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Author Topic: Adjusting steering bearings  (Read 975 times)

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Offline DeepBass9

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Adjusting steering bearings
« on: October 28, 2011, 03:29:26 pm »
I am continually adjusting my steering hear bearings. Before I went to the bash I asked the Suz dealer to adjust them, so they tightened them until the steering was noticable stiffer, now after the bash and 2000km later, they are loose again so I can see the movement when I am riding. Must I just keep tightening them? Doesn't seem to make sense? Is the tightening nut loosening itself, or is something more sinister happening?

Here's the diagram from the workshop manual:
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 03:31:37 pm by DeepBass9 »
 

Offline DeepBass9

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Re: Adjusting steering bearings
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2011, 08:36:01 am »
Bump?

Offline Heddles

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Re: Adjusting steering bearings
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2011, 06:54:57 am »
If you are continuously having the steering head come loose, there is a possibility that two things are happening.

1, the bearings are wearing at a rapid rate and need to be replaced, which is highly unlikely.
2, the person who last fitted bearings to the bike, didn't drive the cones completely home when they installed them.

The best thing to do would be to strip the front end and inspect the bearings properly. If you have any doubt, replace them. 
 

Offline DeepBass9

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Re: Adjusting steering bearings
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2011, 08:09:17 am »
I was hoping the answer wasn't to take the front end apart..

Offline Heddles

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Re: Adjusting steering bearings
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2011, 11:28:19 pm »
Sorry to be the bringer of bad news but there simply is no other way out..
 

Offline Kenzogs

Re: Adjusting steering bearings
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2011, 07:42:12 pm »
I've had a few DRZs and never had steering head bearing problems. How are you checking? Most people hold the front brakes and rock the bike and if there is movement the head bearings get blamed. If this is how you are testing then check it is not movement in your front brakes.

If it is actually head bearing then you must strip the front end and check condition and fitment. Rather that than to pick up a tank slapper and get dumped at speed.
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Offline SmuGS

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Re: Adjusting steering bearings
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2011, 07:53:34 pm »
If you are continuously having the steering head come loose, there is a possibility that two things are happening.

1, the bearings are wearing at a rapid rate and need to be replaced, which is highly unlikely.
2, the person who last fitted bearings to the bike, didn't drive the cones completely home when they installed them.

The best thing to do would be to strip the front end and inspect the bearings properly. If you have any doubt, replace them. 

I've done a few steering head bearings, my guess is number 2.
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Offline Heddles

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Re: Adjusting steering bearings
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2011, 03:54:34 am »
Yeah Smuggy...

I agree.. Even the worst worn ones I have done, have not had play. It is a possibility though so I include it..
I just generally find, with bikes as well as cars, if a guy with little experience has done a job, I strip it completely and do it again properly. Not saying he doesn't know what he is doing and that I am an expert, just that I feel more comfortable belting along a gravel highway at 160, if I know for a fact that the front end is correctly bolted and torqued. Same as any other component on the bike..
 

Offline lecap

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Re: Adjusting steering bearings
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2011, 09:52:57 am »
...Before I went to the bash I asked the Suz dealer to adjust them, so they tightened them until the steering was noticable stiffer...

They overtightened the bearings.

What do you mean you can see the movement when you are riding ? :o

Loose head bearings usually means maybe a few hundreds of a mm which you won't be able to see but you can feel if the front wheel is off the ground and you grab the inner fork tubes and rap them fwd & back. Loose bearings usually result in high speed instability (wobble). Overtightened (and soon notchy) usually messes with steering precision.
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." (Red Adair)
 

Offline Heddles

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Re: Adjusting steering bearings
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2011, 04:18:49 pm »
Something is not right.. Strip the thing.. It's not worth testing your nose's stopping ability..
 

Offline DeepBass9

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Re: Adjusting steering bearings
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2011, 09:28:27 am »
...Before I went to the bash I asked the Suz dealer to adjust them, so they tightened them until the steering was noticable stiffer...

They overtightened the bearings.

What do you mean you can see the movement when you are riding ? :o

Loose head bearings usually means maybe a few hundreds of a mm which you won't be able to see but you can feel if the front wheel is off the ground and you grab the inner fork tubes and rap them fwd & back. Loose bearings usually result in high speed instability (wobble). Overtightened (and soon notchy) usually messes with steering precision.


I can hear a klak noise when I go over a bump, and if I watch the adjusting nut I can see it move! Guess I need to get it looked at.


Offline Heddles

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Re: Adjusting steering bearings
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2011, 06:04:05 pm »
You have to remember. The nut that is used to adjust the bearings, is the steering stem nut. The one that has the little cutouts in it, below the top triple clamp.. The bolt that screws into the top, no 4 in the drawing, merely holds the top triple clamp down and doesn't preload the bearing. Once the steering stem nut has all been properly torqued and put through it's paces, the triple clamps should be tightened. If the sequence has been cocked up, it will not put the correct preload onto the bearings. It might be worth a try to try and loosen everything off, tighten properly and then see how it is. You might find that the sequence hasn't been followed properly and it keeps moving in the triple clamp, even though everything is tight, or appears to be tight.. If you want me to, I can PM the sequence for you to try.

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Offline lecap

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Re: Adjusting steering bearings
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2011, 09:35:49 am »
The old DR's top bearing - as you can see in the piccie - is a piece of shoulder ball bearing rubbish. If it's poked it WILL - much more than a tapered roller bearing - wear rapidly.

And no you can NOT adjust the adjustment nut, clamp the triple clamp onto the steering stem and then tighten the bolt on top. The bolt will push the triple clamp down no matter how tight the clamp is and push the dead play out of the adjuster nut, making the bearing tight.
The correct procedure is: Clamp fork tubes in lower triple clamp. Adjust slotted nut until the bearing is correctly adjusted after the bolt securing the triple clamp (4) is tightened. Then tighten the nut (3). Once all this is done tighten the clamping bolts holding the fork tubes in the upper triple clamps (5)

Check that the steering stem does not have excessive play in the upper triple clamp. It should fit fairly snugly before you tighten the nut (3)
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Offline DeepBass9

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Re: Adjusting steering bearings
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2011, 09:47:02 am »
The old DR's top bearing - as you can see in the piccie - is a piece of shoulder ball bearing rubbish. If it's poked it WILL - much more than a tapered roller bearing - wear rapidly.



Can the bearing be replaced with a more modern one?

Offline lecap

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Re: Adjusting steering bearings
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2011, 10:00:04 am »
Yours is a SP42? I can get you tapered roller bearings from Germany but they will only be here on Dec. 20
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Offline DeepBass9

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Re: Adjusting steering bearings
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2011, 10:25:17 am »
Yours is a SP42? I can get you tapered roller bearings from Germany but they will only be here on Dec. 20

I'm not sure what a SP42 is? If you can get me replacement bearings that would be great. Its a 91 DR650R (Dakar)

Thanks, PM me the cost.

Offline Heddles

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Re: Adjusting steering bearings
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2011, 08:25:29 pm »
I think that the best thing to do here would be to strip and take photos so that we are all on the same page. I know that Suzuki use the ball type bearing for the most bizarre applications but I didn't know that they still used them for this bike.
 

Offline spankme

Re: Adjusting steering bearings
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2011, 10:42:00 pm »
Item G not seated in frame correctly,stem pulling out of bottom yolk,ring in frame where bearing sits damaged?