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GL500i steering bearings

2039 Views 27 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  DouginEasternWashington
Noticed a definite front wheel wobble at low speeds, especially with no hands on the bars.

Read some posts about bearings, but had some real basic questions before I start.

1) is it worth just trying to tighten them first and see how it goes? Or should I just replace with a tapered set?

2) is there a full step by step on replacing them anywhere? Do I need any special tools?

3) any ideas on jacking front wheel up without a jack? Don't currently own a jack, but will get one if it's the best way to get the wheel off.

Thanks in advance
(I like pics, so figured others might enjoy thos one)
Tire Wheel Building Sky Vehicle
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Put it on the centrestand, have a helper push the rear end down and put anything suitable under the front of the engine to keep the wheel off the ground while you work. I usually use a big block of wood that I keep in the garage for things like that (sometimes with thinner pieces on top to get the right height).

The best instructions for most of the work you will ever need to do on one of these bikes can be found in the Factory Shop Manual. If you didn't download it when I told you to 3 years ago go to the Wiki (link in my signature) and get it now.
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Most FSMs are written strictly for professionals (you should see the ones Suzuki publishes) but the ones for these bikes are particularly well written and if you get into the habit of looking there first you can usually save a lot of time waiting for someone to answer ;-)
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The Suzuki FSM I bought has almost no information that is useful to the home mechanic. I have no idea whether there is some other resource from Suzuki that would explain it but it was wasted money to me.

And speaking of other resources, the Honda Common Service Manual is available from the Wiki too and we don't recommend downloading it often enough.
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When I Google Northern ATV jack I find a page at Northern Tool that shows a jack that looks like it is intended to bolt to the floor and a lift table. If I enter motorcycle lift in their search the first result is a fairly typical motorcycle lift that doesn't really work very well for removing engines from these bikes.

Removing an engine is easiest with something that has a caster on each corner so that you can roll it forward to get the engine out from between the frame and then sideways to get it out from under the bike.
I have one of those motorcycle lifts hanging on the wall but I don't use it often because it has casters on the end you pull from and wheels on the other end which makes it impossible to move the engine from between the frame without sliding it and forget about lining it up to go back in.
I much prefer to roll a flat dolly (plywood with 2x4s below for strength and a caster in each corner) under the engine, add blocking between the dolly and the engine and roll it in whatever direction I want.
One day I may get ambitious and replace the wheels on the lift with casters to turn it into something that is actually useful ;-)
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"Strongway 1500-Lb. Hydraulic Motorcycle Lift/Utility Vehicle Lift". That's the fairly typical motorcycle lift I was talking about. It is almost identical to the one I have that doesn't work well for removing engines from these bikes.
I tried using a jack once and nearly dropped a GL1000 engine on my foot. Never again.
Does your jack have casters or wheels? If it has plain wheels (casters swivel) how do you move it forward and then sideways?
That still has plain wheels at one end so it will only roll in 1 direction.

Here are pics of using a dolly with 4 casters to remove the engine from the GL500 from about 20 years ago. This method works for removing the engine & rad as a unit from a more or less stock bike (without a sidecar attached).

Dolly under engine with blocking in place
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Tread Motor vehicle

Front wheel raised until frame clears engine hangers
Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Automotive fuel system

Roll dolly forward until rear of engine is out from between frame, then sideways and out
Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive fuel system Automotive tire

For years I installed the centrestand and detached the sidecar so I could use that method to remove the engine. Eccles (my CX650E based winter sidecar outfit) no longer has the rad in front of the engine so a few years ago I figured out how to get the engine out with the front wheel on the ground and the sidecar still attached. I won't go into all of the details here but basically I support the front of the sidecar, put the dolly & blocking under the engine, undo everything (including removing the sidecar subframe and the engine hangers), roll the dolly forward until the rear of the engine clears the frame, remove 1 piece of the blocking to tip the engine back and roll the dolly sideways and out.
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Maybe but I still think using a dolly is better.
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