Author Topic: Alternate for tools  (Read 1098 times)

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Offline KarlKraft

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Alternate for tools
« on: June 16, 2011, 02:02:10 am »
Quick question:

Are there any good alternatives for the various specialty tools needed to work on the steering and suspension?

Long Question:

I have a 2006 that was purchased by the PO for his MidLifeCrisis, and he took it from crate to straight across country, putting about 24K miles on it.  During that time I think he did zero maintenance.  I recently pulled the antler bolts and found 3 in great shape, and one covered in white rust.  This is a recurring theme on this bike.

I now find myself with a very bad shake as I decelerate @ about 48 mph.  From everything I read this is from the steering head bearings having never been tightened.  While I could just tighten them, the maintenance history leave me wary of just "hiding" the problem.  At this point I would prefer to take the steering apart, and just replace the bearings.  I'm doing all my own wrenching so the labor is free and most of the parts are cheap.

The problem is that when I went to go look for the speciality tools that are in the service manual, I find that they are not cheap.  In fact they are damn expensive.  And at least one specialty tool needed to seat new steering bearings is unavailable.

Sears, Harbor Frieght and others sell generic tools for pulling and setting bearings that are about a third of the "official" speciality tools.  Will these work?  Do I need to make sure they have a certain "size" they support?  Does anyone know a specific part number or place to order cheaper alternatives?

Offline WillyP

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Re: Alternate for tools
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2011, 02:11:59 am »
I can't imagine that you need new bearing at 24k. Why don't you tighten the stem and check them? It is pretty easy to do and you don't need any special tools. Unless you want to buy special tools.  :-[
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Offline norm-9688

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Re: Alternate for tools
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2011, 02:13:24 am »
I could see pulling the head and servicing the bearings if you like but I would doubt they need replacing. I would bet most auto machine shops could press the lower bearing off and put the new one one for you for not much $$ instead of buying tools you may only use once.
     I have 42k on my bike, only adjusted the bearings once and have not pulled the head off to service them yet.

Offline Bob_C_CT

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Re: Alternate for tools
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2011, 11:32:16 am »
I agree with the others. I had the same deceleration shake. Tighten it down and if you don't feel any notchiness while moving bars from steering stop to stop I wouldn't bother replacing the bearings. Just go tight enough so that you have to slightly "nudge" the bars stop to stop. Too tight is not good, bike will want to steer itself. Be aware when you tighten the locknut on top this will tighten the steering a little bit more.
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Offline tim_cannon

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Re: Alternate for tools
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2011, 01:44:01 am »
In 60K miles on two bikes (both 2005 models)  I have never tightened the head bearings.  When I change tires, I have always used a matching set.  I have used Avons, Cheng Shin, OEM Dunlops and Elite3s.  With every set, as the front began to wear, I began to get the head shake.  When replaced the head shake was gone.  The head shake is my first indicator that the tires need replacing.  The Elite3s serve me best due to the longevity.  My current set have ~10k miles and no head shake.

As far as buying tools, Auto zone has specialty tools for loan.  You can pay a deposit, and when you return the tool, the full deposit is returned.
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