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Old 01-10-2013, 10:09 AM   #1
JustRon OP
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Tips for Installing rear axle?

It's not the bike, it's me. Because, on every bike I have (or had), it takes me forever to install a rear axle... last night I spent 20 minutes trying. Finally asked someone to help, and it took 30 seconds, which is really frustrating (I should be able to do this solo). And, I'm in a garage- not in the field!

I have the bike on a stand, with minimal clearance below the rear wheel (less than an inch), and I slide a big screwdriver through the wheel, to provide some sort of guide. If I had a piece of tubing almost as big as the axle, but tapered on one side, that would be ideal, I suppose. When someone else holds the wheel and shimmies it a bit, the axle will slide right through. But, when I shimmy the wheel and try and push it through, it rarely works. I mean, eventually I get it... but clearly this is not efficient.

Any suggestions?
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:17 AM   #2
sailah
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This is on your Berg?

I have a few KTM axle equipped bikes and the axles can get gummed up with crap. I clean mine off with acetone or similar and wipe it spotless. Then I very lightly lube it with some grease like Belray waterproof.

Make sure you wheel spacers and bearings are clean too as they can create drag. I go in from the brake side, so you need to get the caliper bracket in. Then I make sure the brake pads are clearing the rotor by splaying them out with my fingers and gently tap the axle through the first spacer and into the hub itself. Now I line up the axle hole with the swingarm and gently tap it in with a deadblow hammer. Toss on the axle adjust spacer and you should be good.

Once you get one side started it should be a matter of getting the other side close and the axle should pull it into alignment until you jimmy the wheel to clear through the swingarm. I guess I've never had an issue other than the axle being gummed up with dirt/grease.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:21 AM   #3
Smoke Eater 3
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In the garage, I put a piece of wood on the ground and use a 2 x 4 as a lever. It helps to get the tire up and into place.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:32 AM   #4
Damifino
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Some one needs to start making the Long John Axle tool again, I have one for KtM's, is a long wrench that the handle can be used to push the axle through the swing arm and it will hold the wheel in place, pull the wrench out and the wheel drops

To install the wheel, you push the handle just into the first side of the swing arm, lift the wheel into place and keep pushing the wrench in, it acts like clutch alignment tool and aids in lining the wheel, spacers and swing arm up, once you have the handle all the way through, you use your axle to push the wrench back through and you are done, thread the axle nut on and torque it.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:36 AM   #5
Damifino
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The tip fits in the hollow axle

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Damifino screwed with this post 01-10-2013 at 11:40 AM
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:34 AM   #6
bomber60015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke Eater 3 View Post
In the garage, I put a piece of wood on the ground and use a 2 x 4 as a lever. It helps to get the tire up and into place.

my technique as well . . . . . .the closer you can et the wheel/spacer/brake caliper/dog dish to line up properly (some manufacturers sure do hang a buncha stuff off the axle, don't they?), it's easy.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:40 AM   #7
JustRon OP
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Yeah, this is on my 'berg. But, I've had the same problem on all my bikes (in the last 2 years- TE610, KDX220, and Scrambler... then there was a long gap with no bikes. Not sure if I had this problem 25 years ago, though).
The axle is always clean and well-lubed. I use a huge screwdriver as an alignment tool, similar to the Long John thing. Sometimes, I'll use a tire iron under the tire for a little leverage.
I may try and find an aluminum tube just slightly narrower than my axle, but with a tapered end. That way, I can use it for alignment, and hopefully the tapered end will fit in the end of my axle to help guide it all the way through. (The tip of the screwdriver was slightly wider than the hole in the end of my axle.)
I realize it's just a matter of getting everything aligned- but that's the problem.

Edit - just noticed the Long John instructions... sounds like a pretty good tool.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:41 AM   #8
Damifino
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I edited my post, I found the instructions for the Long John Wrench
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:46 AM   #9
Navin
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If I'm having trouble I put my foot under the tire and lift the wheel with it, pops right in then.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:55 AM   #10
OneEffinName
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navin View Post
If I'm having trouble I put my foot under the tire and lift the wheel with it, pops right in then.

+1

I sit on a little stool and lever the wheel up and down with my foot, a the while wiggling in the axle.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:19 PM   #11
clintnz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navin View Post
If I'm having trouble I put my foot under the tire and lift the wheel with it, pops right in then.
Yep, I sit on the floor behind the bike which is just off the ground, put a heel in front of the rear wheel & roll the wheel up onto my foot & into position. It is easy to see everything that has to line up. If anything is being fiddly I chock the wheel in place with my other foot behind it leaving both hands free to wiggle stuff into position.

Cheers
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:15 PM   #12
dmn0507
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navin View Post
if i'm having trouble i put my foot under the tire and lift the wheel with it, pops right in then.
+1
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:35 PM   #13
racer
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First remove the brake caliper from the holder. That way you can install it after the axle is in place and you don't have to fool around lining up the pads with the rotor. Next start the axle in from the brake side through the swing arm, chain adjustment block, and caliper holder. Place the spacers on the wheel if there are any and move the wheel into position and get the axle started in spacer. That will hold one side in place while you rock the wheel back and forth to align the rest.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:03 PM   #14
Navin
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And back bleed the caliper before you remove the wheel.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:48 PM   #15
LuciferMutt
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I sit semi-cross legged in front or behind (for front or rear tire) the bike and use my two feet to wedge/lift the tire in position leaving both of my hands free to position the axle.
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