Steering head bearing condition and its consequences

Discussion in 'Wheels/Tires' started by gleno, May 25, 2008.

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  1. Apr 7, 2012 #21

    magna_dude74

    magna_dude74

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    I agree this is a great write up as well! The thing is I guess I am not sure how many sets of bearing there are on my 94, inner / outer / stearing / wheel.... Will someone please tell me? I know when I changed over to progressive in the front, there was a bearing that fell out of the bottom of the neck. Is this the bearing mentioned in the write up referring to cuttin with a Drremal tool? Doesn't a tapered bearing ride on a race? Is this race what I need to cut out with the Dremal? At any rate, I have an extreme pull to the left and a terrible frame shake at 100 mph, not head shake, been there and don't wana do it again!!!! So where should I begin? I have seen Sean's vid and my bars drop constant side to side without bouncing. So what do I do???
     
  2. Apr 8, 2012 #22

    ninjaneer

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    in the steering column/neck there are two races--upper and lower. you dremel out the bottom race and pop out the top race. i'm somewhat surprised that you said a bearing "fell out of the bottom". because the bottom bearing is on the tree stem nice and tight. however, perhaps the race fell out of the bottom of the neck--that i'd be more willing to accept, although with people (including myself) having to dremel the race out, i'm still somewhat set aback.
     
  3. Apr 8, 2012 #23

    naughtyG

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    I'm also confused by that. The actual bottom bearing sits on the bottom of the triple-tree, so will come out with it when it is withdrawn. The only bit that *could* then fall out is the lower bearing race, AND, if this falls out it must mean that the race housing in the frame is quite damaged, as it is a press-fit and so bloody tight in there it requires a bead of weld or a Dremel cut to be removed.

    If I was you I would dismantle the front end, remove the triple-trees, then closely inspect the frame. There should be a bearing race at the top, and another at the bottom. Both are TIGHT press fits. If either 'falls' out you may have to consider a frame replacement, or at least a frame neck replacement.

    I know both Kyle and myself have spare frames in Tampa, FL. His is a salvage title, and mine is a lost title, but then you *could* just replace the VIN plate with yours if it came down to it..
     
  4. Apr 9, 2012 #24

    magna_dude74

    magna_dude74

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    Wow that sucks if it is true! The part that fell out was like a tapered roller bearing, a series of rollers assembled in a housing. Mmmmm might have another local maxer take a look for me and I am going to try and find schematic of the inner parts of the neck, I think I am not explaining myself correctly. I will update later thanks guys
     
  5. Apr 10, 2012 #25

    naughtyG

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    OK that's not so bad at all then. That's the inner part of the bearing which spins loosely inside the race. One of these is just under the top triple-tree (maybe it was stuck to it by grease then fell off?), and the other is usually pretty tightly fitted to the bottom of the shaft on the lower triple-tree and should come off with it.

    The races are press-fitted into the frame. To remove the top one you hit it out carefully from inside and underneath using a cold chisel, large screwdriver or whatever you can find that'll fit in there. The bottom one's a right SOB - you either weld a bead inside the race to heat it up high and it should fall out as it cools down and the metal contracts (easy way if you can weld and have the gear), or you need to VERY carefully cut it out using a Dremel wheel cutter..

    So to answer your original question - there are 2 bearings in the steering head, both rollers. If you're going to replace them, make sure to get the OEM Yamaha ones as any others are usually trash. Ask Sean Morley he has them at an honest price.

    Then again, looking at your problem (pulls left + shake) I would say it's much more likely you have a faulty or sticking front left brake caliper, and/or a worn/scored/warp brake rotor. Simply jack up the bike so the front wheel is free and spin it by hand - does it spin freely?
     
  6. Apr 10, 2012 #26

    gamorg02

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    there is a third option which I did. i bought a steering stem race removal tool and modified it to fit in the tiny opening between the race and the neck housing. i then wedged it in there by using a spacer (i used a nut) and a chisel to have maximum pressure outward. then took a long drift/screwdriver whatever and it popped right out while hitting it from above.. attached a pic.
     

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  7. Apr 10, 2012 #27

    naughtyG

    naughtyG

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    Hey can you expand on that Garrett? I'd love a way that doesn't involve risking damaging the bearing race surface!

