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Steerring head bearings for front end swap

Old 04-17-2008, 11:43 AM
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Steerring head bearings for front end swap

A little while ago I swapped out the OEM Honda bearings for a set of All ***** tapered bearings. I could feel some slop and when I tightened them I could feel a notch. So out with the old and in with the new.
I have a 929 front end on the bike that has been on there since 01. I have gone through a couple of sets of bearings, and have used OEM ball style, and aftermarket tapered.
Here's my issue. With the new bearings in place the bike feels like it wants to fall into the turns. This happens after a turn is initiated about half way into the lean. It's very unconfidence inspiring. The steering feels "loose" but when I attempt to tighten the bearings to the point that the steering is "firm" it is way more torque than it should be, and it feels notchy and that can't be good.
Has anyone had a similar issue?
For those with front end swaps what bearings are you using?
I'm thinking I should go back to OEM ball bearings but I wanted to check here first.
Thanks
-Mickey
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:20 PM
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You need to tighten them more. It's a fine line between too loose and too tight, especially with tapered rollers. There is actually a specification for it - something like 3lbs using a spring weight, you know, one of those things they use to weigh fish with.

...here it is....
Attached Thumbnails Steerring head bearings for front end swap-bearing-preload.jpg  
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Hawkrider View Post
You need to tighten them more. It's a fine line between too loose and too tight, especially with tapered rollers. There is actually a specification for it - something like 3lbs using a spring weight, you know, one of those things they use to weigh fish with.

...here it is....
I have tried just tightening them, and not had the desired result.
I'll have to take another look.
Thanks for the photo.
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:16 PM
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Oh, and one more thing, when you install the top triple you have to tighten the center nut before you tighten the clamps. Doing it in reverse order will put excess pressure on the lower race and the upper will be loose.
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Old 04-18-2008, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Hawkrider View Post
Oh, and one more thing, when you install the top triple you have to tighten the center nut before you tighten the clamps. Doing it in reverse order will put excess pressure on the lower race and the upper will be loose.
now that is new information. I've definitely been doing it by tightening the clamp bolts first. I'll give that a try. Thanks
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Old 04-19-2008, 09:19 PM
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You understand why, right? Because when you tighten the clamps first and there is some space between the upper clamp and the triple then as you tighten the center bolt it stresses the middle of the clamp downward and stresses the steering stem upward.
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Old 04-20-2008, 04:03 AM
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makes sense to me! =)
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Old 04-20-2008, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Hawkrider View Post
You understand why, right? Because when you tighten the clamps first and there is some space between the upper clamp and the triple then as you tighten the center bolt it stresses the middle of the clamp downward and stresses the steering stem upward.
yeah I get it, I never even put that concept together.
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:47 AM
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OK I've got the front end floating off the ground. Top triple is off, top lock nut is off.
I've torque'd the tension nut enough so that the forks move freely back and forth with just a little resistance. I've changed bearings plenty of times, and this feels good.
One problem, and this is the tail I've been chasing since I put the new bearings in. There is a tiny amount of free play when I move the forks left to right.
Example: when I move the forks to the right slowly as I apply force to move them to the left there is a tiny pause then I feel an engagement and the forks move to the left.
WTF!
Thank you sages for your time.
-Mickey

edit: if I loosen the bearings to the point where I don't feel the hesitation the forks are super loose. Then I put the top triple on, torque the top nut good and tight I can feel the hesitation come back.

Last edited by Mick-e; 04-21-2008 at 11:55 AM.
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