that method, as there is too much chance if installing it cocked to the side, and wedging it up,  just my preference.
The installer kits can be commonly found at most parts stores like Advance Auto, or AutoZone, and they have a loaner tool program, where you leave a deposit, and borrow the set.....  I would have done that myself if I didn't have access to the Kaw assembly tools.

Toughest part is getting the bottom race off the stem itself, for replacement of that and the important bottom grease seal... it takes a lot of creative cursing and methods to get that one off, but most bike shops that are worth anything, have a tool to do it, and will pull it while you wait for $10... well worth it...
While it "looks" like a common split race puller will work, they really don't, almost all of them are to big, too thick, and don't fit in there between the stearing stops on the bottom tripple tree.. I wouldn't stear ya wrong on this, (sorry for the pun), but I bought and returned almost a half dozen of them searching for one that fit.. and ended up cutting that race using an abrasive cutoff wheel, and splitting it with a chisel... which I HIGHLY recommend against doing, as even though I had it wrapped in a rag, shrapnal embedded razor sharp shards in my hands and chest... very painful lesson...that race is as brittle as glass...and explodes when you try what I did.

Best of luck, please, save the pain and agony, do an inspection and clean them first, and if they look good, repack them and re install..
« Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 07:43:40 pm by MAN OF BLUES »

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Offline GKreamer

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Re: Steering head cups and bearings install
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2018, 08:04:06 pm »
Yet again, THANKS MOB!!!  I'll do as you suggest and inspect first.  I'll also snap a few pics and post back here.  Since I bought the new bearings from Amazon I can always easily return them.  I have some Royal Purple synthetic grease leftover from having the ball joints replaced on my truck- it that ok to use on bearings?

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Steering head cups and bearings install
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2018, 08:31:15 pm »
That will work fine... no problem... they ain't a "spinning" bearing...pack it in good once you clean them with solvent...
Just as a reference, for anyone wondering "how to" pack a bearing by hand... I'll add this.. its how my dad tought me 50+ years ago, and I've been amazed that when I show someone this, they always go.."wow, never knew that.."

https://youtu.be/BhL1uAp_WCw

Bottom race is a p.I.t.a. as its captured, and a bit harder to pack, but its doable. Top one is a cinch, as it pops out...
And makesure when you reasssmble, you get that top o ring in place correctly.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 08:37:51 pm by MAN OF BLUES »

30 YEARS OF KAW.....Rich R. (the other one..)  COG 5977  JUSTAMEMBAHNOW

Offline Mettler1

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Re: Steering head cups and bearings install
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2018, 11:24:45 pm »
    MOB KNOWS STUFF!!   :beerchug: :beerchug:
'94 Concours 115,000 miles-- 7th gear,2MM,KB fork brace,Over flowtubes,Stick coils,Tcro shifter,GPS,SiSF'sTorque cams,SPOOKFAK,block off plates, SS brake & clutch lines,KB risers, FENDA EXTENDA, emulators, SiSF carb Spa, Delkevic exhaust, Murphs' knee savers +grips, etc

Offline Daytona_Mike

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Re: Steering head cups and bearings install
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2018, 06:08:26 pm »
Yes he does and always willing to help others.. :beerchug: :beerchug:
We all thank you.. When MOB types we read.!!
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