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Homemade Press for Hub Bearings

#1 2011-10-25 8:08pm

ProThunder4
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Homemade Press for Hub Bearings

I recently rebuilt some older GT hubs and thought I'd pass along a few pictures of the gizmo I rigged up to press in the sealed cartridge bearings. 

I acquired all the parts for the press from Home Depot for under $16, and I think it's well worth the investment if you deal with these sorts of hubs on a regular basis or just have a nice pair that you don't want to risk damaging by pounding in the cartridges.  Note this will only work if the hubs have a hollow axle.

The cartridges in these hubs (as in most, I suspect) rest against a shoulder on the axle, so removing the bearings is easy.  You just remove the hardware, use a plastic mallet against the face of the axle to drive out the cartridge on the opposite end, and then reinsert the axle through the other cartridge and drive that one out as well. 

The difficulty comes during reassembly.  Even if you manage to tap in one cartridge evenly, you still have to insert the axle through the installed cartridge and then get the other cartridge fully seated with the axle poking through it.  The best way to do this without damaging the bearings or seating them crookedly is with a press.

Below are the parts to my press laid out in sequence.  You should take the hub with you to make sure everything fits.  For my hubs, I used a 12 inch, #8-32 threaded rod; matching wing nuts; galvanized washers with a hole big enough to accommodate the axle but small enough so that the base of the wingnuts would engage the washer and not just go through the hole; 5/8" sockets, 1/2" drive (be sure the drive side of the socket is big enough to fit over the axle and the socket is deep enough so that it extends past the end of the axle); galvanized washers with an outside diameter the same as the outside bearing race on the cartridge and an inside diameter big enough to fit over the axle.

http://i1233.photobucket.com/albums/ff398/CroMoMagnumMan/HubBPComponents.jpg     

Below is how the press is assembled to install the bearings.  Of course, if you were doing this for real, the cartridges would be seated in place in the openings of the hub shell.  You just apply some grease to the races; seat one cartridge in an opening in the hub shell; place the correct end of the axle through it (on my hubs, the drive side of the axle had a longer portion of threading, so pay attention to this); place the other cartridge over the opposite end of the axle and seat it in the other opening of the hub shell; and then assemble everything in the same order as in the above picture.  Tighten the wingnuts just enough so you can line everything up; make sure the cartridges are seated evenly, and then tighten down the wingnuts to press each cartridge in at the same time.  I was surprised just how much force I could generate with these tiny wingnuts.  The cartridges went in without a hitch and were seated perfectly, with no trauma to the bearings or the hub shell.

http://i1233.photobucket.com/albums/ff398/CroMoMagnumMan/HubBPwithAxleBearings.jpg

Below is another view of the press assembled for installation.

http://i1233.photobucket.com/albums/ff398/CroMoMagnumMan/HubBPwithAxleBearings2.jpg

When you're done, install the hardware on the axle as normal, and you're good to go.  The press then clamps together neatly for storage.

http://i1233.photobucket.com/albums/ff398/CroMoMagnumMan/HubBPStorage.jpg

Hope somebody out there finds this helpful.


We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; / For he to-day that sheds his blood with me / Shall be my brother ... / gentlemen ... now-a-bed / Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here / And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks / That fought with us

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#2 2011-10-26 3:39am

83dback
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Re: Homemade Press for Hub Bearings

nice! i smell STICKY big_smile


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#3 2011-10-26 6:07am

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Re: Homemade Press for Hub Bearings

83dback wrote:

nice! i smell STICKY big_smile

Thanks ProThunder4!  Only 23 posts and what a super contribution.  I just added it to the Best of BMX Restoration sticky thread.

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#4 2011-10-26 8:04am

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Re: Homemade Press for Hub Bearings

It's so cute! lol cool


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#5 2011-10-26 9:25pm

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Re: Homemade Press for Hub Bearings

I just use the axle itself with the collar, sacrificial washer(s) and nuts. Works the same.... no need to fabricated.

You just apply some grease to the races;

Also, those bearings should be pressed in dry. NO GREASE on the seats.


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#6 2011-10-27 7:37pm

ProThunder4
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Re: Homemade Press for Hub Bearings

psychoduddycycles wrote:

I just use the axle itself with the collar, sacrificial washer(s) and nuts. Works the same.... no need to fabricated.

You just apply some grease to the races;

Also, those bearings should be pressed in dry. NO GREASE on the seats.

While we're on the subject, since the bearings are not adjusted like a cup and cone set up, how do you know where on the axle to lock together the hardware?  It seems to me that on these GT hubs, the threads end before the "adjustable" nut can touch the face of the fully-seated bearing.  Thus, I ran the hardware down to the end of the threads and locked it in place.  The hub spun freely until I put the wheel on the bike and tightened down the locknuts.  With the wheel installed, the hubs weren't binding, but they weren't spinning as freely.  Is the proper adjustment just trial and error?


