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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My 2008 GL1800, with 64,xxx miles recently began making a clicking noise when I'd use the front brakes, usually just as coming to a full stop. The click was initially faint, and intermittent. Yesterday, on a 400+ mile trip, it became noticeable enough that I decided to make it a priority. So today I started with adjusting the steering bearings. During disassembly, I discovered the top steering head nut (the one that is supposed to be torqued to 71 ft lbs), was only finger tight.

I went ahead and adjusted the head bearings, which were maybe 1/24th of a turn loose. I also discovered the left fork tube was resting about .060" higher than the right, in the top triple tree bracket. Further, the left lower pinch bolts were a tad loose. So I addressed those issues, reassembled, then test rode the bike. The click is gone, and I am guessing the misalignment of the left fork tube was due to the ADV doing its job, and eventually working the left tube upward. I have no clue as to why the top nut was loose, other than improperly torqued, or maybe just a fluke. At any rate, all is well now. Perhaps this winter, I will go into the front end a little deeper, but for now it ain't broke so I am not gonna miss any of this great riding weather. Luckily, the bike has never been prone to wobbling/weaving, as others have mentioned.

Has anyone else ever had that top nut come loose?
 

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My 2005 came that way new, terrible noises up front and I found the top nut in the steering finger tight. I eventually went to Traxxion to solve front end problems.
 

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The left and right fork legs don't always line up perfectly at the top triple tree because of the differences in the design and length of them. If you install the fork legs and put the axle through the bottoms so that they are even at the bottom, you'll usually find the left one is a millimeter or so higher at the top than the right one. I've rebuilt forks on literally hundreds of bikes and I find this on every one, as I check each side with a digital caliper for proper height installation. You can force the right fork leg up some to get the tops to line up but if you go too far you may then find the axle difficult to install because now the bottoms don't line up. Having the bottoms lined up is really the important thing. The position at the top triple clamp is really only a cosmetic issue.


Before Honda moved the assembly plant back to Japan, the left forks used to be made in the US, and the right forks legs in Japan. Is it any wonder they don't match exactly in height?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The left and right fork legs don't always line up perfectly at the top triple tree because of the differences in the design and length of them. If you install the fork legs and put the axle through the bottoms so that they are even at the bottom, you'll usually find the left one is a millimeter or so higher at the top than the right one. I've rebuilt forks on literally hundreds of bikes and I find this on every one, as I check each side with a digital caliper for proper height installation. You can force the right fork leg up some to get the tops to line up but if you go too far you may then find the axle difficult to install because now the bottoms don't line up. Having the bottoms lined up is really the important thing. The position at the top triple clamp is really only a cosmetic issue.


Before Honda moved the assembly plant back to Japan, the left forks used to be made in the US, and the right forks legs in Japan. Is it any wonder they don't match exactly in height?
I understand, if you mean when the springs are out, and the lower legs held collapsed against the bottom ends of the tubes (or max extended), axle alignment would take priority over tube top alignment. However, once assembled, the legs are floating on spring tension and not rigidly attached to the tubes. I am a pilgrim, and was just following instructions per the Shop Manual. LOL
 

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My 14 was loose just did tapered bearings n new seals/ bushings oil . Nice you could fix before any issues on road !
 
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Had the same thing happen with my '12.

Opened her up to check for a steering 'click'.

Steering head nut was loose... I mean I could turn it with my pinky finger.

Tightened it up, using Mike Torque specs. :0)

No worries mate.
 

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Do Progressive shock kits change length much over stock ? Will uneneveness cause a slight lean to one side ? I gather proper way to put on front wheel would be to float top mount in triple tree and insert axle so the give at the triple tree would allow a true lineup of axle. Then snap down trlple tree bolts and button her up. Is this the way Honds has been delivering with tops uneven or with bottoms uneven ? Or are the bikes assembled by dealer incorrectly.

There is a Lock Washer in the Steering stem ! How could it come loose unlesss some forgot to install it or reused old one with broken teeth.
 

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The nut on top of the lock tab ring UNDER the top bridge should be just barely snug to a tad loose so long as it is retained by the tab washer. The nut on the top bridge should be heavily torqued. I wonder if these loose top nuts are not due to improper locking of that under nut with the tab washer.

prs
 
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Discussion Starter #12
The nut on top of the lock tab ring UNDER the top bridge should be just barely snug to a tad loose so long as it is retained by the tab washer. The nut on the top bridge should be heavily torqued. I wonder if these loose top nuts are not due to improper locking of that under nut with the tab washer.

prs
Not in my 2008's case. All was as it should be underneath, locking tabs in place, and nothing had moved. It ain't rocket science, and hard to imagine anyone screwing that up, but I suppose it's possible. I first marked the bottom nut's position, then removed it and the grease seal, then cleaned and brushed new grease onto the top bearing while working the forks back and forth. In re-torquing the bottom nut, it went maybe 1/24th turn past the original mark I made. In other words, I marked it at 6 o'clock position, and it went to about 6:30 when re-torqued.

