Seized stem bearing

13 replies to this topic
  • bigtom17

Posted October 16, 2005 - 03:35 PM


I finally pulled by steering shaft to lube or repair the tight steering that I had and have run into a problem. I can not get the lower bearing off the stem. It is bad and can't get it off. Has anyone had this problem? I was thinking of heating it up, any ideas on getting this bearing off the stem.

  • Cosmo

Posted October 16, 2005 - 03:50 PM


Usually you want to press it off using an Arbor press.You might try looking at Applied Racings web site.They have helpful tips for bottom triple clamp installation(same thing).

  • Shawn_Mc

Posted October 16, 2005 - 03:57 PM


The bearing is pressed on and the only way to get it off is to press out the stem. Unless you have to replace the bearing, just grease it where it is...

  • bigtom17

Posted October 16, 2005 - 04:19 PM


So the stem (long shaft) will actually press out of the lower triple clamp. It looks the stem and lower clamp is one piece. My lower bearing was rusted and damaged, needs a new one so I will need a new bearing, already have new ones on the way.

  • qadsan

Posted October 16, 2005 - 05:17 PM


Yes, the stem presses out. It's very quick and simple to do with the right tools, but using the wrong tools can get you into trouble. The stem shaft is tapered and pressing it out the wrong direction through the lower clamp will cause damage, which you'll either need to repair or fix through replacement.

If you decide to press the stem out yourself so you can service or replace the lower bearing, then first make note of how deep the stem in pressed into the lower clamp so you can put it back to the same spec. You'll need to get a steel tube or bushing with a large enough ID so the stem can pass through it. Place this bushing underneath the stem of the lower clamp (stem sticking up) on your press table. Then press the stem down and it will quickly fall through the bushing, so make sure you have something to catch it. You can now easily service or replace this bearing.

You must press the stem back in from the bottom clamp surface to the top. Place your bushing on your press table. Then place the lower clamp on top of the bushing (bottom of clamp facing up) so the stem hole is centered over the bushing hole. Slide the stem into the lower clamp and it should slide through the bushing. Press the remaining part of the stem into the lower clamp so it's depth is set to the exact spec you previously noted.

To install the bearinig, you'll need a tube or bushing that fits over the stem, but it needs to be small enough to contact the inner race of the bearing and not the outer cage of the bearing. Slide the bearing over the stem. Place the tube or bushing onto the press table and place the lower clamp onto bushing so the stem is facing down and going through your tube / bushing, which is pressed against the inner race of your bearing. When you press the lower clamp assembly down by pressing on the bottom of the stem, it will press the bearing back onto the stem. You only want to press enough so the bearing fully contacts the surface of the triple clamp.

It might sound like a lot of work from reading this, but it takes just seconds to do once you have the right size tubes or bushings and a press to work with.

  • bigtom17

Posted October 16, 2005 - 05:40 PM


Thanks qadsan. Now just need to find a way to press this.

  • qadsan

Posted October 16, 2005 - 06:36 PM


Your local Honda shop may do it free for you or for a reasonable price if you talk to the service guys. An auto parts shop that does various kinds of work may also do it for you. Harbor Freight sells a 1 ton Arbor Press for $43 that sometimes goes on sale for $29 and sometimes they have 20% off coupons to make the purchase even more afforable.

You can service the bearing while its on the stem, but if you want to replace it or put it in a bearing packer, etc, then I can see why you'd want to remove it.

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  • J_Daniels

Posted October 16, 2005 - 06:48 PM


I replaced the lower bearing on my CR125 a couple of months ago. It was a bit of a battle, but by cutting off the cage and heating the race, i was able to tap it off with a hammer and chisel. A note here: be careful to tape off the stem threads. They are vulnerable to damage when tapping the race off the stem.

  • Cosmo

Posted October 16, 2005 - 06:48 PM


What Qadsan is correct! If you ruin the stem you MUST purchase a lower clamp,bearing and stem together.If you have the time and just don't feel like dealing with it,I'm sure some of the triple clamp co.'s will do it for a small fee..

  • Docmarkw

Posted October 16, 2005 - 07:43 PM


I had the same problem with mine too. What I did was flat grind the bearing to where it was almost ground through and then was able to break through the rest of the bearing (Inner race) with a screwdriver. If your careful with the grinder this works well.

Putting on the new bearing I found a pipe that only made contact with the inner part of the bearing and used a hammer and tapped on the pipe until the bearing was where it needed to be. Be extremely careful not to hit anywhere on the outer race. It was actually pretty easy.

  • x thread

Posted October 17, 2005 - 07:21 AM


use a small torch and cut the outer cage off then turn upside down and heat the inner race equally and the race should fall off .might have to tap to get started .!!!

  • Shawn_Mc

Posted October 17, 2005 - 08:03 AM


4 guys in a row thrashing about the garage to do something that you really shouldnt do... :banghead:

Take the thing to someplace with a press and do it right. It'll take 5 minutes.

  • bigtom17

Posted October 17, 2005 - 01:44 PM


I tend to agree with shawn, I thought of all the above but don't need to Fudge it up. I called the local bike shop, they said they would do it for 20 bucks. Seems reasonable enough.

  • Docmarkw

Posted October 17, 2005 - 03:12 PM


[quote name='Shawn_Mc']4 guys in a row thrashing about the garage to do something that you really shouldnt do... :banghead:

Give me a break. I don't have a press and it's a simple job. If you want some one else to do it for you thats fine, but I wouldn't say my way is improper. Bottom line is my bearing is replaced and works just fine. :banghead:

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