Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Quick and Easy Steering Stem Repair

Steering stem bearings are very similar to wheel bearings to remove or service.  The main culprits of bearing failure are lack of grease from lack of service or corrosion because water has gotten into the bearing from power washers.  The good news is that steering stem bearings are easy to keep maintained.  We suggest you check and grease the steering stem bearings on your bike at least twice a season.

You will need:

·         Wrenches and sockets

·         Steering Stem wench or channel locks

·         Hammer

·         Torque Wrench

·         Waterproof grease


Start Your Inspection:

1.        Set up your bike on a stand and block the front wheel;

2.       Remove the bars, then loosen the bolts that hold the top triple clamps onto the forks;

3.       Next loosen the steering head bolt.  Remove it and the washer and set them aside.  You should use a steering stem wrench for this but channel locks will also work.  The bolt can be easily damaged so be careful;

4.       Use a rubber mallet and tap on the top triple clamp on both sides to slide it up off the forks;

5.       Loosen the spindle bolt that is under the triple clamp.  When you loosen this bolt, the front wheel assembly will start to slide down and forward.  That block of wood you put in front of your wheel will prevent your forks from dropping to the ground;

6.       With the bolt off, remove the top steering stem bearing.  The bottom steering stem bearing is pressed onto the stem so you will not be able to slide it off;

7.       Inspect both bearings for dirt, corrosion, nicks, etc.  If there’s corrosion then you’ll have to replace it.  But if there is only some dirt and grime you can clean the bearings.

a.       To clean them use a solvent or rinse them out with mineral spirits.

b.      Be careful not to spin the bearings when they don’t have grease in them.  This will ruin them for sure!

c.       Once they are dry you can re-grease them.

To Re-Grease the bearings:

1.        Put a good amount of grease in the palm of one of your hands;

2.       Hold the clean bearing in your other hand with the large diameter side facing the grease;

3.       ‘Scrape’ the bearing across the palm of your hand spinning it a little in order to fully pack it with the grease;

4.       Get a dollop of grease on your fingers and work it into the face of the bottom bearing that is  pressed onto the stem and work it all around;

5.       Make sure the races are clean;

6.       Add some grease to the steering spindle for good measure;

7.       Re-insert the steering assembly into the frame head.  Set the top bearing in place, drop the washer on and put the first steering head bolt on hand tight.  Your manual will have instructions on how tight to make this bolt but just keep in mind that you do not want to torque it down super tight;

8.       Re-assemble the rest of the triple clamp assembly per your manual.

If, however, you find you have to replace your bearings:

Steering stem bearing kits are not really that expensive.  The repair is really not that tricky.  However, there are tools and methods for removing that bottom bearing that you might find yourself lacking in (its OK – it happens to all of us!).  You don’t want to damage your steering stem, so take the forks and the bearing kit to your mechanic and let them press it in for you!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Top Ten Ways to Prep Your Bike- A Pre-Ride Checklist

Here at Boss Bearing we love a top 10 list!  Before you go riding make sure you read the top 10 most useful things you can do to prevent breakdowns, expensive repairs and improve the quality of your ride.
Pre-Ride Check 1 – Air Pressure. Check your tires at the beginning of the day. As a rule of thumb for Hard Pack conditions use 11 psi in the front and 12 in the rear. Loamy conditions use 12 psi in the front  and 13 psi in the rear. For off-road and rocky conditions you need to use more pressure to prevent flats, 13 front/14 rear.
Pre-Ride Check 2 – Bleed the forks. Forks need to be bled with your front wheel suspended off the ground otherwise you create a vacuum. Excess air in your forks build up pressure and cause a stiff, harsh ride. A 1-2 pound addition of air in your fork can be equal to a higher spring rate. Remember, pressure builds as you increase in elevation and temperature.
Pre-Ride Check 3 – Oil level – Checking your oil regularly is one of the best ways to keep your engine running well. Check the oil level on your bike after the engine has been run for a few minutes and the bike is upright. If your oil is dirty change it before you ride.  If you run the oil level low, you can do a lot of damage to your engine.
Pre-Ride Check 4 – Coolant level. Check your coolant level and make sure it is just above the cooling fins in your radiator. Even the tiniest amount of coolant loss can be a good indicator that your engine has a problem. If you are consistently losing coolant your engine is running too hot, you have a leak, or your radiator cap is bad. Engines that are consistently hot can mean a worn top end, bottom end, clutch, low or contaminated oil. Check for coolant leaks in the radiator, head gasket, hoses and water pump seals.
Pre-Ride Check 5 – Lube and adjust your chain. Check your chain for slack at the halfway point on your swing arm. Your chain should have 30-40mm of or 3½ normal sized fingers of play. Check the chain over a few different points for slack to make sure it’s not kinked or binding. Now is a good time to check your chain guides, sliders, and rollers too. Lube your chain with a good quality motorcycle chain lube.
Pre-Ride Check 6 – Tighten Spokes – Spokes loosen up more rapidly in the first few rides than any other time but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop checking them. The key to tightening spokes is using a good fitting spoke wrench and tightening a small amount at a time.
Pre-Ride Check 7 – Set the Sag. It’s best to set your sag at the beginning of the day when the shock is cool. Check the sag in all your riding gear. Stand on your pegs when you check your sag because it gives a more consistent reading than sitting. If you need to make adjustments during the day, record the changes by number of turns in our out from where you started. You don’t want to check the sag when the shock is hot because it will give you an inconsistant reading.
Pre-Ride Check 8 –Check Contols - The beginning of the day is a good time to set your brake levers height, clutch lever reach, handlebar position, etc. You don’t want to go out and do your first ride and not be able to reach the brake lever!
Pre-Ride Check 9 – Air Filter – Just like having dirty oil, a dirty air filter can harm your engine and it’s performance. Make sure it’s clean before you go riding.
Pre-Ride Check 10 – Nuts and Bolts – A quick once over for loose nuts and bolts will go a long way once you start your ride.
 Do these 10 checks and you'll be good to go!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Why You Need a Boss Bearing Front Wheel DLR Roller Bearing Conversion Kit