We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; / For he to-day that sheds his blood with me / Shall be my brother ... / gentlemen ... now-a-bed / Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here / And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks / That fought with us

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#7 2011-10-29 4:07am

psychoduddycycles
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Re: Homemade Press for Hub Bearings

Not sure what you're asking.

The bearings should be flush with the outer shell as the axle is stepped. No other way it can go.

As far as pushing the bearing in......a couple of 3/8"ID washers that match the OD bearing or even flat with the hub shell makes no difference??

The only problem, that I see, that you could be having is, that the inner shoulder on the axle is bad or the collars are backwards or flattened. Causing a sideload problem.


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#8 2011-10-29 4:10am

psychoduddycycles
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Re: Homemade Press for Hub Bearings

Ah....nevermind. I'm thinking you have the second gen Sealed GT's without the collars>?. My brain works in 1987 somtimes...


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#9 2011-10-29 2:46pm

ProThunder4
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Re: Homemade Press for Hub Bearings

Sorry I wasn't clear.  My question is about not about the bearings, but about the two nuts that lock together between the bearing and the dropout. 

My bearings are seated fine and the axle seems okay.  The wheel spins very smoothly until I attach it to the bike and tighten the axle nuts on the outside of the dropouts.  Then the rotation seems sluggish (it doesn't bind, it just isn't as smooth as the front).  I think it's because the when I tighten down the axle nuts on the outside of dropouts, the dropouts compress and cause load to the outer face of the bearings. 

Two nuts lock together between the outer face of the bearing and the inside of the dropout, I assume to provide proper spacing and to prevent too much compression load to the bearing.  I'm just trying to figure out the proper adjustment for those nuts.  Should I leave a little space between them and the bearing or should I run them down as far as they will go (the threads stop them just short of the bearing)?

I'm used to Campagnolo hubs in road wheels (which are smooth as glass), so maybe I'm expecting too much from sealed cartridges.  Or maybe the new cartridges just need a bit of break-in.  Or maybe I've got too much load on them from the axle nuts.  I'm just trying to figure out which one it is.  I'm not used to dealing with sealed cartridge bearings.  All my road racing stuff had loose balls and cones and cups. 

Oh, I should also mention, the axle pictured above was an old road axle I just used for demonstration purposes.  It's not the actual axle in my GT hubs.


We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; / For he to-day that sheds his blood with me / Shall be my brother ... / gentlemen ... now-a-bed / Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here / And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks / That fought with us

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#10 2011-10-29 3:25pm

psychoduddycycles
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Re: Homemade Press for Hub Bearings

OK. I know what ya mean. Yeah, those would be the 90's version with the lock nuts and such. I was thinking earlier. You need a set of flat wrenches to properly adjust them.

Here's the difference...

Top rear in the pic is what you have right? The Middle one is a first generation with the collars no lock nuts. http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h35/arayduddy/FORSALESTUFFS/DSCI1648.jpg

Last edited by psychoduddycycles (2011-10-29 3:27pm)


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#11 2011-10-29 4:20pm

ProThunder4
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Re: Homemade Press for Hub Bearings

Yep, the ones on the top.  Got the wrenches.  Should I back that inner nut off a bit to help the wheel spin more freely when installed?


We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; / For he to-day that sheds his blood with me / Shall be my brother ... / gentlemen ... now-a-bed / Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here / And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks / That fought with us

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#12 2011-10-29 4:49pm

psychoduddycycles
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Re: Homemade Press for Hub Bearings

ProThunder4 wrote:

Should I back that inner nut off a bit to help the wheel spin more freely when installed?

Yep. Basically you want the locknut tight as possible to the inner race of the bearing without binding them or hiting the sheild.


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#13 2011-10-29 8:41pm

ProThunder4
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Re: Homemade Press for Hub Bearings

psychoduddycycles wrote:

ProThunder4 wrote:

Should I back that inner nut off a bit to help the wheel spin more freely when installed?

Yep. Basically you want the locknut tight as possible to the inner race of the bearing without binding them or hiting the sheild.

Got it.  Thanks for all the help.


We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; / For he to-day that sheds his blood with me / Shall be my brother ... / gentlemen ... now-a-bed / Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here / And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks / That fought with us

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#14 2011-10-29 10:29pm

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Re: Homemade Press for Hub Bearings

psychoduddycycles wrote:

ProThunder4 wrote:

Should I back that inner nut off a bit to help the wheel spin more freely when installed?

Yep. Basically you want the locknut tight as possible to the inner race of the bearing without binding them or hiting the sheild.

Thanks a ton Duddy!!! Been having the same problem as well!!!!


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#15 2011-10-31 5:37am

goins78
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Re: Homemade Press for Hub Bearings

good info

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