Adjusting the head bearings- advice sought

Discussion in 'General VFR Discussions' started by VFR Love, May 1, 2014.

  1. VFR Love

    VFR Love New Member

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    I have a 6th gen vfr that I want to check the head bearing aka neck bearing free play on to address a slight knock sound that happens on occasion when hitting the brakes hard.

    I also don't trust the mechanic that regreased them last year while rebuilding my forks.

    I have heard conflicting advice on how to do this correctly. Some say I need a special tool, some say I need to suspend the front of the bike.

    Any tips?



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  2. Scubalong

    Scubalong Official Greeter?

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    wiremanjon likes this.
  3. TNRabbit

    TNRabbit New Member

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  4. ridervfr

    ridervfr Member

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    How many miles on the unit? I will re-grease my latest bike as its a low mileage one. Over 35,000 40,000 miles its prudent to replace with the whole "kit-and-kaboodle."
     
  5. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    No special tool needed (but it does help!) and no need to lift front (but it might help).

    Too loose causes braking clunk; too tight and the bike insists upon wavering left-to-right. As suggested above OEM headbearings are almost always worn out by about 35-40,000 miles.
     
  6. VFR Love

    VFR Love New Member

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    This seems like a ton of work even though I know it's not. I have to re-read all the helpful links and piece together the puzzle. Then I'll post back with follow up questions before taking the plunge.

    I wish the garage that did the work did it right to begin with. Well you know what they say!


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  7. TNRabbit

    TNRabbit New Member

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    VFR Love: PM me & I can talk you through a quick check. I just did this last month. Working tonight but I can call you tomorrow.
     
  8. VFR Love

    VFR Love New Member

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    You rock bud!

    I just picked up a used: pc3 and sargent seat neither of which I've done a thing with yet.

    Got my oil and filter, rim tape and a body lighting kit. Not to mention I have to rewire my heated grips with a relay so they are NOT tapped off the headlight. (Stupid me having someone else touch my bike)

    So yeah any time saved is really appreciated!!

    I'll post pics when done:)


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  9. VFR Love

    VFR Love New Member

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    You were right TNRabbit. My neck bearings are shot at 30k. With the bike on the center stand and lifting the front wheel off the ground by the body, the steering is strongly self centering. There's a big notch and it doesn't even seem like its perfectly straight ahead but turned to the right a few degrees.


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    Last edited: Jun 7, 2014
  10. TNRabbit

    TNRabbit New Member

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    Sorry! The good news is there's a fix~ :)
     
  11. VFR Love

    VFR Love New Member

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    So I've begun the head bearing replacement. So far it's been pretty easy.

    I did manage to put a nick in the steerer but that was resolved with a metal file.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


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  12. FJ12rydertoo

    FJ12rydertoo Member

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    Heck you've got the hard part done: getting the lower bearing off the steering tube. The rest is cake and pie.

    Just take your time putting it back together and don't tighten the steering stem bolt too tight. It takes way less torque than the manual calls for.
     
  13. TNRabbit

    TNRabbit New Member

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    I recommend tightening the stem as tight as you can in increments while turning the head back & forth about 50 times between each set. This will seat the bearing races. Then, you can back off to the recommended pull setting (5-10 lbs).
     
  14. VFR Love

    VFR Love New Member

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    A few questions:

    1) getting the bearing pressed down onto the steerer tube:
    How do I do this without pressing on the bearing itself? Shouldn't I only apply pressure on the inner race?

    2)I don't own a spring gauge but I do own a few carburetor springs. I was thinking to hang a weight off of it to match how many pounds of pull to meet specs and measure how long it extends.

    What is the recommended spring pressure at the form leg for all-balls roller bearings?



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    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
  15. nih

    nih New Member

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    i just had my forks and bearing redone, i was calling it a teeter but: too tight and the bike insists upon wavering left-to-right. best to describe it as image how cool guys swerve left/right in lane to warm up side of tires, that same movement but only like .0001% of it.

    so since i didn't install my own bearing, what is that talk about loosening? is it just the bolt on top of the steering stem?
     
  16. VFR Love

    VFR Love New Member

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk[​IMG]
     
  17. VFR Love

    VFR Love New Member

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    To access steering nut to adjust tension:

    Big photo is first step. Remove the big center bolt. Then loosen the pinch bolts on the fork legs. The fork legs will be held in place by the lower pinch bolts.

    Now bend down the two tabs facing up on the safety washer.

    Now drive off the top nut (lock nut) with a hook spanner or screwdriver and hammer.

    Remove (lift off) the safety washer.

    Now use a hook spanner or screwdriver and hammer to adjust tension.

    When reinstalling:
    Put on safety washer.
    Bring down the second nut on top by hand until the notches line up and it seats. Some say to add tension to this nut, some say not.

    Continue with reverse of disassembly.




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  18. ridervfr

    ridervfr Member

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    Its the only time I can break oot my air chisel. Nothing finer than going to town on steer head bearings on "dah-stem." Cheers
     
  19. nih

    nih New Member

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    that seems more difficult that turning the top bolt, nothing ever easy, when i get to part where im adjusting tension any advice on how much i need to turn it? hate do to little or to much and have to repeat the whole thing.
     
  20. TNRabbit

    TNRabbit New Member

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    1. Yes. Use a chisel or similar hard metal driving tool & alternate hitting 4 sides to move it down evenly. ONLY drive on the inner race.

    2. I used my built-in gauge (my hand)....you can be pretty accurate. If you don't do what I stated in my previous post (seating the races), it will loosen up & you'll be tightening these again.

    Recommended pressure is between 5 & 10 lbs. IMO, the exact # is much less important for tapered roller bearings than for ball bearings.
     
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