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Visionary
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5,245 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I noticed recently that my 08 Vision has not been handling the way it used to, it seemed sluggish, and especially hard to turn at slow speeds. A quick check found the problem, the steering bearings were feeling tight and sticky, which I suppose is not that unusual by 108K miles. Time for a little work.

As always, step one when working on a Vision is to take off her clothes, the Dr. can't operate with the patient dressed.

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After that it's simply a case of unbolting anything in the way of getting to the bearings. Note to self, next time hold onto the spindle while removing the upper nut, it actually fell out, bounced off the lift, and landed on my foot, OUCH!, and of course I was wearing sneakers so it actually hurt :)

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AHA, I see the problem, the lower bearing went bad. It's dry and rusty, and the bearing races are all pitted. This is actually pretty ugly...worse than I expected to see, it hardly turned at all without excess force being applied.

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Now for the tough part, the top bearing pops right out with a little force applied from below but the lower bearing has an outer race that is very hard to remove, it's pressed into the aluminum frame so it's tight, and smaller than the hole above it so there is no way to catch the edge to get it out! The shop manual is no help, it says to use the provided access notch to drive out the bearings, the problem is that no such notch was ever machined when the bikes were built, it does not exist! This is a tricky situation that calls for an old mechanic's trick...

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I got my hands on a big washer that fit into the tapered bearing race, I held it in there while I tacked it in to hold it, then did a couple of quick welds to make sure it stayed. 5 minutes time and I now had a nice flat surface to hit to knock the race out of the frame. Problem solved, here is the bearing race and washer after I knocked it out.

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Next step is reassembly with new bearings...
 

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American Legion Rider
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25,876 Posts
Isn't there a zerk so you can shoot some grease to it now and then? If not, I think I'd take the opportunity to drill a hole, tap it and put one in.
 
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Ace Tuner
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3,479 Posts
Ohhh yes. The notch provided that ain't there. I see that often myself...

If you don't have access to welding machinery you can use a pencil grinder to cut a couple of small "notches" in the frame right above the lower bearing. (And no, the metal removed will not weaken the frame).
Then you're set to drive the bearing out with a hammer and punch.
Just make sure no frame metal has made its way into the bearing seat area. If needed you can clean the edges of the grind areas with sandpaper.


S F
 

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Premium Member
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9,826 Posts
Yami has about 1/32 for the punch to sit on and whack. A real pain. The lower bearings had wear marks, bot it was not dry and rusty like yours. They are supposed to be checked every so often. Most get ignored for years, or forever. Putting in new greased balls was easier.

UK
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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15,487 Posts
What Larry said
Isn't there a zerk so you can shoot some grease to it now and then? If not, I think I'd take the opportunity to drill a hole, tap it and put one in.
Aren't you a Maintenance engineer by trade at a major air terminal? :)
 

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On The Road Again!
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4,184 Posts
My Goldwing is coming up on the same thing, Mike.
I already bought the bearings, figuring that I'd need
them eventually.
Now it's just a matter of getting a "round tuit".
 

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American Legion Rider
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25,876 Posts
What Larry said


Aren't you a Maintenance engineer by trade at a major air terminal? :)
Hope the darn thing didn't fall over on him. I didn't care much for the way he has it balanced on the lift. But I don't know how flat it is where the scissor jack is. I only have a couple places that are safe on the Indian and don't know if the Victory the same or not.
 

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Visionary
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5,245 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was a baggage conveyor and jetbridge technician for 30 years. Now in my advanced age I'm a management weenie and the union contract says I'm not even allowed to pick up any tools at work, let alone use them!

Sometimes I miss getting dirty :)

What Larry said
Aren't you a Maintenance engineer by trade at a major air terminal? :)
 

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Visionary
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5,245 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I had the exact same thought about a grease fitting, but it's a tough spot to drill and have the grease actually get anywhere useful. I ended up putting the best waterproof grease that I could find on the bearing, the old one lasted 11 years and 107k miles, this one should outlast the engine.

Isn't there a zerk so you can shoot some grease to it now and then? If not, I think I'd take the opportunity to drill a hole, tap it and put one in.
 

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Visionary
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5,245 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nope, no issues at all with it falling over, it was actually rock solid on there. You have the same jack I think, I used the 2 posts to lift the front, they fit perfectly under the engine. I was able to climb over the bike the way it was on there and it never moved.
Lifting a Victory is tricky like the Indian, you have to choose where you lift carefully or else it rocks. But with the lift and scissor jack I find I can see what I'm doing better than when I was lifting it from the floor and find the right spot.

Hope the darn thing didn't fall over on him. I didn't care much for the way he has it balanced on the lift. But I don't know how flat it is where the scissor jack is. I only have a couple places that are safe on the Indian and don't know if the Victory the same or not.
 

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Visionary
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5,245 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
All done!
New neck bearings installed, and a brand new set of chrome forks as well.
The old (silver powder coat) forks were (over)due for a rebuild, the plan was for oil and seals originally but a few months ago that changed. A dealership selling off old stock listed brand new in the box NOS set of chrome upgrade forks. This is about a $2500 upgrade kit, that had been sitting around on the shelf since 2008, that only fits an 08 or 09 Vision. I talked him down to about $100 more than it would have cost me to buy the seals and oil to rebuild mine.
While I was at it I flushed and changed all the brake and clutch fluids, replaced the headlights with new super bright LEDs, put in a new air filter, and new front marker and turn signal bulbs.

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I took it for a brief test ride, but that's a story for another post....
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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15,487 Posts
Hell can you even see the tubes behind all that plastic?
 

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Visionary
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5,245 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You can see the lower part next to the fender, that's about it. Probably that's why they were sitting on a shelf for 10 years, why spend all that money for chrome you can barely see?
I really didn't buy them for the chrome, but $200 for a brand new set of forks when mine needed rebuilding was just too good to pass up. I can probably sell my good used ones the way they are for close to that, or just keep them as spares in case I need them. The only shame is that they don't fit my 2016, they look the same but the tube size changed in mid 2009, so these only fit the older ones.
 
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