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When replacing the rear tire on my 02 night train, the technician reversed the direction of the axle bolt. He says it means for my next tire change, there will be no need to remove the muffler toget the tire off, since the bolt now lslides out the other side. Apart fropm cosmetics, is this going to have any effect on the wheel alignment/performance?
 

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I know a few folks who've done it, myself included. With a 2-1 exhaust it's a real PITA to remove the wheel when you need a new sneaker. I haven't heard of anyone losing a nut yet. IMO, it's A-OK.
 

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stonep said:
When replacing the rear tire on my 02 night train, the technician reversed the direction of the axle bolt. He says it means for my next tire change, there will be no need to remove the muffler toget the tire off, since the bolt now lslides out the other side. Apart fropm cosmetics, is this going to have any effect on the wheel alignment/performance?
This is a safety issue.

The HD Shop Manual says to place the bolt through from the right side. When the bolt is inserted from the right side, any interplay between the wheel, bearings, brake, or rear drive (sprocket) and the axle will tend to TIGHTEN the axle into the nut. With the axle through from the left side any interplay with the wheel (etc) and the axle would tend to LOOSEN the axle into the nut.

Seems like the tech is trying to make his life easier at the risk of your safety. Did the tech secure the nut with a spring key?

It only takes a little more time to do the job correctly.

Incidently, I helped a guy drag his Sportster out of an intersection once. The rear axle nut had come OFF and the axle had work itself out of the swing arm. Fortunately he was slowly moving when the wheel jammed as the axle came loose and he only had a few scrapes and cuts. That axle had been inserted from the left side.

Murphy is alive and well, I'd have the axle correctly installed.

HD tries to cut the maintenance time down on these bikes - time is money for their repair shops. How many new bikes have you seen come from the factory with the axles inserted the wrong way?
 

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84FXRP said:
This is a safety issue.

The HD Shop Manual says to place the bolt through from the right side. When the bolt is inserted from the right side, any interplay between the wheel, bearings, brake, or rear drive (sprocket) and the axle will tend to TIGHTEN the axle into the nut. With the axle through from the left side any interplay with the wheel (etc) and the axle would tend to LOOSEN the axle into the nut.

Seems like the tech is trying to make his life easier at the risk of your safety. Did the tech secure the nut with a spring key?

It only takes a little more time to do the job correctly.

Incidently, I helped a guy drag his Sportster out of an intersection once. The rear axle nut had come OFF and the axle had work itself out of the swing arm. Fortunately he was slowly moving when the wheel jammed as the axle came loose and he only had a few scrapes and cuts. That axle had been inserted from the left side.

Murphy is alive and well, I'd have the axle correctly installed.

HD tries to cut the maintenance time down on these bikes - time is money for their repair shops. How many new bikes have you seen come from the factory with the axles inserted the wrong way?
Seems to me that the tightening/loosening effect would be reversed. We reversed the axle on my brothers Heritage and have not had any problems. As long as there is a pin on the castle nut and is checked periodically, there should not be a problem. But of course we tried it on his bike first.
 

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jalexand said:
Seems to me that the tightening/loosening effect would be reversed. We reversed the axle on my brothers Heritage and have not had any problems. As long as there is a pin on the castle nut and is checked periodically, there should not be a problem. But of course we tried it on his bike first.
As viewed from the right side of the bike, turning the axle bolt clockwise would TIGHTEN the bolt into the nut. Turning the axle bolt counter-clockwise would LOOSEN the bolt. As the wheel generally is turning clockwise drag within the bearings, or from the sprocket, or from the brake disk would tend to twist the axle bolt in a clockwise fashion.

Anybody think the tech, that installed the axle backwards, will charge him less money next time the rear wheel is removed? The shop manual directs the axle be inserted from the right side - why not properly maintain your bike? Raises the question; "Where else is the tech cutting corners on my bike"?

Best to get the HD Shop Manuals and maintain your own bike.
 

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Mine has been in backwards because of pipes since '98 with no problems. I do keep a check on the torque every so often. Of course, I put it in that way on purpose.
 

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If you put the axle in from one side, it will tighten and eventually seize. If from the other side, then it will loosen and fall off. Either way is dangerous, so don't ride a bike with a rear axle :)

Seriously, if the castle nut is torqued to spec. and secured with the clip or pin, then your fine either way. Personally, I swapped mine for the reason given by the tech.
 

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I've used reversed axles on every Evo I've been involved with since Evo's hit the streets in '84. Never a problem and some of them have been going well over 100,000 miles. As mentioned in a few posts above, don't ever see a problem with it if installed properly.

I've also found on FLT's with dual exhausts, it's easier to remove lower shock bolt on each side rather than mess with removing muffler/s when pulling rear wheel.
 

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I have always

I have always installed the axle in all my bikes from left to right without any problems. Almost every wrench I know does the same thing.
I have heard several theories about why the axle should be installed right to left, but none of them make sense. With a carter pin in the axle nut, it isn't going anywhere.
Bottom line is with the axle installed right to left it is more difficult to remove it and this will dicourage a lot riders from doing their own work which translates "take it to the dealer".
 

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another myth

if it is tight..with the cotter pin ..no problem

if there were..dontcha think your cage would have left hand thread lug nuts on one side? right hand on the other?

its the same as crosswinds on fatboy wheels..pure myth
 

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Swap the axle, It's safe.

I talked to the one of the guys from the assembly plant. He said the only real reason they but the axle in from the right is THATS WHERE HE SITS! The pipes are not on yet, and he has a bunch of other stuff he has to do. All in 2 minutes of time. It's not rocket science.
I live 15 miles from the York Plant. I know alot of the people that build our bikes.
Now think, which way does the axle come out on the late model dressers? If Harley was worried about the axle backing out you think they would put the cam, drive belt tensioning system on they did?
I do alot of bikes, I ask the customer if they want me to swap the axle for the tire change next time. I recomend doing it to them. Even if for some reason the bearings would freeze to the axle. It would just spin, the nut can't come off with the safety pin in place.
Anyway I swap mine and anyone else's that wants me to...Later...Butch...
 
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