I had no joy with Graham Moag. He did come up with an interesting potential solution (see comment added below).. I reused my races with new balls as they were not too bad. Not ideal but the steering felt fine afterwards.
I checked all i had but I do not have the sizes. I did come across a solution for damaged races a while ago. It involved turning up a circular section donut, to replace the balls. the donut was made of some nylon like material but harder. A liberal greasing and it was as good as the balls. the donut compensated for the spalled and damaged race surface. Worth a thought??
Thanks for the reply. Mine are just about useable, at a push, but new ones would be a big improvement.
Your comment on using a solid ring has reminded me of something Titch Allen wrote many years ago. He said replacing the balls with a bronze ring imparted a bit of steering damping and therefore helped to reduce the onset of tank-slappers at (I think) Brooklands.
I have reclaimed a set of Matchless G3L steering head races (1951) with a new set of balls and some fine valve grinding paste. I could not find any good ones at the time. This is about 20 years ago. I’m not sure what grade the grinding paste is. It is in a tube with course one end and fine the other. The fine is hopeless for removing pits in valves.
I just lightly squashed the assembly between the chuck and tailstock in my lathe, a drill press would work equally as well. I could hear it ‘growling’ when it started and the growl gradually went away. I would guess I used 300 RPM, lowest speed without engaging back gear on my lathe. I have done another set not long after then, probably for a 1954 MSS Velo. I can’t think of anything else that would have needed it. The Matchless has done about 100,000 miles since then and the Velo about 40,000 miles.
I don’t know if various manufacturers used standard bearings but a friend gave me a set of G3L races which perfectly fitted my veteran Rover.
I recall that in the dim and distant past there was a reference in Yowl to these types of bearings being available in the Brown Bros catalogue suitable for butchers’ bikes etc, but that option will be long gone.