Steering Stem question.


19 replies to this topic
  • Supafreak_711

Posted June 09, 2006 - 10:16 PM

#1

I am in the middle of tearing down my dads 450 (for much needed grease/valve check), and my steering stem bearings need to be replaced. The steering is noticeably affected by the bearings, but can I replace just the bearings and clean off the races real well? Do I need to replace the races as well?

I know that replacing them would be ideal, but the ones on there don't look that bad, its the bearings that have alot of play in them. Also, do I need a special tool to get the races out and back in? I tried to knock them out with a screwdriver and rubber mallet, but it just slipped off.

  • DigilubeJay

Posted June 10, 2006 - 02:25 AM

#2

If the races have no visible wear, and you can't feel any grooving at all, you may be fine just replacing the bearings. A press will be needed to get the races out properly.

  • CRFThumper

Posted June 10, 2006 - 03:11 AM

#3

If the races have no visible wear, and you can't feel any grooving at all, you may be fine just replacing the bearings. A press will be needed to get the races out properly.




I don't know how you can get a press into the "neck" to press the races out but we have always done it with a brass drift and a hammer.Like chain and sprockets,bearings should be replaced as a set with there races.Having said that we have just slapped a bearing in to get going again quickly!

  • Ga426owner

Posted June 10, 2006 - 04:19 AM

#4

You are wasting your time and money not replacing bearings and races as a set -
The races come out with a long punch - with a rounded head - contour of the inner race edge
The lower bearing will need to be removed by either a press or some people will use freeze/ heat

  • Supafreak_711

Posted June 10, 2006 - 09:37 AM

#5

Ok, so since I own neither the rounded punch or a press, would I be better off taking my bike to a dealer/shop to have this done? The thing making me lean against wanting to do this is because of the extra downtime, and the fact that I would have to put the bike back together to get it to them, just so they could take it apart again. Right now both wheels, all the plastic, the seat, and everything that was connected to the steering stem are off. (I just got the shock linkage back on)


Also, taking it to a dealer/shop to have this done wouldnt be the end of the world. I am just trying to start to learn how to fix/maintain bikes myself. Im headed to college next year, so I am going to be without the help of my dad (who doesnt have much motorcycle experience, but tons of car experience that helps out a bit). If I just ordered this punch, would I be able to make due without a press?


Well guys, im leaving tomarrow for a week long cruise (my senior grad pressent). I will see this when I get back (so your posts arent in vain). I am going to try to use this thread for all of my questions as I work through this, rather than make new threads.

Also one last thing, is there a good instruction sheet on how to do this? I know the article in "Technical Articles" really helped me with the shock linkage. Is there a similar page for what I am doing, maybe on thumperfaq?

Well guys, I have to start packing, but thank you very much for the help. I couldnt/wouldnt be able to do it with out you guys.

  • DigilubeJay

Posted June 10, 2006 - 09:43 AM

#6

Well, if a chain is worn, and the sprocket is not, there is no need to change the sprockets out.
Changing both as a set is a rule of thumb that is provided because folks normally don't know when to change a chain out in the first place. They will often let them run way past spec and trash out the sprocekts as well.

If there is no visible damage or grooving on the races, they will be fine. One way to tell for sure is mount up the new bearings and see if there is any play when they are correctly tightened down.

Stem bearings are a low rotational item, and if serviced properly should last almost indefinately.

  • Ga426owner

Posted June 10, 2006 - 11:40 AM

#7

Well, if a chain is worn, and the sprocket is not, there is no need to change the sprockets out.
Changing both as a set is a rule of thumb that is provided because folks normally don't know when to change a chain out in the first place. They will often let them run way past spec and trash out the sprocekts as well.

If there is no visible damage or grooving on the races, they will be fine. One way to tell for sure is mount up the new bearings and see if there is any play when they are correctly tightened down.

Stem bearings are a low rotational item, and if serviced properly should last almost indefinately.


