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Steering stem roller bearing replacement

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  • Steering stem roller bearing replacement

    I purchased a roller bearing kit from made in Japan. I took the top roller set and place the seal on it in my hand. There is free movement of the roller bearing with the top roller set (no grease). So I assumed the bottom set would be ok

    On installation for the lower stem, the dust seal was placed 1st, then the bearing was pressed in.
    Once this was done, the cage for the rollers would not move. On first blush the inner seal diameter looks too tight and is binding the roller cage.
    Thinking, the inner seal area folded when the bearing was pressed, I took a flat brass probe and made sure the inner seal sat outside the bearing.
    This did not resolve the issue. So I removed the seal and bearing.

    I looked at an All Balls package and placed the seal on the bearing. There appeared to be no binding, but the cage did not move as freely as I hoped.

    The question is from users of the roller cage upgrade is: How freely did the roller cage move once you installed it ?

    What is your experience? Please, experience posts requested20220429_092401.jpg image_53800.jpg

    Last edited by How2; 04-29-2022, 11:59 PM. Reason: clean up

  • #2
    I've done quite a few of these and they roll pretty freely. Could the bearing have been damaged on install?
    Don't spend money and buy, spend time and learn.


    • #3
      I just installed some all balls tapered bearings last week. Like you, I feel the dust seal doesn't allow the lower bearing to roll as freely as it could. It's like it has an extra little sealing lip that seems completely unnecessary, I even contemplated finding an older dust seal and using that instead of the All Balls, but I didn't and just used the freeze and cook method of installation. Then I torqued way tight when it was all together and then backed off the nut and locking nut until all drag was gone. It seems fine riding it.


      • #4
        Solution found- for the bottom bearing (top bearing is not an issue)

        Many calls to bearing and seal companies resulted in a lot of guess work. So screw it

        The seal that comes with the taper roller bearings is the stock seal or too close to stock- maybe its a bit larger. Its not correct
        And quality control from China has not reached Japan standards

        So this is the case

        The taper bearing is bell shaped at the bottom. The stock bearing is raised, so it sits higher on the stem.
        The stock seal is "cupped " shaped with straight walls and sits lower, from the ball race. So there is free play in the cage, as designed

        The taper bearing being bell shaped, it needs a seal that is more " V " shaped to be more open from the base to the top.
        The stock seal will bind the roller bearing cage, it will not operate as designed

        For those who keep their bikes forever or who want the correct fit:

        1- find a wheel bearing approximately the same size of the seal - I have decades of these lying around
        --- or you can measure the outer most part of the taper bearing and find a sealed bearing that size to use as a drift
        --- sealed bearings are beveled so the seal will not bind or tear when beating the bearing on the seal.
        2 - drift the wheel bearing on the stock seal, using some grease so it wont bind or tear - this will make the seal edge flare out and the drift bearing will consequently sit flat on the "washer" / base part of the seal.
        -- you gain about an extra 2mm on the seal when it flares out
        3 - After you modify the seal, place the taper bearing on the seal. The cage will rotate freely as designed.
        4- A trial run of the seal fit into the frame shows the modified seal fits correctly

        I have assembled the project and everything moves and fits perfect.

        For those who say the taper bearing systems is "slower", its likely due to the seal binding the cage to prevent it from moving as designed

        BTW I found a Honda dealer and tried tried a variety of seals on the taper bearing - most dealers wont let you try.
        Nothing worked. Even the CBR 1000 has the same type of seal to almost identical dimensions


        Last edited by How2; 05-21-2022, 11:19 AM.