Stop throwing your money away with the same stock set up!  Upgrade to Boss
Bearing's Tapered Front Wheel DLR Conversion Kit today!

The Boss Bearing DLR Roller Bearing Conversion Kit is an inexpensive way to increase the performance of your Sport Quad.  Boss Bearing has designed and tested this conversion kit with both the MX racer and day to day Trail Rider in mind.  Typical stock front wheel bearings are not designed to handle many of the vigorous forces the track and trail require.  The DLR’s angular roller design will increase the capacity of your front hub 2-1/2 times over stock. 
What you can expect with the Boss Bearing DLR Conversion:

·         Outlasts Stock Bearings 5:1
·         Easily installs into Stock Front Hubs (expensive billet hubs are not required)
·         Increased Stability
·         Better Handling
·         Less Drag with Better Roll
·         All components are provided for a full install on both wheels.
·         Bearings, Collars, Seals, Cotter Pins & Detailed Instructions
Are you ready to install your Boss Bearing DLR kit?  It's as easy as 1...2...3:

Things You'll Need:
  Motorcycle jack
  Hex wrench set
  SAE socket wrench set
  Rubber mallet
  Bearing remover/installer tool set
  New bearings
  SAE wrench set

1. Remove the Front Wheel

Elevate the front wheel of the motorcycle off of the ground with a good quality motorcycle jack. Ensure that the bike is stable before proceeding.

Loosen and remove the two hex bolts that secure the front brake caliper with a hex wrench. Let the caliper hang loosely on the side of the wheel from the front brake line.

Unscrew the front axle nut with a socket wrench. Tap out the axle with a rubber mallet and place it aside in a clean location.

Drop the front wheel down from between the front forks and move it to a work bench area.

2. Remove the Old Bearings

Assemble the bearing tool for bearing removal and insert the collet into the inside of the bearing.

Tighten the hex nut on the tool with an SAE wrench until the lip makes contact with the bearing, pulling it free.

Repeat this process on the opposite side of the wheel.

3. Install the New Bearings

Assemble the bearing tool for bearing insertion. Insert the bearing rod through the wheel on one side. Install the new bearing, washers and hex nut onto the end of the rod.

Turn the hex nut on the rod with a wrench to force the new bearing to seat onto the bearing race.

Remove the bearing rod and insert it through the wheel in the opposite side. Repeat the process of installing the new bearing.

4.  Now just reinstall the front wheel in reverse procedure order.


Monday, January 14, 2013

ATV Front End Alignment

ATV’s regularly require the adjustment of the toe-in of the front wheels. Toe-in refers to the amount the front wheels are angled inward. The front tires are closer in the front than in the back at axle level. The majority of ATVs and UTV’s call for the front wheels to be slightly angled in to parallel.
Proper toe-in alignment is critical for tire wear, safety and performance.
Let’s get started!

Be sure to check your service manual for any special instructions specific to your machine. It's also a good idea to spray WD-40 on all the threaded parts a few minutes ahead of time to loosen up any frozen or corroded parts.
Step 1: Inspect all bearings, joints and rubber gaskets on the front end for wear or breakage.  Now is the time to replace any worn or broken parts.  Doing this might actually repair the front end alignment and save you the trouble!

Step 2: Check tire pressure in all 4 tires. Check your factory specification manual for proper pressure.  Both front tires should have the same pressure. Be sure your Quad is on a level surface and align the steering straight forward.

Step 3: Use a piece of chalk or silver Sharpie to mark the center of each front tire at the height of the spindle/axle.  

Step 4: Use a steel tape to measure the distance between the front chalk marks and make a note of that measurement. Spin the front wheels 180° so the marks remain at axle height, but are now facing to the rear wheels. Again, take a measurement between the 2 marks on the tires.

Step 5: After both measurements are taken subtract your 2nd measurement (rear facing) from your 1st measurement (front facing). If the result is positive this is your toe-in calculation.  If the number is negative, you have a toe-out condition. Consult your factory specification manual to compare your toe-in figure.

Step 6: Loosen the lock nuts on the tie-rods. Outer tie-rod lock nuts often will have left-hand threads.

Step 7: Turning the tie rods with a wrench on the flats will change the toe-in. Make even adjustments to the left and right tie-rods for correct alignment. Your service manual will state if there are any specifications for the length of the tire rods or the amount of threads exposed. Adjustments to tie rods must be made according OEM specifications. Improper adjustment could cause the vehicle to not steer correctly, and you could be at risk of breaking a tie-rod.

Step 8: After correct adjustment are made, hold the tie-rod with a wrench and tighten the lock nuts to specified torque against each side of the tie-rod. Double check all connections and take a slow test ride to check the machines steering and maneuverability.