LC4 Steering head bearing, a how-to-guide...

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by laramie LC4, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. laramie LC4

    laramie LC4 flying something...

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
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    So i woke up this morning with a terrible headache and the usual hangover from way to many beers. I had tossed and turned the entire night, the victim of a reoccurring nightmare.

    not that any of this was new, i hadn't slept in days and had been drinking in a nordic viking/scotish highlander kinda way.

    what could these dreams possibly mean you ask? let me tell ya what i think....

    as many of you may be aware, there is a guy that frequents these LC4 forums quite often. people seek him out from afar to hear the magic and knowledge of all that is LC4 holy. he is known world round and considered an expert by many. he is of course the infamous Creeper (not sure what the name is supposed to mean; something about pot i bet :pimp: , or maybe he's one of those creepy goth people :eek: ! but anyways...)

    i myself have sought out the knowledge of the mighty creeper on many occasions and have learned much. I've always thought of him as a truly kind and helpful person and regarded him as a friend.
    hat was until THIS.

    now he has groupies!!!!! What the hell!!!!! I don't have groupies! Whats up with this? Why does this old man have groupies while I sit here and look at pics from Toxic Brittney all day?

    that's it, i can't stand it any longer. I WANT GROUPIES TOO!!!!!!!

    What is it about him that makes him such a revered and sought after individual? Why has he, of all people, achieved this notoriety? And more importantly, can I do it too.

    Lets stop and think, how has he achieved this while I have not ;how, how, how?

    Its not because he';s young. No, Ive gotta be half his age. Could it be his good looks? Na, Im much better looking than him. His gimpy wrist?;..God what is it? What has he done that I haven't?

    Ahhhhh!!! It hit me like a ton of bricks!

    Creeper writes all these silly posts for people so they can do simple maintenance on their bikes. There by winning over the masses and making himself look intelligent.

    Ingenius!!!! why hadnt i seen this before ?

    So now I finally am starting to understand my dreams. In order to be able to attain the mythical LC4 god's ; status and there by win the groupies I had to do a maintenance write up. Well, that should be easy enough; I'll do it on the rocker cover. Oops, creeper already did it. What about the swing arm? Nope, beat me again. I got it, Ill do the valve adjust! Dam it.... An oil change $hit! How about overall LC4 set-up? That's gotta be open ;.crap! Is there anything you haven't done a write up on creep?

    Wait a sec; I don't see anything on the steering head bearing! Haha!!!! This will certainly gain me the notoriety and power that I desire.

    Ok, so here it goes......drum roll please.

    Accessing/Removal/Maintenance of the LC4-640E Steering Head Bearings


    Tool List:
    8mm socket
    10mm socket
    12mm socket
    27mm socket
    6mm Allen head socket or wrench
    8mm Allen head socket or wrench
    Ratchet
    Phillips Screwdriver
    12mm Open End Wrench
    17mm Open End Wrench

    Grease
    Solvent
    Shop Towels
    Bike Lift

    (....what im about to show is specific to the 2002 Lc4-640 that I own. there may be dissimilarities between your bike an mine. it should be very similar though for all 640/400's Enduros and SM's. for those of you with adventure models, sorry! talk to creeper.... :lol3 )

    Step 1- Removal of the Forks

    first things first, get the bike clear of any obstructions and lift the bike in such a way that raises the front tire off the ground.

    [​IMG]

    remove the front tire (not gonna give ya the steps, once again i'm sure creepers done a write up though, check the bleeping THREAD

    now remove 2 (6mm) bolts from left fork guard.

    [​IMG]

    then remove 2 (10mm) bolts from brake caliper.

    [​IMG]

    your now ready to loosen the 4 triple clamp bolts and remove the forks. start with either side, loosen bottom, then top bolts, and remove fork.

    [​IMG]

    set your forks out of the way and have a drink of beer and smoke'm if ya got 'em.

    Step 2- Handlebars

    remove 4 handlebar mount bolts.

    [​IMG]

    remove clamps and pull the handlebars forward to expose the offset bolts. to remove these you need the 8mm allen head and the 17mm wrench.

    [​IMG]

    Time for another drink, one of many still to come.... :beer ..... :freaky

    now the next step is kinda up to you. you can do this in either order it doesn’t really matter so long as both get done.

    Remove Front Fender

    remove 2 top bolts (8mm).

    [​IMG]

    then bottom 4 (8mm)

    [​IMG]

    Don't forget about the fender spacer, you'll need this when it all goes back together.

    [​IMG]

    Make sure to keep all the parts together, you don't want to miss any.

    Did I mention how bloody hot it is out here in this garage? I live in bloody Arizona; the temp outside is 120, which makes the temp in here almost unbearable. I've gotta be close to a medium rare by now, I better stop and have another drink. I recommend you do the same...Damn Creeper anyways, I bet he never breaks a sweat!

