Grayracer-steering head bearings

7 replies to this topic
  • Kent Rathgeber

Posted May 20, 2009 - 07:54 PM


Without a press, how can I get the lower bearing off the steering stem tube, WITHOUT destroying the tube? My bike is an 07 YZ450F.

I'm replacing the both the upper and lower bearings and races, and just can't get that bearing off the steering stem. I've tried penetrating oil and heat from a heat gun to loosen the bearing, but it just won't move. Do I have to take the lower clamp assembly into the shop to have the bearing removed and a new one installed, or is there a trick I can use?

  • grayracer513

Posted May 20, 2009 - 09:10 PM


A press and a bearing plate is the best way, and it really will be much easier if you just go ahead and accept that.

The best alternative to that method is for experienced users of oxy-acetylene torches. Remove the rollers from the lower bearing by cutting the cage. Then, using about a #3~5 tip, quickly heat a spot on the inner race just smaller than a dime to a bright red. Wait just long enough to get the torch shut off properly and the race should tap off the stem fairly easily.

To install, toss the stem/clamp in the freezer for a coupe of hours. After that, using an oven with good temperature control, heat the new bearing to 160 degrees for 20 minutes. The two parts should almost drop together. If you have to tap on the bearing be sure to do so only on the top of the race, not the cage.

  • Kent Rathgeber

Posted May 21, 2009 - 04:23 AM


Thanks Gray.

I don't have a oxy/acetylene torch either, so I guess I'm taking the clamp and bearing to the shop to get it pressed on/off.

  • grayracer513

Posted May 21, 2009 - 06:36 AM


It will be easier that way.

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  • spark250

Posted May 21, 2009 - 09:11 AM


I just replaced all the bearings and races in my 06. I'm not arguing that press isn't the cleanest and easiest way to get it done but the manual shows to use what they call a "floor chisel"???

I was able to cut the cage on the bearing and with heat and couple of chisels drive the race off the lower stem. It took way too long but it's back together and nothing damaged.

  • grayracer513

Posted May 21, 2009 - 09:33 AM


I just replaced all the bearings and races in my 06. I'm not arguing that press isn't the cleanest and easiest way to get it done but the manual shows to use what they call a "floor chisel"???

That method "works", but it's fraught with risks (I've seen the results). The chisel they're talking about would be shaped somewhat like a wood chisel as opposed to a cold chisel; flat on one side, with the edge ground only on the other, instead of a point made by grinding from both sides of the blade. A tool like that is less likely to damage the bearing seat on the triple clamp. Wood chisels are usually too soft for the job, though.

The bearing can be removed with punches and chisels and such, but as you said, it's way too much work.

  • yz007f

Posted May 21, 2009 - 02:40 PM


Or just get out the grinder and grind it off lol.. Its not a pretty way but it will work if you dont have a press...

  • 426 NOOB

Posted May 21, 2009 - 09:19 PM


I have a story for ya. I just took my bottom clamp and stem into the dealer to have the bearing pressed off and a new one pressed on and when i got the part back, my stem had deep grooves in it along with most of the golden colored coating gone. Needless to say I was about to stomp the manager when he said it was normal, and I forced them to order me a new part.:doh:

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