Rear hub lugs

Wheels, hubs and tires
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Rear hub lugs


Post by ozwick86 » Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:32 pm

Description: the rear brake pedal went way down and the rear felt a little squirly.

Took the bike out yesterday and on the way home the rear brake pedal went way down and the rear felt a little squirly. Got home and found that all my rear lugs were loose and I lost 1 of them.

I read on the forum to clean the threads with ?; can't remember now, and then just use anti-seize on the installation.

1. What do others here use to prep the lug threads in the hub?
2. What do you put on the threads to keep the bolt in, blue or red locktite, or anti-seize?
3. How much torque to use?
4. How often do any of you check for lug bolt tightness?

Thanks in advance.


Post by 1950bobber on Jul 2, 2007, 4:09pm


I just wire brush my lugs WELL then use BLUE loctite...NEVER red loctite in my oipinon (Even says on the red loctite tube, NOT FOR REMOVAL!!!)! I tighten to a STRONG hand tightness and then one final round of tight-tightness! Any more tightening would require an extension bar or the use of a pipe on the end of the wrench...that I do NOT do.
I'm sure there are spec's on torque'ing but I've just never done it that way, my error, I'm sure. But I've been lucky, I guess 'cause I've never lost a lug or had them come loose, knock on wood!
The object for me is the eventual removal for rebuild or repair and being able to get that drum removed without busting my nuts! I'm sitting right now with the need to remove a drum from a wheel that I bought and it is so far been physuically IMPOSSIBLE to remove, RED LOCTITE???? Most likely!

Jim in Seattle "1950 Bobber"

Post by Mbskeam on Jul 3, 2007, 12:45am

clean the threads with lacquer thinner on a Q-tip and blue lock tight......
you can use a propane torch to heat things up and this will break the bond of red lock tight, just put the flame on the center of the lug head. it will not take much heat to do this....


Post by Cotten on Jul 3, 2007, 1:37am

When was the last time any of you guys had to change out a rear wheel under a bridge abuttment in the rain?
Or on a moonless night with nothing but fields all around.
Grunting that allen key into the lugs over, and over, and over instead of being able to spin them out can make your love for loctite wane.
(Shame on you guys who are thinking: cellphone)

Lugs and antiseize were made for each other.


Post by 1950bobber on Jul 3, 2007, 2:48am

Great suggestions Cotten and Mbskeam...especially like the heat to the center of the lug for RED loctite removal...but Cotten...I don't use the allen key in it's 90 degree handle end form...I've cut the 90 degree bend off and I insert that 7/16th allen into a 1/2" drive socket with it's long handle busting my nuts there....BUT, anti-seize will work....matter of personal choice I think!

Jim in Seattle "1950 Bobber"

Post by ozwick on Jul 3, 2007, 4:51am

Thanks for all of the suggestions, but will using anti seize secure the lugs? Is this what was used back in the older days? I have the muscles to break the lugs loose so I would rather not have them come loose and would prefer the blue loctite.
Are the lugs supposed to get loose over time? What are the service intervals for checking them?

Thanks again,


Post by panacea on Jul 3, 2007, 5:06am

Whenever I have mine apart, I'll clean them up before re-assembly on a wire wheel for a few seconds, then fairly tite with no locktite. When I wash the bike I'm in the habit of checking for loose hardware. And I carry a cell phone. My rear wheel is a bit wider than stock so She needs to go on the lift to get the back tire out, I hope to go back to stock size eventually.( I have a long list). 50 bobber, I also have cut off an allen to fit a deep socket, works nice! Mike

Post by woody on Jul 3, 2007, 5:07am

I use blue loctite. I cinch them up after I have finished adjusting the chain and tightened the axle nut and brake drum nut. I also check them about once a week. I use the long allen with a 7/16 box end slipped around the allen wrench. Make sure that the pins on your brake drum are all still there after your wheel came loose. Sometimes it breaks some of them off. They can be replaced but it ain't easy (at least for me). As for your question of where I am, I live in the Santa Cruz mountains. Right now until the end of August my weekends are full as I play in a band on Fri and Sat nights and I still have my day job:>) I agree it would be good to get a ride going. later Woody

Post by Kuda on Jul 3, 2007, 1:08pm

I use the copper high temp anti-seize, and check them about once every 1000 miles or so. Which can be every two days on a trip. So far (knock on wood) not a single one has come loose. Oh, and I bought/made an allen wrench with a 1/2" drive rachet hole on the end, which has been adapted down to a 3/8" rachet. It's in the saddlebag with the tire irons, patch kit, and the inflator...

'49 panchop (just lucky, so far...)

Post by Cotten on Jul 3, 2007, 2:57pm

Somebody must have borrowed my favorite road lugwrench, because I haven't seen it for a while:

It is a hardened piece of 1" round stock turned down on one end to fit into the hub, with a section of 7/16" allen key pressed into the end.
The fat end is drilled for a padlock, just inside of where it would fit through the axle plate.

