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Old 09-29-2011, 02:35 PM   #1
BarelyStreetLegal
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Default '07 Softail Steering Head Clunk

I'm starting to notice a strange clunk coming from the steering head when going over bumps or braking hard. How likely is it that a simple adjustment will do the trick? Or am i looking at having to replace the bearing?
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:46 PM   #2
pushrod
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You don't mention which Softail you have, so have the grain of salt ready.

Check first for anything loose on the front. Headlight nacelle, loose dogbone bolts or clamps, fender, brake caliper, drink holder, etc.

The next thing you do is to jack the front tire off the ground, and (while someone else steadies the bike, or you have it secured otherwise) then push and pull sharply on the front wheel. If it makes the 'clunk' noise or feels like it, you need to adjust the stem bearing preload.

It's been too long, so I don't know if the procedure for my old FXR applies to Softail stems. The FXR procedure used a 'fall-away' adjustment.

Unless you use a pressure washer to clean your bike, I really doubt your fork stem bearing(s) need to be replaced. Or even lubed, for that matter. But an inspect, clean and re-lube wouldn't hurt.
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:02 AM   #3
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One thing is sure: the longer you wait, the worse it will get. If the race and bearing are ok now and it's just loose, every time you feel that clunk the race is getting hammered by the bearing. I've seen steering head races that were actually ditched out by that.
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:54 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. Not wanting to risk any bearing deterioration I was able to get it done this weekend.

All I did was jack it up, tighten the stem nut until is was too tight then backed off little by little until it felt just right.
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Old 10-05-2011, 02:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarelyStreetLegal View Post
Thanks for the advice. Not wanting to risk any bearing deterioration I was able to get it done this weekend.

All I did was jack it up, tighten the stem nut until is was too tight then backed off little by little until it felt just right.
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