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Du lait Amour?
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Discussion Starter #1
The bike was fine before I stored it, but it rode off center when I tested it yesterday. There is definately a notch near center when turning the handlebar side to side. Does that mean the head bearing is definately to blame??

If so how hard is it to change it yourself?? I have the manual, but it calls for special tools. Are they necessary for the job or could you improvise? Anyone have any pointers or tips?? Thanks in advance.
 
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you can knock it out with a screwdriver and a hammer.... if you like risk. you can always damage the head itself in doing so.

putting it back in has similar risk. using a mallet and a block of wood can bash it in, but it could go in crooked and score the head.

basic tools to press a bearing in can be found at princess auto.

check the slop in the head first. maybe you just need to tighten it.
 

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Du lait Amour?
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Discussion Starter #3
What do you mean by the slop in the head? Would that cause the notch in the steering? Thanx
 
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slop, as in free play. put your front brakes on, and push the bike. do you feel movement in the head? if so, at the very least, you need to tighten things up. it can cause a notch in the steering because the free play will center out there, and wear into the bearing.
 

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Premium Member
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I've found that while pushing and trying to feel for free play works well with bicycles on the far heavier motorcycles it's next to impossible to push hard enough and feel the tiny little bit of play that is so critical.

But if you can push the bike up against a wall so it can't move and have a helper push hard on the rear of the bike while you put your fingers over the steering stem to frame joint you should be better able to feel any free play. Any at all is bad.

The 250 is over 10 years old. Chances are good that the steering head bearings are shot. Swapping them out is not hard but needs a bit of care to avoid cocking the bearings sideways in the holes as they come out and go into place. A drift an hammer can be used but it requires some skill and judement to walk them out and back in with deft little taps and lots of back and forth repetition so it kicks just a hair on each side and walks out the bearing race with a good 40 to 50 baby steps.

For inserting the new bearing a socket that is just slightly smaller than the steering head opening can be used to set the race into place. Just be sure that the socket does not rest on anything but the outer edge. If it hammers or presses on the inner part you'll ruin the bearing before you even can use it. Grease both the outer race and the steering head to ensure the metal does not gall or score as it goes into place. Either a light use of the hammer to walk the bearing into place with care and judgement or use some threaded rod and big washers to draw them into place. Monitor closely to ensure that the bearing maintains a nice straight in movement. IF it gets cockeyed then work on the high side to square it up again.

As always if this is all Greek to any of you then get thee hence unto a professional purveyor of mechanical skills and services.
 

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Du lait Amour?
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273 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks TeeTee, for the "threaded rod and washer" idea. I might just try that on the outer races. But how would you get the lower inner race off and back onto the stem again? Also, what else can I use for the stem nut besides a stem nut wrench. The whole job doesn't look too bad if I had all the "special tool" listed in the manual, but I'm trying to do a budget job because I am on a budget. Thanks:thumbup
 
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axle167 said:
The whole job doesn't look too bad if I had all the "special tool" listed in the manual, but I'm trying to do a budget job because I am on a budget.


bwhahahahahahahahaha. always a good attitude when it comes down to sitting on an engine, having your balls against 18 litres of gas in a thin shelled tank, and defying death by using 2 wheels instead of 4. i'm always surprised there aren't more mechanical failures leading to crashes when i read threads like this.
 

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Wedges, punches, hammers and pipe wrenches used with a gentle but firm hand come to mind. Not the cleanest methods perhaps but they work. A little damage is often the cost of not using the right tools but they can get the work done if you must do it that way.

If you have a few other tools you can make your own special tools much like I did in THIS THREAD

Doing this stuff on your own often leads to mistakes that can be costly. Always approach this sort of new work with the goal of using the minimum force necessary to get the job done. Alter your methods if you feel that excessive force is needed for a method that uses less force. A big part of being a knowledgable mechanic is knowing what you can get away with and what will result in holding two broken bits of what used to be a single part. Unfortunelty this only comes with experience with working on lots of other smaller and simpler jobs first. If you feel like some things are outside of your safety zone then it's often best to pay for it this time and learn more for next time.
 

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mike was taken
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you can shove all the races and everything in the freezer for a while first to shrink them a bit to make them go in easier
if you do replace them, and your bike doesn't have tapered bearings already, you might want to get some of those instead of the stock ones
 
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