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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did this years back on my XBR500 and dont remember any real problems.
Are there any AT weirdnesses to bear in mind or is it just pop the front wheel and brakes off, drop the fork legs, bars off and remove the steering head. Then drift out the top and bottom races and refit new ones.

One thing, the top seal on my bike is badly mashed, is there meant to be a spacer or washer under the adjusting star washer thingy?
Any tips gratefully received.

What started me off on this was a weird high frequency liek a front wheel out of balance. I saw the post re a similar problem on a 700 Transalp being caused by a lose headset. Checked mine and there is considerable play. Tightened them and notchy as can be. So start there.
 

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Don't remember there being anything difficult about this task. Not sure about spacer 'thingy' as its been a few years now.
What I did do, as I had the headstock off, was too drill the headstock case and fit a 'grease nipple', so that the dead space inside the casing could be
kept full of grease. 'Future proof maintenance'.
 

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Nothing particularly difficult about the AT races, as far as I can remember. Not much of the race showing to get a drift on, so make sure the end isn't burred over. Getting the lower race off the stem involves a bit of delicate grinding; go most of the way, then crack it with a cold chisel. When you put the new races in the headstock, make sure they're seated well. Clean the recesses well, a bit of rust or grit can stop them seating squarely. Use the old races as a drift to save damaging the new ones.

I've done plenty of these over the years, but the last set (taper rollers) I put on my AT clearly didn't seat fully. I pressed them in and tapped them home, as usual, listening for the change in sound as they seat fully. Adjusted them, reassembled and went out for a fairly long ride on rocky trails. Halfway along, I felt a knocking through the bars. Rocked it to and fro on the brakes and found significant slack; the bashing over the rocks seemed to have seated the lower race fully. Quick in-field adjustment and on my way, but got me thinking. I had drifted the races in as hard as I thought reasonable, without risking damage, but it obviously wasn't quite enough. The taper roller races are deeper, so maybe they needed a bit more force. Should have taken it for a decent test ride first, but I'm not sure road riding would have done it; at least it loosened at relatively low speed, with no cars present. Can't be sure if it was the stem race or the headstock race, but it's certainly tight now!

I prefer the taper rollers; I think they feel smoother. They also have a larger bearing area to spread the load over. But good lubrication is more important than bearing type, and balls were good enough for Honda.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sounds interesting.
What am I grinding to remove the bottom race?
Is it an angle grinder job or dremel and diamond bit?
 

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You need to grind the lower inner race off the stem. There's not enough room to get a decent puller in there, and they can be pretty tight. I used an angle grinder (carefully!) and cut a diagonal slot to avoid damaging the lower yoke. Don't go all the way through or you risk scoring the stem; a smart tap with a cold chisel will crack the last bit and it will slide off. I'm sure a Dremel would do, but I didn't have one. Order new seals with the bearings, the old ones will be history.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have ordered a complete set,the old top seal is well shagged.

So a good nick in the race with a grinder and crack from above with cold chisel or brute screwdriver.
 

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That's about it. You'll need a decent groove in it, it's pretty thick. If the cold chisel (screwdriver) is sharp, it helps, the race is very hard.:thumbup:
 

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I replaced mine with OEM Honda balls at the end of last year mate.

The tapered ones that had been in there were badly notched, and after reading a few pro's and con's I decided to go with OEM, personally.

My boy chiselled off the inner race from the stem at the garage he was working at, and I fitted the new inner using copper slip, and my trusty square drift (I also used the square drift to knock out the outers from the head).

My mate lent me his fork seal drifts, and one of them was spot on to pop the outers into place with (I was a bit wary at first, didn't want to chip or score the drift surface, but it worked fine!).

A shedload of multi grease, nuts torqued to spec later and I rode maybe 2 or 3 miles gently before the races "cracked" into place properly over a speed bump ;)

Loosened the head nut and top yoke bolts, re-torqued the castellated nut after the bedding-in, and it's been fine :thumbup:

A couple of pics from when I did the bearings: (from your earlier post about the top seal, the nut sits down in the seal and there's only IIRC 12 nm of torque so the seal should hold up OK)


All the bits, stem ready for fitting:

2014-10-0422_02_07.jpg

Inner lower collar on, courtesy of my square drift:

Stem.jpg

Mallet & fork seal drift:

DriverandDeadStop.jpg

Lower bearing:

Lowerdriver.jpg
 

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Nice one. Looks straightforward enough. ha Ha Ha.
The only problem I really had was the contortions needed to tap the lower frame ring in ;)

Nearly pulled a hamstring!

It had been a while since I fitted head bearings mate, I allowed the whole weekend to do it in slow, cider-time ;)

If you've been having handling problems Chunkolini, you'll be amazed at the improvement once you fit the new bearings :)
 

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No need to grind anything - get or make a long drift with a sharp angled tip then put the drift down so it locates in the small space you have at the top of the bottom cup and hit it then do the opposite side etc. that way you don't risk grinding the headstock with a grinder. It's an easy job. Put the new cups on the freezer for a few hours and they shrink so making it easier to fit. Ideally make a puller using a long threaded bar (DIY Store) some suitable nuts and good correct fir washers - finally use a flat headed drift and hammer to check they are seated correctly - listen to the sound as you tap around the cup. Same procedure for top race.


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Agree. No grinding necessary really. I bought a pack of various (drifts) I think their called. Punched out the old one no probs.
 

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Chunkolini - I know you can make a drift - temper the steel to give it some hardness. Take a round bar and make a 45° cut in - this is the sharp edge needed to find the gap to knock the bottom cup out.


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The grinding wasn't for the headstock races, it was for the lower race on the stem. I found there wasn't enough clearance to get a drift or puller in past the lower yoke, at least, not at a good enough angle to get the race off without risking damage to the stem. Grinding a slot weakens it, so splitting it and sliding it off avoids the need for a drift.

Just to be clear, you don't need to go anywhere near the headstock with the grinder.
 

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Theyimkirby - ah right sorry I misunderstood.


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Done one thetimkirby way on a mates trials bike two weeks ago word of warning wear safety glasses the bearing is very brittle and pieces can fly off at a hell of a rate when applying your hand press to the cold chisel :thumbup:
This is the type of thing you need for that bottom bearing if you were going to pull it off not sure if the one in the link will be suitable its just for the image :thumbup:

https://www.machinemart.co.uk/shop/...-bearing-separator?da=1&TC=SRC-bearing puller



 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I had the same misunderstanding about the grinding bit.
Now it makes sense.
Does anybody know the OD of the steerer tube? I may have a length of tube I can use to slide down and seat the lower race.
Thanks everybody for advice, once the bearings are here I will get them sorted out. And let you now how I get on.
 
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