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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:37 am 
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Just changed the steering stem bearing and races Saturday with one my friends who’s a retired mech. This is rather serious undertaking that took the two of us 6 hours almost nonstop to complete. Frankly, I hope you won’t have to do it- It will put your patience and nerves to the test, and as someone mentioned before in the forum, each time you touch your pcx you will have new surprises with bolts made of cheese, stripped screws, bolt and nut turning together (for ex: battery box) etc etc. My bike is LED pcx from December 2014, 20.000 Km on. It seems really early on to have to change those, and I suspect less than stellar bearing quality and not enough grease from factory in the first place. Do the checks I’ve highlighted below to know if you have an issue.

I’m putting this here so people can find at least some info on what’s to be expected, as I don’t recall other threads on the process. Sorry I don’t have enough pics for a step by step tutorial. Please note I am not a professional and if I did not have the help of a mech I would have given up. Be safe. You absolutely need to have a means to hold your bike securely without the front wheel as you will need to be banging up a race with quite some force while laying on the floor…

How to diagnose.
    Step 1) lift front end and grab your forks, check for any play if there is any you will have to tighten your steering stem (and check the bearings)

    Step 2) Wheel lifted, turn handlebar all the way on one side then push with one finger (your thumb) your handle bar to the opposite side. Repeat the other way around. It should roll smoothly to the other side with a light push . Check for roughness and hard spots. If there’s any = bearing replacement at minimum.

    3) Last and most revealing check: remove front wheel and forks in one piece and the handlebar as well. Grab the steering stem from below and turn it. It should turn as smooth as butter. if it feels stepped, rough, makes grinding noises, it will need your attention.

My steering did not have any play, it was making just a very faint squeal on the left side. I would not actually believed there was anything wrong with it until we did step 2) and there was definitely a hard spot dead center meaning a bearing replacement at minimum. We did bearing and races just to be on the safe side. Personally I thought that I wasn’t that bad, but my mech convinced me to tackle the issue.
It is only when we had dismantled the scooter and incidentally dis as in step 3 that we found out how really bad it was- incredibly stepped all the way. Yet I could not tell anything while riding- you adapt yourself gradually and don’t notice the defects of your bike.

If you’ve got those symptoms, it’s time to grab the parts. You guys in the US don’t know how good you have it, below are 100 eur worth of races and bearings, you’d pay half of that with partzilla…
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(to be continued)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:38 am 
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So what’s involved?
We did sort of Hacker’s way and removed some unnecessary things like the luggage box because that was what was written in the crappy French Workshop manual. We did not remove other stuff which in retrospect i would have. I had bought a subscription to cyclepedia PCX manual but they don’t show panels of the led version even though they claim it’s for 2017 pcx 150 as well? WTF?

- Remove saddle.
- Remove front cover panels ( you could leave them partially attached as we did but I depends how you support your bike): windshield, meter panel front the two side panels
- Remove Inner cover: plastic cover around glove box, then its sister part on the right, then inner cover itself
- Remove handlebar, you can leave it with all attached if you accept that you might need to Bleed the brakes (the two pistons from right lever), the CBS master cylinder will not be affected)
- Now remove post handler under steering stem making sure not to lose the spacers
- Detach brake caliper.
- Secure you scooter and remove front wheel with forks in one go.
Whoah….You haven’t even started yet!
When you reach this stage of the image below you almost ready to begin, just take away the bolt and remove the post.
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The petrol lid cable is a real PITA to get off
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:46 am 
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Now the fun begins...

Notice the corrosion? The single most corroded part in my pcx, i've got no rust elsewhere on the frame. who would have thought this?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:00 am 
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the top race.

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zoomed in: not very pretty.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:13 am 
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Stangely after a cleaning the bottom one looked perfectly ok. My mech told me to leave it alone so that's what we did.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:51 am 
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My '14 bike passed it's MOT and they are supposed to test for steering bearings - so hope they are good (I believe there is a slight ident at centre but hey, it does not affect riding at all and as long as it passed it's next MOT, I'll be happy).

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:49 am 
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As you can guess from what I've posted up to now, it's not something you will want to do often. Do the checks highlighted in post n°1 especially with wheel + handlebar removed as the weight masks quite a bit of problems and you'll know where you stand, then it's up to you.

This adventure started by a simple annoyance that drove me mad: noise over bumps. This, and harsh suspension despite YSS valves and shocks ( Ok, the shocks are stupidly hard) started wearing down on me to the point i enjoyed riding less and less over a period of a year. Now that this is done i am completely amazed about the transformation: pcx seem to anticipate my moves like reading my mind and turns even before I seem to have made the decision! It's so bloody nimble again now. I noticed i used to grab the handlebars with quite some force, no need anymore. The suspension finally feels planted and much improved- still a bit stiff for my taste, but ok. I would not have anticipated the effect on the riding experience- after all, it's just about turning right? Wrong- on a motorbike, all that affects your front suspension affects the rear as well and all that affects the rear the front

I've been riding PCXs since 2011. Now i know that if i don't enjoy my ride anymore it means there's a problem with my pcx. The trap is you sometimes get used to it, only when you fix it will you rediscover what you have been missing!

Last thing: did it fix the noise? Well no, not really - it's still there but less often and more muted. it changed pitch, it sounds more like plastic rattling below the instrument panel. maybe i should check my mudgard sometime...


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:26 pm 
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Forgot to add - very well done, can't believe just how much is involved in doing this. I thought some dealers had quoted less than £200 to replace the bearings which if true, seems a bargain.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:14 pm 
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Thanks Iceman- If 200 quids is parts and labour, for both bearings and races, gosh i would'nt hesitate for a nanosecond now that I've done it.
I'm over 50 and i like to learn new things, this seemed like a nice challenge, just not on my own- i'm no fool neither. And indeed challenging it can be, bottom race broke in two while driving it out, the new race was a nightmare to push back in, there are many things that can go wrong while installing -even if, in principle, it's should be a child's play : we are just talking about pressing new races and bearings in and on a tube- something any kid playing with LEGO technic will understand. Reality is not always so simple...

At my age i have to admit that 6 hours bent/ kneeing over a scooter takes a toll on my back and it took me a couple of days to be recover. Nothing bad, and still very happy I've done it, with help. I feel very privileged to have the conditions that I can both learn and get help around me. That's a very nice feeling :)

Cheers


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