Front wheel end play

Discussion in 'Wheels' started by MBHD93, May 1, 2010.

  1. MBHD93

    MBHD93 Member

    I had the front wheel off...had a new tire put on and greased the bearings. When I reinstalled the wheel I decided to check the end play. Book says, 0.002-0.006. I read about 0.001 on the dial indicator. Local indy mechanic says that a little tighter is actually better.

    With the bike still in the air, the wheel spins nicely. Free and no noises or any sense of dragging.

    Is he correct on tighter being better or do I need to pull it apart? In which case I'll have to take it to him to pull the races out. I'm tool challenged :)
  2. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Too tight on bearings can deform them and force the grease out galling the race and the bearing and the axle JMO
  3. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

    Jack, What type of bearings did they use back then. Do you know if they were ball or roller instead of today's sealed ball bearings. Did they just use a ball with external seal and the end play was still fixed and non-adjustable like it is today?
  4. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Way back with star hubs you could adjust the end play with shims, these new sealed bearings are a lot like the bearing you will find in an alternator. You could pry the dust shield off the bearing and pack it but the dust shield would be destroyed and these bearings are fairly cheap to replace, hope this answers your question, Jack, oh sorry they were ball bearings lost my train of thought must be old timers lol:)
  5. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    My '91 Dyna has roller bearings (HD #9052) on the front and rear. These are NOT sealed bearings like on the newer bikes, but rather open bearings that need to be packed with grease periodically (seen Owner's Manual). Use a "dust seal" or oil seal to keep out the elements and the grease in (HD # 47519-83x). These bearings are a standard bearing that can be purchased from other sources if need be. Of course the bearings are sold as a bearing/race set and should not be mixed.

  6. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    I thought I read some where you could retro fit the new style sealed bearings, maybe American Iron Magazine, any way T Q your bearings are by far better than the bearings we had in the old star hubs
  7. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

    If the OP has roller bearings that changes endplay specs. Rollers must have some endplay. I can see HD switching to sealed package ball since the cost savings would be great.

    So to address the original question, it depends on if they are adjustable ball, sealed ball, or roller. Now it makes sense why the .006" would still in spec.
    He must have roller. If they are, he needs more endplay. .001 is tight for roller.
  8. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    And different manufacturers of bearing and races might have slightly different specs just a thought, while the new sealed bearings are supposed to be the cats meow you still have to be careful about not getting high pressure water in them this will blow past the seal and wash out the grease
  9. Chopper

    Chopper Senior Member

    I hope your local mechanic was talking about women and not motorcycles. Too tight will cause them to heat up. When you check the bearings for end play they must be clean & grease free, so your end play is probably more then .001 if you checked it after greasing. Plus the end play would increase with wear so I'm sure your safe, only thing you want to be careful of is that the shim with the raised area faces the bearing race or the shim could damage the bearing cage. Most old school bikers like the old style bearings because you take them out and clean & inspect them every 10,000 miles, the new sealed bearings just go one day and there's no way of telling untill your a long side the road.
  10. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Good to hear from you again, remember the old star hubs LOl:p