How to repack and tighten your steering head bearings


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1500
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GOLDWING WARRIOR
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Re: How to repack and tighten your steering head bearings

Post by GOLDWING WARRIOR » Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:08 am



You can buy the correct socket in 1/2" drive for this job on Ebay from dans64s5 for $35 free shipping - it's well worth it for almost the same cost as making one



GOLDWING WARRIOR
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Re: How to repack and tighten your steering head bearings

Post by GOLDWING WARRIOR » Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:17 am

Oh yeah and if you have the smaller 4 notch top nut like on the GL1200 ,he has the socket for that too

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aznyaz
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Re: How to repack and tighten your steering head bearings

Post by aznyaz » Sat Mar 19, 2016 4:51 pm

Well, I'm finally getting started on this, 2 years after my last post, on my GL1100 and I'm having trouble getting the stem bridge off the top of the fork tubes. I have removed the instrument cluster and was wondering if I need to remove the ignition switch and if there is some residual tightness on the stem bridge that needs to be loosened a little to allow it to slip off the fork tubes. Also wondering if the counter-weight attached to the fork tubes needs to be taken off

Thanks.

MJ

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WingAdmin
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Re: How to repack and tighten your steering head bearings

Post by WingAdmin » Sun Mar 20, 2016 2:58 pm

aznyaz wrote:Well, I'm finally getting started on this, 2 years after my last post, on my GL1100 and I'm having trouble getting the stem bridge off the top of the fork tubes. I have removed the instrument cluster and was wondering if I need to remove the ignition switch and if there is some residual tightness on the stem bridge that needs to be loosened a little to allow it to slip off the fork tubes. Also wondering if the counter-weight attached to the fork tubes needs to be taken off
Once this nut is removed:

Image

And the pinch bolt on each side is loosened:

Image

The stem bridge should pull up and away. There's nothing else holding it in place:

Image

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aznyaz
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Re: How to repack and tighten your steering head bearings

Post by aznyaz » Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:52 pm

Actually, on the GL1100's the gauge cluster needs to come off to allow the bridge to be removed. The wiring harness just doesn't have enough slack to allow cluster and bridge to come off together.

The bridge has started to loosen for me with a little leverage between the bottom of the bridge and the bottom part of the adjusting nut. That, along with a little tapping with a hard rubber hammer has loosened it up. it will come off tomorrow and I'll attach some pics.

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Re: How to repack and tighten your steering head bearings

Post by WingAdmin » Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:06 pm

aznyaz wrote:Actually, on the GL1100's the gauge cluster needs to come off to allow the bridge to be removed. The wiring harness just doesn't have enough slack to allow cluster and bridge to come off together.

The bridge has started to loosen for me with a little leverage between the bottom of the bridge and the bottom part of the adjusting nut. That, along with a little tapping with a hard rubber hammer has loosened it up. it will come off tomorrow and I'll attach some pics.
Ah, I didn't catch that you were doing this on a GL1100 - teach me to read too quickly.

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aznyaz
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Re: How to repack and tighten your steering head bearings

Post by aznyaz » Sat Mar 26, 2016 2:07 pm

I'm at the torquing stage of my adjusting nut and unlike this procedure, the Clymer and Honda service manuals do not tell you to over-torque, turn steering head lock to lock, loosen to finger tight, then over-torque, etc. They say just to torque to 11 ft./lbs., turn head lock to lock, and re-torque to 11 ft./lbs. The service manual actually states that after each seating procedure, you should be able to re-torque the adjusting nut back to 11 ft./lbs., but I did not notice any loosening up of the bearings/adjusting nut.

My question is, should I loosen the adjusting nut and start the process over, or can I stay with the adjusting nut torqued to slightly higher than 11 ft./lbs. (which seems like what I've done)?

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aznyaz
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Re: How to repack and tighten your steering head bearings

Post by aznyaz » Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:58 pm

I forgot to mention that I'm working on my GL1100 and not a 1500.

Shaneps86
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Re: How to repack and tighten your steering head bearings

Post by Shaneps86 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:35 pm

Hey guys, had a 'tank slapper' situation on my gl1200 so I replaced the steering bearings and races as suggested using all the proper tooling and torque specs but after all was said and done the front end still 'catches' in the straight ahead position, I'm not sure why it would do this with new bearings AND races installed, any ideas? Thanks

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Re: How to repack and tighten your steering head bearings

Post by FM-USA » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:37 pm

Shaneps86 wrote:Hey guys, had a 'tank slapper' situation on my gl1200 so I replaced the steering bearings and races as suggested using all the proper tooling and torque specs but after all was said and done the front end still 'catches' in the straight ahead position, I'm not sure why it would do this with new bearings AND races installed, any ideas? Thanks
You did put the used items to your left and pick up the new items from your right? :shock:
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Re: How to repack and tighten your steering head bearings

Post by Shaneps86 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:09 am

Haha, yes, old bearings and races were discarded immediately after being removed, I'm disassembling the steering column again to check and see if there are any burrs or nicks on the lower triple tree that I may have missed, but I media blasted and repainted the triple trees before reinstallation and didn't notice any defects then.

