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Without a special tool, is there anyway I can correctly reassemble my steering stem to the frame?
 

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Yup, I think I used a 24mm or something like that, measured it out so lugs would be as close to the flats as I could get them and cut it out with an angle grinder and file... worked fine for me.
 

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Wasn't there away to ballpark the resistance with a small fish weighing scale? Could a screwdriver be held with vicegrips and tapped with a hammer...may take two people but if you are in a pinch.
 

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9394SEs wrote:
Wasn't there away to ballpark the resistance with a small fish weighing scale? Could a screwdriver be held with vicegrips and tapped with a hammer...may take two people but if you are in a pinch.
This is the test to see if the bearing need tightening or if it is at the correct tension

Steering Stem Adjustment

Make sure the cables, hoses, and wire harnesses are routed properly, and that they do not bind in any steering position.

Raise the front wheel 10 mm (1 12 in) with a floor jack under the engine.

Position the front wheel in the straight ahead position.

Hook a spring scale on the handlebars 40 cm (1 5.7 in) from the center of the steering stem nut. With the scale 90" to the handlebars, pull on it and measure the force required to move the handlebars. Do this on both the left and right handlebar. Add the left and right measurements and divide the total by two to get the average initial force.

Standard Total Average Initial Force: 500-650 grams (1 7.6-22.9 oz)

Maximum Difference Between Left and Right Sides: 300 grams (1 0.5 oz)

If the measurements are not within these limits, adjust the steering stem.
 

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mr irrelevant
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im guessing his 1100.....
 

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If you can seat the bearings then the "torque" on the 4-pin drive stem nut (holding the upper bearing) is set/measured pretty much as Tricky posts...

I'm assuming that the "special tool" that you're thinking of is that 4-pin drive socket. Like OnaWingandaPrayer mentions, you can build/buy/borrow one... but that's not really your question.

To do without this drive, you can use just about anything (I've been in shops where channel lock pliers are used. It's relevant to know that the actual final torque on that nut will probably end up in the 10 ft-lb range (or sligtly less). Common practice is, however, to over-torque that nut and cycle the steering side to side to ensure that the bearings are set and squared in the stem. Gripping that with pliers will not get you to the 40-50 ft-lbs that I'd used to seat/square the bearings. Some people use a drift and beat that nut on (and off) - again, not recommended, but it can be done. Similarly, I'e seen this done with a slightly modified Harbor Freight "Adjustible Pin Wrench" (36554), with the pins ground to better engage the flats of the stem nut.

The Honda setting (again, as Tricky posts) works great but does require that you've completely reassembled the tree out to the bars - so a long way to "go back" if you're off spec. A shortcut here is to measure the turning resistance at the tubes, so that you can set the stem-nut's tightness while the stem-nut is still at hand. you're looking for about 7-8 lbs of force required to move the fork a few degrees (so you're measuring the force required to move the steering at the fork-tube rather than way out by the end of the handle bars...) -- a handy trick if you need to adjust stuff.

Once you've got the stem tight/loose enough, the lock tabs go in place and the back-up stem nut goes finger tight (or a bit less than finger tight) on top of the lock piece so you can engage the tabs -- The fork top-clamp will push against that upper (loose) stem-nut and get seriously torqued on creating the upper fork atachment as well as a jam-nut effect holding the upper stem-nut insitu to act as a lock-surface for the lower stem-nut (keepin your bearing preload setting).

So -- to answer the special tool need.. that 4-pin drive for the lower stm nut is about the only thing you'd need to find a way around... and then really only to seat/square the bearings -- Drifts and/or adapted tools can be viable work-arounds if you're in that spot (but serioulsy, borrowign the socket from the loaner program or a local shop/mechanic would truly be best)
 
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