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Old 12-27-12, 01:02 AM   #1
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A-class Wheel hub issues

Hey Folks!
Recently my Specialized Allez with A-Class rims / hubs has been having some issues with the rear hub assembly. I noticed a slight grinding sound and could "Feel" the bearings while riding a few days ago. I took apart the rear hub and repacked the bearings thinking that this should resolve the issue. After I tightened down the axle the wheel developed quite a bit of side to side play. I tried tightening the axle cones to reduce this. It seemed to work so I went out on a short ride. About 1/2 mile in I heard the same grinding sound and had to head back. I pulled everything apart again to find that the axle had loosened during my ride, so much so that one of the washers had rubbed against the bolt filling the bearing race full of fine shavings. I repacked the bearings again and tightened the axle as tight as possible without making the bearings seize. The play is still very obvious and seems to be in the free-hub body.
Please give your best guess as to what it might be!

Edit: It is kinda hard to take good pictures of the bearings and the inside in general. As I said before, everything is as tight as It can go without the bearings locking up. That being said the play seems to be localized where I am pointing. (At the base of the freehub body where it attaches to the rest of the hub)
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Last edited by aduke; 12-27-12 at 02:24 AM.
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Old 12-27-12, 01:38 AM   #2
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Old 12-27-12, 08:02 AM   #3
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Remove the axle, insert 10MM Allen wrench and see if FH body fixing bolt is tight.

IF you are hearing a grinding sound, use new bearings.
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Old 12-27-12, 11:15 AM   #4
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You said it became loose after you had just repacked the hub.
Possible that during reassembly you didn't tighten the locknuts against the cones well enough; thus loosening up?

sanity check to be safe - you did do this using propor Cone Wrenches, right? (hey some people don't know this)

k then,
check axle, cones, and locknuts for damaged threading that may be causing loosening

check cones and hub races for pitting
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Old 12-27-12, 01:31 PM   #5
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I made sure that the cones and locknuts were plenty tight. I also used the correct cone wrenches. I used a 10mm Allen key and made sure that the bolt was tight as well. This all seems very strange so I am going to take it to my LBS to see what they think. I suspect it will end up costing me though.
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Old 12-27-12, 01:50 PM   #6
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It could be that the grinding you hear is dirt in the ratchet mechanism itself. Also if you removed the body, and didn't put it tight enough, or if it was loose before you started, then the freehub's body/hub interface (the spines) suffered some wear. This is usually non-saveable because all the damage will be to the hub shell (analogous to aluminum crank/spindle play).

Once the body/shell connection has any play, chain tension will deflect it, making it worse. Some times (55/50) you can save it with some filler and a very tight nut, but it depends on how long you were riding it loose.

I'd start fresh, pull the body, give it a long soak, and some flushing in mineral solvent, shake it dry and oil it with a sticky oil like Phil's or Chain-L.

Check the shell for signs of wear, and also look for rub marks on the axle about where the nut would line up -- sure signs of riding with a loose FH body. If the shell looks OK, reassemble and rebuild as before, using clean grease for the bearings, (if yours have retainers be sure to out them in right side up). Before assembling the axle tighten the right cone and locknut against each other as tight as you can using 6-8" wrenches (you can't strip it, so don't go easy).

Finish by making cone adjustment from the left, and checking for zero play when in the frame, with QR tight.

If your hub shell splines are damaged, you might save it with a swelling grade of Loc-tite. (Read and follow directions)
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