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Old 08-25-2014, 08:48 PM   #1
Thorazine OP
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Location: Smoggy Valley, east of Smog City, Southern Calif.
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Replacing steering head bearings

Hey! Souljer and I both need to change our steering head bearings. We'll be meeting up at our Airmarshal's place to do it right.

Besides the actual bearings, what else do we need? I'm figuring since I'm dropping the forks--new fork fluid, right? What else do we need to order? Since I don't know the specifics of his bike let's do it something like this:

1974 R90/6:


1993 R100R:


Thanks
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* Posts submitted under the moniker Thorazine are for entertainment purposes only, and may include exaggerations, prevarications or bald-faced lies. -- Thorazine - '74 R90/6
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:17 PM   #2
Mark Manley
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You might need brake fluid if the system needs to be split to get the front end apart.
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:56 PM   #3
Big Bamboo
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BMW recommends having a spare lower dust seal, as they usually get destroyed removing the lower bearing. #12 in the fiche:
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:59 PM   #4
disston
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It is possible to get the forks off without taking the sliders off but much easier to separate them. Need the little crush washer on the damper part that goes thru the slider, 07 11 9 963 041. And often the large rubber bumper has dissolved, 31 42 1 231 314. You may also find it helpful to have the large crush washers, 31 42 9 963 486. There is a crush washer or a gasket, depends on where you buy it, on the cap nut of each tube. This may be needed, 07 11 9 963 384. Need two of each item above.

Underneath the lower steering head bearing there is a dust seal that is often left off. I think it belongs there and should be used, 31 42 1 234 509. Need one.

This I think will work in most instances to reseal the forks after taking them apart but stops short of replacing a lot of parts.
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Old 08-25-2014, 11:30 PM   #5
Bill Harris
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You may or may not need to remove the forks from the triples, depends on your host's lifting equipment. Changing fork oil is (should be) a yearly maintenance task, so it wouldn't be a bad idea, but let's not overload your host with "oh, and one more thing...". Check with him, but that can be done separately.

You will most likely need to break a brake line, so a fresh pint/quart of DOT3 (or whatever is spec'd) brake fluid is a courtesy. And a tube of fresh "wheel bearing" grease-- an NLGI-2 spec grease is my usual choice.

Your host will have tools to remove the old bearings and install the new.

--Bill
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:48 AM   #6
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OK--making the list.

Bill, he did mention we 'd be jacking the bike up on his lift, then tying the frame to the beams on the ceiling then dropping the lift. Is that what you're getting at?
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* Posts submitted under the moniker Thorazine are for entertainment purposes only, and may include exaggerations, prevarications or bald-faced lies. -- Thorazine - '74 R90/6
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:03 AM   #7
Kai Ju
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Not to sound like a know it all but there should be no need to disassemble the forks or hang the bike from the rafters. Tie the centerstand to the front crossover of the headpipes, pull the front wheel and you should have more than enough room to drop the forks.

Thorazine, wish I'd known you were at Tom's Techday or I would have introduced myself. I think from now on when somebody is hosting a Techday the name tags need to include the ADV Rider name. Oh well, sorry I missed you.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:38 AM   #8
disston
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But tying the bike to the beams will put it at a more comfortable height to work on.

No it's not necessary to take the forks apart. I think the job can be easier if I do. Maybe a lot of others want to rush everything. It's a contest. How fast can you do X,Y, Z. People commuting every day are in a race. Everybody has to be #1. Second best it is not acceptable, it is my way to be, I am rich and the rich are my friends. ...sorry...I don't work that way and I don't lead my life that way. Does that make any sense?

It is not a contest.

So as stated many times already you don't have to take the forks apart.

We don't have name tags at our Tech Days. I'm gonna suggest that. Maybe I'll buy some and donate them?
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disston screwed with this post 08-26-2014 at 07:45 AM
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:01 AM   #9
Kai Ju
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disston View Post
But tying the bike to the beams will put it at a more comfortable height to work on.

No it's not necessary to take the forks apart. I think the job can be easier if I do. Maybe a lot of others want to rush everything. It's a contest. How fast can you do X,Y, Z. People commuting every day are in a race. Everybody has to be #1. Second best it is not acceptable, it is my way to be, I am rich and the rich are my friends. ...sorry...I don't work that way and I don't lead my life that way. Does that make any sense?

It is not a contest.

So as stated many times already you don't have to take the forks apart.

We don't have name tags at our Tech Days. I'm gonna suggest that. Maybe I'll buy some and donate them?
Disston, I agree it's not a race, but I used to be a commission mechanic, I'm extremely lazy, and I'm always looking for the quickest/easiest way to do things. That's all.

They weren't name tags as much as a piece of masking tape with the name scribbled on it. I never even thought to ask if anybody in attendence also hung out on ADV Rider, but will do so next time.
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:23 AM   #10
disston
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Thanks. I sometimes want the faster way too.
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Old 08-26-2014, 10:45 AM   #11
Stan_R80/7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Ju View Post
Not to sound like a know it all but there should be no need to disassemble the forks or hang the bike from the rafters. Tie the centerstand to the front crossover of the headpipes, pull the front wheel and you should have more than enough room to drop the forks.

Thorazine, wish I'd known you were at Tom's Techday or I would have introduced myself. I think from now on when somebody is hosting a Techday the name tags need to include the ADV Rider name. Oh well, sorry I missed you.

This is the approach I took when repacking and inspecting the steering head bearings on my '78. I expect the bearings can be cleaned and repacked without replacement. But, if replacement is the goal then getting tools to remove the bearing from the stem and the race from the frame are needed. The lower bearing and race are the only parts which are harder to access and Cycleworks sells tools for removing the bearings and races.

The BMW 36 mm special tool and a 36 mm socket are required along with a pin wrench or the equivalent BMW tool. There is considerable torque on the tube nuts for both disassembly and reassembly. The tubes need to be loosened and allowed to drop. I found the top steering head bearing came out by hand once the forks were dropped with the top race easily accessible.

I suppose the frame could be hung by ropes. The tank needs to be removed, so access is available to the frame. Much like being determined to replace all the bearings, suspending the frame from some structure is also an option.

Good luck!
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:06 PM   #12
Kai Ju
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan_R80/7 View Post
I expect the bearings can be cleaned and repacked without replacement. Good luck!

Good point Stan_R80/7, I've seen my share of airheads with what felt like completely brinneled bearings only to discover that it was caused by 30 year old solidified grease.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:09 PM   #13
Thorazine OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Ju View Post
Thorazine, wish I'd known you were at Tom's Techday or I would have introduced myself. I think from now on when somebody is hosting a Techday the name tags need to include the ADV Rider name. Oh well, sorry I missed you.
You're kidding me. I actually did that. I had my name, then underneath I wrote ADV Thorazine. That's how Souljer 'recognized' me. I was showing the guy with the pristine toaster how to adjust his valves. I also brought my 9 yr-old boy with me--the one with the orange Mohawk on his helmet. Damn. Next time we all put our ADV handles for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by disston View Post
We don't have name tags at our Tech Days. I'm gonna suggest that. Maybe I'll buy some and donate them?
Disston: No need to buy anything other than a roll of masking tape and a sharpie. That's how Tom does it. Simple--Airhead style!

Edit: oops--looks like Kai Ju already answered that.
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* Posts submitted under the moniker Thorazine are for entertainment purposes only, and may include exaggerations, prevarications or bald-faced lies. -- Thorazine - '74 R90/6

Thorazine screwed with this post 08-26-2014 at 09:24 PM
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