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Storytime boys and girls. The UPS man just handed over my new "All Balls Racing" neck bearings. Photos would be a big help to this thread, but I was kinda preoccupied during the process. :(

Top race came out smoothly with the usual amount of force. A few raps on the bottom race resulted in no movement at all. Not flustered yet. This is a 48 year-old frame with what appears to be the original bearings, or at least the races. There were no bearings or front end when I got it. The bike appears to have been a farm bike, probably run until it stopped for whatever reason then probably torn apart by some farm kid and the parts, those he could find, were shoved in the barn until rescued by the veterinarian I got it from. The whole neck was a crusty amalgamation of grease, dirt, rust and possibly a little chicken poop. :-? I soaked it down with 50:50 and went back to the house.

Next day I tap, tap, tap with the long punch again (actually a length of 1/2" bar stock) then run my finger around the bottom lip to feel for any movement. None, but it's so crudy it's difficult to tell so I hose it out with cleaner, blow it out with air then wipe with a rag. Then I run my finger around again. Tap, tap, tap. Feel. Nothing, but something doesn't feel exactly right either. I flip the frame and take a good look and it appears the race is cocked. :( Not much, but then ANY is too much in this application. I'm certain this is the factory race. I suppose it is possible it may have happened from some sort of damage. Maybe to the missing front end, but that'd take A LOT of force. I'm more inclined to think this is a rare Honda assembly mistake. :eek:

The race has to come out. Not only am I committed to taper bearings, but now I KNOW this race must be replaced even if I was using balls. Another generous application of 50:50 then I tried half a dozen sockets before settling on a four-point that slowly slid down the tube like a cartridge in a tight shotgun chamber. Lots of potential to get ugly here, but it HAS to come out, one way or the other. A length of 1" bar and a long handled 16 oz. machinist's hammer is where I began. The frame at this time is suspended from a rafter. Eventually I moved to the concrete with the neck supported on a oak 2X4. Then the BFH. I held my breath with every swing. :-? One glancing blow after the top of the bar began to get peened and shiny glanced off the top of the neck. :eek: A slight ding on the outside, but no obvious real damage. During this whole process I must have stopped and removed everything (bar, socket, 2X4, etc.) half a dozen times to make sure everything was going as hoped. It was, but there was still precious little movement.

Then suddenly, one blow got a very different response, but I didn't see anything come out the bottom. :-? The race broke. It fractured in at least three places I could see, but it still hadn't moved perceptably. Back to the 16oz. hammer. Tap,tap,tap... Nothing. Back to the BFH, a three pound short handled sledge in this case.

It took a lot more pounding but the race did finally come out, explosively! I never lost my hold on the punch. The socket used as a driver was still tight enough it just sort of plopped out in slow motion, but the race came out with such force I only found enough pieces to put half of it back together. I didn't want to look in the bore. :( There was a VERY ugly gouge. Two needle-like ends of a rolled wire edge on the gouge had blood running down my hand from the reflexive (spelled s-t-u-p-i-d) swipe of my finger around the bore. The gouge was however at the very mouth of the bore. This is well below the race seat and I'm hoping not going to deter proper installation of the new seat. ...I hope. I do however have some delicate die grinder work to do soothing that lead into the neck. Never a dull moment! :grin:
 

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Dremel and a fine cutting wheel, both sides of the outer race..... Its the only way to be sure. (Quote from?).
 

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Dremel and a fine cutting wheel, both sides of the outer race..... Its the only way to be sure. (Quote from?).
I've looked at that bit of advice many times. During this operation I seriously considered it. I DO have lots of Dremel-type tools/attachments/bits. I have used them for very delicate work in the past. In fact I just finished cleaning up the race seat with them. Other than a slight groove where there shouldn't be one (below the actual seat) it has a very smooth and polished surface. Mounted stones followed by a flap wheel followed by a cretex wheel. As the bore is ever so slightly larger below the seat, I hope any slight loss of metal will be immaterial.

My concern with the Dremel tactic is damage to the race seat. :-? I realize it's all about finesse and that even simply a relief cut, as opposed to cutting completely though SHOULD make it come out easier, but well... I just didn't wanna go that way unless I had to. I probably passed that "had to" point but, it's out. It's cleaned up and maybe tomorrow I'll get to see if the new one goes in any easier.

In retrospect, given the compressed nature of this part a relief cut would have probably been a huge aid. It was an old trick used to remove crush-fit rifle barrels. On the other hand though, I'm glad I was standing above this thing when it came apart instead of looking right into it. :eek:
 

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Dremel and a fine cutting wheel, both sides of the outer race..... Its the only way to be sure. (Quote from?).
Aliens.
 
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