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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got off the phone with Tom S. at MBH. I had an interesting question for him. After owning several Harleys, when I got a tire changed, they also recommended having the wheel bearings repacked. It was a good general rule of thumb that front & rear wheel bearings be repacked at 10,000 mile intervals.

Tom said that he remembers getting a memo from the factory also stating this.

So, after reading all these posts about the great debate of rear tires & front tires, I thought it note-worthy to mention to not forget about the wheel bearings!

Dave in Columbus, Ohio
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hawk,
I know when you repack wheel bearings you need a new rubber seals. The front wheels have harley seals, not real sure about the back tire. The bearings are pretty-much a pressfit, put in with a press.
I am sure others on here would be able to help you. I have repacked the grease in wheel bearings before, then used 1/2 a bottle of dish washing liquid to get the grease off my hands. I am not a born mechanic. I can get my hands dirty tightening a screw on the Boss.

The intent was NOT to run 20,000 - 30,000 miles and think everything is ok!

Dave in Columbus, Ohio
 

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On my '03, the fronts are sealed bearings. However, I changed them when I went tp 18" wheels and you must be VERY careful when you press them, they tore up two sets on mine, first one was junk when it went in, the second went bad in about 100 miles.

Both times Marv replaced them without flinching, but who ever presses them must be careful.

Rear hubs on mine have zerks in them for grease.

Tim
 

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I think the seals are automotive according to BH of Stamford.They have to be tapped in very gently and evenly arond the circumference to avoid damage. Very easy to tear them up...Joe
 

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Jack,
Front are the Harley ones on yours. The back has seals and bearings. After putting in the bearings the seals can be put in by lining up and carefully taping in. Place a large socket on the seal and tap the socket gently with a hammer. That is a "farmers" press. It works usually and requires a little patience and sometimes some "talking to"
Glenn
 

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I bought a seal driver kit from HARBOR FREIGHT . It consist of a handle and various size plastic disc's . Very reasonable and works great . The real problem is removing the rear inner race's on the 2000 and older bikes if they need to be replaced .

Jack
 

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Seal Driver

Jack and all;

Thanks, I've got to make a run to Harbor Freight this week and will get a set. Got a 2 ton folding leg hoist and "load leveler" there a couple weeks ago to facilitate the trans swap and engine oil pan install.

Should start the project within a couple weeks, and will probable become more of a pest than I have been with questions. Looking forward to it, quite an adventure for me.

Ride Safe!

HAWK88
Jack Phillips
 

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All I did with my bearings, front and rear, was get a needle type fitting for the end of my grease gun. I just stuck the needle under the lip of the seal in 4 places, 90 degrees from each other and squirted in grease until I could see it was full. I also spun the wheels on the bike to listen for any bad noises, and not hearing anything scary, I called it good.

It would be nice to hear any pros and cons to this idea. I've been doing this for years and have never had a bearing failure. They do eventually wear out and you would know it was time to replace them when you hear scary noises.

Bryan
 

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Bryan ,

Great idea . I don't see why this wouldn't work fine . How large in dia . is the needle ? I have one but mine is about 3/16 " and tapers down to about 1/16" . I have seen the type I think you are talking about that actually look like a needle and is about 1/16" with a small hole thru them . Is this what you have ? If so where can I buy one ?

Jack
 

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Jack,

Try a hardware store or a model airplane store. You can buy those small plastic ones that they use about the size of a flashlight.

TIm
 

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Needles

Bryan;

Good on ya! I had not considered that for wheel bearings.

OH-58 Helos (Mil Jet Ranger) tail rotor drive shaft hanger bearings were lubed that way for a zillion years, and some may still be. I may have an old tech manual available to illustrate the procedure.

PS: How did your steering head bearing re torque go? Well I hope! Don't wish the old "Vincent Shadow Death Wobble" on anyone!

Ride Safe!

HAWK88
Jack Phillips
 

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Gents,

I borrowed the needle type fitting from Bruce. He is an aircraft mechanic as well as recreational pilot, but still a HD rider. He said he used it for a number of things on aircraft. Jack, yes it is about 1/16" diameter with a whole in the end.

Other Jack, the front end steering head thing isn't done yet. I jacked up the front end and found a scarier problem :shock: I grabbed each end of the axle and lifted up at a 90 degree angle to the forks, checking for slop in the steering head. None there, but instead there was a whole bunch between the lower tubes and the upper tubes. Looks like the bushings in the fork tubes are done. I got Barry to order me a rebuild kit, some new seals and some fork oil. :evil: From what I hear, the bushings are aluminum and I wonder about how well aluminum works in this application. If any of you guys know of aftermarket bushings that will last more than a year I'd like to hear about them.

Bryan
 

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Bryan ,

If you could find out where I can buy this needle type fitting I'd appreciate it .

Thanks ,
Jack
 

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Jack, I can get the needle here in Calgary at a place called "The House of Tools". I only borrowed Bruce's because I lost mine somewhere and I need a new one. I don't have any idea where you would find one in the USA. If you like I can get 2 and send you one in the mail. Let me know. Send me an email with your address to [email protected].

If any of you other guys want one as well, let me know quick and I'll get you one too. :)

Bryan
 

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Hey Bryan,
How many kliks on your bike? What year is it?

I'm still tracking down a converter noise and am going to airdrie for some oil tomorrow and see if that helps. I fixed a small leak on the cooler and I hope servicing gets rid of the squeal.

As far as a possibly squeaky drive belt, the front pulley is dead center and the rear one rides to one side. Don't quite know if it's enough to cause noise.
 

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About the bearings...I like to take them out, clean them completelely in a parts washer, check them and re-pack. This allows a check of the bearings and races and removes any fine grit that may have gotten into the grease. Have not had to change either front or rear in 27,000 moiles...Joe
 

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Stu, my bike is a 2004 SB 385 and I have about 36,000 KM on it now.

Re: belt position.

Wag has a great website you can link to from here. Adrian West posted some great instructions there about how to align the rear wheel with the front. It seems that should be your first concern, then belt tension and then belt position on the pulleys. The alignment is critical to the handling of the bike. It's also more important to have the belt running in the center of the rear pulley than the front one.

Bryan
 
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