Wheel bearings

Wheels, hubs and tires
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Hauula Pan
Posts: 402
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 2:15 am
Bikes: 1952 FL
Location: California

Wheel bearings

#1

Post by Hauula Pan » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:13 am

Aloha, Can anyone tell me the diameter of the stock roller bearings for a star hub springer front wheel on a 1950 pan? I know the ones in there now are worn and they sell replacements in several oversizes from .00010 to .0008 I have no idea what is currently in this wheel and need to know what the stock size is supposed to be. Then I can mic. these and see what they are. Thanks.



Bosheff
Posts: 1207
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Bikes: 65 FLH 82 FLH
Location: Michigan

Re: Wheel bearings

#2

Post by Bosheff » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:59 pm

Standard size is 1/4 X .440"....bosheff

Lethal Farce
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 6:31 pm
Bikes: 48 FL 42 WLA

Re: Wheel bearings

#3

Post by Lethal Farce » Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:10 pm

There have been some threads on the "Plug" fitting of the bearings to determine the correct size. A guy on another forum walked me thu it and after doing a couple of hubs, its no big deal. If you want, I can try to find the info. Palmer does a good job of explaining the method on crank bearings page 215 in his book. And the hubs on page 103
LF

Bigincher
Posts: 2830
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:10 pm
Bikes: 1941/59 EL
1952 FL
1977 FLH
1994 Fatboy

Re: Wheel bearings

#4

Post by Bigincher » Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:01 pm

Most hub bearings will not require oversize rollers. If at all, maybe only .0001"- .0002". The 'plug fit' method is the only surefire way to fit the correct size rollers, but requires an investment in oversize rollers that will never be used in a hub, only be used for plug fitting. If you are determined to do a plug fit, pick up some +.0006" and +.0008" oversize rollers.
When you do a plug fit, you install oversize rollers until there is no clearance--- then you do the math to determine what size rollers to use to gain the .0010"-.0015" required running clearance. If the +.0006 rollers plug fit (.0006" x 2 = .0012"), then standard rollers will make the specified running clearance. If the +.0008 roller plug fit (.0008" x 2 = .0016"), then +.0002 rollers should be installed. In no case install rollers so large that it reduces the running fit. That clearance is required for the lubricant to have a place to live around the rollers.

Several months ago I did a complete write-up with photos and explanations and posted at the Classic American Iron magazine website. In case you're interested, here's a link:

http://www.caimag.com/wordpress/2009/11 ... wheel-hub/

I buy rollers from Chuck at Kick-Start. They are made by Torrington, not third-world junk. They are also less expensive than ITW. Chuck does not have a website, but you can call him at 616-245-8991. When you're on the phone, order one of his excellent catalogs, well worth the 5 bucks.
Also be sure to use James corks and gaskets. The V-twin stuff is pure junk and will not fit properly.

Hauula Pan
Posts: 402
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 2:15 am
Bikes: 1952 FL
Location: California

Re: Wheel bearings

#5

Post by Hauula Pan » Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:41 pm

Thanks for the answers, and the link to the article. I was originally thinking I could mic. the rollers that were in the wheel to see if they were stock or oversize and just get the next larger size to reduce the slop, but I can see where it would be too difficult to really know what the existing rollers are, as trying to mic. such small amounts with a simple hand mic. won't work. Since I also don't have a supply of rollers I can see where this might be one of those times where it makes more sense to take the wheel to someone that does this stuff all the time and has the different size rollers handy. Kind of like the same thing when you do the plug fit on your lower end rollers. You either need to invest in a bunch of different size rollers you'll only use once every 10 years or so, or take it to a shop or someone that already has them. Unless you're going to be plug fitting hubs & lower ends frequently it really doesn't make sense to buy all those rollers. For a job you'll only do like once in 10 years or more it is less costly to just have it done. This is definitely one of those for me.

Bigincher
Posts: 2830
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:10 pm
Bikes: 1941/59 EL
1952 FL
1977 FLH
1994 Fatboy

Re: Wheel bearings

#6

Post by Bigincher » Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:04 pm

Well that's probably true, Hauula Pan. Depends on the definition of what "costly" is. A bag of rollers runs $13 at Kick Start. And there's enough rollers in a bag to do two of the smaller hub bearings. I don't know what a shop will charge you (if you find one that knows how to do it right), but for less than 50 bucks you can have enough rollers to do a plug fit yourself and install the correct size new rollers. Gaskets are cheap enough, only a few bucks. Be sure to install all new corks and star gasket. You can get by without a dial indicator for setting the end play, just add shims until there is no play, and remove two.
Just something to think about........

Oh, I forgot to mention that the slop you refer to is probably from excessive end play, not worn roller bearings. For years and years, I used the same rollers in the hubs on my old chopper. But every winter I would tear them apart, clean them up, re-grease everything and put them back together. If you notice in my article, I am still using standard sized rollers after 36 years. But setting the end play is important.

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