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#851497 06/13/21 1:24 pm
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I recently upgraded the front end with new fork bushes, springs and Eddie Dow dampers all of which have made a considerable difference but I still get a knock when the forks are depress/return. Its coming centrally rather than from one side so my attention is drawn to the headstock whose bearings maybe on the loose side or on the way out. Consulting Mr Prew's manual there is a steering stem adjusting sleeve to turn and looking at the diagram it appears to have cutaways machined into the sleeve suggesting a BSA tool is required to turn it - is this the case?

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moto8500 #851501 06/13/21 2:58 pm
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The top of the sleeve is castellated and I'm sure there is a factory tool to turn it for adjustment. You can use a flat piece of metal that fits into the constellation recesses.to make adjustments or use a pin wrench. To see if the steering stem bearings are loose put the bike on its wheels, grab the front brake, and push and pull the bike forward and back, You can feel the forks moving if they are way out of adjustment which they would have to be to make noise. If you can get someone to help, have them do the pushing and pulling while you hold a finger where the top fork yoke is closest to the frame steering head. You can then feel differential movement even if it is small. It would not be of unheard of for the bottom bearing cup to be loose in the steering head. This is especially true on frames used on dirt bikes. I have seen a substantial metal ring pressed on to address this problem.


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Originally Posted by slow learner
I'm sure there is a factory tool to turn it for adjustment.
It certainly seems that there would be, but I don't believe they ever made such a tool. The one I machined for myself is the 6th one down in this post.. Like other special tools BSA didn't make, it makes the job a lot easier as well as lets me "feel" when I have the tension on the bearings too tight, too loose, or just right.

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Thank you for the replies and I will employ the suggestion to feel if there is differential movement by placing the finger between the top yoke and frame avoid it being caught between the two!

I had to chuckle reading Magnetoman's post on special tools as I also have a number of specialist tools for another machine some of which I cannot recall their function as I used them for a one off job 15/20 years ago so rather embarrassingly had to post them on the club website to get a member to identify their function.

I will fabricate something to fit the adjuster sleeve and feel when adjustment is just right and no doubt I will be looking at the fabricated tool in 15 years time wondering it's purpose - maybe a tag would be a good idea.

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Job done - it was a loose headstock causing the knocking and took little adjustment to get a correct setting.

Magnetoman #851664 06/15/21 1:11 pm
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MM, In the post you included the fifth photo the tool is definitely to remove the original headstock bearing outer races. They were threaded on the inner diameter as you indicated. Lloyd L


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moto8500 #851680 06/15/21 4:30 pm
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Just as a postscript - I was surprised at how little the sleeve nut had to be turned in comparison to the knock in the headstock.

Magnetoman #859880 10/02/21 11:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Magnetoman
Originally Posted by slow learner
I'm sure there is a factory tool to turn it for adjustment.
It certainly seems that there would be, but I don't believe they ever made such a tool. The one I machined for myself is the 6th one down in this post.. Like other special tools BSA didn't make, it makes the job a lot easier as well as lets me "feel" when I have the tension on the bearings too tight, too loose, or just right.

BSA service sheet 711 references an iteml "Assembly Tool for Adjuster Sleeve", part number 61-3002 or 61-3008. Never seen such a device but looks as if it would have served to make adjustments.


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When I find where I Safely stored the road tool kit for the M20 I will have a check,'
Fairly sure there was a hooked end in one of the pressed steel spanners that fits the slots like a C spannar in theory.
In practice it is near impossible to use without removing a bit of the handle bar mounted stuff & the speedo bracket .
In the mean time I think this is the tool but not sure if it was part of the Post WWII goldie tool kit

    66-9052 copy.JPG
Last edited by BSA_WM20; 10/03/21 12:44 pm.

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Cheers There is a other way to go for the head bearings .later A10 0r A65 used a nut with a capped end with a hole for the damper. Which was locked by the top crown pinch bolt . When used it looks the same as early part but can be made up with open or box spanner. Used on all my Gold Stars over the years Hunter

BSA_WM20 #859917 10/03/21 4:12 pm
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Originally Posted by BSA_WM20
I think this is the tool ...
That doesn't seem likely. The slots in the "nut" are narrow, and it doesn't look like there would be room for that tool to fit between the nut and the risers for the handlebars.

[Linked Image]

moto8500 #859980 10/04/21 3:57 am
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Yep, looks like a different part.
Fairly sure my slots are wider than the parts diagram shows, then again been a long time since they have been adjusted.
The spannar might have a thinner hook but my forks don't have much in the way of bar risers.
The image is just one I had on file .


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BSA_WM20 #860151 10/06/21 10:48 am
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Trevors image is a push bike tool, the c spanner is for bottom bracket bearing adjustment, the thin large flats are for adjusting axle cups and cones.


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Originally Posted by gavin eisler
Trevors image is a push bike tool, the c spanner is for bottom bracket bearing adjustment, the thin large flats are for adjusting axle cups and cones.

Knowing BSA probably the same or near same tool was also used on pushbikes
It is listed in the M20 tool kit as part 66- 9052 Hub adjusting sleeve spanner
And yes the open ends adjust the cones on the front & back hubs while the slot in the curve fits the cam follower machined ends in the 3 hands needed valve adjustment
The almost identical 29-9255 is part of the rigid C & B tool roll.
MM could very well be right but I have visions of me using one ( or a very similar tool ) to adjust the steering nut and the job being near impossible to do after pulling apart the steering stem that was working quite fine to fit a blanking off cover ( slightly modified beer can ) to close off the frame tubes so the grease lubricated the bearings rather than fill the frame tubes with grease.


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moto8500 #860482 10/10/21 11:21 pm
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Part number seven slotted sleeve sets the headstock bearing play , it doesnt need a special tool its barely finger tight, once locked in position by the top yoke pinch bolt , it is finally trapped by the top embellisher.Thats when everything is true, put some twist in and it might need a bit more encouragement, a screwdriver jammed in the slot is usually enough. The top yoke height is set by the pinch bolt , if you have head lamp nacelle or ears they should be fitted before finally nipping the pinch.


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gavin eisler #860483 10/10/21 11:37 pm
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Originally Posted by gavin eisler
it doesnt need a special tool its barely finger tight,
That's close to true if the entire front end is disassembled, a screwdriver wedged in the slot, and you're only clamping the two yokes together. But, when trying to remove the play on an assembled bike with the front wheel off the ground there is a lot of pressure against one side of that sleeve keeping it from turning. In principle, a jack under the engine could be used to remove that pressure, but it would take a bit of fiddling. However, with the special tool I made I can easily feel the difference between side thrust resisting turning of the sleeve, and all the play having been removed and the balls resisting further turning.

moto8500 #860496 10/11/21 9:28 am
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" But, when trying to remove the play on an assembled bike with the front wheel off the ground there is a lot of pressure against one side of that sleeve keeping it from turning." Fair point,although its usually easy to put the wheel on the ground to take the weight off the top adjuster. I would normally set this up with just the bottom yoke and bearings assembled for a first assembly, after a few hundred miles it should be rechecked and adjusted if needed.


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