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Thread: 3 bearing wheel conversion issues

  1. #1
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    3 bearing wheel conversion issues

    I need help! I have an 08 ULY and decided to do the 3 bearing conversion. I bought the new wheel and the axle kit and had The dealer install the bearings and spacer before I picked it up. When I put the wheel on it was super stiff, it didn't spin easily and the belt was super tight. I then attempted to install the break caliper ( I removed it from the swing arm with the 2 big bolts) that it didn't fit and that the caliper mounts were actually hitting the disk! Something is not right. Is it possible the new spacer is too short? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    it's a very straight-forward conversion but you need to determine if it's a bearing installation defect or incorrect spacer installation. IMPORTANT NOTE: you are referring to the hub spacer tube which is #7 in schematic. I AM REFERRING TO the wheel dust seal spacer which is #1 in schematic.
    here's how:
    1-get rear wheel off the ground. could care less how it's done but do it. remove axle pinch bolt.....loosen axle exactly 21 turns...slide belt off wheel pulley. depending on belt age you might also have to remove belt tensioner assembly. remove brake caliper.
    2-with belt removed now tighten axle to to 40ft.lbs torque.....loosen 2 full turns....retorque to 50ft.lbs. do NOT install pinch bolt.
    3- NOW SPIN WHEEL. it should spin freely in both directions with no rough spots or noise of any sort. if it doesn't stop right there, remove it and take back to dealer. bearings and spacer clearly not installed correctly.
    4-if wheel spins freely now but caliper doesn't line up to default position on rotor the wheel assembly is NOT "centered" correctly....meaning spacer on wrong side of hub OR entirely missing.
    that's the best i can tell you without actually seeing it in person. see schematic to determine what's going on. #1 in schematic likely culprit. is it even installed and if so is it on the correct side of hub??????
    5820_20100910124152_L.jpg
    Last edited by user_deleted; 05-09-2018 at 02:10 PM.

  3. #3
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    Item 1 is installed. My 2008 manual suggested a lower initial torque of 25 ft.lbs but I did a final torque of 50 ft.lbs and with the caliper off it was VERY difficult to spin the wheel.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bukwylde87 View Post
    Item 1 is installed. My 2008 manual suggested a lower initial torque of 25 ft.lbs but I did a final torque of 50 ft.lbs and with the caliper off it was VERY difficult to spin the wheel.
    with belt removed? if so then here's the problem: the swingarm/axle/inner left and right races act as a fixture. the entire wheel rotates around that fixture. the axle torqued to spec locks the swingarm against the left and right inner races allowing the wheel to rotate freely. if it does NOT then the bearings were either incorrectly installed or the inner spacer tube is out of spec...or both. what does the dealer who installed the tube and bearings say about this??????

  5. #5
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    I missed the part where you suggested doing this with the belt off, all my initial testing was done with the belt on. When I get home today I will attempt with the belt off. But one thing is still confusing, I can understand the belt not allowing the wheel to spin freely but how would the belt would prevent me from being able to mount the caliper? As of right now the dealer does not know that there is a problem, I wanted to do some of my own troubleshooting before contact them. I live in Connecticut and I ordered from St. Paul Harley in Minnesota.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    The 3 bearing wheels need #1, that makes sense.

    Is it only Uly wheels that have #2, and #8? I'm not familiar with Uly's and none of my Lightnings have had those.

    Maybe theres some incompatibility with the spacer part number they used and the dust seals (#2,#8)? I'm (totally guessing) that a spacer for a lightning (that uses no dust seals) would be slightly wider? But only if the dust seals use the ID of the axle if they go around the OD of the spacer or the shouldered portion of the axle then nevermind....

  7. #7
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    In 2010 Buell went to a 3 bearing set up across the xb product line. Prior to 2010 the would have 2 bearings and no dust covers.

  8. #8
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    how would the belt would prevent me from being able to mount the caliper?
    one has nothing to do with the other. clearly your entire wheel assembly is "off center". and i told you what the causes of this could and would be.


    Is it only Uly wheels that have #2, and #8? I'm not familiar with Uly's and none of my Lightnings have had those.

    all 3 bearing wheel assemblies have the L&R dust/grease seals shaughn.

    I bought the new wheel and the axle kit and had The dealer install the bearings and spacer before I picked it up
    if schematic part # 1 properly installed then dealer missed something during this procedure.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Lunatic. I'm pretty sure something is wrong with the bearing install. I'll go home and try everything one more time before I complain.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Oh! The dust seals are only on the 3 bearing wheels? I thought it was a Uly thing. Ok cool, and never mind. haha.

    10 bearings, 2 belts and 5 tires later, you'd think I'd know!

    eTUG5e3tTFG6dq6Pm+0CnA by Cooter!, on Flickr



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