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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tomorrow i'm going to the tireshop to have my new Avon Cobra rear tire installed.Went down to the garage this afternoon and when inspecting the rear rim i found out that the rear wheel bearing on the left(pulley sprocket) side is totally ruined and needs replacement.

Is it a pita job to take out the old bearings and install the new ones? Any advice? I do not have access to any HD special tool,but almost any other tool... How do i do it?

And btw.... What is the dimentions of the rear wheel bearings. I have read some place that the size is 1" inner,52 milimeter outer and 15 milimeter width and can use other bearings than the overpriced HD originals.Is this correct?
 

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I recently did my rear wheel bearings. I found the easiest way to get one out is to cut it out with a dremel. If I had to do it again I'd be able to cut it out in about 10 minutes. I had a bearing puller with a slide hammer it didn't work. It didn't even work after I modified it and was able to beat it with a hammer from the other side. But, the dremel did the trick. Just had to be careful around the rim with the dremel.

Then to install the new bearings, I let the new bearings sit in the freezer over night and used an old (in tact) bearing and placed on top of the new bearing and tapped in the new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hmmmm... But how do you get the first bearing out? Since there are two bearings with a thight sleeve between then,i guess it is hard to find space and grip for a tool to remove the first one?
 

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Hmmmm... But how do you get the first bearing out? Since there are two bearings with a thight sleeve between then,i guess it is hard to find space and grip for a tool to remove the first one?
I'm speaking from my experience. There are bearing removal tools that are suppose to grip the bearing and with a slide hammer remove the bearing. The bearing did not budge at all...even when beating the tool from the opposite end. So to me, even if I welded something to the bearing it would not have worked because the center part of the bearing (inside race) eventually came out but the outside race stayed in the wheel. It was really in there and would not budge at all. That is when I just cut it out with a dremel. That worked great. Cut it in a couple spots and the thing just falls apart.
 

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Slide hammers to pull bearings???? Ugh, NO, never. Oil seals? Yes. Bearings? No.
Ok, there are two bearings on the left side. One is pressed into the pulley and the other is in the wheel itself. Which are we talking about, the wheel or pulley bearing?
To access the left wheel bearing you would remove the pulley, rubber compensator and the compensator bowl from the wheel. To remove a wheel bearing, you need some sort of threaded bearing puller with what is called a split cosset. There will be a threaded shaft and the split cosset on the end. The split cosset can be placed inside the bearing and a nut tightened down against the end of the cosset. A flange on the end of the shaft will be driven up into the cosset, spreading it until it is good and tight inside the ID of the bearing. There will be a set of feet that thread down the shaft. Once the feet are touching the hub of the wheel you turn the shaft with a wrench (it should have a hex end on the shaft) and gradually pull the bearing out of the wheel. Now this is important. You should set up everything first, then heat the area around the bearing with a MAP or butane torch for about 60 seconds or so. The hub material is aluminum, removing a cold bearing will drag some aluminum out of the hole with the bearing and if you are unlucky (I'm waving my hand, been down this road before) you hog the hole out and the new bearing does not seat properly but remains loose in the wheel. When that happens you either take the wheel to the local machinist for a steel sleeve or buy a new wheel (in my case a used wheel was cheaper than sleeving). I know that right now someone will pipe up and claim yyou can knurl the inner face of the hole in the wheel so the new bearing stays put, but I respectfully disagree. I wold never ride on such a bodge, you risk spinning that bearing. So, heat the wheel up first, then attach the puller and gently drag the old bearing out of the wheel. With the wheel heated the old bearing should come out easily.
When installing the new bearing, heat the wheel again. Let differential expansion do the work for you. The bearing should drop more than half way in with a well heated hub area. Then I use a socket that has the same OD as the bearing, turn it over so the flat face of the socket is against the bearing and I put a socket extension into the socket and tap the bearing in the rest of the way with a hammer. When the bearing seats fully the sound will change, that is how I can tell at least. Be careful as you drive the bearing not to get it cocked in the hole. It has to seat squarely and should be flush and even with the surface of the hub. Oh, don't forget to make sure the inner spacer is replaced after the first new bearing is installed or you will quickly blow the new bearings.
The pulley bearing would be removed and installed the same way, with the pulley off the wheel.

You did not say which year your bike is to know the correct bearing size. For 2002 - 2007 bikes with 1 inch diameter axles the wheel bearings have a 52 mm OD, 1 inch ID and they are 22 mm wide. Bikes with a 25 mm axle, 2008 and later have wheel bearings that are 52 mm OD, 25 mm ID and are 15 mm wide. Not sure about the pulley bearing dimensions.
 

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My replacement wheel bearing came from J&P cycles. $60 for 4 as the pulley has a different number. That's shipped. Took about 4 days to get to me.

Check your local price. It will take two weeks to get to you but I could forward on to you. Pm me if I can help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh Philthy...

