Wheel bearing disintegrates - F800

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by tmex, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. BygDaddee

    BygDaddee Where do I get a pie

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    Inmate @Snowy isn't right very often :D, but he's was on the money in 2014 with this one. Bearings don't need much grease, that's why they come from factories like this. If your a doubter go to some SKF courses to understand why, or read some of their literature. Contamination has a much greater effect on bearing life, and adding more grease than is required only shortens life.
    SubAtomicGenius likes this.
  2. Reaver

    Reaver How Did I Get Here?

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    You find my pants yet Jimmy?

    I stock bearings in my CR shop for those unexpected parties. :-)
  3. JRWooden

    JRWooden Homeless motorcycle vagabond ... and ... loving it

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    Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm I think I sold your pants to the Ticos ..... :imaposer
    Ok ... I'll look for them ...........

    I need new tires & rotors soon, I am amassing parts for drivetrain overhaul...
    may not have all the parts by time you get here but at the least I can jot down some of your tips in my usual anal-retentive manner and you can coach me on my hammer swinging style....

    If you are coming through ... Shoot me your ETA when you can!
  4. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    Out of pure frustration over wheel bearing life span, I decided to have a good think about it.

    Basically, the amount of water ingress seems to be a common factor in bearing failure for me. The alloy spacers that the seals wear on are worn, so the seals are loose. Even with new wider seals, they're loose.

    That allows water in. Doesn't take long and it gets through the seals on the bearings themselves. I spend time in water on almost every ride. Sometimes there's 4 or more major water crossings that are at least hub deep, and sometimes the whole wheel is well under. So it's always going to be an issue.

    I checked bearings before a ride just after my last post on this subject a page back, and they felt fine. I did maybe 400km, with some very harsh off road making up about 150kms in the middle of that. There were 4 extremely deep water crossings. The bearings were extremely gritty and crunchy after that.

    So I went to an extreme....I know, unusual for me. I drilled and tapped holes in the center of the hub and fitted grease nipples. Then I removed the seals on the bearings, except for the outside one on the cush drive side on the rear.

    Then I pumped the hubs full of a general purpose teflon grease rated for marine applications (after the insides of the hubs had a good clean of course). I had a slight mishap with the front wheel when I got carried away and the seal popped out and a glob of grease landed on the brake disc. Cleaned it up and didn't pump so fast and hard next time.

    So the grease keeps the water out. After every ride I put the grease gun on, and give it 2 pumps, spin the wheel and wipe off the excess. Over the next ride some grease makes it's way out past the seals. I wipe it off and give it a couple of pumps after it's been degreased and washed. Despite the front flicking a little grease off during a ride, it hasn't caused any issues with brakes. Just the odd tiny grease fleck on the bashplate or on the engine. Nothing on the caliper or pads.

    So far so good. They've been well and truly submerged, and even though I've had to cool my heels quite a bit the last 6 or more months with physio etc, they've still seen more water and dirt work than I dare say most would over the same time frame.

    I'll see if this increases bearing life. If not...meh...I go back to the same old same old.

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
  5. bross

    bross Where we riding to? Supporter

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    I'd say that should be a good solution for your type of riding, seems like most water is sucked into the bearings trying to get into the hub, so you have effectively eliminated an area for water to be sucked into. :thumb Only downside I can think of is a little more unsprung weight due to grease filled hub, which would be negligible and beats swapping bearings every other ride.
  6. woody's wheel works

    woody's wheel works Built to Last Super Supporter

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    FYI Snowy,,,Believe it or not these bearings when properly greased and installed in a hub with BMW and or my specs (in this case we both agree on .001" crush ) are adequate and have consistently recorded over 70,000 + miles of use. IMHO ifor those doing lots of water crossings the hi speed boat trailer grease is a positive upgrade...

    and you are absolutely right about all those different lubricants NOT making a difference ,,,and i will add to your list every bearing out there has also failed /not made them last longer on any hub that had the undersized bores in them...'Tis the undersized bores on the afflicted hubs that is/was the nemesis and origin of these problems,,,NOT the bearing size or quality or manufacturer,,,NOT the brand or type of grease

    Hope this clarifies the issue, and yes we still get the occasional misfit hubs in here,,Just bring the wheel in and we'll give it our permanent guaranteed Rx for way less than some of the prices bandied about in some ofhe previous posts..

