Re-Drilling Hub Flange?

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by SloMo228, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,876
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    Is it possible to have a spoked wheel hub welded (i.e., closing up all the original holes) and re-drilled for a different number of spokes? If so, any idea what something like that would cost? I have a line on a spoked hub for my project bike but it's a 52-hole hub :huh There's not much selection in rims for that many holes, and those that are available are ultra-heavy chromed-out Harley chopper rims. Not really what I'm looking for.
    #1
  2. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,864
    Location:
    Turning expensive metal into scrap
    What kind of project bike?

    I'd be nervous drilling and welding on a hub. I think you would be better served spending some cash and getting one custom made.

    Something like this?

    http://www.aaracing.com/DT_Hubs.aspx

    Or there are some decent candidates in 36 hole variety just depends on what you are using it for. Front rear?
    #2
  3. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,876
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    The problem is it's for a shaft-drive CX650, so I'm kinda stuck with the hub since it needs the drive flange. I suppose I could have one custom made, but I imagine the machining for something like that would be more than the cost of every motorcycle I've ever owned. :huh

    I have found a couple places that make custom rims, the cost on the rim is more reasonable, so maybe I'll go in that direction instead. I don't want an unsafe wheel.
    #3
  4. lesman

    lesman Live easy, Brake Hard

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    769
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    #4
  5. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,775
    Location:
    Beautiful Revelstoke BC
    Thats a tough one, I bet it would be pretty pricey to do and I think it would make me a tad nervous every time it got rode further than a few miles from home.

    What are you trying to do, change the rim size? Woodys Wheels may be of some help here. http://www.woodyswheelworks.com/
    #5
  6. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,876
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    Yeah, the CX650 uses a unique final drive, it's not the same as the 500s, unfortunately. If it were, I'd just use the Comstars as I really like those wheels. I'm trying to get a different size rear wheel since the 650 comes with a 15" rear for some dumb reason. I want at least a 16" rear, preferably a 17" or 18". The spoked rear might be the only way to do that, there is a spoked rear that fits the 650's odd drive flange available on one year of the Honda VT800, but it's a 52-spoke wheel, which means that most of the common rims are out.

    I think the best bet if I do end up going with the spoked rear is to have a custom rim made from Buchanan's and lace it to the VT800 hub. I wasn't sure if redrilling the hub flanges was a common thing or not, since I don't have any experience with spoked wheels on motorcycles. Bicycles, sure, but there's a big difference between the two.
    #6
  7. Kai Ju

    Kai Ju Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,931
    Location:
    So Cal
    #7
  8. Farmer John

    Farmer John Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    Santa Clara, Ca.
    #8
  9. cedric

    cedric Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    225
    Location:
    Calgary
    #9
  10. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    12,372
    Location:
    20 Mule Team Trail (Palmdale, Ca)
    Possible? Sure, anything is possible. Advisable? Hell no. As already posted, the metallurgy of the hub is unknown and if it's cast (very likely) welding to it will be sketchy. *I* wouldn't ride it. :lol3

    A custom billet hub is really the only answer if you can't work with the existing number of spokes. The shaft drive interface should not be a huge deal. They would have to bore holes into the hub to mate up to your stock cush drive. Make some rubber or soft polyurethane bushings and Bob's your uncle.

    Of course somebody has to design it and--realistically--the hub alone will probably cost around a grand to have made.
    #10
  11. michael1968

    michael1968 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    898
    Location:
    Newcastle, Australia
    I'm pretty sure a good wheel shop would be able to drill a 52 hole rim for you. You can order some rims blank, without the dimples for the spokes.
    #11
  12. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,864
    Location:
    Turning expensive metal into scrap

    Buchanans can easily drill that rim for you, those guys are pros. It's probably the cheapest solution out there.
    #12
  13. Kai Ju