That's quite heavy and overkill.
The way i did it is quite easier and faster i think.Just weld a nut or a bolt inside the inner ring of the bearing and carefully tap it out with a rod from the opposite side.
When installing the new bearing i just put the old bearing on top of the new one and carrefully tap along the outer ring of the old bearing with a rubber hammer and the bearing seats smooth and fine in place.
 

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Oh Philthy...

That's quite heavy and overkill.
The way i did it is quite easier and faster i think.Just weld a nut or a bolt inside the inner ring of the bearing and carefully tap it out with a rod from the opposite side.
When installing the new bearing i just put the old bearing on top of the new one and carrefully tap along the outer ring of the old bearing with a rubber hammer and the bearing seats smooth and fine in place.

Nope. The way you are doing it will eventually hog out the bearing hole in the wheel and the new bearing will be loose. Been there, done that, cost me a wheel. The hub area of the wheel must be at least 100 degrees C (212 F) when the bearing is extracted, and the least damage is done when you use a proper puller. Ditto for installing the new bearing.
The way you are doing it will work once or twice maybe, if you're lucky. on an aluminum wheel. With steel there is no such problem, you aren't going to drag material out of the hole as you definitely will with aluminum. It is not the way to do this if you want your bike to last. One of my bikes has 276,000 miles on it, and I have done all the routine service including replacing wheel bearing, swingarm bearings and steering head bearings. The only bearing race I tap out are the steering head bearing races. Those are steel on steel. If the frame was aluminum I would not.
 

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always put bearings in the freezer the night before you install them....
 

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always put bearings in the freezer the night before you install them....
I said this already ;), I guess no one reads what I say :).
 

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put the bearings in the freezer for at least one night.
 

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put the bearings in the freezer for at least one night.
Eh, I have worked in two shops as a tech and never did this or saw any other tech do this though I know many claim that is the technique to use. If the hub area is heated to 100 degrees C, a room temperatue bearing drops in half way just by gravity. It taps in the rest of the way very easily. We didn't keep our wheel bearings in the freezer for customers, they were taken out of stock and used immediately. Just my experience.
 

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I can see how heating up the hub would prevent damage to the material.

Did you also clean the area and apply some lube before removal?

The tool needed is a blind bearing puller.

I'm sure the MoCo special tool is of higher quality, but for those that will do their own and only use every great while, check Harbor Frieght.

Yes, lots of their stuff is cheap (price and quality), but this item isn't too bad of quality and they have a lot of ads for 20% off the $40 price. I haven't used it on the V-rod yet, but it worked fine on the Suzuki bearings.

http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result/?category=&q=blind+bearing+puller
 

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Eh, I have worked in two shops as a tech and never did this or saw any other tech do this though I know many claim that is the technique to use. If the hub area is heated to 100 degrees C, a room temperatue bearing drops in half way just by gravity. It taps in the rest of the way very easily. We didn't keep our wheel bearings in the freezer for customers, they were taken out of stock and used immediately. Just my experience.
put the bearings in the freezer for the night before installing.... makes for a gravy job compared to NOT freezing the bearings....same thing when installing valve guides into H-D heads....

....:D

As merchant ships get larger and faster there are increasing demands on steering systems and rudder bearing reliability, new freeze fitting methods are able to offer many advantages - that is just one example of freezing bearings.... some shops use liquid nitrogen in some instances.....
 

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put the bearings in the freezer for the night before installing.... makes for a gravy job compared to NOT freezing the bearings....same thing when installing valve guides into H-D heads....

....:D

As merchant ships get larger and faster there are increasing demands on steering systems and rudder bearing reliability, new freeze fitting methods are able to offer many advantages - that is just one example of freezing bearings.... some shops use liquid nitrogen in some instances.....
Liquid nitrogen ! Never thought of that, learn new things every day.
 

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i hate to say this but bearing installation isn`t quite as easy as it appears.. if the wheel is off the bike most shops charge less than a hr labor to change wheel bearings.. if they aren`t installed properly they won`t last long.. haveing somebody with previous experience installing wheel bearings do the job could be a wise move..just my 2 cents,, i have seen more than a few wheel bearings fail that had been installed improperly..
 

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i hate to say this but bearing installation isn`t quite as easy as it appears.. if the wheel is off the bike most shops charge less than a hr labor to change wheel bearings.. if they aren`t installed properly they won`t last long.. haveing somebody with previous experience installing wheel bearings do the job could be a wise move..just my 2 cents,, i have seen more than a few wheel bearings fail that had been installed improperly..
:stupid:

I had bad rear wheel bearings and needed them replaced - i don't think I was even charged $50 for the installation. They have the proper tools, have done it many times over, and will stand behind their work. For how long wheel bearings last on motorcycles (the bearings i replaced only marginally needed replacing at 40,000 miles) it just doesn't seem worth the hassle.

This is my same thinking on installing tires - sure, I could save $50 and put them on with my tire spoons - but that would be tons of aggravation, scratched wheels, and a couple hours of my saturday. However, the shops have specialized equipment and it's a gravy walk for them - some things (regardless of your mechanical aptitude) are worth having done by the pros that already invested in the tools, IMO.
 
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