Steering Stem Bearing Race Removal

What is the best tool for removal of the races? I have tried with a punch but the one I have is not long enough and it has become a lesson in frustration. I am thinking of purchasing the Park Tools driver. Is there something better to use?

Also I noticed my bottom bearing was in pretty bad shape with dirt and pretty dry. Is there any additional steps that could be taken to combat this? I was thinking about pumping some extra grease in the stem area.

I have that Park Tool race driver and it wouldn't work on my 07 YZ250f. There wasn't enough of the race showing for the tool to stay on when hit. Every time it just squeezed smaller and slipped passed the race.

 

Now I just use a dremmel to cut a slit in the race and it slides right out.

Is it difficult to cut and not damage the surface?

I have very little bearing showing on the side and cannot get the punch on it. I am thinking the Park Tool may not work for me either.

Get a big cheap screw driver and take it to the grinder.

the aluminum frame yamis are a pain to get the races out. what I did was grind away some aluminum where the race bottoms out on so I can get a punch at the back side to force it out, but I use my air hammer and a long chisel attachment to hammer it out. the easiest way to do it. I tried to do it with a slide hammer and I couldent get them to budge.

 

get used to it, on my 06 and 07 I had to do them every year, water always seems to find its way in there.

 

have access to a welder? you could weld a bead around the whole race where the rollers ride, sometimes the races will just fall out after that

Edited by davecarrr414

The best way I have found on a aluminum frame dirt or street bike is to take a muffler/tailpipe spreader and install it into the race. Expand it and then hit the expander with a hammer or punch.

If it's really stuck then use some heat from a propane torch. Usually with heat and the weight of the expander the lower race will fall right onto the floor. Works everytime. Using this way you don't need a lip of the race to hit.

They sell muffler tail pipe expanders at harbor freight for cheap.

The best way I have found on a aluminum frame dirt or street bike is to take a muffler/tailpipe spreader and install it into the race. Expand it and then hit the expander with a hammer or punch.

If it's really stuck then use some heat from a propane torch. Usually with heat and the weight of the expander the lower race will fall right onto the floor. Works everytime. Using this way you don't need a lip of the race to hit.

They sell muffler tail pipe expanders at harbor freight for cheap.

never thought of a tail pipe extender. ill have to try that next time :thumbsup:

Long bent screwdriver, then end has a bend to it, and it works nice if there is a taper inside the tube. Mine popped out easily and I used the old races & hammer to tap in the new races. I have always dreaded it, and couldn't believe how easy it was. 

Just to let you guys know Yamaha has a bearing with a built in seal, keeps the water out very well, to replace the stock top bearing. If you have had issues I'd recommend using that bearing. Search the forum and you will find it.

i use a socket just small enough to fit into the stearing tube with a long extention. angle it and get it on the edge of the race them smack it with a big hammer

Just to let you guys know Yamaha has a bearing with a built in seal, keeps the water out very well, to replace the stock top bearing. If you have had issues I'd recommend using that bearing. Search the forum and you will find it.

 

All of Yamaha's current replacement parts are the updated sealed bearing now.  PN 93332-00078-00 is the right one.  00068 was the old version without the inner seal.  Even with this new bearing, avoid high pressure water spray in the steering head area.

I am going to pick up the tail pipe expander from Harbor freight and try that. The medium one seems to be the correct size range( I put a caliper on the ID this morning at it was about 1 5/8"). I have a propane torch at home which I can heat the area up. I am fearful of trying the cutting or welding method so I will resort to that if all else fails. I really wish I would have known about the bearing with built in seal. I ordered a kit that is from ALL BALLS that I am pretty sure does not have the seals.. The top bearing did not look bad at all, but the bottom was completely shot.

 

We have more snow on the way so I don't see me riding anytime soon, so I have time to play with.

These things seem to never go easy... rear linkage and swing arm bearings will be next.

The tailpipe expander is the best method I've ever used. It is the medium size from harbor freight. If u want to do it very easily just heat it up the first time. The lower race falls right out and the upper can be hit with a punch or a screwdriver. I have never had it not work.

I have all the park tool removers but they still slip over the small race in the aluminum frame. That frame is thick and doesn't give you a race edge to hit.

Linkage and swingarm bearings are easy compared to getting steering races out. Just use a bench vice and sockets.

I suppose it's a form of cheating, but I have an old universal automotive cam bearing installer that I use on these.  Works quite a bit like the tailpipe tool. ;)

 

Otherwise, a combination of heating the steering head and using a cone shaped rotary file on an air grinder or Dremel to cut 3 small half-round cut-outs over the lower race.  If you put the new race in the freezer for a half hour prior to starting the job, and you have the head heated to about 175 or so, you can probably slip it right into place by hand, wait for it to "take hold", then seat it with a punch carefully.

Just tried the tail pipe expander method on my lower race.  5 minutes of heating (carefully) and a couple of taps with a hammer, it popped right out!  Thanks for the tip!

BTW, to install the new one, I froze the race, added a little grease, heated the steering head for 5 minutes, and then pushed it most of the way in with my gloved fingers.  Used the old race with a slit cut into it to drive the new race the rest of the way up.  Eazy - just the way I like!

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