    Disconnect Instrument Panel

    this can be done now, or after removing the top clamp. i personally did this first on removal, then when reinstalling everything later, i attached the instrument to the top clamp prior. it can be done either way, but the important thing is...

    remove these 3 bolts (8mm).

    [​IMG]

    I know, one of those is a 10mm, don't worry. i had that one fall out months ago and replaced it with what i had in the pack. all 3 of yours will be 8mm unless the same has happened to you.

    Now all that is left is the ignition.

    [​IMG]

    this is held on to the bottom of the clamps with 2 Phillips head screws. but before we get there, we ought to remove the top clamp. it makes it much easier to get to these screws.

    All you need to do is, loosen the pinch bolt (12mm), and then remove the top cap (27mm). the top triple clamp can now be removed. be careful the bottom doesn't drop out on the floor!

    [​IMG]

    once the top clamp is off, access the ignition bolts and disconnect the key.

    [​IMG]

    Now you should have something like this sitting in your garage/shop.

    [​IMG]

    …and hopefully your bike doesn't look too much worse than mine....

    [​IMG]

    gosh darn creeper, see what he makes me do! Time for another drink.....


    OK, lets look at those bearings.

    [​IMG]

    to get to the top bearing, all ya have to do is remove the top spacer. if you've been keeping up with the drinking, you've probably already knocked it off, so dont worry.....:rofl


    Mine look pretty good. Still a good portion of grease and everything is loose and operates properly. No signs of wear on any of the rollers and the casings look good. What do yours look like? Take a rag and wipe away the old, dirty grease. I used a spray solvent to finish the job off. This is what the bearings should look like clean.

    [​IMG]

    While your hands are still dirty go ahead and clean out the bearing seats inside of the steering head.

    The top;

    [​IMG]

    And a qucik Advrider salute to creeper on the bottom!

    [​IMG]

    Sorry, I know my behavior is inexcusable but ive been drinking, remember;.duhhhhh!!!!

    OK, now for some good ol; bearing packing!!! Something I know creeper has been accused of doing a time or two I might add;

    What ya need is a good grease, I used a lithium multi purpose grease made by Lub O Matic (not making it up, see attach photo), but what you use is up to you;.

    [​IMG]

    Now its time to get dirty, grab a hand full of grease and get ready to work it;.

    [​IMG]

    What you are trying to do is work the grease into the groove around the bearing race. This gets the lube in behind the rollers and provides much better protection. Here is a photo of the groovy groove;.
    <
    [​IMG]

    I know, I know! You can't do that with the bottom bearing but I heard creeper was working on a top-secret solution to the problem. I gotta keep it on the hush-hush but ill keep ya posted. Until then do your best;

    So now you should have something that resembles this&#8230;.

    [​IMG]

    Ok, so now you are done and I am drunk! All you need to do is reverse the operations and put it all back together. A couple things to note; 1) make sure to clean the fork legs and inside of the triple clamps before reinstalling the forks. This removes all oils and residues and prevents slippage. The bottom torque is 15nm, the top 20nm. 2) The 12mm collar screw on the top center of the trees is also 20nm. Tighten the large 27mm cap screw till snug. If ya go to tight it will affect the ease of which you can turn your bars. 3) re-torque the 10mm bolts on brake caliper to 25nm with LOC-TITE!

    Good luck, im going to go drink some more and wait for my rewards.

    I will be an LC4 god, even more popular and respected than the mighty Creeper. you just wait and see;


    laramie :beer
    #1
  2. ChrisC

    ChrisC Amal sex?

    Joined:
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    Laramie, you're not supposed to get this bored until the snow starts (except being in AZ that's not likely).

    Nice job. Creeperesque even. Makes me appreciate my dealer (Elite, Loveland CO) who, during the PDI, take the steering head apart and repack it... nice.
    #2
  3. laramie LC4

    laramie LC4 flying something...

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    ya, i bought my bike from Roger as well. that was back when Elite Motorsports was in laramie.
    #3
  4. Odysseus

    Odysseus Stoic Philosopher

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    Nice job dude. Thanks a lot, I just don't think I can drink that much beer and still be conscious by the end of the job though... Can I substitute lemonade?
    #4
  5. Zerodog

    Zerodog Long timer

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    Nice write up.
    #5
  6. MF1A

    MF1A Ride with the Wind

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    nice job dude
    thanks for the effort:clap
    cheers:freaky
    #6
  7. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    Oh my,

    It's obvious you haven't watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory...

    [​IMG]

    :beer
    #7
  8. bikemoto

    bikemoto Tyre critic

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    Nelson, New Zealand
    Great write up laramie. :freaky An excellent start to groupie-dom! :lol3

    Your timing is perfect. clintnz did this job last weekend :rofl
    #8
  9. ChrisC

    ChrisC Amal sex?

