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Discussion Starter #1
Hi
I am preparing to put in the tapered bearings and am not sure what to torque them at.
I'm thinking 20 ft/lbs but would like some advise from a member who has done it.
They don't come with instructions for this value.
Thanks, Tom
 

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lightley seasoned member
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22 to 25 from what I've read... Fred H says to start at the higher then back off...
 

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2018 Honda Gold Wing
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I've tried 30 ft lbs, and then 25 ft lbs and that was too tight with my bike.....other will say their bike feels fine at that torque, but my bike would wander at speed and the bike didn't want to stay in it's lane in the curves without constant steering correction while in mid turn. I readjusted the steering bearings again and went with 20 ft lbs and the bikes steering is much lighter and more responsive, with no wandering at speed at that torque setting with my bike.
 

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You'll need to first torque them to a higher value and then move the bars lock to lock several times, and then retorque and repeat this process a couple more times. This helps all the races get fully seated home. You'll feel it is tight at first and then it will loosen up as you move the bars lock to lock a couple times.

For a FINAL torque, I like to use about 20 - 22 ft/lbs, but I also like to go by feel, not just what the dial on the torque wrench says.

I agree with Roadie too, its easy to get them too tight, and this can make the bike want to wander at higher speeds. Personally, I think 25 is too high for a final torque, though they do seem to settle in some, so that may be why some folks set them at that higher level, so they don't have to come back and recheck them again in a month or so.

By the way, one issue I have seen with All Balls is that over time and miles, sometimes the lower race will start to show signs of notching. I'm not sure if it is the nature of tapered rollers or if it due to the Chinese made races. But I think if you use these bearings, you need to periodically check the steering and make sure it isn't showing any signs of notchy-ness. If it does, you may need to take it apart and replace the races and bearings.
 

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Fred ... you are describing berneling. That is the word used for the notchy wear. It is also seen on u-joints.

All tapered bearings need to be serviced. That may mean clean, inspect, and lube and/or retorquing. I retorque mine every 25k or so. As far as berneling, that is cause from to much stress, or lack of grease, or lack of being tightened. All bearings are manufactured to an engineering standard and doubt it has to do with the quality of metal. The seals are unique, but the race and bearings have numbers that are common and another brand can be used if they felt it was a quality factor. A person could always go to a bearing supply store and possibly get ones rated for higher stress. We do have to remember that our Wings are designed for the more expensive design that Honda uses. We just find that they don't work well and cause the handle bar shimmy that Honda calls normal.
 

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People disagree pretty widely on this. I've seen numbers from 15-30 (and even more!) recommended. Sometimes pasionately defended. That's really a huge difference, as you can see by trying them out.

Even 15 is slightly overtorquing, if your standard is taking the free play out. What this does is create a slight steering damper effect. What people are really disagreeing about is how much damping they want.

Even Honda wants a bit of damping, and use a spring scale to measure how much force it takes to start the bar moving. The Honda recommendation would have you toward the lower end of the 15-30 range.

Too much damping will cause a wandering effect. When you make a small correction, the stickiness makes it likely you'll overshoot, and have to come back the other way. So using more torque to try to anticipate loosening is probably a poor idea. Too little can make torquing not effective in stopping a wobble, and removing a wobble is frequently the reason for getting tapered rollers, and overtorquing them slightly.

The most important thing is to check the setting after some miles. Even our favorite video star had bearings significantly loosen in a short time. The culprit is not getting the bearings seated perfectly. It's amazingly easy to get the bearings just a tiny bit misaligned at the very end of seating them, which will cause them not to seat perfectly. DAMHIK. Torquing to a higher value and swinging them back and forth can help, but it's not perfect.

It's annoying to have to go back and recheck, but it's very important. Using the spring scale can probably make the check easier.
 

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brinelling
Thanks ... that explains why I couldn't confirm the spelling on the web. I was thinking the web was stupid.

For me, I overtorque the beaings, then lock to lock several times, then torque to 20ft/lbs. Then I fish scale. Unless I take the setting down to about 17-18, I am not within Honda spec on the fish scale. Usually around 20ft/lbs, the scale will read in the 5lb area. There, when test riding and knowing they will break in a little, at 50mph, the bike will gentally bring itself upright to center. That is where I leave them.

Also, the verify the race is seated, I drive them in and listen to the sound. I also check the seats with a small mirror.
 

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brinelling

I agree with Fred, the Chineese bearings are probably not on par with Timken or those from Japan and will indent their races and deform their balls/rollers more easily. The quickest way to deform the metal is to have the bearings too loose - they will pound theirselves into junk PDQ. In service, our actual load on the bearings is pretty light if they are snug enough to not slam, but our range of motion is pretty limited as we ride, almost nill once we are moving, so the lube does tend to get displaced from between the rollers and races.

prs
 
G

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People disagree pretty widely on this. I've seen numbers from 15-30 (and even more!) recommended. Sometimes pasionately defended. That's really a huge difference, as you can see by trying them out.

