|Posted on Monday, March 11, 2013 - 09:32 am: ||
I just had HD dealer replace my fork seals ($355 ouch), and he said I also need steering head bearings. I tend to think he's right- my front Metzler has a strange profile now almost triangular with a ridge in the middle.
He said about $400 for that job. Is this something I can do myself?
|Posted on Monday, March 11, 2013 - 09:52 am: ||
I just did mine about a week ago. It's a fairly simple job if you are comfortable with tools. You need a jack to get the front end off of the ground, take the front tire and forks off, then remove the steering head. Replace bearings and reinstall. I picked up a set of bearings from amazon for $20 and they came with seals. They were "All balls racing" brand. Beats $ 400, them dealer should have offered to do them at a discount when they had the forks off... That's half the job right there...
|Posted on Monday, March 11, 2013 - 11:34 am: ||
Got a garage or a place to work, where you can leave it apart if you need to? Got any tools?
I just change my fork seals, for about $65 for parts and fork oil. Bushings, clips, o-rings, seals, washers, everything. I have a service manual, but never done it before, and I'm no mechanic, just go slow, double-check everything, read the book...
The steering stem bearings are $38. I think that's the only parts you need. So yeah you could save $362 if you do it yourself!
|Posted on Monday, March 11, 2013 - 12:14 pm: ||
Do as much of your mechanic work yourself and try to find a good mechanic that can do the more complicated stuff for you. I got burned by HD to the tune of $750+ to do a 5000K service and replace a leaking rocker cover gasket; roughly a fifth of what I paid for the bike. By comparison, I recently had the top end freshened w/all new gaskets, rings, cylinders honed, and all carbon deposits removed, as well as a new front iso install; parts and labor $380 ($60/hr) and it runs the best it has since I bought it a year ago!
I have also more recently located a former HD/Buell master mechanic that runs a bike shop. He is a Buell rider and enthusiast who worked on the very first S2s, S1s, through the XBs and was the dealerships Buell race team mechanic. In other words, he really knows my bike. Also $60/hr and the best part is he is located less than 5 miles from me!
If you stick w/HD, you'll rack up more in service and repair costs than the value of your bike in a real hurry! I've installed an HID headlight system, cleaned/checked/repaired various electrical connections/switches, installed a new ignition switch, replaced header gaskets, chased down vibrations, and a myriad of other basic things on my own. Had I paid HD for all that at $90/hr in addition to the top end refresh I had done, I would have already doubled the initial cost of the bike.
You'll find all the help you need here. Good luck and safe/happy riding!
|Posted on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 09:13 am: ||
Do as much of your mechanic work yourself and try to find a good mechanic that can do the more complicated stuff for you.
Amen brother- finding the *good* one is the trick. There is a local shop specializing in big twins. I had the X1 in there the past year like 4 times for over $3000 in repairs, and much of the *corrected* problems are still there. He was frustrated too - his new rule is WE DONT WORK ON BUELLS.
|Posted on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 11:35 pm: ||
I just replaced the steering head bearings on my 2000 X1 last week because the steering became notchy. Im no great mechanic just grew up poor and learned how to tinker on my own dirt bikes when i was a young lad. After disassembly the culprit was a rusted and pitted lower bearing/race. It took me 2 weekends to complete it and change the fork oil working at a relaxed pace in my garage.
I used a rear wheel stand and a bottle jack under the forward shock eye and it was suitably stable to wrench on. The service manual states to pull the steering lock but i was able to remove my stem and leave it in. I hung my instrument panel/bars with some bungees from the ceiling to save some time with the small stuff.
The bearings are common Timken L44643 and races are L44610. I purchased mine for $16.00 for the pair from our local automotive jobber as Timken part# "SET 14" which is race and bearing combined. The napa# is BR14 and BCA# is S14 but beware what you buy as there is alot of offshore junk out there now. I went with timken since they are made in the USA and was OE in the bike.
The only part of the job that i couldnt handle was removing the lower bearing as it is pressed on. The service manual is vague and just states to heat it until it falls off but my propane torch just wasnt enough. I took the stem to my truck mechanic buddy at the dealership i work at and he was able to remove it with a combination of heat, a bearing splitter and puller.
Installing the new lower bearing was a piece of cake. Instead of pressing it on or smashing it on with a pipe and hammer i just tossed the stem in the freezer, and the bearing in the oven at 200 for 15 mins and it slid right on by hand, when it cooled it was pressed. I learned that trick when i was a kid rebuilding my Hodaka wombat 125 engine to put the piston and wristpin together.
That was my first attempt at replacing steering head bearings and fork oil and it really wasnt all that bad. My forks seals were fine so i didnt have to monkey with those. Now that the X1 is done i have just pulled my S3T in to do the same job. Good luck to you if you attempt your own!
|Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 08:24 am: ||
thanks- I'm starting to believe I MAY be able to handle this myself! I'll see if those parts are available locally.
I am concerned about the heating/cooling and pressing /removing parts! I dont have much experience with that sort of thing..
|Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 10:12 am: ||
My experience was similar to Buell3somes. I used a steel bar through the rear axle and resting on frame stands for a stable base, then suspended the front w/straps to the rafters. Also let the handlebars, ect hang out of the way. Left the fork lock in place, too.
Wasn't able, using methods I was comfortable with, to get the lower bearing off. I ended up notching the bearing Very Carefully with a Dremel, then breaking it w/a cold chisel. I like Buell3somes method better. And the freezer and oven method makes installing the new race easy. BTW, I greased the bearing and threaded two pieces of safety wire through the bearing cage prior to heating in the oven. Makes handling a hot bearing much easier.