Front End Work
The following tutorial deals with most of the facets of the front end of the bike; that is, the headset, forks, front hub, front brakes and front suspension system. This guide will help with problems as small as getting into the headset, to problems as large as dropping the forks out. Most of it is easy and requires few tools; it's mostly about the order of disassembly that is important.Tools & Parts Needed
Socket Set (7-22mm)
Spanner Wrench set (7-22mm)
Small Screwdriver for the Front Hub Nut
Long Handled Screwdriver Set (#1,2,3 Philips and #2 flat head)
Spark Plug Wrench
Disposable Shop Towels
Rubber Face Mallet
A Metal Hammer
A number of pairs of Visegrips
A set of circlip pliers
A Large Chisel (see below)
Various bearing extractors and punches(if necessary)
Bearing Grease (lithium grease)
Some milk crates to set the bike on
A strap wrench
Okay.. so now you just put the suspension and hub stuff back together the way you found it.. just follow the steps backwards.
It is probably a good idea to put new brake shoes in everytime you rebuild the front end. Pack any bearing with lots and lots of bearing grease.
Since the original hub nuts can be a bit scarce, you only end up getting about 3 attempts at removing the hub nut before you'll have to replace it.. so make every repair count.
The needle roller bearings are kind of hard to remove without destroying them, so be sure to have the right replacements before doing the job.
The hub nut can be re-dented using a large cold chisel and a metal hammer. Before you reinstall the fork, you'll probably want to run some new cables through it. Here is a bulletproof way to install an outer cable
the quick and painless way.. this works for any part of the bike, not just the forks. peep dis:
You take a roll of 70lb braided picture hanging wire, and fish through the hard to reach area in question from the bottom up. you push it all the way through until it peeks its head out the top of the fork column. Next you pull out the picture wire, really long like. and thread it into the new outer cable housing you want to install. Once it's through the cable housing, tie a good solid knot in the picture wire at the end exiting the new cable housing. When it is secure, guide the outer cable home by pulling on the picture wire and pushing on the outer cable. It will usually slip right into place, but if it gets snagged up, just reverse the course and try it again. Often the cable will just hang up on the place whee it exits the fork, so just jostle the picture wire at the exiting end until it pops through.
Once the new cables are in, put the bearing on the lower fork race and grease it with a liberal amount of bearing grease. Next, feed the fork tube into the frame. When the top emerges through the hole in the frame, put the small bearing on the race with lots of grease to help it roll. Then put the top bearing race on and cinch it up tight. now here's the critical part: you want to make the fork tight in the bearings, but not so tight that it's crushing the bearings. The easiest way to tell you have it right is that there will be no slack in the fork tube (won't wiggle up and down), and once it's that far then you tighten the race until it's just tight enough so that you can sweep the forks back and forth with no resistance. Once it's set, place the washer on top of the bearing race. Then turn the lockwasher down until it starts to apply pressure on the lockwasher. Get a set of wide jaw visegrips and just let that lockwasher have it. Tighten it as hard as you can, it should be the same tightness at the rear hub :).
Once it's all kosher, just pop all the headset stuff back together, and make sure that if you have an in-line front brake switch that you cut the brake line the correct length, so that the switch sits in the right position. Insert the new speedometer cable last, and make sure the little washer under the cable header is present, otherwise you'll get a goofy and pulsing reading on your speedometer. Reattach the brake cable and cinch it up to just where the brakes engage with the slack adjuster on the hub. You know the brakes are good when you can just barely press the lever all the way to the bar. Take it for a spin and pay close attention to anything funny or any clunking at braking. Weird noises can often be caused by loose steering column bearings. Feel out the braking and tighten as necessary using the slack adjuster.
All Material Copyright 2001-2023 by Richard Hoar. Use at your own risk.