Cleaning steering stem? - Honda Motorcycles - FireBlades.org
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-21-2004, 1:42 AM Thread Starter
 
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Cleaning steering stem?

A friend doesn't want to have his steering bearings changed so I told him he should at least clean the shavings (if any). Is there any way to do it without spending 50 bucks on the fancy socket from honda? I'm just worried about getting the torque right without it. Also, what kind of scale should I use to test the steering head bearing pre-load? I wish he had a clue how to fix stuff and didn't make me do it all the time.
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-21-2004, 2:51 AM
 
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Re: Cleaning steering stem?

Hold on to your hat....... her it comes!

A liter (quart) of water weighs 1kg (2.2 lbs). The Honda manual specifies a pull of 3-4 lbs on a fork-leg as indication of proper bearing preload, if you don't hace their special socket. So, a 2 quart milk or pop bottle slightly less than full will weigh 4 lbs. Tie a 5' length of string to the fork leg and the bottle. Run the string over a smooth "bolt" screwed into a 2X4 at the height of the triple-clamp, so the bolt acts as the "pulley". Tighten the top-nut until the fork only barely pivots under the pull of the hanging bottle. The hanging bottle will exert the right amount of pull on the fork.

Drink the contents of the bottle when you are done, and return the bottle for your re-cycle refund!

Last edited by BrianG; 02-21-2004 at 2:52 AM.
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post #3 of 17 Old 02-21-2004, 4:18 AM
 
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Re: Cleaning steering stem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2k2954
A friend doesn't want to have his steering bearings changed so I told him he should at least clean the shavings (if any). Is there any way to do it without spending 50 bucks on the fancy socket from honda?
Make sure to add new grease. Don't be tempted to over tighten the castle nut. The threads are fine and can strip. You don't want any slop but the triple should move freely. Some people do it on feel. If it is too tight or too loose it will affect the feel and possibility the stability of the bike.

It's possible to do it with a screwdriver, but I wouldn't recommend it.
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post #4 of 17 Old 02-21-2004, 8:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Cleaning steering stem?

Well, since I have alot of time and a little money I spend around an hour tonight making my own steering stem nut socket. I got a 36mm deep socket from the local auto parts store for 5 bucks. I think it's for an axle nut or something, it's one of those bigass black steel solid socket doohickies. Anyways, I used my trusty dremel and cut away the shape of the stem nut so the socket now has 4 posts that fit right into the notches of the nut. I know the nut has 8 notches but I really don't think it'll matter only using 4. The posts that go into the notches are so thick they'll never break or bend.

One last question regarding this. The manual says to tighten to 30lb/ft, rotate back and forth 5 times, loosen and retighten to 13lb/ft. Does this sound right to you guys who have done this or is there a better way?

Mark

Last edited by 2k2954; 02-21-2004 at 8:49 PM. Reason: spelling, I'm a dumbass
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post #5 of 17 Old 02-21-2004, 9:30 PM
 
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Re: Cleaning steering stem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2k2954
Well, since I have alot of time and a little money I spend around an hour tonight making my own steering stem nut socket. I got a 36mm deep socket from the local auto parts store for 5 bucks. I think it's for an axle nut or something, it's one of those bigass black steel solid socket doohickies. Anyways, I used my trusty dremel and cut away the shape of the stem nut so the socket now has 4 posts that fit right into the notches of the nut. I know the nut has 8 notches but I really don't think it'll matter only using 4. The posts that go into the notches are so thick they'll never break or bend.

One last question regarding this. The manual says to tighten to 30lb/ft, rotate back and forth 5 times, loosen and retighten to 13lb/ft. Does this sound right to you guys who have done this or is there a better way?

Mark
I was cleaning my steering stem out yesterday as well, what a coincidence. alot of shavings dropped out, i was amazed.

Anyway, can you post a pic of how you made the socket. I read through the service manual and now i gotta go back and make sure i do the tighten and retighten correctly (i used a screwdriver yesterday ).

Any tip on how to set the right preload would eb great as well. I saw Brian's post but i'm still a little confused.

thanks,
ger
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post #6 of 17 Old 02-21-2004, 10:02 PM
 
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Re: Cleaning steering stem?