Obviously a locking tab of some sort for the top nut would be a good idea. As is, there is nothing to keep it from backing off, and apparently it's a fairly common occurrence.

Easy enough to fix though, and a good time to eyeball everything related while at it.
 

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My 2008 GL1800, with 64,xxx miles recently began making a clicking noise when I'd use the front brakes, usually just as coming to a full stop. The click was initially faint, and intermittent. Yesterday, on a 400+ mile trip, it became noticeable enough that I decided to make it a priority. So today I started with adjusting the steering bearings. During disassembly, I discovered the top steering head nut (the one that is supposed to be torqued to 71 ft lbs), was only finger tight.

I went ahead and adjusted the head bearings, which were maybe 1/24th of a turn loose. I also discovered the left fork tube was resting about .060" higher than the right, in the top triple tree bracket. Further, the left lower pinch bolts were a tad loose. So I addressed those issues, reassembled, then test rode the bike. The click is gone, and I am guessing the misalignment of the left fork tube was due to the ADV doing its job, and eventually working the left tube upward. I have no clue as to why the top nut was loose, other than improperly torqued, or maybe just a fluke. At any rate, all is well now. Perhaps this winter, I will go into the front end a little deeper, but for now it ain't broke so I am not gonna miss any of this great riding weather. Luckily, the bike has never been prone to wobbling/weaving, as others have mentioned.

Has anyone else ever had that top nut come loose?
That happen to me once it was the pinch bolts were tightened in the wrong sequence.
 

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I understand, if you mean when the springs are out, and the lower legs held collapsed against the bottom ends of the tubes (or max extended), axle alignment would take priority over tube top alignment. However, once assembled, the legs are floating on spring tension and not rigidly attached to the tubes. I am a pilgrim, and was just following instructions per the Shop Manual. LOL

Yes, if you want the tops to line up, you'll need to either compress the left or extend the right tube a millimeter or two. It really won't have any bad effect on handling since the forks are tired together by the triple tree. (You can actually even run different spring rates in the left and right forks, all that matters is the combined force of the two legs.)


The only real negative to this is that when you remove the front wheel and axle, one leg will extend a little more than the other, which can make getting the axle to line up when reinstalling it a bit more difficult, but it isn't a huge deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The nut on top of the lock tab ring UNDER the top bridge should be just barely snug to a tad loose so long as it is retained by the tab washer. The nut on the top bridge should be heavily torqued. I wonder if these loose top nuts are not due to improper locking of that under nut with the tab washer.

prs
On my GW, everything below the top bridge was as it shoulda been, so no causative relation to the loose top nut. I believe the tab washer is to insure the bottom-most nut, which maintains slight torque on the bearings, does not come loose. The nut above the tab, and below the top bridge, should be as locked in place as the top nut is, by the 71 ft lbs of torque applied to the top nut. Most other bikes I've seen only have a top and bottom nut, but often with a locking tab for the top nut. The GW setup is a good idea, since tightening the top nut does not effect torque on the bearings. But the top nut should be re-torqued every time the large top plastic piece (forgot the name) is off, i.e. to change the air filter, adjust the governor, etc..
 

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On my GW, everything below the top bridge was as it shoulda been, so no causative relation to the loose top nut. I believe the tab washer is to insure the bottom-most nut, which maintains slight torque on the bearings, does not come loose. The nut above the tab, and below the top bridge, should be as locked in place as the top nut is, by the 71 ft lbs of torque applied to the top nut. Most other bikes I've seen only have a top and bottom nut, but often with a locking tab for the top nut. The GW setup is a good idea, since tightening the top nut does not effect torque on the bearings. But the top nut should be re-torqued every time the large top plastic piece (forgot the name) is off, i.e. to change the air filter, adjust the governor, etc..
That is correct. The tab washer/top nut allows the pre-load to be stabilized AND unaffected by the heavy top bridge torque. That tab washer is cupped or convex when new, so as long as one does not set the nut above it too tight, it helps avoid the squash effect. If the tab washer gets squashed flat, it is a good idea to replace it or set the nut above a partial turn loose.

prs
 

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I think if it has the locking nut in place, then the bearing seats are probably getting pushed further into the triple tree going over bumps etc. Because the distance reduces between upper and lower bearings everything loosens up. In original honda bearings I found mine were pitted from the balls. There were round indentations in the surface I notic.ed this when installing new All Ball Tapered beaings.
 
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