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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, looking to change from factory ball bearings to the new style bearings. Taper bearings I believe. I know I have to change upper and lower race on the frame. Do I have to change out the cone on the stem itself? If so, How do I get the cone off the stem? Thx
 

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Yes the cone needs to come off. Just gently pry it off being careful not to damage the dust seal.
 

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Get the All Balls kit. It has both upper and lower races and the bearings plus washers (incase you need to raise or lower the lower bearing) and I think they have new dust seals with them too. Should run $40 or less for the kit.
 

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One other trick for getting the lower race off the stem is using a small diameter cutoff wheel like a dremmel, cut a deep groove in the race then hammer a flat screwdriver into the slot and give it a twist. You'll hear the race crack and after that it'll slip right off.
 

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When it comes to installing the new lower bearing freezing the stem overnight (or even an hour) can help get it on without a fuss. If that not and option you can wrap the lower bearing in wet paper towels and toss it in the microwave. The wet paper towels will absorb all the microwaves (so no sparks) and boil off the water. Then your bearing will be a nice 100*C.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thx. I got the cone off of the stem today just like you said. I’ve saw a video where a guy put his races in the freezer? Question? Wouldn’t you want to pack the bearings in grease before you put them in? So I would think the microwave option is out for me? Not sure
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just got the all balls kit in today for my nighthawk 450. Has anyone used this kit on the nighthawk? Need to figure out which washers to use. Don’t want to put lower bearing on then find out I used the wrong washer! Directions say to use an old ball bearing for reference, but I’m not sure where I put the them����
 

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You measure the old bearing assembled, inner and outer race plus balls, to get the stack height of the assembly. Now measure the same stack height of the new bearing assembly. One of the 2 washers will make the difference up in new to old, I believe it's the thinner one.
 

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When I did my fork swap I had to sort out the stack height from scratch and cross my fingers a little. what I did is put both races in then set the upper bearing in while I held the lower bearing in place. Next I held the stem up next to it and just eyeballed it. Just doing that made the choice in washer obvious.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You measure the old bearing assembled, inner and outer race plus balls, to get the stack height of the assembly. Now measure the same stack height of the new bearing assembly. One of the 2 washers will make the difference up in new to old, I believe it's the thinner one.
Ok I looked around garage today and found ball bearings. Do I have to put race back in frame or can I put everything on stem? Such as old washer, old seal, race, ball bearings then race? And measure that height? Thx
 

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Do it on the bench. inner race, balls and outer race. Measure the height from bench to top of assembly. Do the same for the new bearing, add a washer as needed to get as close as possible. Note that the washer will be under the seal if that is included in your kit.
 

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Old bearing looks wrong, maybe it's 18 balls. They should fit in the race. Just checked FSM, lower is 18, top is 19, my bad.
 
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