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Thread: New Steering Bearings Problem - Please help!

  1. #1
    A Bit Bored TheRiz's Avatar
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    Default New Steering Bearings Problem - Please help!


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    Hi all 😊

    So I have a 2010 RMZ250 and thought instead of taking it to a garage to have the steering bearings done I'd have a go myself. I'm normally pretty good with these kind of jobs and enjoy doing them.

    Upon reassembly though I've lost about 3 - 4mm from my stem as if the new bearings are taking up more space than the old stuff.. 🤔

    What I did:
    I punched out the old races, cut off the lower bearing cage and used a grinder to cut the lower inner race off the stem. I cleaned all areas and used the old races to drive the new ones in. I've hammered in the races and used verniers to make sure they are in straight. They're in as far as they're going to go as I'm getting dead hits.

    The assembly requires at the top: Bearing, bearing seal, big cap that lips over headset, washer, lock nut, top triple clamp.

    I find this strange for a start because the big cap doesn't spin, whereas the stem, bearing, bearing washer, lock nut washer and lock nut all do spin. Putting the top cap in the middle doesn't feel right but the old one had one on too and the new one came with a new one..

    I only have to do the lock nut up a little before the bearings bind. I am able find a good spot where it doesn't knock but it isn't stiff but the nut isn't secure enough on the thread and turns by hand, probably because I don't have as many threads to use.

    Not sure what to do. All Balls have confirmed both top and bottom bearings are identical and same part number. I've. Measured everything I've taken off against all new bits and they're just the same. I've asked them for further help but so far no reply..

    Please help!

    Thanks 👍

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    Should Get Out More maccecht's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Steering Bearings Problem - Please help!

    Well if everything is identical in dimensions as in depth then it should fit. Logically something is not fitted correctly. If the above is the case. Is the race on the stem pressed fully home, are the bottom and top races seated fully as in a nice dead ring when tapped. Try running a pick round the seat of the races to see if there is any gap. It can only be one of three things either the bearings are not the correct size, not the correct ones for your model or not seated properly. Check then double check even if you have to pop them back out and measure against the old ones.

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    A Bit Bored TheRiz's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Steering Bearings Problem - Please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by maccecht View Post
    Well if everything is identical in dimensions as in depth then it should fit. Logically something is not fitted correctly. If the above is the case. Is the race on the stem pressed fully home, are the bottom and top races seated fully as in a nice dead ring when tapped. Try running a pick round the seat of the races to see if there is any gap. It can only be one of three things either the bearings are not the correct size, not the correct ones for your model or not seated properly. Check then double check even if you have to pop them back out and measure against the old ones.
    Thanks for the reply 👍

    I'd like to say things are 100% seated as I've tried to double check several times by hammering them evenly using the old race to guide and then measuring around the lip with calipers in 4 places around the rim to see if I've managed to move them at all. I've done that a few times now with no movement. I'm definitely getting dead blows on the top and am pretty sure I am on the bottom but it's harder to tell due to the angle.

    I'm also pretty positive the stem bearing is down as far as it will go, as measuring the overall height from the lower triple clamp to the top of the bearing I can see it's roughly the same as the height of the bearing not fitted and to add below that bearing is the seal. Although this one is not as easy to tell .

    One thing that bothers me is the bearing sits in the top cup and is proud of the rim of the stem by at least 1mm.. On top of that then has to go the seal and cover. This seems too much and I'd have thought it wouldn't be proud but level, but I didn't check when taking the old one out unfortunately.

    You're right when you say the only way to measure the race properly is to remove one. I really didn't want to have to do that, but if I did would it still be usable if I'm gentle?

    Thanks very much for the help it's greatly appreciated!

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    Should Get Out More maccecht's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Steering Bearings Problem - Please help!

    Get a bit of threaded rod two proper sized sockets and some nuts and washers and make a press to seat the races in the head. If it is fully seated you will soon know. Once this is done and you are confident the stem race is fully seated the only obvious choice would be the bearings are bigger than the old ones. Knocking them out wont damage them. If you wrap some rags round the steering head and pour boiling water on them the races will pop out easier

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    Should Get Out More a_morti's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Steering Bearings Problem - Please help!

    The bearings have a specific up and down. Do you have the top bearings upside down?

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    Default Re: New Steering Bearings Problem - Please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by a_morti View Post
    The bearings have a specific up and down. Do you have the top bearings upside down?
    This is what I thought, but when I opened up the box the top and bottom had the same part number. I checked with All Balls Racing who confirmed they should be the same top and bottom.

    It worried me though, as the OEM parts list two different numbers.

    Still waiting on a reply from All Balls, however if I put the top bearing in the bottom race it sits just as proud from the race as it does at the top. ��

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    Should Get Out More a_morti's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Steering Bearings Problem - Please help!

    I mean, they have a specific up and down orientation. If you get it wrong the cage will be upside down, and make the inner race sit higher and be tight. Sounds obvious but you seem to have eliminated a lot already.

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    Should Get Out More a_morti's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Steering Bearings Problem - Please help!


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    Default Re: New Steering Bearings Problem - Please help!

    Thanks a_morti. I would have posted a link to the diagram but I'm not allowed to post links until I have 15 posts ��*♂️

    Mine is a 2010 so slightly different. I'm not sure how I could get the orientation wrong not sure it would go together if the bearings were the wrong way round but maybe I'm missing something there.

    Thanks again for the help ��

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    Should Get Out More a_morti's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Steering Bearings Problem - Please help!

    Push bike video but same applies.

    https://youtu.be/61Gygv82DAM

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    A Bit Bored TheRiz's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Steering Bearings Problem - Please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by a_morti View Post
    Push bike video but same
    Ah! Thanks mate I understand now. Mine are roller taper type so impossible to fit the wrong way but thanks for the idea ��

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    Should Get Out More maccecht's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Steering Bearings Problem - Please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRiz View Post
    Thanks a_morti. I would have posted a link to the diagram but I'm not allowed to post links until I have 15 posts ��*♂️

    Mine is a 2010 so slightly different. I'm not sure how I could get the orientation wrong not sure it would go together if the bearings were the wrong way round but maybe I'm missing something there.

    Thanks again for the help ��
    https://www.ronayers.com/oemparts/a/.../steering-stem
    This help 2010 steering stem

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    A Bit Bored TheRiz's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Steering Bearings Problem - Please help!

    Thanks maccecht ����

    So for a start I don't understand no16. It's a dust cover that fits over the bearing and bearing seal, and under the lock nut washer and lock nut.

    Surely if the bearing and bearing seal spins, and the lock nut and washer spin with the stem, the dust seal sandwiched in between all this should also spin? It doesn't ��*♂️ This makes it hard to tension the lock nut as when you turn the stem any tension against the dust seal either tightens or loosens the lock nut ��*♂️

    I'm going to pick up a threaded rod and some washers/nuts to make sure my races are seated properly. I'll be surprised if they're not but for the money it's gotta be worth a go..
    Last edited by TheRiz; 18-06-19 at 16:47.

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    Should Get Out More maccecht's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Steering Bearings Problem - Please help!

    I assume you mean 16? That is the bearing seal sits on top of the bearing once the stem is put back in the steering head. You did remove the old bearing seal from the bottom of the stem? Not doubling them up are you. There should only be 1 bearing seal top and bottom no other seals

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    A Bit Bored TheRiz's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Steering Bearings Problem - Please help!

    Sorry yeah on phone must have mistyped.

    Yes no 16.

    Not doubling up either, removed and cleaned everything and every surface �� Annoyingly I want to post pictures but can't until I've posted 15 times.

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