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Old 05-23-2010, 01:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Wheel bearing failures

It seems there have been quite a few wheel bearing failures on later model bikes lately. My 08 FXSTBI started growling and upon teardown, I found the rear bearings going out. 25K miles and they are shot. No water intrusion issues from washing. I have read on many places of others having the same issues on late model Harleys, and not just Softails.
Any one know of a good replacement brand to use instead of the stockers? I'm going to the local bearing supply tomorrow and see what they have. I'm hoping for a Timken.
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Old 05-23-2010, 05:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nitram_b4 is reading this now saying WTF is this?
I have 50,000 on mine and no problems yet
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Old 05-23-2010, 05:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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TunnelRat, ask about a ceramic bearing. Most every sealed bearing is also available in a ceramic version. Tighter tolerances, lower resistance, they cost a little more, but then you are getting more. When I bought the bearings for the wheel going into the Buell fork, I could have bought regular sealed bearings (like Harley uses) for $9.00 each or the ceramic version for $26.00. -Ed
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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What did the axle look like when you pulled it. Did it have grease or was it dry with corrosion where the bearings were?
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airdale01 View Post
What did the axle look like when you pulled it. Did it have grease or was it dry with corrosion where the bearings were?
Dry with corrosion. Sounds like you are familiar. Have the same thing?

And Ed, I'll look into ceramic bearings.

Last edited by tunnelrat; 05-23-2010 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Bearings are not the problem. Emory cloth the axle real good making sure all the corrosion is gone. Then use anti-seize compound and coat the entire axle before replacing your bearings. I can't say enough about washing your bike, keep the soap or whatever away from your axles. Your dry axle is what caused the problem. Good Luck
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hmm... I may be missing something here but how would a dry axle have any effect on a sealed bearing? I understand the washing thing and trust me, my bike doesn't suffer from over washing.
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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AXLE ROTATES WITH THE INNER BEARING... i DON'T SEE WHAT A DRY AXLE HAS TO DO WITH HIS PROBLEM...BUT ANTI SEIZE IS A GOOD IDEA SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO FIGHT WITH REMOVING THE AXLE WHEN NEEDED
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Lefty is reading this now saying WTF is this?
Rear wheel bearings on my '05 went out about a year ago @ about 28k miles.

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Old 05-23-2010, 09:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitram_b4 View Post
AXLE ROTATES WITH THE INNER BEARING...
The axle rotates????????????? Is this something new?
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I saw that too Ed but I think I got what he meant.
If the axle was rotating I'd get real worried.
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Old 05-23-2010, 10:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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claydbal is reading this now saying WTF is this?
theory: the moco doesnt lube the axle, so by the time you need a new tire, you have to drive the axle out. really, ya have to knock hell out of some of them. driving the axle out damages the bearings. then you mount the tire and ride, the bearing fails some time afterwards.
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Good theory Clay but this is the fourth time the axle has been out and it was never hard to get out. This is an internal bearing failure within the sealed bearing. Lubing the axle may aid in assembly and future disassembly but shouldn't have anything to do with bearing life. I'm thinking the MOCO just used shitty bearings.
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:03 AM   #14 (permalink)
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that too!
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:34 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Im not positive about this but I dont think you can put Timkens in there without having the wheel machined and having a race pressed into it.
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