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How to remove steering head bearing race

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I've replaced my steering head bearings and need to find a way to remove the old races from the frame. Does anyone have any recommendations? I'd rather not go out and buy a special tool if possible.

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Or warm the frame with a propane torch and drive it out with a long drift punch.

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Park Tools makes a special tool for this purpose (if I understand what you're doing . . . how could you replace the bearings without first taking out the old races?). Do a search or it may be in the TT store.

I think Motion Pro also makes one.

They can also be driven out with a hammer, long punch and a plug that matches the race, after first heating up the steering stem.

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how could you replace the bearings without first taking out the old races?

The bearing is pressed onto the stem but I haven't removed the race from the tube yet.

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Or warm the frame with a propane torch and drive it out with a long drift punch.

I've also used this method, and if you take your time it is an easy alternative to buying any tools other than the punch.

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The recommendation tl1000crf250 made is an excellent one. If you don't have access to a TIG machine buy the race removel tool! It inexpensive and will prevent you from F'ing up the soft aluminum.......which can be an issue when instlling the new races. When you do install the new races, put a thin film of water proof grease in the race boss (machined area for the race) and on the outside surface of the race....it will make installation a bit easier. And....when driving the race into position, be sure it is driven in squarely. Also make sure it is completely seated in the race boss. If you don't your adjustment will not hold adjustment and will require readjustment until it goes seat completely. One last thing....don't nick, scratch or ding the race bearing surface.

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I ended up buying a drift punch and knocking them out pretty easily. I went to Autozone and borrowed their race installing tool and put the new ones in. Total time to get the old ones out and new ones in was less than 10 minutes (of course that doesn't count the time driving around looking for the tools) and it only cost me $9.00 for the punch.

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Best way is with a press, but I have done many with a dremel tool and a cutting wheel.

Remove the cage and bearings, then cut thru the race with 2 diaginal slots almost down to the stem about 1/2 inch apart and it will pretty much slide off, use a little heat and tap it off if need be.

Installing the new bearing:

place the stem in the freezer for a couple of hours, when your ready heat the race on a hot plate or in a pan on the stove...when it's good and hot pull out the stem and slide the bearing on.

Sometimes the bearing needs to be tapped down the last 1/4 inch or so, I have a washer and pipe that slides over the stem to do this, just make sure you only contact the inner race and don't forget to install the new seal first.

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Best way is with a press, but I have done many with a dremel tool and a cutting wheel.

Remove the cage and bearings, then cut thru the race with 2 diaginal slots almost down to the stem about 1/2 inch apart and it will pretty much slide off, use a little heat and tap it off if need be.

Installing the new bearing:

place the stem in the freezer for a couple of hours, when your ready heat the race on a hot plate or in a pan on the stove...when it's good and hot pull out the stem and slide the bearing on.

Sometimes the bearing needs to be tapped down the last 1/4 inch or so, I have a washer and pipe that slides over the stem to do this, just make sure you only contact the inner race and don't forget to install the new seal first.

It may sound like a lot of B/S to mess with but now I can do one in about 10 min not including the freeze time.

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what temp did you put the stove on? how long?

when you do the diagonal cuts, are you going all the way through the race? And if so, are you worried about scoring the stem on accident.

I've already tried the dremel tool, I got worried when it got close to the stem. It hasn't budged at all.

Also, the new bearings look very deceiving, are the new top and bottom bearing/race the same size?

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heat the bearing on hi for 3-5 minutes, you want it pretty hot.

cut as far thru the race as possible with out cutting into the stem, if you nick the stem it's not a problem, take your time.

If it's really frozen on you can heat the race and try to tap it off with a chisle...or freeze the stem then heat race and tap it off.

both bearings are the same.

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ok , bearing off. Now the stem is in the freezer and going to throw the bearings in the stove later. Now are your sure that the rubber part won't melt at all at 200 degrees?

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I have never had a problem, but it doesn't need to be red hot.

Get the bearing very hot but so I can grab it with a welding glove, it's easier to get all the way on if it's perfectly straight..so you may need to rock it back and forth.

This process has to be done really quick before the temp of both pieces equalize.

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left in oven for 20minutes and stem in freezer for 3 hrs. Didn't work, had about 1 1/2 inch to go. I'll have to drive out to the shop to see if they can press it on.

Thanks for all the help

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I must admit reading through this post I got confused....

I have the same job to do, remove old bearings and races and replace with new...

My local dealers are asking for £130/$260 for the stem tool and £30/$60 for the brass drift, failing that they want £60/$120 just for fitting the bearings if I supply them.

Does anyone have any clear step by step instructions of the best way to complete this task, worth noting I have no Mig but I do have blow tourch and dremmel.

My main area of concern it fitting the new races...

Cheers...

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The way I'v found to be both easy/quick are take a mig welder, spot weld a bead, and keep adding to it, then just take a punch and drive it out. The heat along with the new surface to hit makes it pretty simple. Also you dont really have to worry about messing much up, you can really weld steel to aluminum.

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Welp, figured out why the bottom bearings are so hard to get in. Yamaha ordered the wrong bottom bearing. They order the same as the top, which is 2mm smaller then the bottom on the 06 250F.

As for the whole process, not too bad knowing what I know now. As for getting the races out. I bought a long cheisel with a pointed end, wrapped the chisel in a towel so not to scratch the threads in the neck. Just hammered them out.

As for getting the bottom bearing off.I busted off the bearings with a hammer and screw driver, they came off easy. As for the rest of it lefton the stem, I used a dremel tool. I cut two relief cuts in it, knicked the stem just a little. Then i made a grove horizontal in it so I had somewhere to bite. Then I just took a chisel and hemmered the bearing off by sliding it off in the groove.

Probably real confusing what I just wrote

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Believe it or not I understood that better than some of the other posts on this thread :applause:

How did you go about putting the new bearings and races in???

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