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Discussion Starter #1
My Clymer manual says to tighten the steering stem locknut to 65 inch-lbs. This translates to about 5.4 ft-lbs on my torque wrench. Of course, due to the shape of that "nut" I can't really use my torque wrench for verification. Am I mistaken, or would 5.4 ft-lbs be about finger tight? I'm guessing this nut doesn't need to be super tight since beyond a certain point it restricts the free movement of the bearings in the races and causes the steering to feel notchy.

Also, does anyone know a good way to measure torque with a standard 3/8 drive wrench when you're using a 12mm allen wrench to tighten the front axle nut?

Thanks in advance for your thoughtful feedback.
 

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yeah thereabouts. hand tight may be a more than 5 ft lbs.

just tighten it hand tight and then turn the head to make sure it doesnt bind.

what do you mean "front axle nut"? because the front axle nut im thinking of isnt turned by an allen wrench.
 

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dragknee said:
yeah thereabouts. hand tight may be a more than 5 ft lbs.

just tighten it hand tight and then turn the head to make sure it doesnt bind.

what do you mean "front axle nut"? because the front axle nut im thinking of isnt turned by an allen wrench.
yeah it is... a 12mm allen to be precise. however i can only speak for the gen 2 in this case.
 

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Ahhh, good question. No good answer. ;)

I went through this agony some time ago, the first time I did a steering head bearing on a Japanese bike. One of the problems is that all of the torqueing you might do on that nut before to install the top tree is out the window because when you actually tighten the top tree's retaining nut, it takes the play that is in the thread width tolerance and moves it to the opposite side of the thread, loading the bearing further and arbitrarily by the tolerance that is in those threads. As a result, I've quit trying to torque that first nut, just take it snug as you described by hand. Then, when you final tighten the top tree and it actually pulls the bearing tighter, it seems to be perfect.

I've not had a problem assembling them that way but DID have one on a Honda that had a fairly high torque spec for the first nut. Enough that I questioned it but proceeded anyway. Afterall, who should know better than Honda and the first set of bearings had gone 45,000 miles before to go bad. I assume that's how they set it up. Well, 3,000 miles later the new bearings were all notchy again. I was ticked, replaced them again, and forgot the wrench, just did as I described above. That set was still fine when I sold it with over 100,000 on it. I've since done more than a few on many different bikes using the fingertight procedure without problem.

Hope that helps. Good luck.

BTW, I machined a special socket for those nuts when I had my Honda. It's got four lugs projecting beyond the round face to engage the slots in the nut. I've used that socket on the EX and they're the same. It's a 3/8" drive and you'd be welcome to use it if you want to cover shipping back and forth. I really don't think you need to though.
 

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As far as the axle nut hex allen key, since you're around bikes, you might consider a special axle adapter socket that is available from guys like Parts Unlimited. It is a four stepped affair with sizes like 17mm, 22mm, and such. Basically fits all of the axles from different brands and models that use a female hex. You can put a standard wrench on one of the unused sizes that's left projecting out. You'll be covered for this bike but also others you may get that have sizes up in the 25mm range. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the great feedback! I'll look into that axle adapter socket. The torque setting in my forearm is easily knocked out of adjustment ;).
 

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hmm must be a first gen second gen thing, because on my bike the nut on the end of the axle is just a regular six sided nut.
 

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dragknee said:
hmm must be a first gen second gen thing, because on my bike the nut on the end of the axle is just a regular six sided nut.
Same as you on my 1990
 

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I've got an idea that was rolling around in my head last time the allen axle came up. Could you take a bolt with a 12mm head, double nut the other end, put the head in the axle and torque it through the bolt? I know it'd be a lot easier to just use the allen socket, but in a pinch would this get you by? Just wondering if there's something I'm not taking into consideration, other than the possibility of a slight bit of flex in the bolt under extremely high torque.
 

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Harbor Freight. Allen set - large sizes including 12mm (3/8 drive) for about $15.
I just acquired for my bike.
Alan
ex 500 '06
 

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I can confirm that this is a 1st gen/2nd gen thing, I was riding and felt a wobble, and looked at my forks, and freaked out because I didn't see the nut there. Upon closer inspection... it was the hex one.

My first bike: 1991 Gen 1 ex500: 6 sided nut
current bike: 1994 Gen 2 ex500: 12mm hex nut

As far as whether a bolt could be substituted for the hex driver, I really don't know, but assume it would work.
 
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