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Maintenance & Workshop Talk The central area for general maintenance, trouble-shooting and modifications ------------ (Other technical forums on the site are model specific)

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Old 02-16-2010, 12:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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steering head adjustment

A while back i had asked about a issue that turned out to not be an issue at all in the end. But i the process of the thread i was told to check my steering head. I did, and it was indeed a bit loose. the fix was to removed the top triple clamp, loosen the locknut then tighten the lower nut to 40 Nm then loosen it and tighten again to 6 Nm. Then tighten the lock nut on top of it to 40 Nm w/o letting the lower nut turn.

so i did this but with one exception...i did NOT torque anything because i have no friggin idea how you are supposed to that ! These nuts are huge, and i happen to have a socket that i think is that size that i had bought for some other special purpose, but it does not go over the nut because the threaded tube the nuts go on is much too high. And i cannot find a DEEP socket that size anywhere ! How the fruc are you supposed to do this? I just tried to tighten thing to what FELT like the correct torque using my memory of what those specs usually feel like. i hope it's right ! the steering is not binding at all, it's perfectly free turning as before, but theres no more slop in the steering head. I think it should be ok but next time i'd like to be able to do this correctly. Where the heck do you get deep sockets in huge sizes?
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The best places to get larger sockets are at flea markets, swap meets, or cheaper tool stores. Craftsman sockets at Sears are sometimes the cheapest way to go, depending on where you live. Checking eBay may also reveal some deals.

For what it's worth, I've never used a torque wrench on the steering head adjuster nut or the lock nut. 40nm is nothing, and this can be roughly gauged by applying 30 pounds of force on a 1-foot-long wrench. The same applies for the final 6nm. 6nm is so light that once you feel resistance, stop. Again, 5 pounds of pressure on a 1-foot-long wrench. You will know if it is too loose, so the biggest worry is overloading the bearings. Luckily, the steering head bearings are not rotating at extreme speeds, so if there is ever a ware problem, it is usually noticeable before a catastrophic failure. This, of course, is assuming one does not severally overload or underload the bearings.
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, like i said i just went by what i felt was 40 Mn from using torque wrenches and took into consideration the length of the wrench compared to a torque wrench. I just worry about things like this so i'd feel better knowing it's torqued right.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Dazco, While the torque wrench is my friend I don't use the torque wrench on the head bearings either as I don't have three arms. The initial torque setting is to seat the bearings in the race, the second keeps the bearings adjusted with the least amount of pressure.

As long as the there is no looseness felt when moving the fork lowers front to rear and the forks move side to side (unloaded with the front off the ground) easily and without any notchiness you're good to go. Retest after tightening the lock nut.

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Old 02-16-2010, 10:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks. Makes me feel a bit better about it. I checked after and the forks were perfectly free to turn either way and i no longer could feel any play so i guess it's fine. Is it normal for this to be out of adjustment at 6000 miles? i'm assuming it's like other things on a bike which settle in the first few miles of a bikes life then stay good for a long while. By the way, is it easy for a regular shmo like me to replace the bearings when they go or is it a major chose with special tools?
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Dazco, It's fairly common to develop a bit of looseness from new. Just part of the break-in not printed in the manual, it was around 5 K miles I adjusted my '04's.

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Old 02-16-2010, 04:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The head stock spanners (38mm open end wrenches) that Triumph puts out have small square holes in them where the torque wrench attaches... I bought them from BikeBandit and I use them every time I lube & adjust my head stock bearing.

That said, I have the specified tools and still haven't used the torque wrench with the head stock bearings wrenches. I do it by feel. I tighten it until I feel that it is tight enough, then back it off a little. I'm not advising anyone use this amatuer technique, just sharing my 2 cents. I guess I'll try the actual torque setting this time as I'll hit 36,000 miles this month.
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
The head stock spanners (38mm open end wrenches) that Triumph puts out have small square holes in them where the torque wrench attaches
hmmm...this bring up an obvious question. i have to assume the hole for the torque wrench is off center, or in other words on the handle. This would me that torque specs would be very different that if you used a socket. So it makes me wonder if that 40 Nm is actually way more or way less and same for the 6 Nm.
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I cannot say if the manual torque specs are calibrated to the Triumph wrenches, but the holes are on the handle, thus changing the torque value; however, they are fairly close to the center of the nut, so the impact on the reading is very small. The wrenches make it so you don't have to remove the top triple clamp, but using a socket would work just as well. Regardless of the question of torque calibration, 40nm is a typical amount of preload to put on a tapered roller bearing to seat it before loosening and tightening to the proper final preload.
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Old 02-17-2010, 03:41 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Head Races (the Kiwi way)

1 X pin punch
1 X lightweight ball pein hammer
dose of common sense as they are taper bearings.
Tap adjusting (lower nut) until firm, swing bars from side to side, losen nut a tad, and then re-tighten, swing bars again and ensure there is no binding or fore and aft movement of front wheel. Tighten lock nut.
Job done!
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