Tappered Head Bearings 4 Gen How to

Discussion in 'Mechanics Garage' started by SLOVFR, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. SLOVFR

    SLOVFR Member

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    Ok so I got busy the other day and decided to install my ALL Balls Steering Stem Tapper Bearing kit. Ill list some tools I used then a photo essay for you. Plan on about 3 to 4 hours to complete.

    Tools/Parts

    All Balls Stem Bearing Kit # 22-1020 (good for 5 gen too)
    Good grease. waterproof if you like.
    Can of brake cleaner
    rags
    latex gloves

    Tools:
    Jack
    Torque Wrench
    Sockets: 30mm, 24mm, 22mm, 12mm, 14mm, 10mm, 8mm
    Rachets: 1/2 and 3/8 with small and medium extensions
    Wrenches: possible crescent wrench if you dont have the bigger sockets.
    Punch/chisel set Long punch needed to pound out old races
    Phillips and straight screw drivers
    5mm allen socket/driver (cowls and fender )
    6mm allen wrench
    Bearing Race driver or press is recommended
    Hammer


    You do not have to take the nose off if you dont want but I dont like fighting to get into places (like the lower bearing race). I decided to take the extra 10 minutes and strip my plastics off. This was a good thing as I also went ahead and did the following and suggest you may plan for this as well but not covered in this post:

    * Change fork oil (I found bent tubes on mine and switched out for spare forks, switching my springs and valves and changed the fluid. )
    * Change Coolant (removed radiator from bracket and lower hose to access front pugs). Drain at water pump also.
    * Change front plugs (every 8k miles). Will do the rear ones and clean oil k/n air filter in a few weeks when I install the 929 rear shock.

    Start stripping off the Side plastics and nose and than jack up front end under headers:

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    Remove front brake calipers, loosen lower axle bolt pinch bolts, remove axle nut, drive axle out of wheel, remove wheel and then fender.

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    IF you are going to change your fork oil and/or install and new springs/internals do this: BEFORE you loosen the triple clamps loosen the upper fork caps ( just enough to break them loose) this way you dont have to damage the forks in a vise!

    Next loosen the top 30mm center triple nut (may have to turn to full lock to loosen). Proceed to loosen handle bar pinch bolts and remove bars to the side. Loosen top triple clamp bolts and then lower triple clamp bolts. Remove zip ties around fork legs. Remove fork legs

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    Remove horn wires and horn assembly ( I didnt and wished I did). Remove 30mm nut and then pull off upper triple tree. Carefully bend down the 2 tangs that are holding upper nut and remove upper nut. I used a special screwdriver to loosen the lower nut till loose. Undo by hand while holding lower triple tree. Once nut is loose you can remove upper seal and bearing and drop out lower clamp w/stem

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    After the stem is removed clean up some of the old grease away from the steering head and races. There are cut outs in the head that allow you to drift out the old races. You can see these in the after shots pretty well located at 12 and 6 o'clock. Get your punch and hammer and rotate from side to side walking the old race out.Clean up old grease out of head and prepare for new races.

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    You now need to remove the bearing off the lower stem. I dont have my vise set up but it would be easier with one. The idea is the same either way. Start by driving a screwdriver or small chisel between the seal and lower triple clamp to wedge bearing off shaft. Careful not to be hammering and hitting the shaft with driver/chisel, you want to be on the side of it. ALSO be sure to protect the threads on the other end, installing the top nut is a good idea. After the bearing is away from the lower clamp you can use a small punch rotating around the bearing to get it up about an inch till it will slide off.

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    Clean up the shaft and open up your new bearing kit. There is a special press tool from honda and if you have the $$ Id love to have it but I dont have the $$ or the time. I love new tools and bought this Harbor Freight Driver set $29.95. Had a good size for the upper but not really for the lower race but worked ok. I put both races and stem in the freezer while I greased up and cleaned up to help installation. Plus its just plain COOL :)

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    After about 20-30 minutes in the freezer I called it good and took the top race out and installed it :

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    Then the lower the same way. Dont get to hammer happy and make sure the races are going in evenly. I had to take a punch on the lower one to straighten out itself into its new home but it made it safe

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    I then greased up the 2 bearings by hand. Please people PACK your bearings and not just smear grease on the outside. If you have a bearing packer and know how to use it then good. If not hand pack them using latex gloves and the palm of your hand. You pack into the larger diameter end forcing grease to come out the other side. ALSO you don NOT want grease on the inside of the bearing that goes on the shaft. You want the bearing to rotate not the inner shaft end, so clean it up!

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    Install the new large seal washer on the CLEANED shaft and then the new greased large bearing. I used the old bearing raced I punched off as a guide to drift the new bearing on. Other people have used a piece of PVC pipe along with the old bearing race to drive the new bearing on as well. However you do it be sure that you are pressing the bearing on VIA the inner shaft of the bearing and never the outer cage or its toast and your done till you get another bearing.

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    Now install the lower triple into the head and install upper greased bearing, seal, then lower nut.

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    To finish I used a screwdriver and hammer to tighten the lower nut pretty tight to set the bearings. I then loosened the nut and tighten down by hand as much as I could making sure there was no play in the shaft/bearings. Install the lock washer next then the top nut. Tighten the top nut down just enough to line up the next spot to fold the lock ring tabs into. Install horn and wires. Install upper triple clamp and nut hand tight only. Reinstall forks (making sure your throttle cables, clutch line and wires are routed correct) to a distance of 39mm (stock) from top of triple to top of fork leg. I did mine at 42mm to top of nut. Tighten down upper fork pinch bolts to hold settings. Install the front axle and I wiggled the upper triple back and forth, while holding lower legs between my legs, to help center/align the upper and lower triple trees. Torque upper and lower pinch bolts, Center upper nut. Install handle bars and check for clearance of fuel tank before tightening. Now test to make sure the steering is moving freely and easy.

