Fix for Sticky Steering Bearings


10 replies to this topic
  • ForsheeMS

Posted June 25, 2009 - 06:21 PM

#1

As most of you know the steering stem bearings seem to be a problem on the aluminum framed YZ's. Some require cleaning and regreasing every couple of months due to water getting past the upper seal. Every other bike I've owned is perfectly fine doing the bearings every 6 months however this bike starts getting sticky in 2 months or less. I do wash it with a pressure washer but I'm very careful around all the bearings.

I had ordered a Pivot Works kit a week or so ago because unfortunately I had some other things going on and let them go a little too long. I spent about 3 hours today searching for the appropriate sized o ring to help seal this thing up so the new bearings would last longer with less maintainence. I got home and opened up the Pivot Works package only to find they have apparently realized the problem and possibly fixed it. The new bearings come complete with an extra seal to hopefully prevent water from getting to the bearing.

I'm a little embarassed to post this picture because I'm very much a maintainence freak and obviously let this bearing go way too far. On the left is the old bearing and race, on the right is the new one.

Posted Image

This is a picture of the new Pivot Works bearing. The seal is made onto it.

Posted Image

In this picture you can see how the stock bearing sits in the frame.

Posted Image

And here is the new Pivot Works bearing with the built in seal. Sorry it's a little fuzzy.

Posted Image

I'm going to see if this will hold up better than the stock stuff and report back in a few months. I really feel like this is going to keep the water out. The lower bearing has always come out looking very good. It's the top one that has always given trouble. With 3 other bikes that get washed just as much as this one they always are in great shape at my regular 6 month cleaning. Until this bike I've never even had to replace a steering bearing so I'm hoping to have found a solution.

  • grayracer513

Posted June 25, 2009 - 06:38 PM

#2

The OEM Yamaha bearing (PN 93332-00078-00) was updated to include the integrated seal in mid 2007, and we've known about this issue since at least then. It's nice to see that the aftermarket knock-offs have caught up, though, as a lot of people tend to go the budget route.

Good pictures, though.

  • 183080922

Posted June 25, 2009 - 06:38 PM

#3

ya that stinks. huh it does seem to have worn out fast. i dont know what could have caused that, but hope the new one holds up!

  • grayracer513

Posted June 25, 2009 - 06:40 PM

#4

ya that stinks. huh it does seem to have worn out fast. i dont know what could have caused that, but hope the new one holds up!

It's called water.

  • roost666

Posted June 25, 2009 - 06:59 PM

#5

did you pack the bearing with grease, use the belray water proof grease, most bearings only come oiled to prevent surface rust when sitting on the shelf in the shop and require packing before installation, if you haven't been packing your bearings that can lead to early fatigue and with no grease it allows the water to penertrate alot quicker, using a water proof grease will help seal out and disperse the water.

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  • DanDRZ

Posted June 25, 2009 - 07:09 PM

#6

+1 on the BelRay grease. I've been using it for 20+ years and have never had any issues with a bearing that was maintained with the stuff. They're all going to go eventually but at least it won't be because of crappy grease.

  • grayracer513

Posted June 25, 2009 - 07:56 PM

#7

Bel-Ray is a good product, but any good name brand EP2 grease that contains moly AND is labeled "water proof" will serve as well. A better choice for the late YZF with its marginal top cover "seal" :worthy: is a true "marine" grease. These go well beyond simply being water proof, which ordinarliy means only that the grease won't wash away. Marine grease will lube correctly in the presence of water, and give better corrosion protection. It's usually sold for the wheel bearings of boat trailers.

  • ForsheeMS

Posted June 26, 2009 - 04:46 AM

#8

did you pack the bearing with grease, use the belray water proof grease, most bearings only come oiled to prevent surface rust when sitting on the shelf in the shop and require packing before installation, if you haven't been packing your bearings that can lead to early fatigue and with no grease it allows the water to penertrate alot quicker, using a water proof grease will help seal out and disperse the water.


Yes, I always pack the bearings with grease. I took the pictures before I packed them. For a while now I've been using Redline grease and it works well. My favorite was a grease called Permatex Super Lube. It was the color of clear RTV sealer and was extremely water proof and heat resistant. Lowe's used to always keep it but I haven't been able to find any for several years.

The OEM Yamaha bearing (PN 93332-00078-00) was updated to include the integrated seal in mid 2007, and we've known about this issue since at least then. It's nice to see that the aftermarket knock-offs have caught up, though, as a lot of people tend to go the budget route.


Gray, this particular bike is a 2009 YZ125. Does the new style OEM bearing only come as a replacement or did they come in the '08 and up bikes?

  • grayracer513

Posted June 26, 2009 - 07:30 AM

#9

Gray, this particular bike is a 2009 YZ125. Does the new style OEM bearing only come as a replacement or did they come in the '08 and up bikes?

There appears to have been some difference in the time the part became available as a replacement and the time it supplanted the older 93332-00068-00 in production. I have heard of '07 and even '08 YZF's coming with the old design from the factory, and the currently published Yamaha parts fiche for the '08 YZ450 still lists the 00068 as the correct bearing. When you punch that number in at the parts counter, it should pop up a note that it's been superseded by the 00078.

So, I don't think there's a way to know which bearing your '07, or even your '08 might have in it without looking.

  • Wyatt

Posted June 26, 2009 - 07:35 AM

#10

I thought that maybe you could use a thin metal washer than has an OD greater than the steering neck itself. This would act as an umbrella to not let water sit on top of and leach into the bearings when washing. I may try that the next time I have it apart.

  • grayracer513

Posted June 26, 2009 - 10:28 AM

#11

I thought that maybe you could use a thin metal washer than has an OD greater than the steering neck itself. This would act as an umbrella to not let water sit on top of and leach into the bearings when washing. I may try that the next time I have it apart.

It can't hurt. The latest version of the Scotts damper mount kit is a big help, too.





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