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Steering Head Bearing Tool Necessities?

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I took my steering stem apart on my 08 YZ250F, and my lower bearing got very rusty and corroded.  I got it fairly clean, but I am considering replacing them.  The cost of the bearings is cheap, but all the different tools they sell for removal and installation can add up quite a bit.  Honestly, it looks like the outer races that are pressed into the frame would be pretty easy to put a drift on, and tap out, but the lower bearing on the stem, I am not sure how much trouble that would give me. Is this a job that is a major pain without all the special tools, or are the special tools more of a convenience?

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I've done em without any special tools.  I use a length of pipe to tap the old ones out, moving the pipe around and not getting the bearing too tilted.  I use the old race to hammer in the new race.  

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Any suggestions on how to get the races out of the steering head?  There doesn't seem to be enough of the race exposed to get a good hit on it with a punch.

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i have written on here many times how much a PITA those are.

 

takes a long punch with a very nice tip (like the long one in this kit - http://www.sears.com/craftsman-5-pc-punch-and-alignment-set/p-00904285000P?prdNo=4&blockNo=4&blockType=G4 )

 

use a deadblow hammer to make sure all the energy goes into the punch

 

once out grind a notch so that next time its easier

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If you have a mig welder weld a small bead clear around the race and they will all but fall out. Now the hard part is the race on the stem, Ill usualy take a grinder with a cut off wheel and  cut it as deep as a can on about a 45 then take t chisel and try to crack the race.

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i have written on here many times how much a PITA those are.

 

takes a long punch with a very nice tip (like the long one in this kit - http://www.sears.com/craftsman-5-pc-punch-and-alignment-set/p-00904285000P?prdNo=4&blockNo=4&blockType=G4 )

 

use a deadblow hammer to make sure all the energy goes into the punch

 

once out grind a notch so that next time its easier

 

 

I grinded my punch flat and it was enough to tap them out.  Thanks guys.

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I got the All Balls kit today, and they have two different numbers on the bags.  They look pretty much identical, but have different numbers on the bags.  I would assume the numbers are there because the bearing and race are a matched set, but want to make sure that the top and bottom bearing arent slightly different before I go pressing the races into the frame.  Anyone else get the All Balls kit that can confirm either of the two bearings supplied can be installed up top or the bottom? 

.

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no idea on that.

 

put the races in the freezer for 4+ hours.

take 1 out of freezer and with a block of wood hammer that one in as fast as you can before it heats back up.

then get the 2nd.

use a deadblow hammer.  2-3 whacks is all it should take.

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FYI the top and bottom bearings are not identical on aluminum framed bikes. Make sure and measure. They are close but not the same

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FYI the top and bottom bearings are not identical on aluminum framed bikes. Make sure and measure. They are close but not the same

 

 

Yep, I measured the inner bore diameter, and they are about 2-3mm different. 

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I hate Yamaha right now.  I have everything but the top race completed.  I honestly don't recommend this job to anyone who doesn't have access to all the correct tools.  I bought a 20 ton press to get the steering stem bearing off.  Now I have the top race installed in the steering tube, but the top race apparently needs to be recessed past the machining of the frame by about 1/16 of an inch.  So now I cant get the race to drive down that last 1/16 of an inch because if my driver is off even just a little, its hitting the frame instead of the race.  I don't know why Yamaha machined the frame this way, if the race sat up a 1/16th, then you could easily drive it down until it seats.  :foul:  

Edited by mjbd

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Can't you use the steering stem bolt to tighten it up ? Act as a press ?

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Can't you use the steering stem bolt to tighten it up ? Act as a press ?

 

After a closer look, it looks like the race is fully seated, and it was the slight chamfer on the race that was giving the illusion of a gap in between the bottom of the race and the frame.  Should be back in business soon. 

Edited by mjbd

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Buy a long claw screwdriver and you will have all the meat of the blade on the race, pops out easily. I know on the 450, the bottom and top races are a different size. 

Edited by restukey

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