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Steering head spanner / tool

6448 Views 16 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  IrlMike
I've been thinking of tackling that oft neglected job of regreasing & adjusting the steering head bearings.

However it looks like it can't be done too easily without the 38mm 'tool' that's about $44 from Triumph. The two nuts are only about 4mm thick, so stock 38mm wrenches are way too thick. At least one is needed to hold the adjuster nut, tho' another is also needed with it's socket drive slot to be able to apply the correct torque of ~ 31 ft lbs.

I've scoured the internet & not found anything else suitable.

However, a local machine shop has offered to make some. As there's a bit of set up cost too, it would work better if a batch was made. Cost would be 10 to 15 euros each depending on quantity. Essentially it would be a rough copy of the Triumph tool - a slim 38mm open spanner 7 or 8 ins long with cut out in the handle for a 1/2" drive socket wrench/torque wrench.

How many folks would be interested to buy 1 or 2 of these, if any, at that price if a batch were made?

(Shipping to the US would be about 10 euro.)
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One of the guys on this forum had some laser cut out of Chrome Moly a few years ago. He sold them through the classified section here. I have no idea how many he had to purchase, but they are nice and work fine.
Now some will say 'naughty boy' but this method sure worked for me. Out here in the Antipodes we have learnt to manage without the necessarily correct tools for years. Isolation breeds inspiration and creativity and a small measure of madness!!
Some time ago I undertook an oil change on the front forks. Whilst they were out of the trees I thought Hmmmmmmmmmmm time to clean and repack the steering head bearings. Not having the proper spanner(s), just the same as years ago when undertaking the same task on various older Triumphs, I reverted to the tried and true, the pin punch.
Without ruining the visual impact of those beautiful 38mm nuts the pin punch losened off firstly the locker and then the clamping nut. No worries.
Bearings and races cleaned up well and repacked. Into the trees and clamp nut on first to finger tightness. Pin punch and guess work in respect to torque. Marked one corner of nut with ink and place locknut on. Carefully 'punched' locknut onto it's mate watching for the ink mark to move, it did not!
Assembled front end and checked for movement/stiffness from head bearings, all good. 20, 000 miles, and Winter is almost on us, time to do it all again!!!!!!!!
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It's really easy with a pair of wrenches.

I suppose it could be done with only one.
After all if it can be done with a punch, why not just one wrench.
Or one wrench and a punch?
lovecuba (yes, me too, just seen Che pts 1 & 2 :D)

I know where you're coming from, me too most of the time, tho' as this bike's very much a 'keeper' I'm more inclined to splash out :eek:. Albeit the Triumph price is a bit too steep!

I suppose chrome moly is the right material, tho' I suspect it's plain steel I'm being offered...but at this size & torque i was thinking that's ok ? (4mm thick is what i measured will do it.)

The price for shipping to the East Coast would be 10 euros for 1 or 2 as 2 can't weigh more than the post minimum of 500grams?

For now, I better say 15 euros each, & I guess 1 would do it if you have a large adjustable or 38mm wrench already to use for the top nut. (I figure a socket wouldn't go over the tree stem.)

I'll be seeing the guy Monday or Tuesday & try and will get a bit more detail.
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count me in

Hi Mike,

If you're getting these made in the very near future then i'm game for two. My front end needs a strip down and re-build and like you, i was thinking the triumph stuff is WAY overpriced :eek:

Let me know how it pans out.

I'd be in for at least one. What's the euro to US $ exchange rate?

It's about 1.26 $ per euro just now, probably 1.30 I suppose after Paypal or some such has had their bit....


I've put you down for 2 - should be a couple of weeks or so I think if that's ok?

My Dublin buddy will also have 2, so I'll get a few extras made, I'm sure they'll go eventually.

Looks like a runner...I'll be back in a few days after I've seen the guy & firm everything up.

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Well, I've taken a flyer & ordered a dozen, so there'll be a few spares.

Big thankyou to forum member Jodel who sent me photos & accurate measurements of the original Triumph tool - so what's being made will be pretty much an exact copy, with a 3/8" socket drive not the 1/2" I mentioned above.

Probably be a week before I get them, so I'll be back then to make arrangements for those who want them.

This is what the tool looks like;
What did you come up with for a price?
How are you intending to handle the money transaction here?
I think 15 euros for 1, 27 euros for 2 will be ok. Internet bank transfer, possible here, I hope in the US? would be best probably. Paypal may be possible but I only have a basic account with very limited number of inward transactions, 5 per year. I'll have to look into what's involved with upgrading my Paypal a/c.
I'd be interested in buying two of those Mike if you have still have some left. I could swing down to you over the next couple of weeks to collect. I need to replace the fork seals as well at some stage so might as well spend a day doing the whole front end.

That's fine Mark, I'll keep two by for you and if you still need your carbs balancing I can do that for you, it doesn't take long.

I suppose chrome moly is the right material, tho' I suspect it's plain steel I'm being offered...
I believe thats all the Triumph ones are made of, just cadmium plated to stop the rust.
Well, I now have the tools made, so ready to go. Just 1 change, the socket drive is 1/2" not 3/8".

PM me if you'd like to have one.

Well, I have just two of the spanners left, ready to go. €15 for 1, €27 for the pair (+ shipping), 1/3 the price of the Triumph tools!

(All who've contacted me already either have them or have them here for collection.)

Check/adjustment is a 3k miles schedule job & the bearings will likely last longer when correctly maintained.

I likely won't get any more made (I'm not a 'trader' & no plans either!) so grab 'em now before I post up for the other T3 guys :D

All sold...

All the spanners are now sold.

Thanks to all for your participation & assistance :)

I believe Beemie is going to get some more made in the US, so if you might still be looking for some, do keep an eye out for his thread.

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