Friday, January 28, 2011

steering stem bearings

I bought a set of All Balls Racing steering stem bearings and with seals from a local dealer for $35. As I expected, they are the same part number for both the RMZ250 and the DR650 (plus a whole bunch of other Suzuki bikes). The lower bearing needs to be pressed on, while the top one just slides on and off with by hand.

To get the old lower bearing removed, I used a pry bar, then a hammer with a piece of steel used as a punch. To press the new one into place I used length of threaded rod, and a selection of large, flat washers (including one with a 1 1/4" centre hole to press up against the bearing itself over, slid down over the steering stem), plus a piece of 1 1/2" square tubing (left over from the trailer I built).

The new bearing slides on until it gets almost to the end...
then you need to press it on carefully the rest of the way.
You either need a shop press to do it, or you can MacGyver a special tool like I did.

Slide a big, fat washer down over the steering stem and let it rest on the top of the bearing (and I also used the old bearing race to protect the roller bearing), then a piece of 1 1/2" square tubing works well as a spacer to get you to the end of the steering stem.

It's that last 3/4" or so that the bearing needs to be pressed.

Then just crank the nuts onto the threaded rod and voilĂ , the bearing is forced into position smoothly.

Bearing and dust seal now in place.

These bearing fit quite a number of different bikes.

The home made bearing press may look pretty ghetto, but it gets the job done without putting undue stress on the new bearings.

I use Permatec synthetic grease on all the bearings.
Last week, I installed new wheel bearings and seals in both the front and rear wheels.

I've been trying to streamline the toolkit that I carry on the bike. Picked up these two hex socket adapters shown... a 1/4" drive adapter and a 3/8" adapter, and a 6" long #2 Philips screwdriver that fits nicely in the hex ratchet (this ratchet is really slick and I use it all the time). Along with a 10mm & 12mm wrenches, plus tire removal tools, most of the basics are covered.