    Make sure you torque all the bolts you removed and put your front tire on the right direction. Reinstall brake calipers making sure pads are placed properly. This is just a quick guide so if you have questions please ask, I may have left something out as I was doing many jobs at the same time. Thanks Brian.


    Torque Specs 94-97 VFR :

    Top fork clamp 17 lbf-ft
    Lower fork clamp 36 lbf-ft
    Stem Nut 76 lbf-ft
    Caliper mounts 20 lbf-ft
    Front Axle nut 43 lbf-ft
    Axle pinch bolts 16 lbf-ft
    Handle bar bolts 17 lbf-ft


    As always I encourage you to follow the factory shop manual when doing any repairs.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2009
  2. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    Good write up!!
    NO, i think even excellent! No matter what kinda bearings you're using.....AND the photos are good, too....Leancuisine and all.

    Altogether a VERY fine guide, indeed!

    Do you know any way to get the inner lower race off the steering stem without destroying the lower dust seal???????
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  3. SLOVFR

    SLOVFR Member

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    Thanks!

    That would be tricky to get the old race off without hurting the seal. I guess if you had a thin piece of metal (to protect the seal) put between the seal and race then use a dremel to grind thru the race would be your best bet.
     
  4. reg71

    reg71 Poser Staff Member

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    cool. are you ready to do mine now?
     
  5. SLOVFR

    SLOVFR Member

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    I knew this was coming....We will have to get together soon and geterdone.
     
  6. cebuVFR

    cebuVFR New Member

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    thanks for the write up and pics bri. how long did it take you to do the whole thing?
     
  7. SLOVFR

    SLOVFR Member

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    You should plan on about 3 hours, Thanks!
     
  8. reg71

    reg71 Poser Staff Member

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    you only say that because you haven't met nardy yet, Nardy, plan on 6 hours... :msmile:
     
  9. betarace

    betarace New Member

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    what do you think about them on the road?
     
  10. SLOVFR

    SLOVFR Member

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    Ill let you know when I get a chance to ride. Im just hoping Jesus loves Korean bearings too....
     
  11. betarace

    betarace New Member

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    in the 10 year period that Kia and Hyundai came to the market, GM lost Oldsmobile, Hummer, Saturn and presumably Buick or Pontiac (or both)...
     
  12. SLOVFR

    SLOVFR Member

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    Well I must say Im not sure what made the most difference but its a different bike. Im sure the bearings helped the smoothness but also replace the bent forks and installed a new tire. I think this is a good upgrade for anyone that wants to replace their bearings! I got to do Reg's bike and we wont have all the other variable involved so Ill let him post up when we are done.
     
  13. cebuVFR

    cebuVFR New Member

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    ..it'll take me days to do the job! :biggrin:
     
  14. woody77

    woody77 New Member

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    What size hammer and punch?

    I was able to get the lower race out of the frame, but the top is giving me fits. Going to ice it tomorrow and pick up a new (longer, stronger) punch.

    I have some nice, big 3mm wide scars where all the bearings were sitting. I think it LONG pasted the indexed feeling, but it didn't feel all that loose, and still doesn't feel like a lot of movement, but just enough.

    Would a bearing splitter work to take off the lower race from the stem?

    I've been planning on just having my shop order the bearings, and swap the lower race on the stem, and then I'll finish assembly back at my place. I'm taking in a bunch of stuff for them to work on (they only take 10yo and older bikes as parts to work on, not the whole bike).
     
  15. SLOVFR

    SLOVFR Member

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    You should be using a nice long punch at least 12 - 14" - I bought a nice set at harbor freight and they came in handy. Keep working it back in forth from top to bottom on you hammering, should wiggle out.

    For the race on the triple shaft its best if you have a vise, I did mine on the garage floor. Wedge a screw driver/chisel between the seal and triple to get it started to move while working around the shaft at different spots. Once its away from the end a bit you can start tapping it off. You could also use a die grinder to cut thru it but be careful and once again recommend to have a vise hold it.
     
  16. woody77

    woody77 New Member

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    Oh, by the time the lower race came out of the frame, and bounced off the floor under the bike, it was cracked all the way through in one spot. Likely to be the pounding it out, the dropping on the floor, or was that way in the bike?
     
  17. SLOVFR

    SLOVFR Member

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    Probably the pounding. It does not take much to get them out of you work side to side and wiggle them out.
     
  18. woody77

    woody77 New Member

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    mine wasn't moving, wasn't moving, wasn't moving, and then it moved a lot, and then took a bunch more to get the other side to get to the same point, then it came right out.

    Definitely would be easier to use the right press, but considering how much they want for the sockets, this is $$$. Wonder which method the shops use...
     
  19. woody77

    woody77 New Member

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    With a proper punch, the race tapped right out of the frame.
     
  20. dale-j

    dale-j New Member

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    All Balls

    Hmm, the AllBalls wheel bearing kit I got was all chinese $#!+ :crazy: but I was lucky enough to find a local parts guy (Gary Mansi at Burnaby Kawasaki for those in the Vancouver BC area) who keeps a good stock of the OEM NTK bearings (as well as the German FAG bearings - no pun intended) and knows how to cross reference them from the AllBalls product listings. After re-using a few seals that were Honda specific but still in good shape, the total cost using top drawer Japanese stuff was less than an AllBalls kit. Managed to sell the kit on Craigslist.

    For those who are considering bearing work, I personally would take a pass on using AllBalls any more. Seems to me they're cutting corners now that no sane owner would be cool with.
     
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