New steering bushings, stiff

I finally changed the steering bushings tonight after 7 years, and frankly expected some really smooth steering when finished. The steering was OK before, but I figured after all this time and many thousands of mikles new bushings and a grease job would be a good thing. The most difficult part I had, was getting the axle, which I had cleaned and greased with lithium grease to go back in place with the new bushings. I figured it was easily slide in, but it took much coaxing and twisting to get it into the first bushing on the bottom , and then a struggle all the way in thru the top bushing.

Now I know how to set up the steering and handlebar adjustment, but even before I put the handlebars on, I noticed that the steering was very stiff, like the bushings were too tight. I got everything back together, and adjusted, and the result is steering is much stiffer than it was before. I am hoping that these bushings wear in, and it loosens. Has anyone else had a similar experience after they replaced the bushings?

Comments

  • my bushings were probably 5 years old. the new ones, two went in easy, had to draw the other two in.

    lithium greased inside of bushings, washer faces contacting same. quite a nice difference from previous steering effort.

    dont know what to say other than thumb-tight on the cap-screws while sitting on trike might solve the problem.
  • I set my cap screws to juuuuust where I feel resistance. I check them every few rides.
  • I called TerraTrike this morning. They said that sometimes the new bushings are tight and what they do is take a 20 mm ream and ream out the new bushings just a tad. He also said to look at the kingpin itself and see if it looked like it was dirty, ( which it was even after I cleaned it), which of course would make the fit even tighter. I told him about the 1,000 grit sandpaper suggestion, and thought that it was a good idea, so I am going to pull everything apart again, get some sandpaper and try it again. Wish I had know about this before I reassembled everything.
  • The fun of being a trike owner and doing your own repair it is fun .you learn you alot . hahaha ☺
  • oldtriker wrote: »
    The fun of being a trike owner and doing your own repair it is fun .you learn you alot . hahaha ☺

    Yup, disassembling everything, sanding kingpins and inside of new bushings with 1,000 grit, and greasing again and reassembling loosened everything up.
  • Make sure you clean out the sandpaper residue first before greasing!
  • edited August 2017
    I looked into this today and spoke with a very experienced Trike mechanic. Apparently, what happens when the new bushing is put in the headset, it compresses and that is where the tight fit and stiff steering comes from. The cure is to put the bushings in place, then get a 20 mm ream, and ream the new bushings out while they are in place. It will then be a perfect fit and the steering will be correct, with no stiffness or binding.
  • I even sanded the kingpins. Slightly.
  • So, exactly what is a 20mm reaming tool and why are we expected to just have one laying about in our garages?
  • Jrobiso2 wrote: »
    So, exactly what is a 20mm reaming tool and why are we expected to just have one laying about in our garages?

    https://www.ebay.com/i/391599528690?chn=ps&dispItem=1
  • I wrapped the fine grit sandpaper around an old large drill bit so I could try to remove some material from inside the bushing.
  • FINN58 wrote: »
    I wrapped the fine grit sandpaper around an old large drill bit so I could try to remove some material from inside the bushing.

    I was worried about trying that because the surface wouldn't be exactly even the way a ream would do it. It has to be perfectly round.
  • I'm sure I didn't remove much.
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