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  1. #61
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    Well, tonight Pete and I tested our theories a bit on the bearing issue, here's what we found out:

    First, this is a two-tiered problem.

    The first, is that the flange assembly is just designed poorly. Honda, apparently unable to find a bearing that fit the application (I can't find one either) used a stacked pair of bearings and a distancing collar to make the pilot for the driven flange. Using the stacked pair means a the bearings are extremely sensitive to alignment issues when being seated.

    The second, is that the bearings must be seated in a very particular order, and using tools especially made for the purpose. Your average bearing shop is not going to have these tools, and indeed, we have to question whether Honda themselves are doing this correctly - given the large number of reported failures, and the absurd number of bad factory parts we ran across. Every single flange assembly we could find in the Dallas metroplex was seated incorrectly, and the inner bearing of the pair was distorted - and would certainly fail in short order when installed on a bike. The characteristic "click-click-click" on the new and un-installed parts was a dead giveaway.

    After seating a few sets of bearings, and producing a few sets of "click-click-clickers" ourselves, Pete and I sat down and worked out a way to install the bearigs without distorting them. This required making a couple of specialty punches to ensure that the seating force was not distributed into the balls themselves during seating - the thing which causes the bearing distortion.

    The correct procedure is:

    1. Drive the bearings onto the distancing collar first, using a drift machined to exactly fit the inner race, but which does not contact the seals. The tool must clear the inner collar, but not by much - you want to spread the seating force over as much of the inner race as possible. Nothing whatever can touch the outer race during this operation.

    2. Using a tool that exactly matches the dimension of the outer race, and supports the inner race (the punch must be exactly square), drive the assembled bearings + collar down into the driven flange. The flange must be supported so that the bearing sleeve is square to the press ram face. Note that this tool prevents distortion by holding both races square during seating. It takes considerable force to seat this assembly. The key here, is that although the assembly is being pressed with vigor, the balls themselves are placed under no axial load. It is this axial load applied to the balls that is distorting the inner bearing. The design of the flange assembly makes it very difficult to avoid this.

    Once we worked this out and made the tools, we were able to install bearings without distortion, and that was the end of click-click-click.

    That's the good news. The bad news, is that fixing this problem is going to be difficult for most riders. Your options are:

    1. Buy the flange assembly from Honda. Inspect each part by careully spinning the bearings while feeling for the clicks that indicate a badly pressed bearing. You may have to go through a few parts before you get a good one. If your dealer is willing to fix a blown bearing under warranty, you should demand to inspect the assembly in person before it is installed on your bike. Note that in our case - the dealers all claimed each of the factory bearings was "fine" even though we could clearly feel that the inner bearing in each part was distorted.

    2. Buy the bearings, and find a good bearing shop in your area. Explain the problem with the assembly to them before they toss the part in a press and seat them in the usual way. You may find one willing to make a set of punches to do this. Or not.

    3. Pete and I are considering doing some kind of parts exchange or 2-way shipping thing. If you're in a hard place right now send me a private message, and we'll work something out. I have no idea what to charge for it, and I'm a bit leary, since it seems likely that a certain number of bearings are going to distort (at ten bucks a pop) no matter how careful we are. More on this later.

    Hope this helps.
    Yeah, that Tapper. Everywhere I go, there I am.

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  3. #62
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    Good work guys!! Sounds like it's time for a mass mailing to Honda.
    "A man is free in relation to the number of things he can afford to let alone. " Thoreau


    I guess I'm a slave.


    '03 1800C

  4. #63
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    Looks like a good installation method. So what did you guys decide were the correct interferences for the bearings?
    03 VTX 1800C, V/H Big Shots, Progressive fronts and 412's rear, de-smogged, Memphis Fats 21" and lowers, Corbin Dual Tour, Paladin highway bars, custom leather bags with EZ Brackets

  5. #64
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    Tapper I must comend you and Pete for your work on this problem.My only comment would be that,and I think you know this,that you are compensating for a clearance problem created by Honda.We have a problem that takes a machine shop to fix the flange and spacer,or a machine shop to make the nesessary tools to install the bearings.Kinda a catch 22.But again good work by you both.It frustrates the hell out of me because I fix machine tools for a living and have everthing it takes to check and fix the problem at work but that is a no no that will get me fired.I'm in the middle of one of the biggest machine shops in the world and I can't use it.

    Hawkeye
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention
    of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body,
    but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up,
    totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming
    "WOW--What a Ride!"

  6. #65
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    Hawk - you got my extreme sympathy. That has to suck bigtime. Like living in a candy store, and you're a diabetic.
    Yeah, that Tapper. Everywhere I go, there I am.

