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King headset cleaning tools/advice(7 posts)

King headset cleaning tools/advicePDF
Sep 5, 2002 8:14 PM
I would like to clean the bearings in my King headset and came across the following on their web site regarding this:

"If you have access to the correct tools for the proper removal and reinstallation of Chris King bearing cups, we have found it easier and more effective to remove the cups and use a solvent tank"

What are the correct tools? I would like to open the seals on the bearings, flush them clean, and re-pack. Do I have to remove the cups from the frame to do this? Can I get the bearings out by themselves?

Thanks
Call me crazy, but...gemcity
Sep 6, 2002 7:32 AM
Why clean the King? Are you having problems? The King on my MTB is still flawless after 4 years (and LOTS of miles). I bought the King to end my headset woes. It worked, and I don't touch the thing! I want one for my Road bike too.

As they say: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

If it is broke, that's another story. If you do fix it, please post your experience. I'd be curious to know what it took and how it came out. Good luck.
Yeah, Crazy!grzy
Sep 6, 2002 10:10 AM
You'd be absolutely nuts and more than a bit anal to try and remove the precision bearing from the King cups and then remove the seal in a meager attempt to "clean' the bearings. Understand that a standard precision bearing is designed to operate at something like 60,000 hours at maximum rated load at maximum rated speed in and extremely harsh environement with zero maintenance per SAE and/or military specifications. A bicycle application doesn't even come close to these conditions and one is much more likely to do more harm than good by messing around with the bearing mechanism with improper training and tools and using the wrong grease. Realize that King has a 10 year warranty on the unit - if there's any problem just send it back to them and let them deal with it. One can be assured that if you mess with it you will void the warranty and shorten the product life. To reitterate the poster above: If it ain't broke don't fix it. This is meant as friendly advice coming from a practicing mechanical engineer, a long time bicycle nut, and some one who has messed around with a lot of bearings on everthing from race cars, to military jets, to skate boards.
Crazy or not, I did it and now they are cleanPDF
Sep 9, 2002 2:52 PM
First off, this was on a mountain bike that has seen rain, mud, dirt, etc. Race cars, military jets and skateboards aside, my bearings were dirty, grindy and needed cleaning. Call me anal but they needed cleaning whether it was a "meager attempt" or not. In addition, the King web site clearly states that headsets that have been riden in these conditions may need cleaning at fairly regular intervals. I guess this is where I got the "absolutely nuts" notion to attempt this fix. King did say that the bearings were not removable but to take the snap ring out, flush them with solvent, repack with grease and you are good to go. This is what I did and now they are smooth as butter. Go figure. Perhaps I just got lucky. One last thing, the E-mail I received from King did not mention any void of their warranty or a shortened product life if you attempt this cleaning. They way I read it, they encouraged it.
It's easy...B123
Sep 6, 2002 6:49 PM
1) Remove cups/bearings from frame.
2) Send to Redding, CA to King for new bearings.
3) Install 'em

I sent mine in after years of use for a little work. Still ran pretty smooth, but why not when they are in-transfer from one bike to the next. Before I knew it they were sparkling new on my doorstep ready for installation.

I love King....
King headset for a week, now hear grinding noise...opencl
Sep 6, 2002 8:51 PM
I had these installed by a shop a week ago. Now I hear grinding noise when rotating the handlebar. Sounded like there is sand in there grinding against metal (or bearings?) Any ideas?
King headset for a week, now hear grinding noise...curlybike
Sep 7, 2002 6:33 AM
Check the source of the noise, it may be the ends of the shifter housings scratching in the cable stops close to the lower HS cup. This is a common source of noise in that area. Drop some oil in the cable stop cup and see if it gets quieter. If so, remove cables from the derailleurs and pull the housings out of the stops. Cut off the wires that are protruding from the housing sheath and grind flat. Do not cut the cable! Reinstall and set derailleurs.