I originally posted in the classic/vintage forum, but realized it might be better off here.
I have a pair of pitted cones on my older (mid 80s?) Sunshine hub and I'm hoping to find replacements rather than replace the whole hub. I took the axle and cones to a shop nearby (Valencia Cyclery in San Francisco) and they came up with some new cups that fit the axle diameter and threading, but are a different height/width(?) -- basically taking up more space on the axle. I've yet to build it back up so I don't know if it'll work out, but will I run into any issues due to this size difference? Also, is there a potential replacement source for cups on these older Sunshine hubs? The hubs read: "Sunshine 5345" if that does any good. I've browsed the Wheels Manufacturing and Bikeville sites but wasn't able to really discern if I found what I was looking for. Any thoughts?
Oh, I'm not looking for "original" parts. I don't care about matching what was exactly in the original; just something that will do the trick.
Finding replacement cones is easy. Finding exact replacement cones is hard.
The issue I've frequently encountered is the diameter where the cones pass through the dust cover on the hubs. You either have too much space or they don't fit.
If the thickness isn't exactly right that's easy to adjust by adding or subtracting washers or spacers.
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
The most important part is to find a cone with a very similar or identical shape to the bearing surface, ans a very similar diameter. If the threads work on the old axle, great, if they don't fit you have to find a new axle and locknuts too.
My stategy is to sit the original cone, and all the washers and spacers used with it, onthe table in a stack in the same order they would be on the axle. Take the new cone and build a second stack, adding, removing, and swapping spacers and washers until you get the identical height. This is most easy when you have a wide inventory of parts next to your workbench.
Once you have the new cones selected and the spacers and washers chosen, keep the stack together and build up the hub - it should be good as new.
THere is a guy who lives on the edge of my town who runs alittle bicycle junk/repair shop and I realized he had replaced the cones on my sunshine hubs (off an early-'80s Fuji Sundance) with the most generic and common cones used in Canadian shops before I got the bike (I found it in the garbage). The hbs have since self-destructed, but worked well for a while. I don not think it was the fault of the cones that the hub got ruined.
Cones should all be compatible with the bearing in any hub as nearly all front hubs use 3/16" balls and rear hubs use 1/4" balls. As long as the axle threading matches you can adapt many "improper" cones to work with your hubs by using washers, spacers, a file to make the hole in the dust cover bigger or O-rings to fill the gaps in the dust covers.