THIS TIME: I totally disagree on your logic - Digi :applause:
If the chain is worn - chances are the sprockets are too - change it all out - otherwise it is a half ass job.....same with the bearings....and after 6 400/426/450 yamis the steering bearings, especially to top, is a high wearing item......serviced properly or not - collar nut tension is key here. I hope you would not treat your wheel bearings on your vehicals or trailer the same here? :prof:

Not trying to start a argument - cause I am sure you have more than enough words to type explaining your opinion, but we totally disagree on these points :D

  • DigilubeJay

Posted June 11, 2006 - 03:47 AM

#8

Ga,
Explain to us how a sprocket that has no visible damage can harm a chain?
All I am saying is if you are measuring your chain like you are supposed to (which 99% if of riders don't) then you will know when the chain is trashed out according to mfg specs. and that will be before there is any damage done to the sprockets. In that instance you can change out the chain only. This isn't my opinion, it is textbook fact.

And wheel bearings...just how do you treat YOUR auto or trailer wheel bearings? They are a high rotational item that have an inherent flaw in their design. I am aware of the flaw and service them accordingly. But since you bring my knowledge of such items into question, maybe you should school us. (shrug)

  • Fastest1

Posted June 11, 2006 - 05:28 AM

#9

Ga,
Explain to us how a sprocket that has no visible damage can harm a chain?
All I am saying is if you are measuring your chain like you are supposed to (which 99% if of riders don't) then you will know when the chain is trashed out according to mfg specs. and that will be before there is any damage done to the sprockets. In that instance you can change out the chain only. This isn't my opinion, it is textbook fact.

And wheel bearings...just how do you treat YOUR auto or trailer wheel bearings? They are a high rotational item that have an inherent flaw in their design. I am aware of the flaw and service them accordingly. But since you bring my knowledge of such items into question, maybe you should school us. (shrug)


The load steering head bearings endure that cause their demise is a vertical load not rotational. Always replace as a set unless poverty has endangered your ability to ride, same goes with chains and sprockets (measuring your chain doesnt tell you anything about your sprockets).

You can always use an extension from a 3/8" or 1/2" set and place it with the female end against the race and use a big fu$%ing hammer not a rubber mallet. Use the old race to drive in the new ones after freezing them. When driving the races in or out make sure you tap evenly all the way around the race to set it in centered. You will hear the change in tone as you drive it in to the stop. It does take quite a bit of force to drive in/out.

  • CRFThumper

Posted June 11, 2006 - 05:35 AM

#10

The load steering head bearings endure that cause their demise is a vertical load not rotational. Always replace as a set unless poverty has endangered your ability to ride, same goes with chains and sprockets (measuring your chain doesnt tell you anything about your sprockets).

You can always use an extension from a 3/8" or 1/2" set and place it with the female end against the race and use a big fu$%ing hammer not a rubber mallet. Use the old race to drive in the new ones after freezing them. When driving the races in or out make sure you tap evenly all the way around the race to set it in centered. You will hear the change in tone as you drive it in to the stop. It does take quite a bit of force to drive in/out.



YA' what he said!( I dont like to type as much as some of you guy's)LOL

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  • DigilubeJay

Posted June 11, 2006 - 05:40 AM

#11

Measuring your chain does indeed tell you about the sprockets, Fastest1.
That is the point I'm trying to drive home, and most miss the boat on, or simply do not know.
First, you can visibly see damage on a sprocket tooth.
And it is engineering fact that a quality sprocket will not deform when used with a chain that has not grown over ~1.5% of it's original pitch length. If you measure a chain that is over 2% of it's original pitch length, then you will more than likely be able to see the damage start to occur. Unless of course you are using a super hard sprocket. In that case it resists deformation from chains that have grown past spec. And they also help to wear the chain out faster as a result of their super hardness.

And with a bearing race, I already said that if there were no visible damage or grooving it would be fine. Woulnd't you think that if there were damage it would be detectable? And if damage is not detectable, what can the race do to harm a new set of bearings? It may well have been the cage set that gave way, rather than the balls being worn down.

