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I have to replace my steering head bearings. have any of you fellows done this job? If so do you have any tips or tricks?. Thanks in advance for your help
 

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the top bearing is real easy, the bottom is pressed onto the stem and can be difficult to remove. take care when installing the new bearing races, a trick I do is using the old races to install the new ones by tapping around them with a hammer. heat might be needed to remove the old races, and freezing the new races might make installation easier. when reinstalling your triple tree, do not tighten down the top nut too much, it will put too much pressure on the bearings and cause your steering to be stiff. look at the service manual for correct tightening torque
 

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I recently hired a pro to do this job, took him three hours. I just wanted to recommend that you get tapered heard bearings. They're more expensive, harder to set up right, but more durable and 'feel' better than ball bearings.
all gsxr's are taper roller bearings :hammer
 

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Don't know how different your '85 is but there's some very good info starting about #40 here.

The bearings have balls but are more correctly referred to as angular contact bearings. I've never seen any good info about seals for roller bearings. The setup details like stem nut torque and checking the movement with a spring scale (assuming that it's done on yours) is probably different for roller bearings and I've never seen such info. I would expect the torque to be lower because of the different contact angles but this is just a guess. I've wondered if angular contact bearings are easier to set up in that regard.
 

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No they're not, my informed friend :nono

The factory installed bearings in my L6 were ball. The mechanic showed them to me after he replaced them with tapered. Seems that most manufacturers use ball bearings the last few years because they're cheaper and easier to set up. I think most of the older bikes were tapered, but I could be wrong.

Why Do OEMs Use Ball Bearings In Steering Heads?
all of mine (3 plug spare frame) have roller bearing no balls in sight, how about posting a picture.

L6 what year oiled cooled gsxr is that, you are writing in the oil cooled section?
 

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Small weld bead on the internal races will make them literally fall out of the head stock. I usually make some sort of bearing install tool like this to press in the races. its best to try and find a tube to press the bearing on the stem, but if you cant find one that works just do it with a small drift and be careful.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Is that pvc pipe and all thread?. that looks like what I need can you supply some more details?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Don't know how different your '85 is but there's some very good info starting about #40 here.

The bearings have balls but are more correctly referred to as angular contact bearings. I've never seen any good info about seals for roller bearings. The setup details like stem nut torque and checking the movement with a spring scale (assuming that it's done on yours) is probably different for roller bearings and I've never seen such info. I would expect the torque to be lower because of the different contact angles but this is just a guess. I've wondered if angular contact bearings are easier to set up in that regard.
Thank you
 

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Doc_Rot's jig looks like it will work fine for the task at hand. For the record, I save my old bearings and slit the race with a Dremel abrasive wheel. Then I use them to drive the new bearings. If the new bearing happens to end up sitting inside the housing, the slit race will follow it in but be easy to remove because of the slit.
 

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Is that pvc pipe and all thread?. that looks like what I need can you supply some more details?
You nailed it. nothing more to say really, just some all thread with pvc of the correct diameter and some fat washers. just tighten it down and the races press in easy. I like Bill's idea of using the old race with a slit to push the new one in, because sometimes its hard to find a pipe with the correct dimensions to push the race in.
 
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