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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 29th October 2009
tocino tocino is offline
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Default Tighten head bearings on a '77

Hello all,
I looked in my factory manual and couldn't find where it described snugging up the head bearings. I'm getting a clunk feel that tells me they're loose. Going by the following pic:



Do I just loosen pinch bolt #2 and the lower fork pinch bolts and then snug up #22 ("sleeve end, fork stem")? Do I remove #22 and then tighten #21 ("sleeve, fork stem")? Something else?

I'd didn't want to go messing things up so I thought I'd check with the gurus here before I mangled some threads

Also, in this parts manual page it looks like #22 is below the upper triple-tree, but on mine it is on top. Is this right? Maybe the PO used an extra one as a replacement for 41/42 and I can't see the real one until I remove it?

thanks for the help
-Steve

Last edited by tocino; 29th October 2009 at 18:34.. Reason: Title mispelled
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  #2  
Old 29th October 2009
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If it is clunking I would disassemble it and check for damage, good chance the bearings or races are wrecked. I'll bet that if you tighten #21 the steering will feel notchy and bind up at certain spots.
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  #3  
Old 29th October 2009
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I have had this clunk on my IronHead, and a Yamaha Virago some years ago. I just did as you have outlined and it was fine after that in both cases. Just have to have any pinch bolts loosened then snug it up; then retighten the pinch bolts, eh.

The bars, when straight ahead with the bike not doing anything, should tip from center to either side with a nudge.
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Old 29th October 2009
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Very small amounts of tightening make a big difference. It's really easy to overtighten if you're not careful.
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Old 29th October 2009
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So it's tighten #21 to snug the bearings? What is nut #22 for?
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Old 29th October 2009
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That's the part catalog. I hope you have a FSM. HD # 99484-78

In the FSM it's on 2-26 removing fork stem ect. You'll most likely want to check the bearings.

then 2-30 tell's how to Install.
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Old 29th October 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runingmouse View Post
That's the part catalog. I hope you have a FSM. HD # 99484-78

In the FSM it's on 2-26 removing fork stem ect. You'll most likely want to check the bearings.

then 2-30 tell's how to Install.
Thanks - I'll look again. (I have both parts cat and a manual (maybe just the 77?), I put up the image from the parts catalog for the ease of explanation)
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Old 29th October 2009
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just be real careful and dont tighten them at all beyond just getting the play out. too tight headset bearings will cause a highspeed wobble, or tankslapper, and trust me, you dont want to experience that on the freeway with a bunch of cages on your ass.
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Old 30th October 2009
tocino tocino is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runingmouse View Post
In the FSM it's on 2-26 removing fork stem ect. You'll most likely want to check the bearings.

then 2-30 tell's how to Install.
Thanks - exactly where you said it was. Guess I got impatient / lazy and didn't read through the chapter.
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