Wheel bearing won't fit

Discussion in 'Wheels' started by Bendweasel, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. Bendweasel

    Bendweasel New Member

    Hi guys (and ladies - I'm sure there may be one or two here),

    I'm overhauling a '79 FXEF. Long story, but parts were bought 10 years ago and I've gotten the bike back and am running with it.

    I took it down to the frame and engine/tranny, painted the best I could and I'm putting it all back together. I'm replacing the parts that are too trashed and cleaning/painting/polishing the rest.

    The wheels are new - Bullet Bayonette (and no idea who we got them from). When I got the bike back it had the old rear wheel on it. I was told by my buddy there may be a problem getting the 3/4" axle to fit. It worked ok, but when I test installed it the spacers pushed the bearings in. I put it on the bench and started poking around and the bearings fell over. I decided at that point something wasn't right. I bagged everything - I always have a box of ziplocks handy - and decided to start over.

    I don't know (EDIT) about wheels (well I didn't then, but I'm learning a lot now) so as I had to go to the local stealership anyway (for some minor part) I asked them about it. They shot me the sign of the cross and backed away rapidly - they won't even talk about aftermarket wheels let alone give advice or (gasp!) work on one!

    I called my on-line pusher (J&P) and while armed with the bible and web printouts, we discussed everything in detail. He sent me the longest inner wheel spacer they have (4+") and a set of bearings. He said to pound (OK, push) a race in, place a bearing and cap and then determine inner spacer length and cut to fit (just touching the bearings on either end). Then add the other bearing and you're off to the races (after greasing the bearings, of course).

    I cleaned out the hub, so I could see what I'm dealing with and found a raised section inside, just big enough to make a stop for the races. I installed one side, put in the center spacer and it didn't even come close to fitting (way too short). I kept measuring, but it was hard, so I cut a dummy out of a piece of dowel, then kept trimming it back to fit. When I thought I had it I took a 3/4' pipe and cut my own spacer. I created a "feeler" that rested on the shoulder, and kept taking it back until the feller didn't touch. The last was done with a grinder, so I know it's with a gnats (EDIT) .

    I went to put the 2nd bearing in (on the brake hub side, btw) and it wouldn't go in all the way. I kept checking the inner spacer and it's always right on the money. I took the spacer out and the bearing still won't fit. On the sprocket side it is 1" in to the shoulder; on the disc side it's only 1/2"!

    Note: early on I got out my calipers all kinds of measuring devices and made a drawing of this (EDIT) thing. HOWEVER... you know how it goes... I ASSUMED that the things was symetrical. I had it on my bench and measured 1" from the outer lip of the hub to the shoulder (sprocket side) and made my drawing based on that. I measured lip to lip on the hub, minus 2" for the shoulders. That's why my first cut of the spacer was off. Trimming it down like I did, it's right now it just took a while.

    I've now bagged the new bearings, tapped out the races and bagged them with the spacer. I cleaned out the hub, and I see in the middle of the hub there is a gap. Thinking these shoulders may move, I tried tapping in it with no results.

    So. Now I have a new wheel with a 1" recession for the bearings on the sprocket side and only a 1/2" recession on the disc side.

    Do I have a bad wheel? The wrong bearings? Am I just overlooking something?

    Any advice would be appreciated!!!

    79 FXEF Superglide Fatbob
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2015
  2. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators