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Updated wheel bearings?

Wheels, hubs and tires
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Panhead Dave
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:51 pm

Updated wheel bearings?


Post by Panhead Dave » Wed Sep 19, 2007 2:19 am

Hello Guys,

Are there any kits available to replace the loose bearings and cages in the hubs of our bikes? I have found any installation tool for sealed bearings for Panheads but no kits as such? They are star hubs for a 58.



john HD
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Bikes: '42 WLA X 2, '55FL, '93 Ultra Classic, '91 Fatboy, '97 883, '71 Suzuki Duster 125, '83 GPz 750.


Post by john HD » Wed Sep 19, 2007 11:55 am

i remember years ago seeing an article about the installation of sealed cartrige style bearings in worn star hubs.

i think one used three of them.

currently i am running one of the timken style repops in the rear of my bike with good results. keep in mind you need to use a different axle with these.

the jury is still out on the timken hub as i have a slight out of round issue with my rear sprocket and suspect the hub as the culprit.

i will report back when i get it apart this winter.


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Post by Kuda » Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:34 pm

Try these guys:

I haven't used them, but I've heard nothing but good about them...

'49 panchop

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Post by Cotten » Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:45 pm

The Timken conversions that I encountered were a pain in the patootie to achieve proper endplay.
Come to think of it, so were all of the later OEM wheels I've encountered!
They aren't so bad to maintain,... if you stock a lot of overlength spacers and own a lathe.
Stacked sealed bearings would require similar shimming exercises.

Star hubs were so poor a design that the the Factory only issued them for three decades, while other marques such as Henderson and Indian had turned to cheaper conical bearings many years earlier.
What were they thinking?

If the bearing surface is spalled to where it cannot be honed for oversize rollers,... and you are committed to machining the bore,... why not just install a simple hardened insert and retain the original design?

Sounds a lot cheaper than replacing your axle and spacers, and you would still be able to swap your wheels.

But then,..
It's always fun to "re-invent the wheel"!


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Post by 57pan » Wed Sep 19, 2007 4:33 pm

Kuda wrote:Try these guys:

I haven't used them, but I've heard nothing but good about them...

'49 panchop
I had my star hubs converted by them and they do excellent work. The conversion is completely undetectable - that is; there is no visible indication that they are not stock hubs. You don't need to use any special spacers or axles. It's not cheap, but then neither are NOS or good used hubs.

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Post by fourthgear » Wed Sep 19, 2007 8:00 pm

I have the conversion hubs & axles and timken bearings from JP cycle and they work great. Replacement parts can be had at local bearing shops and no problems with them at all and they are not cheap but , piece of mind and no shimming ,ever . You have to get the whole conversion and to me its worth the money. Just because some company used a component for decades does not necessarily make it the best you can get . The Timken bearings are a sound upgrade. And as said above , you can't tell they are in there.

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Post by Cotten » Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:55 am

Anyone try to find a replacement Timken that fits an OEM axle??


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Post by mbskeam » Fri Sep 21, 2007 1:15 am

look here.....

go to tech-tips,


Wheels and brakes

and start reading.....


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