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DRZ400 Steering Stem Bearing Race Removal

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Posted (edited)

My son moved to Hawaii about eight years ago and so his 2000 DRZ400 has been sitting in my steel building for this length of time. So he gave me the bike several months ago and I have been very slowly going thru it.

One of the items in need of replacement is the steering stem bearing. The steering was very difficult at best to move and when I was able to pull it apart, there was the problem, corrosion! The bearings and races had rusted from this Washington weather.

I have been half heartily trying to get the races out for three weeks without success. I have been reviewing various methods and tools to extract the subject, but simply refuse to pay the money for the tools that claim to perform this task.

Finally I had an idea that I wished to try before spending the $60.00 plus dollars for "A" tool. I went to Harbor Freight and purchased a "Tail Pipe Expander" I think it cost me with a discount coupon $11.00?

The night before I was to attempt to remove the races with this tool, I heated the neck just outside the race for maybe 20 to 30 seconds using MAP GAS and then sprayed wd-40 on each race with the hope that the heat would cause expansion and this would have made space for the penetrating oil. I performed this operation twice and allowed to set overnight.

The next day, I performed the last operation with heat/wd-40 once, allowed to cool, installed the tool, applied a light application of wd-40 on the mating surface of the tool and the inside of steering head to aid in the extraction process, hit with rawhide die hammer and success!

When mating tool groove with bearing; adjust tool so that the groove is located at the smallest I.D. of race and expand tool so that it can still be moved inside the head with just your hands. Once established, then set groove to race ever so slightly above race edge to ensure a good fit. Take socket, extension and ratchet and tighten so that there is a snug interference fit. Once the desired tension is achieved, hammer out. For me, I had a left-over dumbbell bar for this application.

Perform the lower race extraction first with the tool completely inside the head and the long hex nut is on top of tool and inside the head and drive downward with force. Next set to remove the upper race with hex nut inside the head and it is facing toward the ground and drive upward with force. You can see from the pic with the race on the tool that this was this step.

 

 

pic of stem bearing race 1.jpg

pic of stem bearing race 2.jpg

Exhaust expansion tool 1.PNG

Edited by Point Doc
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Very interesting...this is the first forum that I have never received a comment on a post.

What is it that this solution does not get a remark? From all of the sites I have visited, this approach has never been considered.

I have a lot to do on this bike, including installing an air/fuel gauge...

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Try running a small bead of weld on the race. It should shrink and be easy to remove.

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I considered this, but it's done without introducing any splatter inside the steering head. Also I suspect most don't have a welder in there garage like you and I.

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That bad. Necessity is the mother of invention.

 

Below I have attached a pic of the tool I use. It's ready made but fairly cheap and makes short work of the job.

 

WD sucks. Google a product called Kano Kroil. Your local gun shop may have it in stock. A half hour of this stuff soaking in the race and it would of probably fallen out.

Screenshot_20180712-075940.thumb.jpeg.cd1f4d0b20db1c2d2e8a5c1c5401d8e4.jpegScreenshot_20180712-080546.thumb.jpeg.f29ee314e9a63b0fffb23b040ddd03bd.jpeg

 

 

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I use heat/cool cycles and then knock the races out with a drift. works well for wheel bearings also. if you snack it hard enough to break the race and can't get purchase enough to continue, carry it to a machine shop and ask them to knock it out... they'll weld a cross bar in the race and then smack it with a hammer. 

 

good thing you're going through the whole bike, it's likely to need some stuff after that long

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If the idea worked, its not dumb.

And it worked so good for you.

But it is a lot more involved then needed, and no advantage over knocking races with a race punch, brass rod, or a race tool....it took me longer to type that then it does to knock out two races

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I was in a similar fix with my kx, but I ended up just using a punch, mallet, PB Blaster, and a little heat. Got the races out with about 6 taps each. Getting the new ones in was actually harder.. and yes I stuck the new races in the freezer for about 2 days and used heat.

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I try not to buy tools for problems that can be solved with a BFH, I guess yours were rusted onto the frame and the heat-cool cycles with penetrating lube got them unstuck.

 

 

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I generally run a small weld bead in 3 spots if not a punch or steel rod sharpened at an angle to help get a good hit . The weld bead works great for hard to access races . The expander worked so nothing wrong with it . Smaller bearings I make rods like Ohio posted , just cutoff grinder slots and pound a wedge in to get the end spreading . Races/bushings in blind holes can by hydraulically pounded out with heavy oil/grease and a rod barely smaller than the race id. , then a quick , solid hammer hit.   Many ways to skin a cat .

 

 

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Edited by jjktmrider

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Thanks for the replies!

As mentioned by others, I did try several times to use a BFH and also as one mentioned the application of a punch without success. I simply did not have enough surface area for the punch to rest against. Not sure about other bikes, but this 2000 model did not leave enough race material exposed to permit a solid contact with a punch, screw-driver, etc. I presented different tools to process the extraction without success. I considered welding several times during this, but felt because of the corrosion I may not get enough contact surface on the race to be successful. So, with the exhaust pipe expander, I was able to apply equal amounts of force not in one or two spots, but the entire circumference of the race. With applied equal force, I felt I had a better chance of freeing the race from the head.

I considered the Park Tool, but read several unsuccessful stories and simply did not wish to spend the time waiting for it to arrive and also the money. But, I am glad it worked for you OHIODRZ400. What I did like about this tool was that it provided more than one, or two points of contact to distribute force to the race. What I did not like was a few unsuccessful stories and the PRICE. I was concerned that I have not only an interference fit, but that the surfaces are corroded and the only thing I would have from the purchase would be another unsuccessful story to share.

I like the idea of running weld beads for more surface material as mentioned by jjktmrider; but again because of the high probability of corrosion between the contact surfaces, I am not certain for this application that applying force on a single location per applied force would have worked, may have? This may have helped with the Park Tool, because few of the complaints was that the tool could not maintain contact with the race during the process. I would strongly consider this application "if" I ever have to do this again, but for less than $15.00 for the tool, it's kinda hard not to start with this one again.

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