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Author Topic: Hubs -- In over my head  (Read 1396 times)

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Offline Rockhopper

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Hubs -- In over my head
« on: May 12, 2009, 10:41:52 PM »
My rear Shimano hub on my Specialized Epic wasn't turning very well, so I decided to take the cassette off and see if I could address the problem. I've never worked on hubs before, so I'm in over my head from the start. Anyway, after getting everything off, I notice that the bearings on one side (the cassette side) are really dirty and black, but the bearings on the brake rotor side are still pretty clean. Is that normal? 
Also, I cleaned up the bearings and they all look shiny now, but should I buy new ones instead or is it ok to put the old ones back in? (I'm in a bit of a holding pattern right now because I don't have the right lube for repacking the bearings.) 
Any other helpful tips for repacking the bearings and putting the axle/hub back together? Thanks. 

Offline catman

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Re: Hubs -- In over my head
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2009, 12:00:11 AM »
If the balls and races are not pitted to the point where you can feel it go ahead and reuse. Those loose bearing set ups can run a long time if you do a little TLC. Cassette side is probably dirty because cleaning of the cassette via water hose/pressure washer sprayed into the axle area. Check out the seal on that side and make sure it is in good shape. Might have just got packed full of grime.
 
Use water proof grease and lay out everything on a clean paper towel. I hope you kept track of the races, nuts and what not cause it can get a little confusing if it's been days since you took it apart. The preload on the bearings is basically hand tight and make sure you get the axle centered in the rear dropouts. I usually overtighten the hub races a bit to seat everything. I'll turn the wheel with the races a little tight and then back things off to slight preload (pressure on the bearings). You might want to get some cone wrenches if you plan to do this as a maintenance item. They make the job much easier.
Watch this video
 
http://bicycletutor.com/overhaul-wheel-bearings/
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Offline Rockhopper

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Re: Hubs -- In over my head
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2009, 02:09:38 PM »
Thanks Catman. The bearings don't look or feel pitted, so I'll use them again. I also have everything laid out in order. I also photographed it as  I took the races and nuts off, so I'll have a visual guide if I can't remember what I did. My local LBS is only a few blocks away if all else fails. Thanks again.

Offline Triple T

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Re: Hubs -- In over my head
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2009, 03:29:28 PM »
I also photographed it as  I took the races and nuts off, so I'll have a visual guide if I can't remember what I did.
Smart thinking.
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Offline Rockhopper

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Re: Hubs -- In over my head
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2009, 10:26:06 PM »
Just an update. The wheel is back on the bike, and it's spinning much better than before. I guess the real test will be when I ride it this weekend. If it all stays together, I'll know I didn't mess it up. If it falls apart, I'll head for the LBS. Thanks again for the advice, Catman. That Web site was a big help, too.

Offline Rockhopper

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Re: Hubs -- In over my head
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2009, 10:54:25 PM »
Took the bike (and the overhauled rear hub) to Boyette today. Appears to be holding up. Maybe I have a future as a bike mechanic ... who lacks confidence. Maybe that's not the best combination.

Offline Triple T

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Re: Hubs -- In over my head
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2009, 05:32:20 PM »
Maybe I have a future as a bike mechanic ... who lacks confidence.

Better than a bike mechanic that's OVER confident. 
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