Author Topic: Front wheel bearings seem tight  (Read 1095 times)

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Offline CaptainTrips

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Front wheel bearings seem tight
on: July 28, 2021, 08:45:11 PM
I have the front wheel off in order to get the fork seals replaced. I went to reinstall the front wheel today and decided to check the bearings. They seem very tight. They look clean, have no rust, and do not seem notchy, but they do not rotate easily. Both bearings seem about the same. They are the originals, with about 33k miles on them.
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Offline CaptainTrips

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Re: Front wheel bearings seem tight
Reply #1 on: July 28, 2021, 10:28:02 PM
Addendum: I remounted the front wheel with no disk calipers mounted and gave the wheel a spin. It seems to spin smoothly and freely with no noise and for a decent duration. I have to do a major service, so will hold off doing a final wheel mount until after I am done mucking about with valve shims and the shift selector.
"The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test."   --   Robert M. Pirsig

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Offline Dragon88

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Re: Front wheel bearings seem tight
Reply #2 on: August 02, 2021, 12:58:39 AM
If at all in doubt change them out for new SKF's. Cheap,easy and put your mind at ease.

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Offline Will Morgan

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Re: Front wheel bearings seem tight
Reply #3 on: August 02, 2021, 08:39:05 AM
 :0461: If they feel tight now it maybe an early warning of impending failure

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Offline NH

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Re: Front wheel bearings seem tight
Reply #4 on: August 03, 2021, 09:27:23 AM
My OEM front bearings collapsed on me at 30k and I had a new set fitted along with the outer spacers. They lasted less than a year before failing, and I had another set under warranty… these also failed inside a year. I got a mate who is a top quality bike technician and engineer to investigate the cause of the failures and he diagnosed a faulty centre spacer between the bearings, which was the OEM spacer. When you tightened the bearings correctly it caused the wheel to bind very slightly. I ordered a new set of bearings and spacers again along with a new centre spacer and when it came and we compared them the new centre spacer was about 2mm longer than the original. When everything was reassembled everything was perfect and when I sold the bike 12k miles later it was still fine.

I’d highly recommend changing the centre spacer when you change the bearings as it appears they can compress over time causing bearing failure.
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Offline XCaTel

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Re: Front wheel bearings seem tight
Reply #5 on: August 03, 2021, 09:52:33 AM
 :464: NH.

What year was your bike?  Given the new spacer is 2mm wider I expect this is something Triumph has seen and addressed on later models?

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Offline NH

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Re: Front wheel bearings seem tight
Reply #6 on: August 03, 2021, 01:54:00 PM
My bike was a September 2014. The original bearings and centre spacer lasted 30k miles without problems so it’s very strange. After fitting new bearings when they were correctly tightened the wheel would spin ok but as it stopped it kicked back a fraction indicating they were overtightened. My mate said it was only very slight and wouldn’t normally be picked up on a bearing change, it was only the fact he was deliberately looking for a cause of the problem that he found it and correctly diagnosed the spacer being too short. 
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Offline CaptainTrips

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Re: Front wheel bearings seem tight
Reply #7 on: August 03, 2021, 04:27:49 PM
Is it difficult to align the bearings and spacer? I wonder if the 2mm compression was the result of the first bearing change? Someone hammering away or too much force with a press?
Last Edit: August 03, 2021, 04:30:16 PM by CaptainTrips
"The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test."   --   Robert M. Pirsig

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Offline NH

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Re: Front wheel bearings seem tight
Reply #8 on: August 03, 2021, 05:39:42 PM
They go in easy enough and as the originals lasted so long they couldn’t have been been forced in too tightly.

A mystery I’ll never know the answer to but I thought I’d mention it as a cheap spacer change does away with the risk of it happening to anyone else.
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Offline CaptainTrips

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Re: Front wheel bearings seem tight
Reply #9 on: August 15, 2021, 07:27:50 PM
Ultimately, I think that the grease just stiffened up from the bike sitting for almost two years. I've done a couple of highway runs at high temperatures and the bearings are not heating up. The wheel turns freely and smoothly with the brake calipers removed.
"The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test."   --   Robert M. Pirsig