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All Balls bearings for Steering Stem

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  • All Balls bearings for Steering Stem

    Some of us have raised concerns with the All Balls bearing installation. The main problem appears that the stackup puts the triple tree too high leaving the headlight ears loose. I will explain why.
    The All Balls kit comes with 2 bearing seals, one for bottom bearing and one for top. The Factory Yamaha bearing setup does not use a seal on the top bearing, only the steel cover cup. The factory lower bearing uses a seal that surrounds the outer diameter of the lowest point of the steering triple tree and fits into the recess at the bottom of the neck. It does not take up any space in the stackup because the lower seal is not put under the bearing as does the all balls lower seal. Measuring the thickness of the steel structure of the all balls seals is as follows. The upper is .025 " thick and the lower is .037" . they will add .62 " to the overall height of the assembly. That is why the ears are too loose. I have observed this on the SPECIAL only. I would like to hear about the standard. I have done 2 specials, the first one, I did not use the upper seal in the kit but did use the lower seal then added another gasket to take up the space at the top of the fork ears. On the second special, I removed the lower bearing and re-used the factory bearing seal. Voila , worked perfect the first time. Why not use a factory Yamaha seal for the lower ? I have no idea what the part number is and can't find it in the diagrams. OK , lets hear from others !
    79 1100 SF Carmine Red stock
    85 Honda v65 Magna
    70 Yamaha HS1 90cc twin Californian Orange
    02 Road King (retirement gift)
    First bike-s 2-1967 Yamaha YM2C Big Bear Scramblers

  • #2
    Yes, I have noticed the loose ears, I used a pair of old "Leak Proof" fork seals to take up the gap. The top bearing seal probably isn't even necessary. I have since converted that Standard to FJ front end.
    Last edited by bikerphil; 01-15-2017, 11:18 PM.
    2H7 (78)
    2H7 (79)
    3H3

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    • #3
      I'm in process of installing these, and of course discovered the lower seal issue. Who the hell spec'd this seal for AB? The ID is neither suitable for the enlarged seat at the base of the stem (too small), or the stem itself (too big). My instinct is to enlarge the hole on the AB seal so it will sit where it's supposed to--though I think it will be too thin and will need to be shimmed--but curious what others have done. Factory seal was destroyed in removal of lower bearing--I'd try to replace that, but as others have noted, it doesn't appear in the parts fiches.
      cheers
      mike
      1979 XS1100F
      1978 Suzuki GS750E

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      • #4
        Pretty sure you'll be good, when you are pressing the lower bearing on, you make sure the seal is centered. IIRC, it kind of centers itself as is slightly overlaps the outermost part of the bearing. The last one I did, I don't recall it being an issue.
        2H7 (78)
        2H7 (79)
        3H3

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bikerphil View Post
          Pretty sure you'll be good, when you are pressing the lower bearing on, you make sure the seal is centered. IIRC, it kind of centers itself as is slightly overlaps the outermost part of the bearing. The last one I did, I don't recall it being an issue.
          Thanks. Did you have to compensate for the vertical spacing problem others have described?
          1979 XS1100F
          1978 Suzuki GS750E

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          • #6
            I didn't use any kind of spacer.

            Ok, now that I read this thread a little better, it seems that the problem is with the headlight ears being loose. I don't seem to have that problem.
            Last edited by bikerphil; 09-18-2022, 03:33 PM.
            2H7 (78)
            2H7 (79)
            3H3

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