Honda-SOHC

SOHC.co.uk Forums => CB350/400 => Topic started by: oldchuffer on August 17, 2021, 04:21:59 PM

Title: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: oldchuffer on August 17, 2021, 04:21:59 PM
My CB400F needs new steering head bearings. Should i stick to the "normal" type or go for tapered bearings?
Thanks in advance
Steve
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: philward on August 17, 2021, 04:30:54 PM
Have a search for 'taper steering head bearing' using the Search facility in the top menu Steve - loads of info and opinions
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: oldchuffer on August 17, 2021, 04:44:36 PM
Thanks Phil, i'll try that now.
Glad you enjoyed Anglesey by the way, did you see any planes at Valley?
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: McCabe-Thiele (Ted) on August 17, 2021, 06:09:58 PM
I settled for taper roller bottom, ball race top - no issues then with the top nut.
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: philward on August 17, 2021, 06:29:52 PM
Thanks Phil, i'll try that now.
Glad you enjoyed Anglesey by the way, did you see any planes at Valley?
Campsite (Shoreside) is right next to end of Valley runway so a really good view daily
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: AndyD on August 18, 2021, 08:14:58 AM
Steve,
I had problems with tapered head bearings on the 400 and also on the CJ250t (same bearings) where the upper bearing sits higher than the originals.
This was with both All Balls and tapered bearings from Wemoto and it seems to be a common issue.

On the CJ I had the original bearings and side by side could see the difference in height of the upper bearing.
I ended up filing off the ridges in the securing nut to gain a bit of thread but not really happy with it.

Now doing a CJ360T which again has the same bearings and I've ordered some bearings from Wemoto which look to be more like the originals but at a good price. These should arrive over the next few days so I can measure these up against originals and see if this my be a good option - or maybe someone else here has experience of this type?

Cheers,
Andy
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: McCabe-Thiele (Ted) on August 18, 2021, 09:30:21 AM
When I measured up I found the following:-

Original Ball Bearings Top 26 x 48.5 x 15
original Ball Bearings Bottom 30 x 50 x 18

JMT Tapper Roller  Bearings Top 26 x 48.5 x 15.75
JMT Tapper Roller Bearings Bottom 30 x 50 x 15

At first glance it looks okay as if you add  the two bearing heights together Ball Bearings are a total of 33 mm as against tapers at 30.75 so it appears doable as most will supply you with a spacer in the kits.
Fitting the bottom taper bearing without a spacer gives you clearance issues as the lower fork bracket will contact the bottom of the frame/column - not sure what impact that has on the steering column lock / slot  arrangement.
I used a 3 mm spacer at the bottom so it gave me the original clearances. I did not bother trying to fit the top taper bearing as that leads to a loss of threads at the top so I just used a plain bearing at the top. I am given to understand that at one time top taper bearings were available that were shallower - I could not find any.
I guess with the right machinery it could be possible to reduce the overall height by 0.75 mm.
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: Andych on August 18, 2021, 09:53:21 AM
If that top bearing dimension is correct at 26 x 48.5 x 15 then you should be able to buy them... this is what came up on Fleabay Australia.
They are based in the UK.. there were also a search as well
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/270634303381
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: McCabe-Thiele (Ted) on August 18, 2021, 10:26:14 AM
If that top bearing dimension is correct at 26 x 48.5 x 15 then you should be able to buy them... this is what came up on Fleabay Australia.
They are based in the UK.. there were also a search as well
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/270634303381
That was the standard ball bearing kit size I purchased - my old one was "about" the same but was well rusted!
Some sellers give the bearing height they are selling some don't.
The bottom seal design appears to be useless - mine had a large rubber ring that although in good condition obviously did not work looking at the state of the bearings - not sure if this is the standard part. It's a shame Honda did not fit a conventional shaft seal arrangement.

The link you have posted appears to be a firm in Scotland who are selling in Australia so they ought to be available here in the UK - well found Andy!

