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Tightening rear axle - what torque ?

Softail Models

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Old May 8th, 2010, 01:56 PM     #1
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Tightening rear axle - what torque ?

Hello,
My next question.
I would like to tighten the rear axle in my softail evo. The rear wheel has older version of bearings - tapered roller bearing. In manual there is information that axle should be tightened to torque 60-65 ft.-lb. (83-88 Nm). But when I tighten the wheel to less torque, but without play, the wheel is rotating more lose than in case when I tighten to specified torque. When I tighten to about 84 Nm than the wheel is rotating a little bit heavily.
So do you have any experience with tightening axle with tapered bearings? Should it really be set to so much torque or maybe less. I have to say that I'm using loctite and moreover axle has a cotter pin so even if there is less torque it is no risk that nut will unscrew itself.

Best regards, Piotr
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Old May 8th, 2010, 02:11 PM     #2
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Re: Tightening rear axle - what torque ?

Quote: Originally Posted by Piotra View Post
Hello,
My next question.
I would like to tighten the rear axle in my softail evo. The rear wheel has older version of bearings - tapered roller bearing. In manual there is information that axle should be tightened to torque 60-65 ft.-lb. (83-88 Nm). But when I tighten the wheel to less torque, but without play, the wheel is rotating more lose than in case when I tighten to specified torque. When I tighten to about 84 Nm than the wheel is rotating a little bit heavily.
So do you have any experience with tightening axle with tapered bearings? Should it really be set to so much torque or maybe less. I have to say that I'm using loctite and moreover axle has a cotter pin so even if there is less torque it is no risk that nut will unscrew itself.

Best regards, Piotr


Couple of things here. First, what year is your bobber based on? At least, what year does the rear end come from? Second, DO NOT use loctite on the axle nut or threads. In fact, you are supposed to coat the axle with anti-seize before installing it.

I have a '91 Dyna (EVO). The rear wheel mount includes a spacer inside the wheel hub between the wheel bearings (roller bearings). Look at the schematic below for my bike's rear wheel and see #33. I suspect yours is something like this, but if you send me the year and model that the rear end of your bike is based on, I will send you the schematic for that.

REAR WHEEL - 1991 Harley Davidson FXDB-S


You can see that the schematic for a Softail version from that year is the same schematic:

REAR WHEEL - 1991 Harley Davidson FLSTC


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Old May 8th, 2010, 03:01 PM     #3
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Re: Tightening rear axle - what torque ?

I'm not sure the year because I build the bike from parts so I just bought used wheels. I think that I have similar spacer inside like on this drawing (33) but my wheels has cast hub, not steel.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 03:14 PM     #4
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Re: Tightening rear axle - what torque ?

Quote: Originally Posted by Piotra View Post
I think that I have similar spacer inside
Can't guess. You must know if it is present.
Without the spacer you would just crush the bearings against each other. The spacer keeps the inner race of each bearing spaced apart from each other.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 03:50 PM     #5
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Re: Tightening rear axle - what torque ?

Quote: Originally Posted by Piotra View Post
I'm not sure the year because I build the bike from parts so I just bought used wheels. I think that I have similar spacer inside like on this drawing (33) but my wheels has cast hub, not steel.
My Dyna's wheels are cast also. When you have the wheel off and the dust shield (oil seal) and roller bearing out of the hub, you should be able to feel and see the spacer inside the hub where the axle slides into. It will look like a bored hole. If, however, you can see inside the hub and just the races are there on either side, then the spacer is missing (may be loose inside the hub - shake it). You must have this spacer.

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Old May 9th, 2010, 04:39 AM     #6
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Re: Tightening rear axle - what torque ?

I'm sure that I have spacer inside. I'm not sure only if it is exactly like this on drawing. It looks like a tube.
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