    Kai Ju Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,931
    Location:
    So Cal
    The Final Driven Flange bolted to the wheel on all the CX500/CX650 except the turbo.
    The Final Driven Flange rivets, and has been bolted, to BMW wheels.
    With some careful comparison and measuring you might be able to bolt that Final Driven Flange to an existing shaft drive hub that has the number of spokes you're looking for.
    #13
  14. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,876
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    Thanks for this info. I have been considering trying to get a CX500 wheel and seeing if I can swap the drive flange from the 650 wheel over it. That would be my cheapest solution, so I think I'm going to give it a shot. Otherwise, I think I'll have Buchanan's make me a 52-spoke hub and have it laced up with the correct offset. Then, at least I could have a matching front wheel and choose a rear rim size to maximize my tire choices.
    #14
  15. RedRaptor22

    RedRaptor22 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    163
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Crazy Idea here and may not be possible, but what about just leaving some empty holes on the hub and use a lower hole count wheel?

    I would have to have one here to look at so I really can't do the figuring in my head, but it may be possible to just skip a hole every few spokes?
    #15
  16. Roadracer_Al

    Roadracer_Al louder, louder, louder!

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,749
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    I would not hesitate to have the entire flange machined off, a new flange machined from new material (donut shaped) and welded onto the original hub.

    Alternately, you could cut off the flange, **thread** the hub and new flange, then red loctite it and pin it in position with no welding required.
    #16
  17. Kai Ju

    Kai Ju Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,931
    Location:
    So Cal
    I need to double check at work tomorrow, but if I remember correctly, the 500 and 650 use the same flange part number.
    If that is in fact the case then Comstars are in your future.

    Send me a pm as a reminder so I don't forget to look it up.
    #17
  18. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    12,372
    Location:
    20 Mule Team Trail (Palmdale, Ca)
    At that point, it would be far faster, cheaper and safer to start with a $50 billet of aluminum and just make the whole hub.
    #18
  19. Roadracer_Al

    Roadracer_Al louder, louder, louder!

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,749
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    If it's a rear, shaft drive hub, the thing is going to be 8", maybe 10" in diameter.... i.e. not a nice svelte front hub. At www.speedymetals.com, a 10" diameter, 7" long hunk of aluminum costs $326 plus shipping. And most of it is going into recycling.

    And, there are the drive splines to consider... that's time on a wire EDM, or possibly a custom broach, or if you can find someone who still has one with a really big work envelope, a shaper. Two are expensive and one is uncommon.

    My original suggestion might sound like a lot of work, but it's actually massively easier to drill the holes in the new flanges while they are flat on the table than trying to drill spoke holes in a one-piece hub.
    #19
  20. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    12,372
    Location:
    20 Mule Team Trail (Palmdale, Ca)
    It's a cush-drive hub. He's not making drive splines, it's just 5 or 6 holes for the drive pins to engage some rubber donuts.

    As for billet cost, yeah, if you go straight to the metal shop and ask for a cut bar, it runs that much but, he's not in production and only needs a single remnant. Bar-end remnants that big are plentiful and $2/pound and under (I've got some similar sized blocks laying around here right now). As you said, most of it will end up in chips anyway. Metal places don't have many people who have equipment to chew up that volume of chips, who will waste their time looking for a remnant that big; they have to sell 'em cheap.

    The flanges you suggest would still have to come from some hella-big pieces of material. None of my spoke wheels have anything close to flat flanges with straight pulls to the rim. In fact, every spoke hole is compound-angle drilled. No matter whether it was a custom hub or custom flanges, the spoke drilling job would still be a setup nightmare (on a Bridgeport) or become 5-axis parts.

    After that nightmare ended, somebody would still have to machine the cast hub with no guarantees that it isn't going to be a porous mess, not suitable for welding. He wouldn't be getting away from expensive or time-consuming machining and--in fact--it would be multiple parts that would have to all carefully fit together (more time consuming to manufacture).

    He's not going to do any of this because the hub would cost more than the whole motorcycle is worth but, I couldn't figure out where you came up with multiple pieces somehow being easier or less expensive.

    Yours IS a novel approach and could get the job done but, in the end, it won't be cheaper or easier.
    #20