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Are you sick of the creaking and groaning coming from the steering stem bushes?

I was, so I did something about it.

This topic will take you through the steps that I took to convert the upper and lower stem bushings to be remotely greaseable.

I'll start with the top bushing.

The top bushing is well and truly buried in the bike, so it's not a 10 minute exercise to service. The factory flat rate guide states 2.4hrs for the top and 1hr for the lower.

Ok. Start by removing the seat, airbox cover panel, speedo cover panel, both side panels and all 4 inner guard panels. I haven't taken any photos of these steps.

The next step in gaining access to the top bush, is to remove the front rack. If you have never had the rack off your bike, you'll find 2x extra screws holding the front guard to the rack. These 2x screws can be discarded IMO as they serve no real purpose.

Refer to the picture for the attachment bolt locations. The 2x screws are beside the shock absorber towers.

If yours is an XT, you need to loosen the front bar bolts that are above the winch fairlead. You don't need to remove the front bar completely.

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Next step is to remove the front nose panel then the speedo mount. If yours has the twin dial gauge assembly, there are 2x clip tags at the top of the gauge that need to be released, then the gauge can be unplugged and removed.

The fuse box needs to be unclipped and the headlight looms, ignition switch and ACC socket need to be released.

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The airbox has to be moved next. Make sure that the area around the throttle body is free of dirt as you will be lifting the box from the throttle body and dirt will go into the motor.

Refer to the next photos for the bolt locations etc.

Note that the rear brake hose is held in place by one of the rear airbox bolts.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Unplug all the wiring that goes to the handle bar. Note that 2 of the plugs can be interchanged, so mark them with a pen.

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Note that the rear brake line is held in place with the front airbox bolt.

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Remove and discard the brake block retaining bolt and trim the plastic support as per the red section in the photo.

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Now that you have all the bolts removed from the airbox, it can be lifted and moved to the rear so as to give access to the bushing bracket.

Place a clean rag over the throttle body.

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Here is the bushing removed from the bike. To get the second half of the bushing out, you need to rotate the bush around the stem with a screw driver.

Take note of the orientation of the bushing halves as they need to go back in the same direction. The 2x O rings stay on the steering stem.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Clean the steering stem and O rings with a rag.

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Now to modify the bracket.

Drill and tap a 6x1mm thread in the centre of the bracket.

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Temporarily mount the bushing halves into the bracket, making sure that the bushing is square in all planes.

Drill a 5mm hole through one bush half and counter sink the hole.

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I made up a 300mm hose and crimped it onto a modified 90° grease fitting.

Screw the fitting in so that it's parrallel along the bracket.

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Next, clean the back side of the bush and the bracket with acetone. Apply a coating of suitable sealant to the bushing, so that all the cavities in the bush are filled. Don't cover the hole.

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Mount the whole bush into the bracket, making sure to align the hole and make sure the bush is sitting square in all planes. You will also need to orientate the bushing as it was in the bike and so that the hose will be aiming out to the left hand side of the bike ( away from the coolant bottle).

Depending on your choice of sealant, I would suggest leaving it to cure overnight. You don't want to break the seal between the bracket and bush.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Once the sealant has cured, refit half the bushing onto the stem making sure the O rings are seated correctly and the bushing is the right way up. Rotate the bushing with a screw driver till it is around the back of the stem.

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Next, refit the mounting bracket, making sure that the dowel pins in the bush line up with the mating half and that the O rings are fitted correctly.

Sorry, I forgot to take a pic of this step and I have no intention of pulling the bike apart again to get one. :blush:

Next, fit a 12mm spacer behind the brake line block and install a longer bolt.

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I machined up a grease fitting adaptor and used a quick pushfit coupling for the hose.

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You can go ahead and refit the airbox etc, making sure that the rubber throttle body tube is completely seated. Run your hand around the tube to be 100% sure that it's seated or you will dust the engine.

Also ensure the throttle cable and brake line brackets are correct.

Route the grease line after the speedo housing has been refitted and mount the grease fitting with a P clip.

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Ok, that's it for the top bush, now to move onto the lower one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The lower bush is best done with the front of the bike up in the air.

Remove both front wheels and the inner guards if you haven't already.

Remove the 2x bolts that hold the bushing bracket on. These are a nut and bolt and the nuts are difficult to access. I have found it easier to work from both sides of the bike with a spanner in each hand, kinda like giving your bike a hug. Or a friend can hold the spanner for you. :D

Once the bracket is removed you will expose the lower bush which is the same bush as the upper, but it is mounted 180° to the upper.

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Drill and tap a 6x1mm thread in the centre of the bracket. Make sure it is in the centre of the bracket and not the circular casting mark.

Screw in a low profile 90° grease fitting.

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Angle the grease fitting as shown in the photo. It can go out either side of the bracket, but the angle will make it easier to access when back on the bike. If you can't screw it all the way round, you will need to Loctite it in place.

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Mount and drill the bushing in the same way that you did the top one and glue it into the bracket, making sure it is square in all planes.

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Re-install the bushing and the bracket.

There is little clearence between the grease fitting and the tierod shafts, but there is enough if you've used a low profile fitting. You will need to make sure that the split pin tails don't foul the fitting through out the steering travel.

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When greasing the bushings, cycle the steering back and forth to ensure that grease gets around both halves.

That's all there is to it.

:beerchug1:
 

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Team Bad Company
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Awesome Ozzy!!! your a fart smeller. I mean a smart feller!
 

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JBIRD
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Quad Father :thanks: strikes again Haha. Awesome buddy, never seen anyone design, customize, create like you on this forum, hat's off once again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quad Father :thanks: strikes again Haha. Awesome buddy, never seen anyone design, customize, create like you on this forum, hat's off once again.
Thanks mate. If I see a problem and I can solve it, I will.

Nice work , Sir !

I moved this to the Tech Talk & how to section .
Yeah, wasn't sure which would be the best place for it and it was late at night.

:beerchug1:
 

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Extremely well done. This guy needs a cold beer bought for him, I appreciate the time and energy that you spent on this, And fully plan on doing it, I would never have came up with that myself.

Great job man
 

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It's almost to the point to where Ozy needs his own sub forum...
 

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JBIRD
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Extremely well done. This guy needs a cold beer bought for him, I appreciate the time and energy that you spent on this, And fully plan on doing it, I would never have came up with that myself.

Great job man
Make sure it's not a Foster's beer, Ozy does not like Foster's. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Extremely well done. This guy needs a cold beer bought for him, I appreciate the time and energy that you spent on this, And fully plan on doing it, I would never have came up with that myself.

Great job man
Better stil, grab yourself a beer and have it while the sealant is curing on your bushes.

Hope it all works out for you and maybe you can take a pic of the top bush mounted back in place for me. :takepic:

:beerchug1:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Shernamator74 has kindly taken some pics for me while he was doing this mod to his machine.

I was missing a pic of the top bushing once the hose was installed.

This is what it should look like.

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Shermanator74 had a hose made up from www.locknlube.com

This is what was made.

Pretty heavy duty hose but excellant quality.

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I'm just glad other people are doing this mod.

I haven't heard a single squeek out of my bushes since coming up with the idea.
 

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