  7. #66
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    i just spent about 20 minutes looking for an email address for honda of america. can't find one. if someone has it, they should email the hyperlink to this thread. seriously.

  8. #67
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    Default Bearing Failure

    Tapper/Pete, great work! I, for one, do not have access to any place that I would trust enough to handle this issue. I only have 4,000 miles but my plans are to change to Avon Venom R's this year and I would want to change the bearings out at the same time. I would feel much more comfortable with you guys doing the actual work and would be willing to pay whatever you felt was reasonable. This is with understanding that you may have failures due to poor manufacturing issues and might alter the price if it took several tries to get it right. Where safety is a concern, what's a a couple of hundred bucks to know a critical job is done right?

    I hope you two will take on this matter but make a reasonable profit to make it worth your time until Honda acknowledges the problem and puts out a recall with corrective measures by demanding the bearing company does it right in the first place. Until that time, I'm sure most Xer's would rather pay you guys for the peace of mind of knowing that their bearings aren't going to fail at the wrong time and crash.

    Again, thanks for your work on this serious matter.
    9Ball

    2002 1800 Retro, Cobra Slash Cuts, Ultimate Big Boy 4-pc, 4-inch C Risers, Honda Deluxe Windshield, BAK airbox, Progressive front fork springs, Honda retro light bar, ISO grips, Honda saddlebags, Cobra passenger floorboards, Avon Venom tires (f&b), Brake Away cruise control, Corbin fatty engine guard, Zumo 550, 2WheelTunes' speakers, B&B Fuel Manager, Stebel horn and more to come.

  9. #68
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    Adam's right on target. Hal, can you help us determine the best way to communicate with Honda?

    unfortunately we can't expect a rapid (if any response) from Honda on this.

    there is a good chance that many of us are riding with failed bearings.
    what are the real repercussions of continuing to do so until the problem can be addressed?

    Tapper said in an earlier post that it didn't appear that this could cause wheel lockup which makes sense or we would have had a rash of catastrophes already. this aside, what other problems can result from continuing to ride with these failed bearings?

    given the statement that local bearing shops will not likely have the ability to address the problem, where does this leave us?

    Even if Tapper and Pete are willing, there simply isn't any way they could possibly keep up with the demand for replacement bearings. we've got almost 12,000 members on this forum
    Warning!!!! The Surgeon -General may not know it, but speed is more addictive than drugs!

    '02 1800 C, Blacked out motor, modified K&N Chrome air cleaner, ground pounder radiator shroud, SS braided brake lines, polished front end and rotors, V&H Bigshots, chromed rims, solo seat, Carlini Super Sweep drag bars, Dakota Digital speedo/tach, Big Bike parts light bar with small bullet lights

  10. #69
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    Pete/Tapper, Thanks for your work on this. I would be more than glad to send my bearings into you if you decide to set up an exchange program.
    Greg

    <<<<< Virginia XRiders BB >>>>>
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    03 VTX 1800C - Gone, but never fogotten!

  11. #70
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    Just making a suggestion. Tapper maybe you can post the specks of the tooling so that others with machine shop abilities can replicate the dies and punches. This way our local tech guru can help out some of us that don't have excess to a machine shop.

    BTW great job. Makes me want to drive all the way to Texas to have you work on my bike.

    Mark
    M STAR KMA

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark_1bx

    BTW great job. Makes me want to drive all the way to Texas to have you work on my bike.

    Mark
    That's what I'm thinking of doing.... as soon as it warms up!
    VTXLux

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  13. #72
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    Maybe Pete could produce a run of the tools you created and sell them on HDL with a set of instructions. This way we could purchase the tools and take them to a machine shop when we need new bearings. (or for those of us with access to a press, do it ourselves)
    RobDogg

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  14. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobDogg
    Maybe Pete could produce a run of the tools you created and sell them on HDL with a set of instructions. This way we could purchase the tools and take them to a machine shop when we need new bearings. (or for those of us with access to a press, do it ourselves)
    Well, some others would do this not me. This would be just plain robbery. Make a tool for $30 to $40, sell it to Hal. He likes to make some money too, plus the shipping. Then you have to march to your local with a press he will charge you also.
    On the end you have spent close to or over $100. Still the bearings not included.

    We have to find a easier way and not so expensive.

    Let me dig in the bearings suppliers and see which discount we can get.

  15. #74
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    I'm also wondering if the wider swing arm conversions creat a greater risk of bearing failure or would it be the same.