Even 15 is slightly overtorquing, if your standard is taking the free play out. What this does is create a slight steering damper effect. What people are really disagreeing about is how much damping they want.

Even Honda wants a bit of damping, and use a spring scale to measure how much force it takes to start the bar moving. The Honda recommendation would have you toward the lower end of the 15-30 range.

Too much damping will cause a wandering effect. When you make a small correction, the stickiness makes it likely you'll overshoot, and have to come back the other way. So using more torque to try to anticipate loosening is probably a poor idea. Too little can make torquing not effective in stopping a wobble, and removing a wobble is frequently the reason for getting tapered rollers, and overtorquing them slightly.

The most important thing is to check the setting after some miles. Even our favorite video star had bearings significantly loosen in a short time. The culprit is not getting the bearings seated perfectly. It's amazingly easy to get the bearings just a tiny bit misaligned at the very end of seating them, which will cause them not to seat perfectly. DAMHIK. Torquing to a higher value and swinging them back and forth can help, but it's not perfect.

It's annoying to have to go back and recheck, but it's very important. Using the spring scale can probably make the check easier.
Yes this is more like it - but first off bearings should never ever be torqued. In time we will see treads on faulty bearings as all this over tightened head bearings are going to start cracking and breaking.
The head bearing are just like wheel bearings - snug to the touch never tight.
The handlebars should not have any resistance while turning and should fall side to side easily if properly adjusted.
The only concern should be there should be no play and that's it. If you need dampening - install a dampener

Now go ahead and torque them down - I know better, overtight is never tight enough :-(
 

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Stu O discussed this and his suggestion was to set the torque using the same procedure as the GL1500. I personnally have tried many torque settings and have settled on 10 - 12 ft/lbs. Works best for me.
 

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I have installed many sets myself,and I have found that when both of the races are set properly,The torque is set at 22-24 lbs depending on the bike.
I have talked to All Balls tech people and this is where they say to set them.I'll go with the distributors spec's first.:thumbup:

As with everything else what you do with a product after you pay for it is up to you.:shrug:
 

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brinelling

I agree with Fred, the Chineese bearings are probably not on par with Timken or those from Japan and will indent their races and deform their balls/rollers more easily. The quickest way to deform the metal is to have the bearings too loose - they will pound theirselves into junk PDQ. In service, our actual load on the bearings is pretty light if they are snug enough to not slam, but our range of motion is pretty limited as we ride, almost nill once we are moving, so the lube does tend to get displaced from between the rollers and races.

prs
Is there an alternative to the AllBall Chineese bearings?
 

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11,396 Posts
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brinelling

I agree with Fred, the Chineese bearings are probably not on par with Timken or those from Japan and will indent their races and deform their balls/rollers more easily. The quickest way to deform the metal is to have the bearings too loose - they will pound theirselves into junk PDQ. In service, our actual load on the bearings is pretty light if they are snug enough to not slam, but our range of motion is pretty limited as we ride, almost nill once we are moving, so the lube does tend to get displaced from between the rollers and races.

prs

Maybe you guys should know what you are talking about before you shoot them down as cheap.:shrug:
Take the time to read about KML bearings. http://www.kml-bearing.com/
 

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Notorious Rocket Scientist
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...but our range of motion is pretty limited as we ride, almost nill once we are moving, so the lube does tend to get displaced from between the rollers and races.
And that right there is what kills a bearing faster than anything. When the balls repeatedly travel less that one ball circumference they just push the grease to the side instead of spreading the grease around as they roll. We call it "grease channeling." The grease is pushed out of the area where the balls contact, this area gets dry and starts to corrode (SAE 52100 will rust if you even look at it funny,) and the corrosion products get scuffed back and forth between the balls and the races and the bearing races are destroyed in short order.

Want your OEM bearings to last forever? Re-grease them and re-torque them periodically - once a year to every two years. No aftermarket 'voodoo' is required.
 

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Grease

The Astute Reader is right on when it comes to grease. Wheel bearing grease is an EP2. It is designed to coat the rollers as they turn in the race and suspending the rollers in a film of oil. The stem turns less than 90 degrees so this film is pushed out because the rollers are not turning and replacing the oil film. To solve this problem use a much heavier grease made for pins and none moving parts. This grease is for heavy pressures and doesn't separate like the lighter wheel bearing greases. You will have longer life out of the bearings and not have to re torque the bearings.
 
G

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Maybe you guys should know what you are talking about before you shoot them down as cheap.:shrug:
Take the time to read about KML bearings. http://www.kml-bearing.com/
All head bearing will be deemed as cheap here soon, just wait for it - the overtightened bearings will start to decompose and become notchy and all bearings will then be cheap quality and new brand name units will replace them and the overtightening will commence once again.

Gee it could never be incorrect assembly, it will have to be those darn Chinese. :cool:
 
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