In other words, its also a wheel lock.


Post by PanPal on Jul 3, 2007, 3:09pm

I would also check that brake hub for cracks near the threaded holes. The taper on the lug holds well when tightened normally. But if someone over tightened I have seen them crack and the lugs will not hold for long. No loctite on mine I check them before a long trip and during any wheel service.

Post by woody on Jul 3, 2007, 3:53pm

Thanks! I am going to make a wheel lock! The challenge for me is to remember to remove it before riding. I am 58 years old and have to write notes to myself sometimes. Leftovers of a mispent youth. ha!

Post by fourthgear on Jul 3, 2007, 6:21pm

I used to use never seize and they would always loosen, now I clean the threads with acetone and use a little blue lock tight and they loosen no more and are no problem to get off , I know because I changed to stainless steel spokes a while back .

Post by caschnd1 on Jul 3, 2007, 11:44pm

I've had really good luck just cleaning up the lugs and insterting them without anti-sieze or loctite. But we don't get much moisture here in Arizona. I've never had a lug come loose between tire changes. And when I did change a tube in the parking structure after work back in February, I was glad there was no loctite to make it difficult to remove the lugs.


Post by panzr4ever on Jul 4, 2007, 6:31pm

Cotton, not a moonless night and no driving rain...but Hwy 385, Nebraska, between Alliance and Angora coming home from Sturgis on the 65 pan. Cornfed biscuit-eater trooper stops ( I am thinking he is going to offer assistance) and asks me what I am doing on "his" road. I explain, he looks at me gets back in his car and drives off.

Never forgot how "not" to treat people...

Post by Skip on Jul 5, 2007, 3:27am

Panzr4ever....Christmas Eve, 1985....Rt 32 Jackson County Ohio....22 degrees....riding with a boombox across my lap for my kid sister for Christmas....had to stop every 10 miles or so to warm my hands....10 miles from dads house had to stop....warming my hands by the exhaust pipe....Ohio State Trooper stops and asks what I was doing...told him trying to warm up to make it into Wellston...he said sorry can't help you there and drove off.....had one in Marietta put his 45 in my stomache and tell me never to step foot in hos town again..he is chief now....I was on the job too....had one strip search me on Rt. 7 because I took a picture of his POV for a murder trial...stuck his head into my truck afterwards and said I will never prove a thing(referencing the murder, as the strip serch was video taped) and laughed and drove off....not too found of the boys in blue.......Skip

Post by Skip on Jul 5, 2007, 1:23pm

No disrespect intended towards anyone....just stateing facts....and my reply can be deleted and no hard feelings....Skip

Post by 1950bobber on Jul 5, 2007, 3:01pm're cool in my book said nothing worth deleting! Just trying to head off one of those kinda subjects that can really get heated up...and no place to go!

Jim in Seattle "1950 Bobber" CHANGING to "1960 Bobber" soon!!!!!

Post by ozwick on Jul 5, 2007, 3:44pm


Got some blue and red locktite, the newer twist stick paste and cleaned my hub lugs with laquer thinner and got all my lugs tight all but the last one, which stripped but I was able to get it somewhat tight, so I didn't keep twisting and left it to see if it would back out on my ride. After my ride I checked, It didn't but now I need to address the stripped drum. When I last changed the rear brake shoes the drum was looking pretty galled.

1. Where is the best place to purchase a new brake drum as I believe a good used one is probably difficult to find?

2. I have a new sprocket I purchased a while back along with the rivets, are there any special tools needed or should I take it to my local mechanic to put on the new drum?



Post by panzr4ever on Jul 5, 2007, 4:43pm

ozwick, what about kickstart m/c. He sells complete drums as well as sprockets and rivets...(616) 245-8991.
'N sorry about the slight diversion. Been LEO for almost 37 yrs. 18 months till retirement. Just always amazes me how sometimes things such as "repsect" gets lost in translation. 'Nuff said....Dave

Post by woody on Jul 6, 2007, 9:49pm

Mark try 45's forever in San Jose. They are on Berryessa. I found one there. Woody

Post by ozwick on Jul 7, 2007, 6:41pm

Thanks everyone,
I will do some investigating.


Post by SFMike on Jul 18, 2007, 3:57am

"Loctite?" Whatever happened to muscle and determination.
If you want to cheat, use a sawed off allen in a 7/16 socket and a Tee.
37 years of Pan riding an no loctite, never.

