Here is how a Harley stock-style steering neck (84-99 wide Glide) goes together:

It works like this: The cups are pressed into the frame neck, so it becomes all one piece. The bearings are pressed onto the stem, and freely ride around in the races in the cups. This means the only thing connecting the front end of the bike to the frame are these 2 bearings. Everything around the outer circumferance of the bearing is fixed to the frame (shown in red). Everything else is anchored around the stem (shown in green), and freely turns (along with the handlebars, forks, and front wheel)

Look for cups that have the races already pressed in; it'll save you a headache, plus the complete package is cheaper than buying the individual bits. I bought mine off the wall at Hi-Way.

Step 1: The cups need to be pressed into the frame neck. The cups are a noticeably larger diameter than the inside of the neck, so some mechanical force is required. The smart way is to set up a couple plates on a bolt and tighten it down to push the cups in. We didn't think of that, so we just wailed on the things with some planks of wood. We're talking a hundred full overhand Captain Kirk smashes with a long 2x6. It took a while, but we got them home eventually. Remember to grease the metal first.
Step 2: Prepare the lower tree. Slide on the larger dust cover, and seat the lower bearing on the stem. The bearing is slightly smaller than the collar on the stem, so again it's a press fit. Instead of whaling on the poor bearing with a pipe or something, Sean borrowed an oxy-acetylene torch. Just heat up the inner race until it gets blue (but try to stop before it's red) and then it'll just slip on, no force required.

Step 3: After it's cooled, pack the lower bearing with grease and slide it into the neck. Make sure you've got it seated snugly and secure it somehow (we propped it up by stacking things under it). You don't want to introduce any slack whatsoever between the bottom and top bearings. Heat up the top bearing and slide it on. Make sure you get it down snug before it cools.
Step 4: Once it's cooled, pack on the grease, pop on the dust cover, thread down the upper tree seat, and you're ready to stick the Upper tree on and tighten down the stem nut. (you're supposed to first drop a locktab washer to guarantee the nut won't loosen.)

Finally we can attach the forks, the front wheel, and WE HAVE A ROLLER!

email: mikebike@rocketcar.net