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Old 07-22-08, 07:37 AM   #1
ebike
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hub adjustment difficulty

I've done hub overhaul jobs (cleaning, repacking) a few times, but I'm having difficulty with my most recent attempt.

They are Shimano 105 hubs, and I cleaned them up and reassembled them. When I attempt to adjust the cones, however, the wheels feel and sound a little rough turning, even before I can take the full play out of the hub. (That is, when I grasp the rim near the brake, it wobbles laterally a little bit).

Seems to be the same situation with front and rear wheels. Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?

I've more or less followed the procedure described on the Park Tool website. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Old 07-22-08, 12:44 PM   #2
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I've never had a set of Shimano hubs but have had the problem you describe with Campy hubs particularly after a lot of miles with a heavy touring load. Turned out to be bearing balls that had worn in an oval shape sorta like an egg. As long as the balls were undisturbed they rolled free and smooth. But when I replaced them in random order after cleaning the hub was like yours. I invested in a bunch of front and rear hub balls for such an occasion.
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Old 07-22-08, 02:17 PM   #3
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I've never had a set of Shimano hubs but have had the problem you describe with Campy hubs particularly after a lot of miles with a heavy touring load. Turned out to be bearing balls that had worn in an oval shape sorta like an egg. As long as the balls were undisturbed they rolled free and smooth. But when I replaced them in random order after cleaning the hub was like yours. I invested in a bunch of front and rear hub balls for such an occasion.
+1
Bearings are cheap. Take the old ones to your LBS and buy same size replacements.
Also, after a few rides re-check the cone adjustments.

Al
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Old 07-22-08, 03:02 PM   #4
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Okay, I'll head out to the LBS to get some new ball bearings and give that a try.

When I cleaned them I inspected the finish of the existing balls (smooth), but I didn't notice any oval deformation. But perhaps it's just too subtle to see clearly.
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Old 07-22-08, 05:51 PM   #5
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Okay, this project is officially bugging me.

I put some shiny new balls in the front hub, and although at first it felt like it was going to be smoother I ran into the same problem. The bearing feels a little but tight/noisy when I spin the wheel, but when I grab the rim there's still a little knocking in it. Like 1-2 mm movement, gauged at the fork/brake area.

Any further ideas???
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Old 07-22-08, 06:08 PM   #6
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Did you mis-count the bearing balls? Shimano front hubs (except Dura Ace) usually require 10 x 3/16" bearing balls on each side and the rear hubs require 9x1/4" balls on each side. Using the wrong count or wrong size will lead to adjustment failures.

BTW, bearing balls do not become "ovalized" or "egg-shaped" with use. That is a myth perpetrated by Bycling Magazine years ago and even they have admitted it isn't true.
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Old 07-22-08, 06:15 PM   #7
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I'm not quite sure why your testing for play at the rim. Before putting the wheel on the bike the AXLE should have just a smidge of play. When the skewer is locked down, the play should go away. Before putting the wheel on the bike, test your adjustment by putting a couple wrenches in the place of your fork and tighten up the skewer. after tightening, grab a wrench and test for play. should be none.

A couple other problems it might me:
bent axle.
races do not sit in the hub cup correctly (I've run across some hubs where you can pop out the cup race).

Good luck!
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Old 07-22-08, 07:04 PM   #8
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Did you mis-count the bearing balls? Shimano front hubs (except Dura Ace) usually require 10 x 3/16" bearing balls on each side and the rear hubs require 9x1/4" balls on each side. Using the wrong count or wrong size will lead to adjustment failures.

BTW, bearing balls do not become "ovalized" or "egg-shaped" with use. That is a myth perpetrated by Bycling Magazine years ago and even they have admitted it isn't true.
Thanks for the tip about "ovalization."

Yeah, I counted carefully and used 10 x 3/16" balls for the front, same as was in there before. Clearly I'm doing something wrong or not seeing something. I'll wait to see if any folks here have other ideas first, and then if need be I'll take it to the LBS. Thanks all for the suggestions.
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Old 07-22-08, 07:42 PM   #9
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You haven't discounted the fact that the cones/races are worn. Check the wear pattern.
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Old 07-23-08, 11:04 AM   #10
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+1. Sounds like you're doing everything right. Is the cone hanging up on the dust seal when you're tightening down? I've had this happen when I'm in a hurry.
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Old 07-27-08, 09:02 AM   #11
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Well, it was beyond my ability to fix, so I took it to my LBS.

Turns out it was the dust caps, which were apparently protruding a little bit. I don't know how it fit together before, but the mechanic ground a tiny bit of material off the outer part of the dust seal (the one attached to the cone), and the wheels are tight and super-smooth now.

$18 plus tax for both wheels = a lesson learned.
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