2011 TransAM Headset Concerns
I stripped my TransAM down to the frame today to clean everything up and install a new fork. While doing so I realized a few things that caused me some concern. I already felt like there was a small amount of play in the headset, and when I removed the fork I realized that I could fairly easily pull out the lower bearing assembly. Is it not supposed to be pressed in and difficult to remove like the upper bearings? The attached photos are with the frame flipped upside down in the stand to illustrate.
Also I know this has been discussed here before but there seems to be a small gap between the frame and the upper piece of the headset due to the height of the upper bearing assembly. Is this normal as well?
Thanks for any advice you all are able to give.
Edit: I fail at linking images.
Last edited by jcc383; 06-24-2012 at 10:04 PM.
All of this is normal. It is an integrated headset, so the bearings drop in without a press fit. Because the bearings rely on the taper to self align they will not fit tightly until they are preloaded with the top cap. The top gap is supposed to be closed by the rubber lip seal, but if it doesn't quite touch it isn't a big deal. It is actually a big problem if that touches metal on metal.
The small amount of play though... it did not go away when you adjusted the preload w/ the top cap? If not, you may need new headset bearings.
I'll have to get back about that after the new fork comes and I install it. The old fork had about 8 spacers on the steerer, but the new one will be cut to a more appropriate length. I'll be sure to tighten the top cap to preload the bearings.
Thanks a ton for your help.
At the very least, I'd pull a seal off both bearings and clean and re-grease the bearings.
You could replace those for probably $15 if you wanted to go the new route.
Thanks eb, I'll check them out.
Or you could also buy anyone of the many "campy" size BMX headsets for not much more and get a cool colored top cap and possibly even nicer bearings. Any shop that carries BMX stuff would have a complete headset in stock for $30 ish but they may not actually have just bearings.
Originally Posted by ebxtreme
After torquing down the top cap with an extra spacer there is zero play and it feels great. Thanks so much for the guidance folks.