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I decided that it was a good time to totally overhaul my hardtail...so I took everything apart etc...rebuilt the rear derailuer, cleaned the front, striped the cables off to get ready to re run them, rebuilt the hubs even went as far as totally rebuilding the pedals...But then came the fork and the headset bearings....I took out the fork, and proceeded to clean and grease the top and bottom set of bearings...I cleaned off the steerer tube and then reinstalled the fork...problem is...now when i am turning the fork, it sounds as if there is dirt stuck in there...I thought I got it all...any tips on getting the dirt out? should I replace the bearings?? Also, the top bearings, which way should they be facing?? With the bearings up or down?? I thought they where facing down when I took the out, but now I am not so sure...
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any tips on getting the dirt out?

Is it spinning free? If so, it's just dust/sand/dirt with little lube. I use thicker grease on those. If it's not spinning free, you've overtightened star nut bolt. Fee free to soak/shake them in plastic container for microwaving food with some simple green and any digreaser.

Also, the top bearings, which way should they be facing

Depends from the headset, I have both facing down (FSA Pig).
 

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My bike was -TWO- Wheels!
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If you look at the bearings, and the cup you can see that it will only work one way. Just put it together without the fork in there and if you flip them youll know which way is right.
 

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Lucky13 said:
Is it spinning free? If so, it's just dust/sand/dirt with little lube. I use thicker grease on those. If it's not spinning free, you've overtightened star nut bolt.
It sounds to me that you may have overtightened it. Bearing adjustment can be very tricky sometimes. Even if it is 100% clean, if you overtighten it, you will have a bit of a gritty feeling. If you undertighten it, you will have play, that could result in some sort of knocking noise. Very fine line. To be sure re-clean the stuff so you are positive that is not the problem, then work on the adjustment.
 
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