How-To: Wheel Bearings

InfamousXS

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Been poking around the site for some time now and notice a lot of good How-To guides on the site that I sure know helped me with my build so far. About to put wheel bearings back in and want to make sure I have everything I need and in the right order. Once I can confirm all the parts, I will make a How-To with PLENTY of pictures. I am sure I don't do everything right so hopefully a few guys can chip in to make sure I have a good guide.

Let get a few parts I.D.ed and get this thread started :thumbsup:

img2876dt.jpg


As I side notes, I ordered the four bearings and seals already so those are set to go.

Alright, I took a long time but the wheels and bearings are done and let me start by saying - they are super easy! I am kind of embarrassed I even made a How-To for something so simple. The diagrams of the wheels make everything much more intimidating than it really is.

Front Wheel:
Both bearings are the same size so pick one and pop it in. I used a small piece of 2x4 to get it started in flat and then used a bearing punch to finish it.
img2949l.jpg


Now, flip the wheel over and use the internal spacer (shorter of the two tall spacers) in between the two front wheel bearings. It is key to keep the spacer lined up through the center. I used a piece of rope to keep it lined up while tapping in the opposite side bearing.
img2947g.jpg

img2948gm.jpg


Same as before, just tap that bearing in and you're done! I drilled a hole through the 2x4 to tap it in flat and then used the punch again. The spacer doesn't seem to be able to move around much inside when tapping it in so if you lose the rope, no worries. I will be using a speedo delete from Hugh so no need to worry about anything else for me.

Rear Wheel:
Pretty much the same thing, the only big difference is the small collar that needs to be fitted into the larger bearing.
img2941g.jpg


The collar is used to create a snug fit between the axle and bearing so that is essential. I have seem some for sale if you lost it or didn't save it when removing the old bearings.

Again, tap one bearing in first to its proper side (these two bearings are not the same size). Place the larger internal spacer on a string as before like the front wheel and put the other side bearing in.

Good to go :thumbsup:

Hope this helps!
 
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Rogue21

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I wish i would have found this about a week ago. I just replaced bearings in both my front and rear wheels. I think I assembled everything correctly, but I notice that my bearing spacers look different than yours. Do you know if the spacers were different between different years/mags vs spokes?
 

InfamousXS

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Not too sure myself, hopefully somebody will pop in and help out. I should have mentioned that these are going in a stock mag wheel on a 78 special.
 

5twins

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I would think all front internal spacers should be the same since spoke and mag fronts are interchangeable. Rear disc mags may differ from the mag/spoke drum versions though. You might want to post the internal spacer lengths (in MMs) so others could compare.

I like to pop the rubber seals out of new bearings to make sure they're adequately greased. Some come with hardly any grease in them at all. You don't want them full, that's too much grease, but maybe about half full at most. Like I said, some I've checked were practically empty.
 

xjwmx

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^I considered doing that but couldn't see a good way to get the seal off without making it worse than no grease would be... But from the way they felt by hand they had plenty of grease. Hard to turn and cushioned feeling.
 

5twins

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A small, sharp pocket knife blade inserted along the outer edge pops them right out.
 

xjwmx

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Good to know. Couldn't really tell how thick and rigid the plastic was and how much up under the edge it was.
 

5twins

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If you ever run across some old, trashed ones, experiment on those. You'll see how simple it is. For greasing, I use this needle point attachment for my grease gun. It allows me to inject a little grease between the balls. I do one side only because filling too much is just a waste. The excess oozes out when the bearings heat up and makes a mess (DAMHIK, lol).

chYqjWx.jpg
 
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retiredgentleman

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I doubt that most wheel bearings in these bikes need replacing. Unless you have really high miles/kms, such as 50,000 miles/80,000 kms, or bearings were immersed in water, they should last a long time. The wheel bearings are heavy duty design, and are not working hard at all.

This winter, I removed the seals and forced in some wheel bearing grease, just to add some extra grease.
 

xjwmx

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That's good to know too. Mine didn't need replacing but they were an unknown that was easy to turn into a known. Not hard and not very expensive. Just take care of that top hat though...and drive it out with nothing other than a little socket that covers it. Give it a good whack and everything will come out the right side.
 

dedede

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oh no maybe it wasn't such a simple job, I just did mine last week and thought that ring on the spacer after damaging it was part of the old assembly am I screwed without it?
 

Rogue21

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oh no maybe it wasn't such a simple job, I just did mine last week and thought that ring on the spacer after damaging it was part of the old assembly am I screwed without it?

If you still have the spacer with a damaged ring, I would think you would be okay to still use it as long as the ring doesnt interfere with the bearings. I'm not 100% sure the purpose of the rings, but mine look different than the ones pictures above. The rings are more toward the center of the spacers. I just put my wheels and bearings back together and it doesnt seem to help/hurt anything.
 

Travis

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You probably don't need the ring, but you definitely need a spacer between the bearings. I think the ring on the spacer is to keep it centered while you put in the other bearing.
 

Rogue21

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Just throwing some ideas out there. The rings almost look like dust caps, but with the sealed bearings, it wouldn't make much difference. They could also be used to center the spacer in the hub to help with alignment. I just put tapped the first bearing into place on my wheels, then put my axle through the wheel, put the spacer over the axle, then finished putting in the last bearing. This way i knew everything was aligned because I used my axle as a guide.
 

5twins

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Yes, that ring on the spacer is just to help keep it centered and yes, it's usually more near the center.
 

Rogue21

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I am not sure of anyone that sells replacement internal spacers. You might be able to find one on ebay or if someone is parting out an old XS.
 

Inevitable

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Just to clairfy what is "inside" the wheel.

For the front wheel its just bearing, spacer, bearing right?

For the back wheel its bearing, spacer, part that goes in the large bearing, bearing

correct?
 

Rogue21

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As far as I remember, that is correct. THe only exception is the front wheel has a number of other parts dealing with the speedometer. Dont forget to get new dust seals also along with new bearings if you are planning on rebuilding the wheel.
 
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