Tips for Installing rear axle?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by JustRon, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. trailrider383

    trailrider383 867-5309

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,416
    Location:
    NP, ID
    But seriously it is a pain sometimes. The only tips I have is to get the bike at the correct level so when the tire is sitting on the ground the axle will line up without having to lift the wheel. And removing the brake caliper gives you one less thing to have to line up so that makes it easier.
    #21
  2. slobinski

    slobinski Inept adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    443
    Location:
    Powell Butte, Oregon
    I made a long wedge by cutting a piece of a 4 x 6 at a shallow angle, and place this under the rear wheel while fumbling around with the axle, adjusters, etc. Once the first side is started, just bump the wedge forward until everything else lines up. One more mighty shove on the axle and you're done.
    #22
  3. bomber60015

    bomber60015 Anatomically Correct

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    15,007
    Location:
    Chicago-ish
    I don't remember ever working on a bike that needed the axle to be installed in one direction or the other . . . . having been to a couple of motorcycle assmbly lines, the direction of installaion seems to be based on ease of installtion on the line (which includes the side the assembler is standing on) . . . .

    Put it in either way (I generally try to put the securing nuts on the same side -- makes it easier to check for the presence of the angle clips I tend to use).
    #23
  4. 13.1

    13.1 Shaken not Stirred

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    393
    Location:
    Way up in the White Mountains of Arizona
    last year the bikes i had in my garage all were very easy to slide that axle right through.
    it did not matter whether i owned them forever, or if it was the first time i worked on the rear end.

    well, damn......it all finally caught up with me. now it seems that even my long time bikes just
    DO NOT accept that axle so easily :evil

    well, after banging, and after retrying, and then banging my hands, fingers, and yes--even banging
    the side of my head, i read a mnx manual.

    NOW BELIEVE IT OR NOT........the 1 thing that seems to show up consistently in the books, no matter
    the manufacturer.......yep, they all state to "remove the caliper before remounting the rear wheel."

    so.....i started to use this NEW TO ME technique. AND BEHOLD, those rear wheels popped right on, the axles
    slid right in, and the caliper mounted up.....and in record time no less.

    so, even on bikes that i have never had a problem with.....i try once, and if the axle doesnt slide right in.....
    it is off goes the caliper. and then there are always the trouble bikes (aka ninja rat for one.....and the dr650 with new cush drive spacers), with those I ALWAYS drop the caliper. Axle up, no issues. Caliper on, no issues. Time to ride--priceless!
    #24
  5. Longboardr

    Longboardr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    143
    Location:
    south central PA
    I spread the pads apart with a screwdriver to make it easier to get the disk between them. If the wheel is heavy/a pain I use a shovel to lift it into position.
    #25
  6. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,803
    Location:
    Gold Coast
    A length of 2x4 parallel to the rear wheel and 3-4 inches away and a shovel.

    Push the blade of the shovel under the rear wheel and use it as a lever to get the wheel at the right height, the axle will just slide in.

    If you need two hands, sit and push the shovel handle with one leg, looks awkward, but works :), you have a LOT of leverage.

    Pete
    #26
  7. griffo1962

    griffo1962 Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,629
    Location:
    Carrara, Qld, Australia
    huh! been doing it this way for 30+ yrs...... always just made sense to me. Seen guys trying to do it without doing this and it just looks like too much hard work :wink: :wink:
    #27
  8. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,750
    Location:
    NorCal
    I roll the rear tire under bike, slip caliper onto rotor, slide bolt in partway so it stays in place, standing over bike just above tire, lift rim/tire, push/wiggle axle so it catches, use foot to lift/assist hand to position wheel while pushing axle. Usually works for me. Make sure caliper is slotted in the proper position. Met a guy that rode from Chicago to Nevada and never realized the caliper was not slotted properly on his Vstrom. He realized this the first time he backed his bike down a hill at his campsite and the caliper just about fell off, only the hose was holding it on at this point.:eek1 I was in the next campsite when I saw him do it.
    #28
  9. Superfish

    Superfish Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    138
    Location:
    Northfield, VT
    Well, I learned something today. Thanks trailrider. I always change my wheels using a ATV type lift that goes under the frame. And I always struggle lifting the wheel into position. I never thought of just lowering the lift to meet the wheel. I've been strugglling with that for 12 years.

    BTW: On the Magna the axle only goes in one way and the wheel won't come off with out taking the caliper off.
    #29
  10. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,063
    Location:
    Concord, CA
    Same way I used to pit big tires on my 4x4... never had an issue with the bike doing it like this.
    #30
  11. fast4d

    fast4d Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,504
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    it could be tough sometimes, snaking a 6 inch wide rim with 190 tire around the caliper and not scratch the wheel...
    #31