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Thread: Steering Head Bearings

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rainman's Avatar
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    After gathering as much information as I could, I finally tackled my steering bearings. I did my Dad's TW last week, so today was my TW's turn. I searched a lot for pictures and tips on how to accomplish this task and I found some good info on this site and others, but very few pictures so I took some to share.



    I welcome any advice or other things that I may have missed. Feel free to correct me if I have done something wrong. Having the service manual in front of me helped. A special thank you to darnold87 for his help.



    I'll try and make this a step by step, but its almost impossible to explain every detail.



    You'll need to remove everything from the front end. Headlight cowl, headlight, blinkers, speedo, forks, wheel, etc.

    I lightly tapped a screw driver in the lower clamp to spread it apart so I could remove my forks.





    I marked every wire by writing on a piece of tape and sticking it to the wire. Most of the connections are unique, but I just didn't want to screw anything up.





    The blinker assembly comes out in one piece





    Here is everything marked





    The handlebars with everything attached come out as one unit (after unplugging the wiring of course)





    Now, take your wrench with a 22mm socket (same socket for the axle nuts) and remove the shinny bolt on top of the upper clamp.



    EDIT:

    It helps if you leave at least one fork in as the upper clamp will swivel. The bolt can be undone without the fork (what I did), but leaving a fork in does help.









    Now, the upper clamp should just slide up and off





    Now this is what you're left with





    Now, there is a special tool from Yamaha that is used to take off the ring nut. I was told its expensive and hard to find. I read that most guys use a screw driver and a hammer or a pair of large pliers. I used a screw driver and a hammer. Its really not on there all that tight.

    turbodieseli4i6 and GOF like this.
    If you can't find it, grind it

    1990 TW200

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rainman's Avatar
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    Now, this step is crucial. The bottom clamp is heavier that it looks. You'll want to support it with one hand while you take off the ring nut with the other. If you are just going to grease your existing ball bearings, I'd advise to place a box or cart underneath the front head tube because you will lose a couple ball bearings. If you are replacing the ball bearings with roller bearings, then let the old bearings roll where they want! (steering stem already removed in this picture)





    And this is what slides down and out of the head tube.





    This is what the top of the head tube looks like. You'll reuse the ring nut and the cup shaped washer thing underneath it.





    Underneath the cupped washer is another washer and under that are the bearings laying in their race.





    Now, take a chisel and gently tap off the lower race thats stuck on the bottom clamp. Take your time, it will come off. Work your way around it.







    It will eventually come up and you can slide of off but keep it, we'll use it in a little bit.









    Now, we need to remove the old races in the head tube. I had a bar laying around that I used. Its about a foot long which is almost too long, but it worked fine. Put in in from the top and lightly catch a side of the old race. Work your way around the race while lightly tapping with a hammer.





    This is what will come out.

    turbodieseli4i6 likes this.
    If you can't find it, grind it

    1990 TW200

  3. #3
    Senior Member Rainman's Avatar
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    Now do the same thing to the upper one. Watch out because the upper one likes to fly. Mine landed about 10 feet away.







    Now everything is disassembled, so we can get out our new bearings.







    This is how they go together. You have a dust seal, roller bearing, and race.







    Get some grease because the new bearings need some.







    Make sure the grease gets pushed up through the bearings. I just put a glob of grease in one hand and used the other to push the bearing down onto the grease. Do this to both bearings.





    Now, lets install the new races. I bought a bearing race and seal installer from my local farm supply store. It wasn't a perfect fit for these races but it did work great. They work for the wheel bearings too. They make installing the races easier because they get them in straight. Use some of your grease to lube the inside of the steering tube before installing the races.

    turbodieseli4i6 likes this.
    If you can't find it, grind it

    1990 TW200

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Rainman's Avatar
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    The bottom one going in. Lightly tap it in. When you hear a metal to metal sound, they are in. Take your finger and run it around the installed race as there shouldn't be any gaps.





    Its in.





    Now for the top one. This one is a little easier because you can see it. Grease it up and tap it in. Oh, and it won't go down all the way. The new race will stick up a little bit.









    Now that the races are installed, we need to install the bigger bearing on to the steering stem. I put my steering stem in the freezer for a few hours. That helped a lot.

    You can leave on the old rubber piece because it won't get into the way.



    On goes the new dust seal





    Then the bearing.





    Remember that old lower race that I told you to keep? This is where it comes in handy. Slide the old race on top of the new bearing. We'll use it as a cushion when we tap the new bearing into place.





    I used a couple pieces of pipe and lightly tapped on the bearing to seat it. It didn't take much. If you didn't put the stem in the freezer it may take more force.





    Now the bearing should be fully seated like this.

    turbodieseli4i6 likes this.
    If you can't find it, grind it

    1990 TW200

  6. #5
    Senior Member Rainman's Avatar
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    Now, take the stem and insert it into the bottom of the steering tube.







    Then drop in the other bearing.







    And then put on the new seal.





    Then the old cupped washer.





    And then the ring nut.





    Now, we need to tighten the ring nut to seat the bearings.





    This is where touch and feel come into play. Without having a special tool, you are going to have to tighten down the ring nut to your liking. First, tighten it down while moving it from side to side until it gets real tight. Don't lean on the wrench, but give it some good force. Now back it off a full turn and then tighten it by hand until all the up and down and side to side play is out of it.



    Now, install the upper clamp





    And put the bolt on lightly

    turbodieseli4i6 likes this.
    If you can't find it, grind it

    1990 TW200

  7. #6
    Senior Member Rainman's Avatar
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    Insert the front forks so they can line up the bottom and top clamps.





    Now, torque down the bolt to 65 ft lbs. This will tighten up the steering a bit. Feel free to take off the upper clamp and play with the ring nut. I probably did it eight times until I felt I got it right.







    You can now start putting everything back together.







    Remember to put on your speedometer cable before your headlight.









    All done!

    greenbomb, cowboyjeff, Ken and 3 others like this.
    If you can't find it, grind it

    1990 TW200

  8. #7
    Senior Member PalmStateCrawler's Avatar
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    Nicely done. I'm sure this will come in handy for a lot of us. Thanks for taking the time to do this.
    '13 690 Enduro R too many frickin farkles...
    '07 KLX250 farkled (wife's bike)
    '86 BW80 farkled to size
    '10 TW200 you will be missed

  9. #8
    Senior Member B-dub's Avatar
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    Very well done! I'll be using this when I upgrade my bearings. Thanks for taking the time to document it and share it with us.
    My handle is B-dub, I ride a T-dub, and drive a V-dub.

  10. #9
    Senior Member jpuck's Avatar
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    i 2nd that good job, love seeing all the pictures it make it soo much better for the rest of use.

  11. #10
    Senior Member n2o2diver's Avatar
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    Nice job! This will definitely help a lot of people out. Thanks for taking the time to post it.
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