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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently torqued my steering stem bearings to Honda specs on my 04 1800. I have no where near the 2 - 3.1 pounds of pull to turn the front wheel. I have front wheel wobble in a bad way. My question is: Which is better to over torque the steering stem bearings to obtain the 2 - 3.1 lbs of pull or not have nearly enough turning resistance on the front wheel.
 

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Most who have done this change have settled on 23-25lbs of torque. After that you will have to look elsewhere for your problem. As for the torque needed based upon Honda's spec's there are none after this mod. I have torqued mine down to over 50lb and yes it does slow the turning down but it was too much, went back to 25 and all is well. :wink:
 

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I don't believe he is saying that he changed the head bearings to the tapered ones, if he has not, then 25 or 30 lbs. will probably score the OEM bearings to where they will have flat spots and will probably be ruined for good, if he has changed to the roller bearings then I still would not tighten them beyond 25 lbs. When I made the change to roller bearings I torqued mine to 20 lbs. and I haven't had a wobble since.
 

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My 2004 manual called for 20 ft.-lbs. on the steering stem. I too had a 40 mph wobble with my new Metzeler. (Not the deceleration wobble, a constant wobble). I torqued the steering stem to 22 ft.-lbs. It did not help the wobble at all. The steering is slightly too tight. I would change back to 20 ft.-lbs. but I have a set of tapered bearings that I am going to install.
 

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Like many others on this forum, I changed to the tapered steering bearings. Torqued to 25 lbs. now and all is well. The wobble is gone! This was the "decel" wobble on a bike with only 4000 miles that was well cared for, and ridden properly. Honda should be ashamed...

Scott
 

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Gerald;

IF your OE bearings are in good condition and have adequate greese packed into then, then the correct procedure is to set them to the preliminary torque as specified by Honda; check the pre-load with a spring scale and then adjust the bearing torque to place the pre-load within the specified range.

The first time I did mine, I did not check the lower bearing for greese and did not re-pack the upper. I just followed the retorque steps in the manual and then checked with spring scale. I was still well below the specified spring scale reading. I applied another 4# or so of torque and I was then a bit over the spec on spring scale measured pre-load. I loosened the tension nut again, reset to spec torque and was low again on pre-load, so I upped the torque by 3# and was within the upper range of the specified pre-load range ( you have to average several readings and I do it from the left and right and then average)

Later; a couple of weeks, after reading some other posts that were cropping-up at the time, I decided I was foolish for not having dropped the lower bearing down enough to inspect and re-pack if needed. I went back in there and found the lower bearing to be almost bone dry - just like teh other poster had warned. I cleaned it as best I could while still on the stem and thoroughly repacked it. The race looked OK as far as I could see. I also cleaned and re-packed the upper. Then I reset the torque to Honda spec and again I was below the pre-laod spec and again 3# more torque put it very close to the upper limit. Now, that additional 3# of torque seemed to not move the tesnion nut very much at all, but the preload evidently comes on very quickly with small increases. The folly in this could be the accuracy of my torque wrench; but then again the spring scale reading is what is important and mine is very accurate (gunsmith's trigger spring scale) in that range. A fisherman's "de-lier" scale may not be nearly so accurate, I dunno. These gunsmith scales are available at www.brownells.com or www.midwayusa.com. They should have calibration try weights too, and a 4# one would be nice - or get local post master to verify your homemade try wieght (lead shot in small zip lock bag) like I did.

My pre-laod is still in range (although it has dropped a bit to about the middle of the range after that last greasing and adjsutment nearly 33,000 miles ago. I have All-Balls in stock for when/if I need them. No wobbles and smooth steering motion for now.

If/when I go to AllBalls tapers, I will have to decide what spring scal reading I desire. No body has really said. I suspect it would be appropriate to allow for some small additional pre-load jsut due to the vary nature of that kind of bearing (more surface area). I am inclined to consider using the upper limit for the OE style of bearing as the mid point and keeping the same acceptable range in mind -- that kinda makes rule of thumb type sense to me (3# +- 8oz) -- but its still just a guess. I'll probably shoot for the 3# mark on average.

prs
 
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