Post by 1950bobber on Jul 18, 2007, 7:11am
"Loctite? Whatever happened to muscle and determination"
Well, SFMike ...muscle & determination = stripped threads and/or snapped lugs (?), me-thinks

Post by Cotten on Jul 18, 2007, 12:38pm

Before loctite, folks learned how to pull on a wrench.
A long gradual pull to feel the fastener creep up to firm has been replaced with butterfly airwrenches, cordless screwguns, and goober from a tube for insurance against a lack of simple skills.
No wonder I can't find anyone to take over my shop.


Post by Jack Hester on Jul 18, 2007, 3:08pm

Cotten -

You are just too far away for me to up-root. Otherwise, I think we have a lot of the same work practices. I rarely use a torque wrench, except on flywheels. Then, I use a strain-guage model. Just don't care for the click-type, though I have one, and have used it a number of times in the past. The proper feel at the fingertips tell a better story than a torque wrench. Saves a lot of threads that a torque wrench may have otherwise pulled out.

I've been told, though not first hand, that the H-D dealers are being told to use Loctite on flywheel tapers and nuts. Unless it was an absolute racing condition, I've never seen the need for any on those places. I've used blue on the lock screw threads, but not sure that it is necessary there. I do know that you don't want red Loctite on these screws. I've disassembled flywheels that had it on the lock screws. Had to take a propane torch to melt the Loctite, and an easy-out to get the screw shank out of the hole. Head spins right off, leaving it behind.


Post by Cotten on Jul 18, 2007, 10:43pm

Hell, I work out of quart bottles of red, and wicking-grade green!
Expect me to preach the ideal, but practice for real.


Post by 1950 Bobber on Jul 19, 2007, 1:04am
"Before loctite, folks learned how to pull on a wrench.
A long gradual pull to feel the fastener creep up to firm has been replaced with butterfly airwrenches, cordless screwguns, and goober from a tube for insurance against a lack of simple skills.
No wonder I can't find anyone to take over my shop.

Cotten...THAT IS THE WAY I WRENCH! MY culture, if something new comes IMPROVES performance or ease of use AND it works or makes sense to ME....I adapt!!!! That's what we humans do...or are you still pooping in a hole and covering it with dirt...I suspect you joyfully use the toilet!
Now, again...everyone has THEIR way of doing things...I won't diss a man's method....but BLUE loctite works, it's easy to remove but resists the bolt/nut/etc from backing off....THUS a good choice AMONG OTHERS!!!!
Again, Sir...I DO pull a wrench, slowly to the precipice of no return....

Jim in Seattle "1950 Bobber"

Post by Cotten on Jul 19, 2007, 4:28am


I'd never argue with anyone who can snap a lug.


Post by 1950bobber on Jul 19, 2007, 5:03am

Hey Cotten...All in good humor, my friend By the way, I've NEVER snapped a lug...broke the 1/2" drive handle dead in the middle once though....the lug survived....damn Craftsman....ain't making like they used to!!! :-/

Post by Cotten on Jul 19, 2007, 3:39pm


I was about to try and see if I could snap one; glad you stopped me before I hurt myself!


Post by 1950 Bobber on Jul 20, 2007, 12:39am
I was about to try and see if I could snap one; glad you stopped me before I hurt myself!
...Cotten "

****That's the public service kinda' guy, I am!****

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Post by SFMike » Sun Nov 11, 2007 5:07 pm

These are on a Panhead, after all.
To the youngsters who grew up without learning about knocking on carburators to free the floats, here's a tip.
Every now and then-you got to go around the whole machine with a wrench, socket, visegrip, pliers, or whatever, and TIGHTEN stuff.
Key words here are machine and tighten. Master those and you got it.

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Re: Rear hub lugs


Post by ozwick86 » Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:30 pm

Tried anti seize on my rear hub lugs instead of lock tite, when I had the wheel off to change my brake cylinder. Checked the lugs before my ride up the coast, and all the lugs were loose. Going back to Blue locktite.

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Re: Rear hub lugs


Post by james » Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:19 am

One thing you need to keep in mind, the 2 mating surfaces need to be free of primer and paint.
The part of the drum with dowels and the area on the hub that mate together need to be clean.
If there are coats of paint on both surfaces the drum will come loose from the hub. The paint gets crushed
after riding a while and the lug torque is lost = loose lugs. The countersink or taper part of the hub cannot be over-coated with paint.
You cannot get a proper torque is everything is coated with layers of paint. I've seen this with repaired automotive alloy wheels
where the wheel was painted, too thick. The lug bolts came loose after 3 days. Cause of loose lugs, too much paint at the lug hole taper.
Metal to metal surfaces with a light coat of anti-seize.
Also make sure the threads in the drum are not elongated from running loose, you may need oversize lug bolts if that happened.

Jim M

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Re: Rear hub lugs


Post by ozwick86 » Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:36 am


I had blue locktite on the lugs before. I wanted to try the anti-seize to see what would happen.

The drum is almost new, the drum threads and lugs were cleaned with denatured alcohol. I will not go back to antiseize on the lugs.

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