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Spoke wheel rebuild

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by willis, May 25, 2020.

  1. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I’ve been wanting to do this for quite some time. A few years ago I documented my mag wheel rebuilds/refurbish and turned out great. You can see that thread HERE . But that was before I had my ‘75 standard with spoke wheels. I’ve always loved the look of black rims and hubs with Stainless spokes. It just has a look that really stands out to me. I had built a set of wheels for my shovelhead about 11 years ago and just loved the way it turned out.
    So a little while ago I started selling some spare parts to save money and collecting parts to build a second set of wheels that will be powder coated black. If I don’t like them on my 75, I’m sure they will look great on my 78 tracker. So I have started this thread to try and document the build as well as reference for when it is time to re-lace the wheels.
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
  2. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I scored a decent set of used high shoulder factory Tagasko aluminum wheels here in the classifieds (Thanks Greg). They need a lot of love but are a great starting point.
    77CC5484-318A-489C-951E-7178D5C32CF9.jpeg 58657FCE-7F22-490C-BA14-C8AB622DEB31.jpeg

    Once I found a set of wheels I went ahead and started ordering parts. All Balls wheel bearing kits for front and rear. Kits come with all bearing and seals needed. I got those online from Parts Giant for around $25 a piece. I debated where to get spokes from. Buchanan’s is about $100 per wheel for unpolished stainless. There are other Ebay vendors from Taiwan for $75 for front and rear. But after reading some reviews I went ahead and ordered from Mike’s for about $75 per set. One more piece I wanted to top these off was a machined hub cover made by our own member BEAGS64. I bought a couple of these before and they are high quality and a great improvement over the chrome stamped factory units.

    The only part I still needed was a brake backing plate. I scored a decent one on EBay, but it was missing the brake wear indicator that comes on the early units. But that was also found on EBay for under $15. So now that all parts are here and accounted for I started the tear down process.
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
  3. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Very nice! :thumbsup:
    gggGary and Jim like this.
  4. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    So today was tear down day. I started by removing the bearings. These gave me a bit of trouble. The seals popped right out using my tire spoons. The bearing were really in there though. I didn’t take pictures as I was greasy and frustrated, but in the end I used a small socket that just fit inside the bearings and a 3/8 drive extension to drive them out. It took some time but I got them. I cleaned and bagged and tagged as I went. I’ve learned not to throw the old parts away until everything is all back together. A key thing to note is that on the rear sprocket side there is a spacer pressed into the bearing. This must be removed and reused with the new bearings. Again, I used the socket and extension with the bearing sitting on top of the vice to drive it out.

    I used a small set of bolt cutters to cut the spokes out. It took a little longer to cut them all instead of using my 4” grinder. But it was really hot in the shop and didn’t feel like making a mess. I took pictures along the way to help with the relacing process later
    CAF64DFD-4C2D-4539-A320-D3AB093DA3F1.jpeg E4106009-7B14-4709-8A3F-DE99049CC83B.jpeg A77CD103-5C13-4940-B4F1-F3BF8B5263C0.jpeg E70F3BA5-5671-42D8-8751-80AA135D684E.jpeg FCD901EC-8FFA-4BA7-85D8-549773CEF098.jpeg .

    The rims needed some cleanup. I did not get any pictures but there were several spots with gouges and bend that needed straightening and smoothing. I just used some files and sandpaper along with a few roll loc wheels chucked in my drill. They are not perfect but good enough for me.

    I did hit a couple issues though. First, while trying to remove the rear brake cam I really struggled getting it out. In a moment of frustration I tried prying up on the cam spacer. Big mistake as it snapped in half. I was able to drive it out though. Back to EBay and was able to source a replacement. I was only able to find one after looking up the Yamaha part number on Partzilla and using that in the Google search engine. That should be delivered later this week. The cam was a little crusty so I just chucked up a wire wheel in the drill press and cleaned it up.
    D917DB07-F700-49A5-90D4-210FCF4802C8.jpeg 0FA784D0-8C19-4AF5-84EE-FD994200B075.jpeg E168AE67-B718-45AA-B6A2-C8B458A98428.jpeg

    The other issue I think is minor. The lip that rides inside the drum has been broken before I bought it. The seller did not show pictures in the listing. I don’t think it will affect anything though.

    So now I am all set to take them in to be blasted and powder coated. I’m hoping to make it in town later this week. Will report back later with updates.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 25, 2020
    gggGary, Team Junk, Mailman and 4 others like this.
  5. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge, is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    First let me say I'm a fan of All Balls steering head bearings. They're inexpensive and fit perfectly. I use 'em and have recommended them to others. Having said that, if you google "all balls wheel bearing review" you'll find a lot of unhappy customers out there. Apparently the wheel bearings are just rebranded Chines KLM's. Have a look at this review.
    You might wanna consider finding some Koyo's or Timkin's. They're still the gold standard for wheel bearings.
  6. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Hmmmm. I’m gonna have to look a little deeper. Maybe a good idea to pull the seal off and have a look inside. I had always hear good things on All Balls parts.
  7. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge, is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I'm using All Balls fork seals and the tapered rollers in the head. Very satisfied with both.... so I'm not a hater. I'm reworking some XS1 wheels for the speed twin, so I started looking for wheel bearings. That's when I started seeing those reviews. So... I don't have any first hand experience, but for something like wheel bearings on a bike... I'm just gonna stick with Timken's. I'll save the money somewhere else.
  8. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    The one thing I did notice in the link you attached is that the poster noted he does adventure riding and the bearings were frequently submerged in water crossings. That could definitely lead to premature failure. Worth noting though and I will definitely be looking down the rabbit hole as it’s not a part I want to take lightly.
  9. halfmile

    halfmile XS Builder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Koyo Bearings were the choice of a lot of Go Kart racers. There are a lot of Rupp and others that came from the Manufacture with Koyo`s and there still running good. I don`t know of a dealer that carries them though.:shrug:
    gggGary and Jim like this.
  10. 650Skull

    650Skull SSSSSSSSSlither Top Contributor

    What are the bearings like., from the pic the grease doesn't look that bad.........can you fell grit/pit marks when putting your finger in the hole and turning the outer race..........If not then a good clean up, (check for pit marks visually), and re-grease can be as good as new.........
    gggGary and Jim like this.
  11. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    If the bearings are the older style with an open side or steel grease seals, I would replace them with the later 2RS type (rubber seal each side). I always open up new bearings to check the grease content. Sometimes they put very little in there. You want them about half full, not completely full or the extra grease will just ooze out once the bearing gets hot and make a mess.