    OBTW,,,now years later having test riders like Lyndon Poskitt of Races to Places fame,,,we have noticed that the cheap Chinese made bearings don't last as long under the grueling race and RTW conditions that Lyndon subjects his bike to....6204 2RS All Balls are less than $10 whereas the Brand names are circa $25+ ea

    Cheers
    woody
  7. woody's wheel works

    woody's wheel works Built to Last Super Supporter

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    Attaboy Snowy you are thinking good stuff,,,
    FYI,,, i know that the root cause of water entering the hub is the pressure differential created by warm hub entering cool water,,,the warm air inside the hub cools down ad creates a vacuum thus actually sucking the water in anyway it can,,,i don't think it is getting past the seals if they are in good shape,,,i'll bet that the water is getting past the space between the axle and spacers/inner bearing race...

    WWW already addresses repacking bearing almost full ,,,,gotta allow for a bit of grease expanding with heat,,,i'm working on an inner oil ring Rx for our new Superlite Hub series...in the meantime Snowy et al,,try getting that waterprrof grease and coat your axle and bearing and all your spacers so the H2O doesn't have as a flight path to the inside of your hub..

    Cheers
    woody
  8. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    I admitted up front that I'm riding 2 up and over the bikes maximum load limit.

    I think the maximum load limit was determined by the wheel bearings. I get a little more than 10,000kms out of the rears on average.

    I have even considered using tapered roller bearings, or machining out the hub and fitting a steel sleeve with double the number of bearings, or machining it out and changing to a phosphor bronze bush and thrust bearings, with lubricating oil or grease space...basically I've considered every possible option.

    I'm waiting to see how this current set up works. So far so good. I have a new record for how long a set of bearings will last. Time will tell.
  9. IckyBob

    IckyBob BroManiac

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    What's the solution guys? I haven't the time to read 77 pages. I installed 3 new rear wheel bearings (allballz) 3000km ago, at least one of them is shot. Good chunk of that 3000km has been off road, water crossings, mud etc. I would rather not be replacing wheel bearings ever couple thousand Kms. As well the rear spacers are roasted too. See the pictures.

    Icky

    image.jpeg
  10. JRWooden

    JRWooden Homeless motorcycle vagabond ... and ... loving it

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    I'm no expert but here's two suggestions:

    Allballz's bearings are widely reported to be cheap crap.... smarter people than I would suggest going with name brand bearings.....

    There are a couple of vendors that make replacement spacers from better a alloy then the soft aluminum OEM - SS or other ... they might be a good investment.
  11. IckyBob

    IckyBob BroManiac

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    Excellent. If allballz are crap who makes the good ones? Same goes for the spacers. SS? Any others.

    Thanks!
  12. Nickhob

    Nickhob Armchair adventurer

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  13. JRWooden

    JRWooden Homeless motorcycle vagabond ... and ... loving it

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    Sorry ... SS = Stainless Steel

    Quality bearing mfg that I tend to use are: NTN, SKF, NSK and FAFNIR.
  14. BygDaddee

    BygDaddee Where do I get a pie

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    Yes your first 3 are very good, I'm not farmilliar with FAFNIR though

  15. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    It is a common bearing. 6204-2RSJ, they are double sealed, I don't know what the J stands for. Mine were SKF bearings. Surprisingly they were not manufactured in the US, but these were sold under Napa's trade name.

    A lot of the 77 pages deals with wheels with constricted bores or how to grease them. You don't need to look at all of them, just look 2 posts up from your initial question. It could be your problem, but I don't know what year bike you have. Constricted bores seem to be more problematic on the older bikes.

    The only source of SS spacers I have found, is the same given above. I think they are made in Germany.
  16. IckyBob

    IckyBob BroManiac

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    Thanks for the info gents. I think I will pull the trigger on the stainless steel spacers. They seem to worth the money and last longer. I will be looking for top quality rear bearings as well. Hopefully this will solve most of my problem. My bike is a 2013.
  17. Reaver

    Reaver How Did I Get Here?

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    SKF Explorer bearings from Canadian Bearings Bob. 6204-2RSH C3. Get the matching double lipped seals as well. Read the # off your factory seals.

    Even the shanty hut in this third world jungle sells better bearings than All Balls.


    20150902_113337.jpg

    My stash from Canadian Bearings. $120 shipped for 10 to my CDN address.

    [​IMG]
  18. IckyBob

    IckyBob BroManiac

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    Awesome! Thanks Reaver.
  19. JRWooden

    JRWooden Homeless motorcycle vagabond ... and ... loving it

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  20. IckyBob

    IckyBob BroManiac

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    Hard to say. I don't usually buy from eBay. I bought the bearings reaver suggested from the company. It's a difference of s few dollars. The peace of mind for me is worth it.