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Old 09-23-2008, 06:37 PM   #1
bpeckm OP
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Installed new front wheel bearing on my /6

Rather than post all of this onto the "big" thread about the bike, here goes:

A little history first... bought the bike after it had sat for Dog knows how long... Got it running, etc, but knew that the front wheel bearing(s) was bad. The wheel would spin ever-so-freely, going on and on and on, but it had a grumbly, growly noise to it, and when subjected to the Ausherman shake test, it would move back and forth, sideways.

Before going any further, everyone should read this on Duane Ausherman's website:
BMW motorcycle wheel bearings, 1956 to late 70s


that article says all there is to know, and is what I followed. Below will be photos and description of what I found.

Note that his article covers all /2, /5, /6, /7 and 7-type (90 and 100S) bikes, so you might have to look for the particulars of your bike. He has good photos, too. USE THE ARTICLE!!!

I should mention that this thread is for an October 1975 (1976 year model) R60/6, which is the only /6 with a drum brake. However, bearing stack and process are similar for disk or drum. If you have a disc brake, scroll down quite a ways to the particular for that model.

By the way, this drum will just about throw me over the handlebars, but then, I do have a pretty good grip (on hammers and such, not life....)





Photo above shows the axle ready to come out, with the pinch bolts loosened.

Once the wheel is off, the bearing cap tends to fall off, or at least it did with both my front and rear wheels. I just stuck my finger in and pulled it off, below:


Next, back out the five bolts (the /5 is slightly different in looks, but works the same way) and you will see the left bearing just sitting there:


You can stick the aforementioned finger (ahem!) into the bearing and just pull it out, as well. I inspected mine by cleaning with some solvent (I used lawnmower gas in a yogurt cup) and found that the rollers were sloppy and rusted.... the rusty-colored grease was a clue, now that I think about it....


So, I ordered a bearing using the number from Duane's site (#30203, which is also used for the swingarm bearings). The bearing house looked it up and told me that it was a metric taper, didn't have it in stock, but it would be in the next day. Well, it was two days later, but it came. Made in Hungary! In retrospect I probly shoulda given Hucky a call, as he has them in stock.

So, I now had the bearing in hand, so I stuck it into the race.....thinking that it would be that easy, and we all know how THAT goes.... it was a little better, but still rumbly, and it was smooth as butter in the new race. So, time to get real, and figure out how to do this the right way.

Re-read Ausherman's article (lots of interesting stuff, suggestions etc) and in the end decided that a billion plus or minus miles was not a huge deal to me, given what this bike is, so I figured the bearing stack was gonna be close enough, and proceeded from there.

Break time.
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bpeckm screwed with this post 09-23-2008 at 06:46 PM
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:06 PM   #2
bpeckm OP
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Once the bearing itself is out, you can see the "wedding band" spacer down in there:

It, too, can be given the finger to pull it out:


Once the wedding band is out, you can probe with the aforementioned finger and roll the inside spacers around. Unless they have been modified (as mentioned in Aushermans), they cannot be pulled out. Here is the sum total of the finger pulling stuff:


At any rate, since the bearing race has to be pulled.... we have to get into the real wrench-y stuff: heat the hub and pull the bearing stack.

The article was sorta fuzzy about the next step, but once you start into it, it makes perfect sense. First, take the axle and shove it through from the right side (i.e. the opposite side that it normally goes in, on the bike). The shoulder will hit the seal holder on the other side, and what sticks out is what you will be using to bind the axle-guts together. He mentions using a 4" ips nipple, but being the skeptic that I am, I bought a 3", 3 1/2" and 4"... Glad I did: the 4" woulda been too long and the 3.5" was perfect. This is a pre-made black iron pipe nipple, 3/4" x 3-1/2". You could used galvanized, or brass ($$$!) as well.








You can see, by the sequence above, that the pipe nipple fits over the axle, is big enough to jam squarely onto the bearing surface, and to be able to use the washer and nut.

Tighten them securely: this is essentially duplicating the "preload" we hear so much about. Now, the whole bearing assembly is ready to come out as one piece. The only thing holding it in is the tight fit of the bearing races. The theory is that, by heating the hub, the aluminum hub will expand more than the steel bearing race, and allow them to come apart. I will give you a hint.... somebody has done this before, and they figured this all out!!!
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:29 PM   #3
bpeckm OP
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So, HEAT, but how?

I have a regular "blue wrench" propane torch, which is certainly hot enough. But, I was eyeing my fabulous rattle-can black, and wondering.....

Do you suppose my heat gun would be hot enough?

One of the side bennies of what I do for gainful employment (well, it WAS gainful when we were not all going down the tubes) is to work with diesel mechanics. And since a lot of the problems we have on marine engines here in Florida has to do with cooling systems (hot engines, hot air, hot water, and how to get rid of diesel heat), I actually own an infrared thermometer.

Just for grins and giggles, I shot the business end of the heat gun: 700F!! Well, it may not have the oomph to turn steel red, but it oughta be enough to get my hub up to the recommended 200F. (The down and dirty test: water or spit should sizzle and dance on metal at that temperature)

So, whatta we got to lose? Turn it on, start blow-drying by going round and round and round, and then hit the other side briefly. Pick up the IR thermometer, and wow, it is getting warm!



So, I have been heating from the "inside" of the hub while the wheel is leaning against the garage wall on top of my tablesaw (!), and the nut that I am supposed to whack is on the other side. So I roll it down with the stub facing down, grab the 20oz Estwing, and give it a coupla taps


..... it moved! Damn! A couple more, and without so much as a faint cheer, the thing plops out. Easy as pie.



