Bike Stem rebuild

OK, so about a week ago I explained how my steering locked up.....Well...I have the stem apart and the bottom Bearing assy, is rooted. One whole half of the bearing assy is disintegrated. The top one looks OK but I am replacing both. Now…Do I fill up the whole stem with Grease when I am putting it back together? Or just grease the bearings?

Thanks all :)

I've heard of a trick of drilling and tapping a zerk fitting into the steering head to make regreasing the bearing a snap.

Hmm I like the sound of this!!....

are you talking about a grease nipple?

that would be a great idea.....I will ask around. thanks.

but still can anyone answer my question?

I worry about that reducing the strength of the stem. I have an 02' xr650r and mine is starting to bind when it sits for a while. Bummer, It's only got 1100 miles on it.

Sorry to hear about the steering stem locking up. I personally would not fill up the whole stem with grease because it would likely get very messey over time (oil running from the steering head, etc) and there's no guarantee that the grease would be pressed into the bearings. I feel the best way to ensure good bearing life is to annually inspect the bearings & repack as necessary with a good waterproof (not water resistant) grease. For the steering head bearings, I used an inexpensive bearing packer similar to the one pictured in the following link:

I first cleaned out all the old grease from the bearings by placing the bearings in a solution of kerosene & motor oil and then inspected the bearings. To use the bearing packer tool, you put the bearing between the cones and simply hook up your grease gun to the zerk fitting and the grease gun will force the new grease through the bearing. If you don't want to clean out all the old grease and closely inspect the bearing, you can simply shoot the new grease into the bearing as is and you'll see the old grease oozing around each roller followed by the new grease, but do take the time to work the rollers afterward.

I would not recommend using a Lithium based grease even if it says its waterproof because it may not be waterproof no matter what the lable says. An aluminum complex grease will be waterproof and I feel its the best choice for the bearings in my bikes. You can often find a good aluminum complex grease in boat shops or even trailer shops, but you don't often find them in auto shops.

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