UK link not bad @ £12.99 each incl P&P
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/290781743090?hash=item43b3f147f2:g:dmYAAOSw7n9XFIAG

Too late for me I've fitted plain at the top - worth considering for the future.
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: Oddjob on August 19, 2021, 01:30:04 AM
I fitted a set of tapers in the early 80s to my 500, just removed one tonight and the top bearing is stamped 26 x 48 x 15. However they don't seem to make that size anymore. When I remove the bottom race I'll post what's stamped on that. There was a 3mm spacer under the bottom taper.
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: McCabe-Thiele (Ted) on August 19, 2021, 08:47:43 AM
I fitted a set of tapers in the early 80s to my 500, just removed one tonight and the top bearing is stamped 26 x 48 x 15. However they don't seem to make that size anymore. When I remove the bottom race I'll post what's stamped on that. There was a 3mm spacer under the bottom taper.

I think you are onto something here Oddjob - I can't check my old original inner race as I have binned it as it was so rusted but I have the outer races. I've checked my old note book and am now having doubts about the O/D being 48.5 even though I have recorded the shaft measurements & bearing sizes several times. The parts manual & DS does not give the bearing dimensions. The original part number was superceded to 53211-268-010 according to DS but thats unlikely to be an explaination.

Please disregard my Top Bearing inside diameter measurements - they are clearly unreliable.

You can't argue with the sizes given by Oddjob marked from a bearing.
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: McCabe-Thiele (Ted) on August 19, 2021, 11:20:26 AM
After another search this morning I have found my top outer race I have measured it with my calipers as 48.53 mm now I am confused I get a tad over 48.50 with my micrometer?

Clearly a difference between a 400/4 & a 500 by the looks of it.

Hopefully someone else can clarify the top bearing size for a 400/4 F2 as it might be you can get a taper roller for the top that fits without loosing threads.

The taper upper that I did not fit is a JMT Tapper Roller  Bearings Top 26 x 48.5 x 15.75 as I did not want to loose any top threads.
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: Seabeowner on August 19, 2021, 02:32:56 PM
Years ago I got a "set" of bearings off Steve with a view to doing my 500 that I've had for 20 years. But the set was missing a bit and to compound it when I took my 500 apart recently it already had tapered bearings installed. I didn't do it, but rebuilt the bike 19 years ago and obviously forgotten! May use bits on a 550.
The bottom bearing is marked H305014. I only have the outer.
https://www.tradebearings.com/h305014-bearing-30-50-14mm-product-84516.html

The top bearing is marked H264815.
https://en.tradebearings.com/N_H264815-170254.html?rel=nobot
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: AndyD on August 19, 2021, 02:39:44 PM
Ted,
Interesting - but sad that simply getting replacement bearings is such a pain!

I received the alternative style ones from Wemoto and have had a quick look at these.
The bottom set looks perfect and appears an exact match of the originals, with the exception of the ball bearings being captive.
Top set not so good - the race seems the same but the bearing cage just doesn't fit at all so can't check any further.
Also the top cone is thicker and has a different shape so this may also cause a problem in terms of overall thickness etc. but can't check as the bearings don't fit in.
I've spoken with Wemoto and they are going to look into it - maybe a rogue bearing set but hopefully will find out and update on 'progress'.

Measured up the old bearing and got 48.55 so same as your dimension.
Also measured the overall height of the top assembly and came out at around 14.3mm overall but with only a few BBs fitted - when I get a chance I'll re-check with all bearings in place to see if this is correct or changes much.

Cheers,
Andy
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: Oddjob on August 19, 2021, 05:11:57 PM
Pic of my top race. Includes the taper roller inside it. The stamping is on the inside so when fitted you can't see it, as soon as I remove the lower one I'll include a pic of that but I'm fairly sure it will be 30x50x15. Make looks to be MCI.

They are in great condition so it's likely I'll refit them when the frames powder coated. Oh and the 400/500/550 and 750 all used the same bearings, at least the same taper rollers anyway. Makes me wonder how something 0.5mm bigger can still fit in the frame. Maybe they got it wrong initially? Oh and my tapers fitted perfectly, no threads lost at all.

(https://i.postimg.cc/wjbyKSRT/IMG-2297.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/MnVKV3Yh)

Might interest you to know I'm currently looking at converting the original swinging arm to needle bearings instead of the metal sleeves they used back in the 70s. It's about 50% done at the moment with some small machining needed which I'm having to ask a mate to do as I don't have a lathe.
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: McCabe-Thiele (Ted) on August 19, 2021, 06:11:35 PM
Not doubting your findings Oddjob yours is an early 500 you say - both myself plus Andy have a different size upper ball race - the size variation is too large for it to be a simple measurement error.