I did not have to get at the inner race (the way the drums are set up, they all come out that one side), so I just put on the gloves, pulled off the bearing race and that was that! I put the new race on with its bearing, re-heated the hub (it was still quite warm=use gloves!) and tapped it all back in. Amazingly enough, the seals didn't melt, the grease didn't run, though it was quite soft, and it was just a whole lot easier than I woulda thought.

Probly an hour at the workbench!

I highly recommend the little grease do-hicky that is sold for greasing the bearings: with the wheel off the bike, stick it in one side, give it the fresh grease, then roll it over and do the other side. Works slick.



For those inquiring minds, this is what the old and new races looked like, side by each, with the same lighting and exposure.... and I had thought I might re-use the old race....ha!


.





So, to make a short story even longer, I remounted the wheel after greasing, and spun it...... Q-U-I-E-T now! I am sure that the old bearing would probably have lasted forever with fresh grease, but at least now I know it is right.

The End.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:35 PM   #4
bpeckm OP
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Shameless plug for the thread on the rest of the bike and how it has devolved from a perfectly good (?) old BMW into something that barks a lot harder than it bites:


1976 R60/6 cafe conversion and revival project


Yippee, getting there.... can ride again tomorrow.....
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XS650 becomes a VT BackRoadRunner
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bpeckm screwed with this post 09-24-2008 at 02:07 PM
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:46 PM   #5
tathambenjamin
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awesome

Very well done.....The whole thing was clear enough that even a N00b with limited attention span and technical knowledge such as myself could easily follow.

Just out of curiosity, how much did the bearing races and bearings set you back? Would it be cheaper to buy them from Hucky or go local like you did?

Also, I missed what you were saying about one of the pieces being a little loose? What was the fitment issue and is there a different part or spec the rest of us should know about to get a better fit? hope that makes sense. Thanks....very helpful indeed. I wish that clear picture by picture tutorials existed for all the random repairs that need to be done. (Engine removal, spline lube, fork rebuild, etc, etc).Rarely am I 100% succesful with a repair/ maintanence issue until I can see someone do it. Carbs, valve adjustments and properly seting up the points and timing were all somewhat mysterious until someone showed me and I had that AHA moment. You have done us ignorant ADV wannabees a fine service, one we shall not soon forget.
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Old 09-23-2008, 09:04 PM   #6
datchew
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clear pics, links to further knowledge, easy explanation... check.

Nicely done.
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:23 AM   #7
bpeckm OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tathambenjamin
Very well done.....The whole thing was clear enough that even a N00b with limited attention span and technical knowledge such as myself could easily follow.

Just out of curiosity, how much did the bearing races and bearings set you back? Would it be cheaper to buy them from Hucky or go local like you did?

Also, I missed what you were saying about one of the pieces being a little loose? What was the fitment issue and is there a different part or spec the rest of us should know about to get a better fit? hope that makes sense. Thanks....very helpful indeed. I wish that clear picture by picture tutorials existed for all the random repairs that need to be done. (Engine removal, spline lube, fork rebuild, etc, etc).Rarely am I 100% succesful with a repair/ maintanence issue until I can see someone do it. Carbs, valve adjustments and properly seting up the points and timing were all somewhat mysterious until someone showed me and I had that AHA moment. You have done us ignorant ADV wannabees a fine service, one we shall not soon forget.
Well I thank you for the kind words.... I would not have posted it in such a step by step if it had not been for the request.... and I know 'zackly how you feel about the "random repairs" as I have gotten into those myself.

Regarding costs: my bearing was about $20, and Hucky sells the pair for $42 or $43 as I recall. So, cost was not the issue at all I thought it might be cheaper and quicker "just picking it up" , but it was neither, in the end!

Regarding "a little loose": not sure what you are asking? The wheel was loose on the spindle, which is what really prompted this whole thing. I had pulled and re-installed the wheel a bunch of times, actually torqued it properly, etc, and it would still have a noticeable "click" as I moved it back and forth. Thta's when I first opened it up, to try the shim-thing from Ausherman, but realized that the looseness was due to slop and play in the bearing, and that shimming a bad bearing did not make sense.

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Old 09-24-2008, 04:45 AM   #8
pommie john
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpeckm


Once the wheel is off, the bearing cap tends to fall off, or at least it did with both my front and rear wheels. I just stuck my finger in and pulled it off, below:



It looks to me that that bearing cap is the wrong way round. On my bike the flange is located inside the seal so it can't fall out.
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:05 AM   #9
bpeckm OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pommie john
It looks to me that that bearing cap is the wrong way round. On my bike the flange is located inside the seal so it can't fall out.
No, that is the correct way on the LEFT side of the wheel: the side from which the axle is pulled. The one on the right is buried in to the wheel hub, and thus can only be removed with the whole bearing stack. Keep in mind that this is for the /6 with drum brake, and your bike (discs? different model?) could be different

Here is a photo from Ausherman's article about the proper posting, and is exactly what I found:
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:05 AM   #10
bpeckm OP
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Have put a coupla hundred miles on the new wheel bearing: the front wheel turns easily and quiet, no slop, no play, no issues.

Conclusion to self: you musta done it right (against all odds )/





Nothing like success to make you take on other projects... gotta get into those carbs more, next......
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XS650 becomes a VT BackRoadRunner
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Old 10-20-2008, 05:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpeckm
Lookin' good, Bob. Makes my prostate cringe a bit, but lookin' good.
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:40 PM   #12
240sx4u
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Thanks for the step by step, sure I will need to do the same when my ride arrives.

Love the wheels, looks killer!

Evan
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