nuts! front wheel bearings

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by flhrrider, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. flhrrider

    flhrrider Member

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    So I take the wheels off my 09 FLHT with 15K miles. I clean the wheels and feel the bearings. They seem pretty smooth so off to the dealer for the new tires. I'm doing the reinstall and the rear bearings are very smooth. Ahhh... The fronts seem to have a barely detectable roughness. With the wheel in place... There's a growling noise when the wheel is spun without the calipers installed. With the calipers there's enough drag not to notice the noise. I'll ride it around the block a few times and retorque the rear axle. While it's back up on the jack the front wheel's coming back off for new bearings. 15,000 miles. Nuts!
    flhrrider
     
  2. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    That is a bummer. Bearings like that should last much longer than 15K. I have read of guys changing them even sooner. It makes you wonder what the deal is on the vendor that HD selected for there bearings. The Genuine bearings have no logo or vendor name on them.

    For what HD charges you can select the brand you want and still save money. When it comes time for me, I am pretty sure I won't be using HD brand.
     
  3. Chopper

    Chopper Senior Member

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    If the bearing is bad the dealer should have caught it while spin balancing the tire? A bearing is cheap compaired to down time or worst, if you're still under warranty have it replaced free.
     
  4. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

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    I know I'm overly cautious but I would be changing the rear also. The rear carries more weight and is subjected to side loading and probably sees more water if you ride in the rain at all. Ride safe and I'm glad you caught the problem early.
     
  5. Redfish-Joe

    Redfish-Joe Senior Member

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    Changed mine on my 08 at around 27k
     
  6. TripleJ

    TripleJ Senior Member

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    Not a normal thing for the bearings to go bad with so few miles IMO. Any chance water damage being an issue?
     
  7. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    Absolutely. A fraction of a drop inside the bearing would never evaporate. I would really like to get my hands on those old bearings. They represent a great sample (late model 2009 w/only15K) to take apart and try and understand if it was really a seal failure or a true ball bearing failure. I have heard of this happening to a bunch of late model bikes and it really should not be since they are used at low heat & very low RPM.

    Timken has some good information on how to reverse engineer bearing failures and identify root causes.
     
  8. TripleJ

    TripleJ Senior Member

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    Hoople, that sounds right up your alley!
     
  9. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    What bugs me is I have seen and used 6205 deep groove ball bearings (same as on my Dyna both front and rear) in applications with 260*F at 8000 RPM with mean life spans of 3 years or longer. I am not saying the sky is falling, but I would really like to understand the reason behind the premature failures.

    The up-side is the bearing happens to be a standard size and lots of companies make them. You can select the clearance and type of grease that is inside them. Everything from common to precision quality.
     
  10. Mad Dog Jim

    Mad Dog Jim Banned

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    This kind of stuff drives me crazy. Like Chopper said, "Dealer SHOULD have caught it." And the bearings "should" last longer than that. I suppose maybe they weren't that bad, maybe this maybe that... My next tire change I am replacing mine just to be certain. I hope you send the old ones to Hoop so we can all find out the end of this story