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Clunking sound in front end of Harley.

woods

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THere's a video of it.

Its a 2010 Fat Bob. I grab the front brake while riding, you can feel and actually hear the clunking sound. At slower speeds, like a parking lot, you can really feel it.

In the garage with the front brakes on, you can see the front tire move back and forth a little bit. Bad bearing maybe? I can't see any movement from the button on the front rotor.

Anything seem out of whack here?

Thanks.
 

Punkinhead

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Get the front in the air, grab the forks, and try to move them front to back. There should be no play. If there is it's probably the steering head bearings. You might be able to adjust it out but if I felt play I'd change the bearings.

And stop using the front brakes. That's dangerous.
 

woods

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Front tire in the air, grab the bottom of the forks, and quite a bit of play. That's where its coming from.

I'm guessing tightening the steering stem is a little more than just grabbing the torque wrench?
 

Punkinhead

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Front tire in the air, grab the bottom of the forks, and quite a bit of play. That's where its coming from.

I'm guessing tightening the steering stem is a little more than just grabbing the torque wrench?
It's like putting old style rotors with tapered roller bearings on a car - you tighten them until they start to bind then back off a hair. If that solves it and they don't feel notchy they're probably fine. Depending on how lazy I felt I may or may not take the steering head apart and check the grease and condition of the rollers.
 

woods

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It's like putting old style rotors with tapered roller bearings on a car - you tighten them until they start to bind then back off a hair. If that solves it and they don't feel notchy they're probably fine. Depending on how lazy I felt I may or may not take the steering head apart and check the grease and condition of the rollers.
I gotcha. Makes sense.

Nut size is 1 1/2. Largest I have is 1 1/4. Also seeing a crow's foot is recommended.
 

woods

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So I think I see it now.

Loosen the pinch bolts, loosen the 1 1/2" top nut, adjust star nut with screwdriver.

ORdered a crow's foot socket for that top nut. be this weekend's job.
 

woods

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One of my concerns though is, what are the chances that the bearing are wiped out? I'm hoping they just need to be snugged up a bit.
 

John Macdonald

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A more serious problem, if it's the headstock bearings, is that the journals in the headstock can be stretched oval from riding it with a loose set of headstock bearings.
 

woods

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A more serious problem, if it's the headstock bearings, is that the journals in the headstock can be stretched oval from riding it with a loose set of headstock bearings.
Yea, that's what has set a flag for me. Bike only has 9500 miles. The guy I bought it from put about 500 on it. No idea how long its been like that for.
 

John Macdonald

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If that's the root of the problem, it's not necessarily terribly hard to fix.

Also it's easy to find out if the bearing journals in the headstock are stretched.
All you need to do is remove the forks and measure the journals.
 

woods

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If that's the root of the problem, it's not necessarily terribly hard to fix.

Also it's easy to find out if the bearing journals in the headstock are stretched.
All you need to do is remove the forks and measure the journals.
yea, working myself up over this. doesn't look too bad.

I bought a 1 1/2" socket yesterday, but the damned thing is 3/4" drive. need to grab an adapter. Going to start on this tonight. the part that has me worried is actually getting the bike up on the little scissor jack. its a lot of bike I'm balancing and I'm all by myself, heh.
 

Gravelcruiser

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That was the dumbest thing.

Took five minutes. done. couple taps on the star adjuster, fall away is in check, and low speed shimmy is gone. done deal. :lol2
Glad you got it sorted easy. Nothing like the new bike jitters, especially, if you're like me, wondering what is wrong and why was it for sale. Just picked up a vstrom to add to the stable, picked up license today. Now I need the weather to cooperate. Oh, and I think I really need a bigger toy box.
 

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