    **********
    (Tapper)The first, is that the flange assembly is just designed poorly. Honda, apparently unable to find a bearing that fit the application (I can't find one either) used a stacked pair of bearings and a distancing collar to make the pilot for the driven flange. Using the stacked pair means a the bearings are extremely sensitive to alignment issues when being seated.
    **********

    On the same note, if Honda produced a flawed flange and we don't want to wait around for years for them to fix it, maybe one of you machine shop guys can make one with a better bearing design?

    Just a thought.
    Mark
    M STAR KMA

  16. #75
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    So this is not considered a manufactures defect?

    This should be covered under warranty as a failure of Honda workmanship.
    Life...keep it on the RED line!

  17. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by forestsoft
    So this is not considered a manufactures defect?

    This should be covered under warranty as a failure of Honda workmanship.
    Not if they don't (wont) recognize it.

    Mark
    M STAR KMA

  18. #77
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    Pete, Tapper. Have you guys tried Purvis bearing?
    PURVIS BEARING
    P O BOX 540757
    DALLAS, TX 75354-0757
    Phone: 214-358-5588
    Fax: 214-350-2419

    I bought front bearings for my wife's Magna there after they were frozen.... I think there's a Purvis in Mckinney too. If you have already tried them then ...disregard
    Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie!" ...until you can find a rock

    Mark
    2002 1800C

  19. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redliner
    there is a good chance that many of us are riding with failed bearings.
    what are the real repercussions of continuing to do so until the problem can be addressed?

    Tapper said in an earlier post that it didn't appear that this could cause wheel lockup which makes sense or we would have had a rash of catastrophes already. this aside, what other problems can result from continuing to ride with these failed bearings?
    my question? DITTO.
    Motorcycles always feel like going for a ride. You can ride a motorcycle any time of the month and when riding, you and your motorcycle both arrive at the same time. If you say bad things to your motorcycle, you don't have to apologize before you can ride it again. You don't have to take a shower before riding your motorcycle and best of all, it's always ok to use tie downs!

  20. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTXROCKETEER
    Quote Originally Posted by RobDogg
    Maybe Pete could produce a run of the tools you created and sell them on HDL with a set of instructions. This way we could purchase the tools and take them to a machine shop when we need new bearings. (or for those of us with access to a press, do it ourselves)
    Well, some others would do this not me. This would be just plain robbery. Make a tool for $30 to $40, sell it to Hal. He likes to make some money too, plus the shipping. Then you have to march to your local with a press he will charge you also.
    On the end you have spent close to or over $100. Still the bearings not included.

    We have to find a easier way and not so expensive.

    Pete, this doesn't sound expensive to me! I spent almost $30 for the fork tool that I'll end up using maybe twice. How many times will we be replacing bearings? Perhaps several times in the course of ownership. If we have access to a small press (will this be sufficient?) we can do our own and know that the job is being done correctly.

    We'd definitlely need some good instructions to go along with the tools.

    Great job guys!!
    2002 VTX C Model

  21. #80
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    I'd hate tp speculate on what the possible consequences of the failed bearing might be. Suffice it to say, it can't be a good thing.

    It takes a fair sized press to seat them properly. We have a good sized arbor press we do this with, and it takes some muscle power even with that.
    Yeah, that Tapper. Everywhere I go, there I am.

  22. #81
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    Hal you sure are being silent on this issue, no Chrome thinges to sell us.

    Tapper/Pete GREAT JOB set the fix up and get her rolling, I'll send mine after Bike Week.

    Just give us an address and price. Honda and their dealer network will not respond no time soon. As Tapper mentioned all the dealers in DFW said their's were good with a mech standing there showing them they were bad.
    1800R hyper, desmog, HK 3", cobra fuel mag, 205/55/16 rear tire, custom paint/Fenders, HD batwing faring with radio and gauges, CB, 6* tress with 2 in extentions, HD hard bags with ghost brackets,chin spoiler, mirrors,Beach Bars,chrome out the yeg yang, nother paint job in the works. Wifes vt750 chromed out. GL 1500 Goldwing all the options I could think of !!!!

