Repairing Steering Head And Bearings

Each steering head bearing consists of two pieces, the bearing outer race, and the roller bearing with inner race. The outer races are pressed into the steering head cups in the frame head. The lower roller bearing is assembled over the fork stem and the upper roller bearing is held in place on the fork stem by the upper fork bracket and nut on the upper threaded end of the fork stem.

After fork is removed inspect bearings and races for pitting, roughness or wear. Roughness of the roller bearings can be determined by rolling the bearings on the bearing races by hand. If bearings or races require replacement it is best to replace them in sets.

To replace bearing races, knock head cup from steering head using a suitable drift. Press new bearing race in new head cup and then press assembly into frame head.


Turn out two slider tube plugs (1) and invert sliders to drain out oil and remove fork springs (2). Remove damper valve stud locknut (3) from bottom of slider and pull slidertube (4) out of slider (5). Pinch out snap ring (6) from lower end of slider tube and drop out damper tube lower bushing (8). Discard gaskets (7 and 9). Slide out damper valve assembly (10). Snap out spring ring (11), washer (12), felt washer (13) and pry out oil seal (14).


Remove fork tube cap (3). Remove O-ring (4) from cap. Remove spring (5) and drain oil from fork side. Remove screw (6) and washer (7). Shock absorber tube (8) may now be pulled from fork side. Remove wear rings (9) from slots in shock absorber tube. Remove spring (10) and sleeve (11).

Separate fork tube (12) and fork slider (13) by pulling the two apart. Remove seals (15) only if they are to be replaced. Remove lockring (14) and then pry out seals (15). Discard the damaged seals. Remove washer (16).

Thoroughly clean and inspect each part. If inspection shows that any parts are bent, broken or damaged, those parts should either be replaced or repaired.

Inspect seals (15) for wear. If they were removed, they must be replaced. Inspect wear rings (9) on damper tube (8) and replace if excessively worn or damaged. Replace springs (5 and 10) if broken or distorted.

Inspect small hole in groove in lower end of fork tube (12) and see that it is not obstructed.

Make sure O-ring (4) is in good condition, without any irregularities, and that it provides proper sealing when in place.

Check washer (7) to see that it provides a good seal when used with its respective screw (6) to prevent oil leakage.

Repair bent or damaged fork tube (12) as described in "Straightening Fork Tubes" later in this section.

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