  • Ga426owner

Posted June 11, 2006 - 06:09 AM

#12

Ok let me be more specific - If the chain is worn - chances are so are the sprockets - especially alum sprockets...I have never had a chain wear out with out any wear on the sprockets - HAVE YOU? I clean my chain and sprockets completely after every ride...
I only use Ironman sprockets which are about the strongest longest lasting sprockets out there...and guess what - the same DID ERT chain last me about 6mos to a year riding 2 times per week....I swap out when I see enough wear on the sprockets -
So tell me how you are wasting a chain without any wear on your sprockets? This is the issue . :applause:

  • DigilubeJay

Posted June 11, 2006 - 11:19 AM

#13

Ok let me be more specific - If the chain is worn - chances are so are the sprockets - especially alum sprockets...I have never had a chain wear out with out any wear on the sprockets - HAVE YOU? I clean my chain and sprockets completely after every ride...
I only use Ironman sprockets which are about the strongest longest lasting sprockets out there...and guess what - the same DID ERT chain last me about 6mos to a year riding 2 times per week....I swap out when I see enough wear on the sprockets -
So tell me how you are wasting a chain without any wear on your sprockets? This is the issue . :D

Yes, Ga...I have worn out lots and lots of chains before they worn the sprocket teeth out. The thing is, I know chains and sprockets. I use them in my business and I know them inside and out. And I have also read as much literature as I can on the subject. And I can teel you that all engineering papers on the subject will come to the same conclusions; a roler chain will not deform the teeth of a quality sprocket until it has reached a point of elongation past approx.1.5-2% of it's original pitch length.
And if you actually measure your chains properly (again, most don't have a clue) and take the chain off when it has reached a point of ~1.5% of original length, your sprocket teeth will still be in nearly new condition.
Sure, there are times when this may not hold up because the teeth encountered some sort of trail hazzard, or the chain was simply tensioned too tight or with bad alignment (happens all the time), but what I am explaining requires good maintenance and adjustments.

Ironman sprockets are simply a bandaid for folks who do not practice good chain/sprocket maintenance. It's just that simple. And yes, they are very popular. But I guarantee that if your Irnman teeth are hooked, even slightly, that your chain was worn past what the chain mfg recommended you run it LONG ago. You were simply running on borrowed time, as a chain that is far enough stretched to hook a superhard rear sprocket is close to snapping. And WILL snap.

I;m sorry that your assumptions don;t fit what I;m saying, but I have spent years with this issue and like I said, it is part of my livelyhood. I guarantee you what I am saying is correct. And yes, I can prove it. :applause:

  • Fastest1

Posted June 11, 2006 - 03:37 PM

#14

Actually the valley in between the teeth wears down and deepens and sharpens the point making it weaker. Good quality products (Ironman) and correct maintenance and adjustments give the best results.

  • Chickenhauler

Posted June 11, 2006 - 03:59 PM

#15

Replace both bearings and races at the same time-they both wear and old races will cause premature wear of new bearings, even if you can't see or feel wear in the faces, it's there-the old bearings failed right? Take your old bearings to a QUALITY REPUTABLE auto parts store (Ireccommend Napa or Bumper to Bumper) not a Schucks or Kragen chrome tip and polish store. If you can get the #s off the old races and bearings you can wind up saving quite a bit over kits sold by Moose or Pivot Works. While you're there they can set you up with a set of brass punch's in various lengths for under $10 usually. Good luck.

  • DigilubeJay

Posted June 12, 2006 - 03:28 AM

#16

Actually the valley in between the teeth wears down and deepens and sharpens the point making it weaker. Good quality products (Ironman) and correct maintenance and adjustments give the best results.

Not until the chain pitch has elongated past 1.5% will that start to happen. And the Ironman resists wearing even past 2% elongation, so you get no visual that your chain is worn. With most, it's out of sight, out of mind.