Mark: That first step in the Honda sequence is to ascertain that the bearing races are fully seated, and the any excess grease is displaced from the bearing surfaces, prior to final preload setting. It's the RIGHT way to do it.

Gerry: The trick to the "optional" method of preloading the steering head bearings is to find a way to get 3-4 lbs of pull exerted on a fork tube. You could just as easily use a fish scale.
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post #7 of 17 Old 02-21-2004, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Cleaning steering stem?

I will go get some pics right now for ya. How did you support your bike to remove the stem. The stand i have holding the bike now is in the bottom of the steering stem. I haven't removed the stem yet to clean it but I did remove the top bearing and saw shavings in there. Good thing we decided to clean it!

Basically what brian said to do is hang a weight on the handlebar, over a pulley and tighten til the weight barely pulls the bars. Other than that I think you'll have to get one of those fancy spring scales.

Here's the pics.

Last edited by MedTechRR; 01-02-2008 at 7:51 PM.
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-21-2004, 10:38 PM
 
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Re: Cleaning steering stem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2k2954
I will go get some pics right now for ya. How did you support your bike to remove the stem. The stand i have holding the bike now is in the bottom of the steering stem. I haven't removed the stem yet to clean it but I did remove the top bearing and saw shavings in there. Good thing we decided to clean it!

Basically what brian said to do is hang a weight on the handlebar, over a pulley and tighten til the weight barely pulls the bars. Other than that I think you'll have to get one of those fancy spring scales.

Here's the pics.
I raised the bike using a front stand then i placed a paint can and a piece of wood under the headers and lowered the bike onto it. Also the bike was on the rearstand as well. It was plenty sturdy, no problems at all.
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post #9 of 17 Old 02-22-2004, 12:39 AM
 
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Re: Cleaning steering stem?

I feel like I am

Are these shavings a result of bearing/race wear? Or is it something Honda left during construction? Either way this process seems like a major pain in the ass.
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post #10 of 17 Old 02-22-2004, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Cleaning steering stem?

this is something honda left behind. My friends bike that we were cleaning has a little over 1,000 miles and was never ridden hard (he's a wuss) and never raced at a track. It's really not that hard if you have all the special tools (or make them ) and a bit of free time. Just do it the same time you send your forks of to DK for reworking and it's real easy!!
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post #11 of 17 Old 02-22-2004, 1:51 AM
 
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Re: Cleaning steering stem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gblade
I feel like I am

Are these shavings a result of bearing/race wear? Or is it something Honda left during construction? Either way this process seems like a major pain in the ass.
I payed for my head stem bearings to be cleaned and regreased when i had my forks done, the tech commented on the metal shavings in there and thought they were from where Honda australia drilles and attaches the id plate

Do unto others, before some prick does it to you!

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post #12 of 17 Old 02-22-2004, 3:50 AM
 
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Re: Cleaning steering stem?

2K2954 is close, but you exert the pull on the fork tube NOT the handlebar.

Another little hint as a "while you are at it" thing, is that the later 'blades have a reputation for headshake. Some blame the wheel size on the 16" 'blades, and some blame loose head bearing preload. The old VFR had the same reputation and it was addressed by replacing the lower caged-ball type head bearing with a tapered-roller type bearing. Leave the upper one stock. This is an effective mod.

The replacement bearing is an exact dimentional match to the original. Preload is the same.

Last edited by BrianG; 02-22-2004 at 3:51 AM.
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post #13 of 17 Old 02-28-2004, 12:43 AM
 
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Re: Cleaning steering stem?

Just and update. Some of the shavings hanging around the lower bearings
Attached Thumbnails
shavings.JPG‎  
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post #14 of 17 Old 03-01-2004, 12:27 AM
 
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Re: Cleaning steering stem?

2k2954:
Did your improvised socket do the trick? Hats off to you getting it right the first time if it did. How hard is it getting the front end torn down? I was planning on sending my forks to DK and cleaning out the bearings as well. Was going to get the dealer to do it but what the heck.

I came here to chew bubble gum and to kick some ass...and I'm all out of bubble gum.
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-01-2004, 4:00 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Cleaning steering stem?

the socket worked great. Once you get something to get that special nut off, or make a tool, there is nothing tough at all about taking the head apart, on a scale of 1 to 10 I'd give it maybe a 2 just because you have to clean out the shavings and regrease the bearings.
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