Wheel bearings

Discussion in 'Wheels' started by fin_676, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Well over the weekend i was changing the tyres on my 1992 softail custom when i got the front wheel on to my balancing jig when spinning the wheel it just did not feel as smooth as it should a wee while later had the back tyre changed over and spun that wheel it also felt just a wee bit not right so i have ordered wheel bearings for both front and back
    Although i am no stranger to replacing wheel bearings on a bike or a car i have never replaced the bearings on an hd the bearings on the way to me are timken bearings and come with oil seals
    I got a weird look from the wife when i warned her that wheel bearings will be in the freezer later in the week
    I have a blind bearing puller and will use it to pull the bearing outer race and refit the bearing using some threaded rod a couple of washers and a suitable sized socket
    If there are any other tips i can get from more experienced heads i would appreciate them

    Brian
     
  2. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    Brian, In 1992 they came with taper roller and not sealed deep groove ball correct?
     
  3. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Yes thats the ones very similar to the ones on my 1981 BMW

    Brian
     
  4. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    So you must adjust endplay using shims and shoot for something like .002-.005".

    It would be nice to have a clearance on the lowend of the scale.

    Your bearings are far superior to what HD is using today. A little more work but worth it.
     
  5. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    I have always liked to have taperd roller bearings on my bikes once fitted correctly and the the correct torque is used on the axel then they are always nice and tight
    But it is not easy to spot when they are starting to go as there is movement of the wheel they just start to feel not as smooth as they should be i had an mot tester said to me that the front wheel on BMW just felt wrong on a test but it passed but once off the bike it just felt not smooth so i replaced the bearings same feel on these wheels

    Brian
     
  6. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    They are the best. HD went with deep groove ball for no other reason other than to save money. Install them and it's out the door. No adjustment, no measuring and fewer part numbers.

    Nice thing with taper bearings is you can remove and clean them in order to inspect the rollers & races for pitting, discolor & wear. But for what you get, Timken roller bearings are really very affordable and it's worth it to just replace them. HD wants almost $40 for a pair of 6205 deep groove ball bearings for my bike. You can easily get a set of Timken rollers with cones for that.

    The whole thing is set up time with shims using a dial indicator. You can't feel .003" endplay with your hand. If you can feel endplay, it is probably near the upper range (or over) especially if they are packed with grease.

    Since your re-placing the cones and bearings, my guess is the correct shim will have to be selected. It's the only way I would do it.
     
  7. karlsbike

    karlsbike Active Member

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    Hi Brian
    I tried an old trick I had picked up last time I changed my wheel bearing races:
    I welded a bead on the bearing face, and it simply dropped out.
    Fitting it I put the race in the freezer, and used the old one as protector and carefully tapped it in. Using a threaded rod with large spacers is probably better, but the main thing is to get it seated properly (you'll hear/feel it when it's in place).
    Although not recommended, the first time I had to change bearings, the races looked perfect and I had no good way of removing the old ones. I therefore left them in there and fitted the new bearings only. It's against the book, but it worked just fine.
     
  8. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

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    I replaced the front bearings/races on my '92 at 60+ thousand miles. One race had a spot on it that looked like the hardening wore off, so I thought it prudent to change all of it. My wheels are cast, so I had a independent shop pull the old races for me. Then I "helped" him set my end play to insure it was to spec.
     
  9. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    Always replace bearings and races as sets Races can fail just as easy as a bearing can, too much or too little end play will ruin a bearing quickly
     
  10. GARVIN

    GARVIN Active Member

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    wheel bearings are cheap when you compare how many people are against riding with a repaired tire. one little bearing going bad is a lot more dangerous.If the wheel is off replace the bearings. If you have ever lost a wheel bearing on a motorcycle you will never forget it.