Could it be that they changed size during production over the years - this might explain why some folk have so much trouble fitting taper rollers at a later date yet some don't?
Interestingly not all sellers show the same bearings across all the variants wheras some do. My 400F2 was registered in March 1978 so I assume it's a later production version.
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: Oddjob on August 19, 2021, 06:23:12 PM
They were all the same when I was in the trade Ted and that was after yours was produced as well.

Of course I could always be wrong, I'm not that conversant with the 400 although I did do a lot of work on them at the time but that was many years ago now.
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: McCabe-Thiele (Ted) on August 19, 2021, 08:32:12 PM
Might interest you to know I'm currently looking at converting the original swinging arm to needle bearings instead of the metal sleeves they used back in the 70s. It's about 50% done at the moment with some small machining needed which I'm having to ask a mate to do as I don't have a lathe.
« Last Edit: Today at 05:15:55 PM by Oddjob »

The rear swing arm bearings on my 400 were some sort of plastic sleeve, I've changed them for Brass sleeves (via NJ) - needle rollers sound interesting - similar to the old Mini rear radius arms - they had sleeves on one end that had to be reamed to fit with needle rollers at the other end. Oddly enough the needle rollers usually wore out first due to water ingress. I never understood why they had two such different bearings on the same radius arm shaft.


https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/174340141835?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=710-134428-41853-0&mkcid=2&itemid=174340141835&targetid=1279902197659&device=c&mktype=pla&googleloc=1006674&poi=&campaignid=12689626702&mkgroupid=124353408922&rlsatarget=pla-1279902197659&abcId=9300529&merchantid=101733956&gclid=CjwKCAjwgviIBhBkEiwA10D2jwz9reN4dmzkpa-vSvbNu-29oJvQwt2Stgebd-2RJ7V7LV60ycqqkRoCmcUQAvD_BwE
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: Bryanj on August 19, 2021, 10:00:11 PM
You could get needle roller conversions from the US some years back but they didnt last long as the bearings only really last when they are rotating, remember the mono shock rear bears that needed changing  nearly every mot
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: Andych on August 19, 2021, 11:46:55 PM
That H264815 bearing number has measurements of 26 x 48.5 x 15 as per the link below.
https://simplybearings.co.uk/shop/p554001/H264815-Narrow-Section-Steering-Head-Set-Taper-Roller-Bearing-26x48.5x15mm/product_info.html

Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: Oddjob on August 20, 2021, 03:25:13 AM
You could get needle roller conversions from the US some years back but they didnt last long as the bearings only really last when they are rotating, remember the mono shock rear bears that needed changing  nearly every mot

And yet Honda have fitted them to the swinging arm of my current bike the CB1300. Maybe it's regular greasing that makes them last?

I'll have a measure of the race I removed and see if that's right Andy, maybe it is 48.5 but if so why not stamp it so it reflects that.
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: McCabe-Thiele (Ted) on August 20, 2021, 09:49:30 AM
That H264815 bearing number has measurements of 26 x 48.5 x 15 as per the link below.
https://simplybearings.co.uk/shop/p554001/H264815-Narrow-Section-Steering-Head-Set-Taper-Roller-Bearing-26x48.5x15mm/product_info.html
I think you are onto something here it's the part number not the actual bearing size!
Either way you can get the right upper taper roller that's not too tall.

Out of interest nobody appears to list a 26 x 48 x15 bearing on the couple of sites I have checked on.
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: Bryanj on August 20, 2021, 02:28:13 PM
Thats because the taper rollers that fit the bikes are not a standard sizr
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: Oddjob on August 20, 2021, 04:27:45 PM
Just measured my old bearing with a Digital Vernier gauge and it's 48.52 so close enough that it's clearly a 48.50 and they either couldn't stamp it with the decimal point or everyone knew it was 48.5 as standard but it got forgot as time past.

The size doesn't really matter though, it's the thickness that's critical, so long as you get the 15mm thick one it seems your fine so long of course that you couple it with the thin lower bearing which looks to be either 14 or 15mm thick and a 3mm spacer. I'm looking at finding a seal which goes around the lower headstock and maybe making the spacer 1mm thinner to compensate.

This one may work https://simplybearings.co.uk/shop/p43737/Washer-to-fit-32006JR-Narrow-Section-Steering-Head-Set-Taper-Roller-Bearing/product_info.html
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: AndyD on August 20, 2021, 04:32:04 PM
Update on the Wemoto bearings.
Had another play with the upper set - popped a couple of loose ball bearings in to see how it would build up if the caged bearings did fit properly.
The race seems correct and as original but the cone is quite different and when fitted the set is several mm higher than standard so not much use.
[attach=1][attach=2]
Shame as the bottom set seems perfect and the top would be if the cage fitted and the cone was the same profile as original.
I just wonder why someone has put together all these varieties of replacement bearing sets that just aren't correct.
Wemoto are looking into this so maybe the supplier can explain / correct things.
Cheers,
Andy
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: McCabe-Thiele (Ted) on August 20, 2021, 05:16:32 PM
Update on the Wemoto bearings.
Had another play with the upper set - popped a couple of loose ball bearings in to see how it would build up if the caged bearings did fit properly.
The race seems correct and as original but the cone is quite different and when fitted the set is several mm higher than standard so not much use.
(Attachment Link) (Attachment Link)
Shame as the bottom set seems perfect and the top would be if the cage fitted and the cone was the same profile as original.
I just wonder why someone has put together all these varieties of replacement bearing sets that just aren't correct.
Wemoto are looking into this so maybe the supplier can explain / correct things.
Cheers,
Andy

This was the set of plain rollers I bought when I could not find a suitable upper taper. At £15 for the pair not too expensive. I'm pretty sure you will be able to buy just the upper bearing if you contact the firm. The dimensions given I can confirm were accurate. Might be worth sending a PM to 4wDaz he sourced me some Primary Drive bearings at a great price.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/324462234796
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: McCabe-Thiele (Ted) on August 22, 2021, 04:07:40 PM
Although I'm sticking with my existing mixture of bearing types I have purchased the top taper roller bearing from Pyramid parts and can confirm they are the same dimensions including the all important height at 15 mm. So looks like anyone can fit taper rollers if they want to on a 400/4. I'm thinking of fitting some sort or shield/deflector to reduce water reaching the lower races. I'm sure with it having a 3 mm spacer a better seal could be fitted.
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: Athame57 on August 22, 2021, 08:08:02 PM
Although I'm sticking with my existing mixture of bearing types I have purchased the top taper roller bearing from Pyramid parts and can confirm they are the same dimensions including the all important height at 15 mm. So looks like anyone can fit taper rollers if they want to on a 400/4. I'm thinking of fitting some sort or shield/deflector to reduce water reaching the lower races. I'm sure with it having a 3 mm spacer a better seal could be fitted.
Which size would I need to order from them on their drop menu? https://pyramid-parts.com/products/ssbmain
Title: Re: Steering Head Bearings
Post by: McCabe-Thiele (Ted) on August 22, 2021, 08:33:51 PM
Although I'm sticking with my existing mixture of bearing types I have purchased the top taper roller bearing from Pyramid parts and can confirm they are the same dimensions including the all important height at 15 mm. So looks like anyone can fit taper rollers if they want to on a 400/4. I'm thinking of fitting some sort or shield/deflector to reduce water reaching the lower races. I'm sure with it having a 3 mm spacer a better seal could be fitted.
Which size would I need to order from them on their drop menu? https://pyramid-parts.com/products/ssbmain

For the top one it's 26 x 48.5 x 15 you have options for the lower one they list  for 30 x 50 x 14 with an appropriate spacer (they do list one at only 13 mmm tall). Quite a few sellers make bottom roller bearings that fit so other makes are available.

This link is for individual bearings rather than a kit.https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/290781743090?var=590082068373

Kit looks like BR29 & it has seals!    https://pyramid-parts.com/products/ssbmain?variant=40126403591

Helpful fitting guide too.https://pyramid-parts.com/pages/steering-head-bearings-fitment-guide

Please double check my findings before you order.
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