    That spacer in the left rear wheel bearing makes for a good way to remove the bearings. Find a socket that just fits it and drive it into the hub. This will push the bearing and grease seal on the other side out. Then, with nothing left in the way, it's easy to drive the left bearing out with a long drift.
    gggGary and Mailman like this.
  12. bikefreakjon

    bikefreakjon XS650 Enthusiast

    About All Balls parts...

    They are a reseller. Sometimes you get a nice Japanese bearing and sometimes it's junk.

    I have opened two identical packages of u-joints and found 1 to be extremely nice and one that was junk. Same part #

    Same with their fork seals.

    I won't use their carb kits except as a last resort.

    Team Junk and gggGary like this.
  13. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Here are the kits they sent (seals not pictured). There are no markings whatsoever except the part number on the grease seals. Rolling action is smooth. Grease was only applied in one side though which is not uncommon.
  14. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Broken drum lip not uncommon, smooth any sharp edges, double check no radiating cracks, ride on!
    RC4MAN, Team Junk, lakeview and 3 others like this.
  15. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Today I picked up my parts from the powder coater. They called yesterday and told me they had some issues in the out-gassing process. Several of the parts developed “pimples” as she called it. Basically there was something contaminated in the aluminum that kept coming to surface. They had to redo several parts 3 times to get a quality finish. It was mostly the brake plate that gave then problems. Overall they look good. There are one or two spots that aren’t great, but I could have also spent a little more time on my prep and smoothing out some areas. You won’t notice those spots unless you are right up on them though. The down side is they charged an extra $50 because the extra labor. Total bill was $250 for 8 pieces in gloss black. 2x rims, 2x hubs, 1x brake plate, 1x dual disc hub cover & 2 extra exhaust hangers I fabbed up for my Cone mufflers.
    13391EF2-357E-4E8C-837A-4346A352B3BD.jpeg EA27B5BB-E263-4150-8D45-44FA9B616F3D.jpeg

    I started off by taping up the rim area with painters tape to help prevent any scratches while installing the spokes. Then I pulled out my spoke set to get everything layed out. There are two different spoke styles for each wheel. They are identical except for the head on the end. The inner spokes have a little less bend and just a touch shorter than the outer spokes. Here you can see the inner spoke on the right and outer spoke on the left for comparison.

    HERE is a great tutorial that I followed on this from another website.

    I started on the front wheel first. Begin with Installing the inner spokes for both sides. These mount from the outside hub flange. Lay the hub flat and do one side at a time. Push the spokes into the hub top side and lay them in a counter clockwise direction. The spokes on the bottom side should lay in a clockwise direction. Once you have all the inner spokes in the hub, lay you rim down over the spokes. Follow the pattern in the tutorial I posted above and screw on the nipples loosely to cover just a few threads.

    Once you have those on, you can install the outer spokes. I found it easiest to feed them down into the holes on the bottom hub flange and leave them all standing up. Once they are all in, pick the whole wheel up and let them fall into place and flip the wheel over. Lay them in the counter clockwise direction again and find the corresponding hole and loosely install the nipples again. Now repeat the process for the last 9 spokes on the bottom flange and you have yourself a loosely spokes wheel.
    The process for the rear wheel is the same, but I found it much easier than the front.
    456D44D4-4408-4A12-9151-AAFDBBC8607B.jpeg EA546DD4-545B-4065-9B43-FE4793FD1913.jpeg 012E5F8D-9257-4668-B1C3-6EDB2A410AC2.jpeg

    Tomorrow, I will dress the spoke threads with anti-seize and start to tighten them up a little. Fortunately they supply you with 40 spokes in each kit. One of my spokes was broken and I never noticed until I went to thread the nipple on that it had no threads.
  16. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Looks SHARP! Always liked that combination of black n stainless..
    jetmechmarty, Team Junk and Jim like this.
  17. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I still need to address some areas on the hubs and remove some powder. They taped up most of the important stuff, but failed to tape off the areas where the disc and hub cover mount. So I will have to spend some time sanding it down to gain clearance to mount those later. Also will need to clean up the inside of the brake hub. They taped the drum area for the pad contact but it needs cleaned up as the overspray inside is flaking and a little messy. Still need to install the bearings too.
    gggGary likes this.
  18. bikefreakjon

    bikefreakjon XS650 Enthusiast

  19. jetmechmarty

    jetmechmarty XS650 Guru XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Just a few years ago, I briefly worked in a Koyo bearing manufacturing plant. After that experience, that's all I'm going to use. Their quality control is of the highest order. They supply bearings for Toyota (and others). I sourced them here. They came from the UK in one day!
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2020
  20. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    What are the thoughts on reusing old bearings? It was my thought that the general consensus was to never reuse them one removed. I have a set of Koyo’s from a previous bike with the full metal shields that still roll smooth and look in good condition. I know they take some abuse getting getting removed most of the time.
    Team Junk likes this.

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