    I can't quite see how the tool in your pic went? Does it go inside the lower race from underneath? I didn't there was anything at all to grip on in there, as the race is flush with the frame. Did this thing just grip the inside of the race? Would that not make it expand slightly, thus harder to pop out? :ummm::ummm:
     
  8. Apr 10, 2012 #28

    gamorg02

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    that was exctly why i did this. i tried grinding a notch, cutting the race but it just didn't feel right to me i only got partly into it, but hated not knowing where to go. i don't know how to weld and once u get to this point its tough to bring the 'part' to a welder, haha..

    anyways you understood it correctly. on my bike (not sure if on all of them) there was a ~1mm gap between the 'top' of race and where that housing goes 'horizontal' i think its intended as there was material in there. that gap was also iirc 1.25mm deep. so i grinded the nubs on the tool to fit those dimensions.

    i attached a crappy, shittily done, not to scale mspaint pic if it helps! heh teal being the tool (one side) red the dimensions, black the neck and green the race.

    also the first few times i cranked down the tool it just wanted to collapse in since there was no bracing on the upper half where the work is being done. so i used a spacer and a chisel to make my own brace, the spacer was like 1mm narrower than the gap between the tool tightened down and by hammering the chisel upwards it really sealed it in. a similar technique (if i had one short enough) would have been to put a nut and bolt in there and slowly turn the nut off of the bolt to tighten ti down. i didn't have anything short and heavy duty enough to do so.

    hopefully that clears it up a little bit?
     

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  9. Apr 10, 2012 #29

    naughtyG

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    Ya I think I mostly have it. So you hammered in a chisle+spacer into the top of the two halves of the tool so it would be strong against the top of the race, and then hammered on from above to get it out? That would really make a great 'how-to' with pictures, as this is probably the hardest job I've done on my Max. Where'd you get the tool?
     
  10. Apr 10, 2012 #30

    gamorg02

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    i'd love to but lately time is a commodity I don't have.. i'll see maybe i can do it tonight..

    tool is availble form pit posse at a few retailers. not sure on AUS. i could always pick one up for you and ship it if needed.

    http://www.google.com/products/cata...a=X&ei=wU-ET5SPOuLX0QGLtM3tBw&ved=0CC4Q8wIwAA

    You could borrow mine if you wanted to pay postage there and back but that woudl probably get pricey? either way anyone on the forum can borrow it free of charge, just pay postage the way back and throw in a $5 for postage there (or whatever the postage would be). If it broke though i would probably ask you to replace it.
     
  11. Apr 10, 2012 #31

    naughtyG

    naughtyG

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    Nice one Garrett, it's just good to know there's an alternative way to those without welding equipment!
     
  12. Apr 10, 2012 #32

    gamorg02

    gamorg02

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    no prob G. i also was thinking i think i took a grinding disk and cleared out a bit of material in that 'recess' as well just to make sure the tool 'grabbed'. i think it was mostly junk anyways and not actually grinding away metal.
     
  13. Apr 21, 2012 #33

    pdxvmax5257

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    Just as an aside; I followed Sean Morley's video for tightening the steering head to get rid of the low speed shake. IT WORKED GREAT!!! amazing! I've also run it up to 130 mph since then with no trouble either.
     
  14. Apr 21, 2012 #34

    DakRatFink

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    I did the bounce test and adjustd m ine when I got home from deployment and took her out of storage. However I AM having speed wobble over 115 now which I didn't have last year.
    Could be that I weigh a lot less now, or it could be that I just checked my front fork and the pressure was lopsided. Either way it is slightly better with them tightened than when I loosened them back up and id another test ride.
     
  15. Nov 9, 2014 #35

    gleno

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    It's been a while since I wrote this. Coming back and reviewing the comments makes me glad I did.

    It started people talking and thinking and that's what it was all about.

    Members feedback about tyres has tweaked my memory.

    Tyre pressures and tyre wear are the first thing to check before your think about your stearing bearings.

    The Vmax chews through tyres quickly. So.....

    1) Pump it up to the cold tyre pressure indicated on the side case of the tyre.

    2) That pressure or a bit above should improve the behaviour of your Vmax very quickly.

    3) Correct tyre pressures also ensure that your shock absorbers are working correctly. This quickly improves handling.

    4) If you fail to do 1 to 3 you will create uneven wear on your tyres that will RADICALLY effect high speed handling.

    SO.... correct tyre pressures are the thing to check FIRST when the Vmax handles like a temperamental horse :clapping:
     
  16. Apr 8, 2019 #36

    Equanish

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    After 5k miles on a 01 Vmax acquired at Jazz Fest 2016 I got tired of the clicking and its potential consequences. replaced the bearing option 4. I put way more ma gumbo on the top nut then is required but that doesn't seem to be a problem yet. Max is now at the closest Yammy authorized and where I get an inspection anyway. there are progressives and Torco 20w in there. Know more in a couple of days. Thank you for the only real info I've seen on the subject. Max is my 1st bike. I'd not ridden before. It is fun when i am not hearing the klickin.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019

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