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Thread: 1978 R80 front wheel bearing

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  1. #1
    Nick Kennedy
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Telluride Colorado
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    1978 R80 front wheel bearing

    Hi Gents
    With 44,000 on the odometer I think my front wheel bearings are going bad. At low speeds with the engine off coasting down my hill I can feel in the bars and hear a dink dink dink sound. Sounds and feels like the bearings are loading up and then letting go.
    If I put on the front disc brake even a little the sound and feeling in the bars stop.
    The wheel is tight with the grab the fork and wheel and push pull test, I really wonder if it is the bearings.
    Putting the bike up on the stand the wheel turns real nice, no noise or sign of trouble.
    But what else could it be?
    That said I read that I need a bearing puller to get the bearings out. Do I need this puller and if so can I borrow or rent one from someone please.
    Or can I heat the hub and tap them out and new ones back in with a drift. I have not been in there yet and don't know what it looks like and the Clymer book is vague. And reading Snowbums site about changing the bearings and setting the preload on this 78 is also quite confusing.

    Any advice on this problem is welcome!
    Thanks in Advance
    Nick Kennedy

  2. #2
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    This forum posting is for Snowflakes but basically should apply to the hubs on your spoked wheels (I assume they're spokes):

    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthre...ent-Snowflakes

    My /7 spokes wheels used heat to tap out the bearings...no special puller needed. It's a bit tricky heating the hubs and getting the bearings out...done wrong, you can do some damage.

    Read the above thread for good info.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  3. #3
    Nick Kennedy
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Telluride Colorado
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    125
    Kurt

    Thanks for that awesome link to Mike V's picture book on how to change out bearings.
    After reading that I feel very confident to do this procedure.
    Nick Kennedy

  4. #4
    Registered User
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    Dec 2012
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    If your hubs are solid aluminum, then you definitely want to heat the hubs to expand the aluminum (aluminum expands faster than steel) so that the outer race of the bearing can be pushed out (or carefully punched with a good punch) from the opposite side carefully. You don't want to get the race "twisted" but want it to press evenly so as not to mar the inside surface of the aluminum which is soft.

    If you have a wheel where the hub has a built in steel center, as my snowflake does, then you do not need to use heat, but it still helps to expand. Press out from opposite side and be sure to support the hub opposite the force so as not to put tension on the rest of the wheel such as spokes or rim. A local machine shop (be sure to explain to them the process, don't assume) may have what is called a "Dake Press" which makes the whole process a piece of cake.

    Also, any time you use heat be sure to heat evenly and do not concentrate in one place. Keep source of heat moving and even.

    Even though these are standard bearings and seals, available at any local bearing supplier (like Applied Industrial, or Bearings Inc.) I found out that they are actually less expensive from Max's BMW!

  5. #5
    Registered User jad01's Avatar
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    Houston, TX or Portland, OR
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    It might be a good idea to remove the front wheel and pull the bearings to inspect them. They likely would benefit from cleaning and fresh grease. The front ones are easy to pull apart and inspect by removing the grease caps/seals on the hubs once the wheel is off of the bike. Once you have everything clean you can inspect the bearings and races for pitting or galling. I'd be surprised if they needed replacement at that low mileage unless they have gotten water into them.

    The noise you describe could be the brakes (probably a slightly out of true rotor rubbing the brake pads, or maybe some glazing on the rotor, or possibly a caliper that is not allowing the piston to retract fully and needs to be serviced, etc.). One of the clues is that the noise stops when you apply the brakes... I'd be thinking in that direction myself.
    Jim
    '78 R80/7 and '84 R100RS (Blues Brothers), '86 K75C (Icy Hot)
    '90 and '93 Mazda Miatas (Jelly Bean and Red Hot), '02 325ci (Blue Streak)
    '96 Giant Upland (big Kendas & freshly greased bearings!)

  6. #6
    Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by jad01 View Post
    It might be a good idea to remove the front wheel and pull the bearings to inspect them. They likely would benefit from cleaning and fresh grease. The front ones are easy to pull apart and inspect by removing the grease caps/seals on the hubs once the wheel is off of the bike. Once you have everything clean you can inspect the bearings and races for pitting or galling. I'd be surprised if they needed replacement at that low mileage unless they have gotten water into them.

    The noise you describe could be the brakes (probably a slightly out of true rotor rubbing the brake pads, or maybe some glazing on the rotor, or possibly a caliper that is not allowing the piston to retract fully and needs to be serviced, etc.). One of the clues is that the noise stops when you apply the brakes... I'd be thinking in that direction myself.
    My front wheel bearing were toast just after 38,000 miles!

    I just purchased the bike last Christmas but when I tore the wheel apart, I saw that the previous owner(s) hadn't serviced them. It appeared t0 me that they never had been greased - probably only at the factory when the bike was new. Not a drop of lubricant in there at all! My wheel when I spun it, sounded like a bunch of washers being shaken up in a bag - and not all the time either! The sound "echoed" up the forks and even sounded like it was coming from the front fender mount or up at the triple crown somewhere.


    Check them!! Remember your front wheel can't roll with froze up bearings, and if that would happen at 70 mph it could be disastrous!

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