Rebuilding a hub

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Rebuilding a hub

Postby daacha » Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:58 pm

I've finally decided to have a look at the Apollo i got from Ebay a couple of months ago and the first thing is to get some decent wheels built. The LBS suggested we may be able to use the hubs on there and for me to pull them out and they would strip them and have a look. I've just finished pulling the front hub apart (it's a shimano but not sure which one) and everything looks ok. All the ball bearings are smooth and the axle is fine. My question is once i clean everything up how much grease goes into putting it back together. Do i put grease into the channel where the bearings sit and what about in the tube where the axle sits?
I wasn't brave enough to have a go at the rear hub since i've got no idea how to get the cluster off.


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Postby Mulger bill » Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:17 pm

Daacha, put grease in the cups (the channel where the bearings sit ), a new syringe from the chemist makes a handy grease gun. :wink: I tend to go round the cup twice with mine. Squirt some grease into a saucer and roll the balls in it till coated, fit the balls into the cup on one side and cover with more grease. Thinly smear grease over the axle shaft as a rust preventative, grease the cone you left on the axle, then insert. Holding the axle and hub together, invert the wheel and repeat the process. Screw the cone, washer and locknut on, then adjust the cones. If you run a QR, leave the cones very slightly loose and the QR will bring it all into line.

To get the cluster off takes the right tools. Freewheel or freehub?

Hope this helps.


Of course you could search Sheldon Brown or Park tools for tips too.
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Postby europa » Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:13 am

You can't really put too much grease in there ... well, you can but it squeezes out again leaving you with the right amount.

I put a good layer of grease into the cup. Feed in the balls. Put a layer on the cone, then screw it all together. The excess gets cleaned up as you.

You'll see all sorts of stories about limiting the amount of grease because of friction, etc, and it's true, a racing mechanic will use very little grease, but he's planning to rebuild the hubs after every day's racing. You're not.

Hubs are a very simple device and as such, don't need too much over thinking. If they're gritty, the cones are too tight, if the axle wobbles, the cones are too loose. That's as complicated as it gets. Getting the cone adjustment right is a bit of black art but if you're willing to redo them if they don't feel right, there's nothing scary there.

Quite frankly, adjusting cone and cup bearings is one of the simple pleasures in cycle mechanics.

I had a good bike ... so I fixed it

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Postby Kid_Carbine » Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:57 am

Richard, you must be my cycle workshop soul brother.
Doing hubs is almost Neanderthal. The cones simply unscrew with simple tools. For cleaning I use an old rag, some $2 degreaser & plenty of water pressure to hose them down. [no drought or water restrictions here] Sometimes an old childrens toothbrush helps loosen the stuff inside.

I just stick my finger in the grease & drag out a 'dollop' & stick it in, then smear it all around.
In go the balls, one by one, followed by a another, but smaller smaller 'dollop' of grease. Axle & cones get a smear & in it goes.
Adjusting the cones to that precision point of perfection is fiddly, but so rewarding when you get it perfect.
Any surplus grease that makes its way outside is easy fixed with another clean bit of rag.

Rear hubs usually require a freewheel remover, but I have all the right tools anyway, so it's just a doddle & sooooo satisfying.
Carbine & SJH cycles, & Quicksilver BMX
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Postby daacha » Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:36 am

Thanks guys for all the responses. The 'Shed' is the place to be !!

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