If you changed your chain out whenever it reached the 2% mark, you could probaly run that rear Ironman indefinately.
See, the whole thing with their warranty is the fact that the sprocket is so hard it will not deform until far past when a chain wears out. BUT, runiing such a hard sprocket will greatly accelerate the wear of the chain. That energy has to go somewhere when it elongates, and it goes back to the chain...and other components as well.

  • grayracer513

Posted June 12, 2006 - 08:40 AM

#17

While it is an unlikely scenario to be sure, in the case, for example, of a very weak and/or poorly maintained chain running on two very tough sprockets, the chain could get to 2% over length without doing damage to the sprockets themselves. Or, the links could seize up without the chain running long.

But it isn't the sort of thing you commonly see. Sprockets, however are very easily inspected for wear by visually comparing the thrust face of the tooth (looking at the top of the sprocket, that's the front facing side of the front sprocket, and the rear facing edge of the rear) and comparing it to the non-thrust side of the same sprocket. The two sides should be identical, and there should be no bending over or hooking of the teeth. If they pass this inspection, they could be run.

The head bearings do indeed carry their load in a mostly vertical direction, but what Jay meant was that they rotate very little and at very low speeds compared to something like a wheel or shaft bearing.

IF there is NO DAMAGE to the outer races (the cups in the frame head), they can be reused, but you have no way of knowing how long the surface of the old cup will hold up beyond that point, either. The kind of damage you will usually see is pits from rusting or brinneling ("flaking" or "pot holing"), and impressions of the rollers hammered into the surface. If you assemble the bearings with used races, check them with a bit too much pre-load to be sure they turn smoothly. If they don't, replace them.

  • jamiehughes

Posted June 12, 2006 - 08:00 PM

#18

i thought this thread was a question about a steering stem, looks like it got a little sidetracked.

  • Ga426owner

Posted June 12, 2006 - 08:19 PM

#19

i thought this thread was a question about a steering stem, looks like it got a little sidetracked.


that is normal ... we old guys get side tracked very often with differing opinions...good info for everyone else though :excuseme:

  • bluestreak450

Posted June 13, 2006 - 09:16 PM

#20

I didn't want to get into an arguement with the guys down there. I have some experience with replacing the steering head bearings on an 03 yz 250. I did it in the garage. I think the problem is that they don't lube the bearings very well from the factory. I got the new 450 and first thing disassembled the steering head and there was very little, actually more like a film of grease in there. When you do replace the bearings, make sure you really grease them. If you wash the bike alot, water will get in there. Anyway, I have always heard to replace bearings and races as a set. When you get the new ones, the bearing will come packaged in the race. I used those pivot works bearings, which were cheaper, and worked fine.

OK, to get the races out, I just used a long steel punch. Another guy mentioned a brass one. That would work better because it's softer. Anyway, the steel ones can be bought at many hardware stores. The trick is to make sure the punch is aligned with the race, since there isn't much protruding inside the steering head. the punch I got sticks out of the other side of the head about two inches, and the tip is round (3/16" or so in diameter). It really only takes about three or four good, solid licks to get the bearing race started. Once your there, it's pretty much done. Just work your way around. It sometimes helps if there is somebody else there to help steady the punch at the opposite end of the head. **By the way, the two bearings are different sizes... Make sure you get the right ones in the right places. The bearing on the stem is stuck on the stem. Penetrating oil relieved it enough to remove it with some help from the punch.

When you put the new bearing back on the stem, try to find a pipe or something to go over the stem and seat around the top of the bearing. I want to tell you this, because I did it, but I was extremely careful, but I used a rubber mallet and a 2x4 to put the bearing on the stem because I didn't have a pipe. Now, I ruined one set and had to go buy another set of bearings because I bent the bearing cage the first time. I was careful, very careful, and got it to work the second time with the rubber mallet/2x4. As long as it's the right bearing, it should go on relatively smoothly. Use some oil if you need to. Another thing I thought of but did not try was to put the bearing on a small amount, and then put the triple clamps back in the head and slowly torque the nut to press the bearing on.

I really hope this helps you, I was a little overwhelmed when I did this, too.





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