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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #1  
Old 11th April 2008
Sanch Sanch is offline
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Default Neck Bearings

Is there anyway to adjust the neck bearings on a 73 without taking it all apart? I'd like to snug it up a bit and would hate to have to take it all apart just for that...
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Old 11th April 2008
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you'll find an allen bolt in the top triple tree, loosen that up a bit, then you'll find the top end of a bolt on top of the triple tree, tighten that up until you get the snugness you're looking for. Then tighten up the allen bolt to hold everything together, might want some loctite to keep everything from reverting on you.

You'll need some cleverness to get to that top nut without removing the handlebars, but I think you can do it.
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  #3  
Old 11th April 2008
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I am not familiar with the 73 model, but if it is the same as my 77, you dont need to tear it apart.
Remove the top nut from the steering stem.
Undo the pinch bolt in the top triple tree.
Get either the correct tool, or a piece of pipe with two ears cut on it, or if desperate a punch, and tighten the adjuster sleeve down by turning the slotted end.
Assembly, as they say, is the reverse of disassembly.
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Old 11th April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopper View Post
tighten the adjuster sleeve down by turning the slotted end.

I don't know what you're talking about, but my 75 definitely doesn't have a slotted sleeve.
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  #5  
Old 11th April 2008
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Dunno what the earlier ones have, but the 77 has an internally threaded sleeve that screws over the main steering stem and then the big hex nut screws into that. Either way, Sanch, you wont have to pull everything apart to adjust the steering head. The pinch bolt and the hex nut/slotted sleeve are all that need attention.
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  #6  
Old 11th April 2008
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This is great news!

Now, if I'm going to make the tool, can anyone tell me what diameter it is and how sturdy I need to make it? I don't guess I could use PVC, but I also can't imagine it would require much torque to tighten it either.
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Old 12th April 2008
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No, I dont have the dimension right here. But if you unscrew the big hex nut on top of the fork stem, the adjusting sleeve is right there. You actually can probably just stick a piece of flat bar or even a big screw driver down there and turn the adjusting sleeve, once the pinch bolt is loosened off.
I checked my parts book when I got home last night and your 73 has the sleeve same as my 77.
I never have made the special tool to do this job - there is always something kicking around that will fit down there and do the job. And it does not need to be tight or anything, just snugged up until the slack in the bearing is gone.

Remember to jack the bike up to take the weight off the forks first. Always fun on a Sporty with no centrestand.
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