Zerk Grease Fitting - Steering Neck

- Greenbarn, VDR Sr. Member

Downloadable PDF File

I had my tank off for another mod anyway, so decided to follow Troll's lead and install a grease fitting (zerk) to the steering head. This was a simple mod, taking less than an hour.

Here's what you need:

  • 1 grease zerk,
  • 1 appropriate size tap, to cut the threads for said zerk
  • 1 appropriate size drill bit to drill the hole
  • tap oil or other oil
  • Grease gun, and
  • a tube of grease

First pick a side: I decided to put this in on the right side. There's maybe more room on the left side, but the sticker is there, so I chose the right side.

Left Side: Right Side
left side left side

Choose the spot where you want the zerk, and center punch the spot to drill the hole. Put it where the zerk will be easy to reach and won't contact wires, etc., when the handlebars are turned.

Drill a hole with the appropriate size bit for the tap you are using, based on the size of the grease zerk. I chose a 6x1.0 zerk, mainly because I have metric taps at home. I decided on the short straight zerk.

zerk fitting

Use a drill/tap chart. 6 X 1.0 calls for a 5.2 mm drill bit (.2047").

drill tap chart

 

The closest thing in my drill case was a 13/64 (.203"). This is close enough. You can use a slightly smaller bit, you just have tap slower/ more carefully. Much larger than recommended and you risk the threads not holding.

Use a nice sharp bit. This minimizes shavings, and cuts a lot better.

You may want to use a pilot bit first – I drilled a 1/8" hole as a pilot hole. Do your best – keep the shavings out of the head.

drilled hole

 

Next after cleaning up all the shavings, tap the hole. Use oil, preferably cutting oil, on the tap. I use tap-magic at this time. Cutting oil makes the threads cut easier and cleaner (no tear-out). This is important for good threads. Also, the oil keeps the shavings on the tap, out of your steering head bearings.

NOTE: If you have never used a tap to make threads, you should practice first. Use a piece of mild scrap steel, about 1/8" or so. GO SLOW. Continuously back out the tap every ¼ to ½ turn, whenever it starts to turn hard – this clears out the chips.

tap
Install the zerk into the hole, and tighten it up. completed

 

Now you're ready to grease the steering head; pump grease into the zerk JUST until you see grease come out of the seal(s). Any more will just make a mess. Have extra grease on hand – it takes quite a bit! grease

 

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

- 49REO

If you coat the bit with grease (tap as well) with grease, it helps to hold the particles from falling through. Best case scenario is to do this mod when you have the front end apart so you can clean the steering neck out. Otherwise you will end up with pieces in where you don't want them.

- Troll

I used a 90 deg. fitting, just ahead of the plastic neck cover, on the right side of the neck.

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