Hi Packer - you're not kidding, I've learned more than I ever expected to when I started this project. It's funny to think back to how clueless I felt when I first removed the valve covers. I'm still learning and I'm certainly no guru, but I'm starting to feel like I know this bike inside and out, which is exactly what I was hoping for. I've worked on plenty of other bikes, but never at this deep of a level. It's been a blast! And I'm sure you're right - that first sunny ride is almost going to be a life changing event!
I definitely think I could true the wheels on the bike, but I'm thinking it will be easier to set up a stand and ensure that the axle is level on the stand than it would be to level the entire bike. The bike is just strapped to a jack right now. Plus, it's getting cold here, and as you can tell from all the pictures, I prefer to work in the comfort of my kitchen (when the wife isn't home
Well, I wasn't going to post this, but decided I truly want to document every step of the build, so here we go. I'm a complete dumbass. I went into the garage the other day to look at the wheels and start contemplating how the hub internals went back together when I noticed that the rear wheel (shown mounted loosely on the bike above) didn't have a drive spline. What did I do wrong? Yep, you guessed it - I laced the rear wheel to the front hub and vice versa. Damn! Oh well, honestly, lacing was kind of fun and I could use the practice. And in the long run, it actually ended up being beneficial for a few reasons. First, I ended up taking the hubs in to a local machine shop to have the inside bearing races removed. I'm confident they would've banged up the rims if the wheels were still together. As it is, they put a few scratches in the hubs. Secondly, I ended up placing the hubs in the oven to heat them up so the new bearing races would be easier to install. It worked like a charm, and I wouldn't have been able to do this with the rims laced up.
I pulled out my bag of goodies and started trying to figure out how it all went back together. The wheels were some of the few items that I didn't label and organize as well as I should have during disassembly. This is mainly because I was in a rush to get the wheels to the powder coater, so I didn't remove everything systematically and place all of the parts on a string in order as I should have. It took me a few times of trying out different arrangements before I got the correct "stack". Speaking of, has anyone else noticed that the Clymer manual is absolutely WORTHLESS for /5 hub/wheel details? I have no idea what they were showing, but they had LOTS of parts that I didn't have, and I had parts that they didn't show. I ended up remembering that Papa had had a very old Haynes manual, so I pulled it out and it was a huge help.
Once I started to get a feel for the stack arrangement, I put the hubs into the oven at 200F.
Then I pulled the wheel bearings out of the freezer and packed them with grease:
The wheel bearings and the grease in the hubs looked fresh, which made me think that someone had rebuilt the wheels fairly recently (which would have been 5 years ago at the most recent). I still replaced the bearings, cleaned out the old grease, and packed everything with Bel Ray waterproof grease for good measure.
With the hubs hot, I installed the bearings and all of the hub components and then let them sit outside for a bit to get back to room temperature. Once they had cooled, I installed new endcap gaskets and bolted the encaps down with shiny new stainless bolts (with anti-seize, of course).
And then it was back to square one with lacing the wheels:
I'm getting faster and faster, though, and in half an hour I had both rims loosely laced up again.
So that's where I currently stand - the wheels need to be trued, and then I can mount the tires, and then it will finally be a roller again! I'm hoping to buy a spoke wrench and attempt trueing the rims tonight. Then I need to get to a shop and buy some tubes and the rubber ring that protects the tubes from the spokes inside of the rim. Even with the setback of lacing the rims to the wrong hubs (
), I still think I'm on schedule to have a roller by this weekend....