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guitarzan
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Re: How to repack and tighten your steering head bearings

Post by guitarzan » Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:27 pm

Hi,
This is unrelated to the steering head bearings. In a couple of pictures that you have on here WingAdmin, you show some amber lights low on your forks. I've looked all over for lights like that and I was thinking I really like that look and it adds to visibility. How do you have those mounted and wired? Would it be good to put some fog lights on like that? :roll:

Thank you
Frank
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Re: How to repack and tighten your steering head bearings

Post by WingAdmin » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:42 pm

guitarzan wrote:Hi,
This is unrelated to the steering head bearings. In a couple of pictures that you have on here WingAdmin, you show some amber lights low on your forks. I've looked all over for lights like that and I was thinking I really like that look and it adds to visibility. How do you have those mounted and wired? Would it be good to put some fog lights on like that? :roll:

Thank you
Frank
I think these are the ones you're referrring to:

Image

They were on the bike when I got it. I'm fairly sure they are a long-defunct Markland accessory. They have their own custom bracketry that bolts in place using the wheel cover fasteners. They had tiny dim bulbs in them that constantly burned out from the vibration, so I replaced the bulbs with LEDs which worked well. I have them wired up to a switch so I can turn them on and off as I wish. They don't do much for visibility really - they are down fairly low, and are really just for looks, I think.

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Re: How to repack and tighten your steering head bearings

Post by guitarzan » Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:35 pm

Thanks WingAdmin,
Yep those are the ones. Do you think that maybe fog/driving lights mounted low like that would work? I would like to mount some kind of extra lights added but I want something that's going to help with seeing at night and being seen. I seen a lot of lights but they have a bad review as far as actually helping to see better. Any Ideas at all?

Thank you so much
Frank
USMC Purple Heart Combat Veteran MOS 0331 Machine Gunner Vietnam 70-71
Best site ever is right here.

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guitarzan
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Re: How to repack and tighten your steering head bearings

Post by guitarzan » Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:38 pm

Oh I also wanted to let ya know that ordered on of those Honda Aspencade 1500 Fork Stabilizer Brace 1988 - 2000 New BlackWing made USA.
I have a Goldwing SE so I hope the one for the Aspencade will fit. You sold me on it. Thanks
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Re: How to repack and tighten your steering head bearings

Post by guns-up » Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:54 pm

howdy to all.

have been on here several times times now and i would just like to let all know that this site is what i needed
to familiarize myself for the projects i was working on,( front forks, alternator 80 amp,) and now going to check
my fork bearings. so thanks for the needed info.

GUNS-UP
BE GOOD BE SAFE

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bryant.larsen
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Re: How to repack and tighten your steering head bearings

Post by bryant.larsen » Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:39 pm

I recently replaced the bearings on my steering stem and they came loose because I didn't know what I was doing. This article was incredibly helpful. thank you.

Just a few notes. On the 1985 Goldwing LTD the nut on top is not a simple 30 mm nut, and will require another castle tool. Luckily I had one in my toolbox from some other job. It has not marker on it, and needed some gentle grinding with a dremel to get it to fit nicely.

It IS possible to get access to all of these nuts without taking off the faring. It requires some dedication and small tools but can save you from removing all that electrical.
I also found it helpful to tie the handlebars up with some parachute cord to some hooks I installed in the ceiling of the garage. It was better than a second pair of hands.

I am so thankful for the hint to grind your own 36mm socket. That made setting the correct torque not only possible, but down right easy, again, thanks. And that tool is now $150 on most sites.

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Chronos70
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Re: How to repack and tighten your steering head bearings

Post by Chronos70 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:00 am

Toward the end of your how-to, you wrote:

"WARNING: Improper adjustment of the steering stem adjustment nut (too loose or too tight) may cause handlebar oscillation, cornering instability, or excessive noise during braking."

What is meant by excessive noise during braking?
Where are we going, and what's with this basket?

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Re: How to repack and tighten your steering head bearings

Post by WingAdmin » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:48 am

Chronos70 wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:00 am
Toward the end of your how-to, you wrote:

"WARNING: Improper adjustment of the steering stem adjustment nut (too loose or too tight) may cause handlebar oscillation, cornering instability, or excessive noise during braking."

What is meant by excessive noise during braking?
If the bearings are too loose, when you brake, the whole triple tree can rotate forwards longitudinally. If you hit a bump during braking, it can rotate back and forth, not only making noise, but producing wear from movement that it is not designed to have.

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Chronos70
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Re: How to repack and tighten your steering head bearings

Post by Chronos70 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:54 am

OK, that's good to know.

After about a month of saving and gathering tools and parts, I torn into my GL1500SE the other day. I had a bit of a problem when it came to the triple tree bridge. I couldn't seem to get it to come loose, so I thought that the top of the shocks needed to come off which came as a shock to me (the kind of shock you get when the snakes pop out of the peanut brittle can) Anyways I found out that my shocks don't have any oil in them, so I guess rebuilding them is my next project. BTW how much air pressure should be applied to the shocks? :-)

Awesome how-to with lots of informative pictures.

A bit of a suggestion though about the how-to, when you get to the part about removing the bridge, maybe include a line saying that it's only held in place with the one nut in the middle and with a bit of tapping it will come loose. And don't go removing the two nuts on either side? :-) ya know, for people like me?


Where are we going, and what's with this basket?

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