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    Oh my, it's obvious you have. :cry
    #9
  10. Beez

    Beez Given to fly

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    Aug 20, 2004
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    6,016
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    Framingham, MA
    Nice How-To laramie :thumb

    I did this to my '97 RXC for the first time last winter. How many years is that? I don't think I can count that high. :cry Anyhoo, when it was on the stand and no weight on the front wheel, turning the bars was like turning the clicker on the shock. click, click, click. Not good. The top bearing and race were ok so I just replaced the the bearing. The bottom bearing was rusty (but not rusted) and the race was pitted pretty bad. so I had to pound out the botton race and install a new one (put the new one in the freezer before installing it). Took the triple clamp and stem to the dealer and he pressed the new bearing on.

    So let this be a lesson to y'all, follow Laramie's advice and take care of yer bearings! :beer
    #10
    Diddly likes this.
  11. laramie LC4

    laramie LC4 flying something...

    Joined:
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    thanks for the comments guys!

    ive had this in the works for a couple weeks but was kinda hesitant to post it. i wanted to make sure that i didnt come off the wrong way and people misunderstand my sense of humor.

    i kinda gave Creeper a little heads up on it so i hope he doesnt get mad.

    i just thought it was kinda funny.... :D ive got a couple others in the work too. i'll wait a bit and see how this one plays out before i finish them.

    laters,

    laramie :beer
    #11
  12. enduro-ince

    enduro-ince dirtslave

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    Placerville Co.
    Thanks for the write up, Larlc4! I have a funny paranoia about my steering head right now so this motivates me to check it out!
    #12
  13. bmwktmbill

    bmwktmbill Traveler

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    Nice write up Larimie,
    Could I add this?
    Traveling, especially out of country, this bearing service comes up every 10K miles on my list of things to do and sometimes no shop area is handy.

    Without a solvent tank and compressed air I make do by just wiping out the old grease out of the bearings with toilet paper until the rollers come clean. Then I apply new grease.

    I also cheat by putting the machine on the centerstand and leaving the front wheel in place, then if you lift the front wheel off the ground a couple of inches(block it up) it will drop down just enough to expose the bottom bearing on the spindle when the top cap nut is removed. The top bearing will lift out and both bearings and races can be wiped clean.

    Using that technique I put 200K mikes on my BMW's steering head bearings and they are still working fine. This is not as complete or clean as your way and it is not correct but it is quick and dirty.
    Bill in Tomahawk, WI.
    #13
  14. laramie LC4

    laramie LC4 flying something...

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    thats a good, quick, easy idea. if you just want to do a quick check and add a little grease that is perfect.

    thanks for sharing,

    laramie :beer
    #14
  15. PackMule

    PackMule love what you do

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    Tsk, tsk. Don't show fear, Laramie, or you'll be getting sloppy seconds on Creeper's groupies forever. Alpha wolves don't give a shit what anyone else thinks. :johntm :lol3












    Thanks for the writeup. :nod It's on my list of winter projects! :beer
    #15
  16. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

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    Yup, It's a little different on the '03 but not much. Mine were actually still full of grease at 30 000Km, but the lower outer race was worn so I'm replacing all the bearings, they're only NZ$10ea.

    The front of the lower outer bearing race is where any wear will become apparent first, so feel & inspect that carefully.

    Cheers
    Clint
    #16
  17. creeper

    creeper Still alive...

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    Sorry I've been preoccupied with other things... otherwise I would have jumped on right away to let you know I think you've done a really good job with this DIY Laramie. :thumb

    The groupies should be lining up in the street by now huh? No? :dunno

    I guess you'll just have to write a steering head bearing adjustment as a follow-up.
    Then the groupies will surely be all over you. :wink:

    Ciao,
    C
    #17
  18. Castleman

    Castleman Guest

    I couldn't sleep any more without hearing Creeper nagging me about servicing my steering head bearings and fork oil for the first time in my 99 LC4e 32,000 mile life.

    A few minor differences with my 50mm conventional forks, versus the USD's 43mm unit's in the write up. My 7 year old fork oil was red like tranny fluid. The sedimentary build up was minimal.

    My steering head bearings still had a lot of grease in them. A little dirty, but not bad at all. The bearings and races had NO issues at all.

    It took me 4.5 hrs to service both items from start to finish.

    Now I can sleep in peace!
    #18
  19. creeper

    creeper Still alive...

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    Nighty night pookie... :snore
    #19
  20. laramie LC4

    laramie LC4 flying something...

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    dude, this is killing me, what did i do wrong? that is the way i have always put the triples back together. is it a problem with the cap nut and the collar bolt? help me creeper, im lost without you.... :lol3

    laters,

    laramie :beer

    ps- how was BC ?
    #20