  23. #82
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    Default Honda Service Manual Drive Flange Bearing Installation Specs

    According to my handy Honda VTX 1800 service manual Pages 14-6 thru 14-7:
    Install bearing remover head into the bearing. From the opposite side of the wheel, install the bearing remover shaft and drive the bearing out of the wheel hub.
    Remove the distance collar and drive out the other bearing.
    Tools:
    Bearing remover shaft 07GGD-0010100
    Bearing remover head, 20mm 07746-0050600

    Now this is where it gets interesting:
    FINAL DRIVEN FLANGE DISASSEMBLY/ASSEMBLY
    Drive out the final driven flange bearing (6905 RS) from final driven flange A.
    Drive in the final driven flange bearing (6905 RS) to final driven flange A until it is fully seated.
    TOOLS:
    Driver 07749-0010000
    Attachment, 42 x 47 mm 07746-0010300
    Pilot, 20 mm 07746-0040500
    Drive in rear axle distance collar A to final driven Flange A.
    TOOLS:
    Driver 07749-0010000
    Attachment, 24 x 26 mm 07746-0010700
    Pilot, 20 mm 07746-0040500

    Not to take anything away from Tappers results in making his own installation tools and sucessfully installing the bearings, you must wonder if:
    A: Is Honda using their own referenced tools when installing the bearings?
    B: Do these tools actually work?
    C: Are the bearing shells/races so flimsy that whatever installation tools are used, the design is doomed to failure.
    I would ask that some of my fellow X-Riders in the know with their local Honda Dealers Service Shop, pay them a visit, and ask to see these tools and further ask if they are there, have they used them?
    In my case, with the Honda Dealership in NW Houston on Hwy 290 the service parts department did not stock the bearings 6905 RS, did not stock the final drive flange assembly, and copped a plea, "We ain't never heard of no such problem!"
    I've ordered my bearings from HDL, and will attempt to replace them this weekend. Any Houston Honda VTX types that want to witness first hand, pls contact me.
    Frustrated and Pissed Off at Honda in Houston!
    XmanDan in Houston 2003 VTX1800C Hypercharger, Power CommanderIII USB, Mean Mutha Drag Pipes, Avon Venom Rubber Front & Rear, Mustang Seats, Memphis Shades,
    Barnett Clutch Springs, Ground Mods,
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    DeSmogged-Pair Valves Removed.

  24. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadCapt
    Hal you sure are being silent on this issue, no Chrome thinges to sell us.

    Tapper/Pete GREAT JOB set the fix up and get her rolling, I'll send mine after Bike Week.

    Just give us an address and price. Honda and their dealer network will not respond no time soon. As Tapper mentioned all the dealers in DFW said their's were good with a mech standing there showing them they were bad.
    Come on now. I know we're all concerned, but I don't think slamming Hal is called for.
    M STAR KMA

  25. #84
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    Hal doesn't usually read the tech stuff, he is busy enough trying to answer everyone elses questions through email and PM.

    Pete, Tapper, what would it take to get one of these punches for a guy like me who has a press and works on a lot of bikes? I can certainly pay but I don't have access to the types of machines I need to make these, much less the specs.

  26. #85
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    I don't see what this has to do with Hal. Hal is not Honda. Hal cannot answer for Honda. Hal cannot answer for your dealer. Hal cannot tell you what your dealer will or will not do with respect to warranty claims. Hal did not manufacture the flange either. He did, however, provide bearings when Honda would only sell you a $187 assembly to replace them.

    Yeah, that Tapper. Everywhere I go, there I am.

  27. #86
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    Here's the fax number for American Honda Consumer Affairs. I'm still looking for an e-mail address.

    Consumer Affairs Department
    American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (Corporate Office)
    1919 Torrance Blvd.
    Torrance, CA 90501-2746
    310-783-2000
    Toll free: 1-800-999-1009
    Fax: 310-783-3273
    Web site: www.honda.com
    "A man is free in relation to the number of things he can afford to let alone. " Thoreau


    I guess I'm a slave.


    '03 1800C

  28. #87
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    And here is an email address. No guarantee that it's valid.

    honda-motorcycle@mail.hondamotorcycle.com
    "A man is free in relation to the number of things he can afford to let alone. " Thoreau


    I guess I'm a slave.


    '03 1800C

  29. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tapper
    I don't see what this has to do with Hal. Hal is not Honda. Hal cannot answer for Honda. Hal cannot answer for your dealer. Hal cannot tell you what your dealer will or will not do with respect to warranty claims. Hal did not manufacture the flange either. He did, however, provide bearings when Honda would only sell you a $187 assembly to replace them.

    I've got to agree with Tapper. I hope that my earlier post didn't start the Hal bashing. all I said was that maybe Hal could provide us with Honda contact info that could get the bearing issue noticed and addressed by those who could do something about it.
    Warning!!!! The Surgeon -General may not know it, but speed is more addictive than drugs!

    '02 1800 C, Blacked out motor, modified K&N Chrome air cleaner, ground pounder radiator shroud, SS braided brake lines, polished front end and rotors, V&H Bigshots, chromed rims, solo seat, Carlini Super Sweep drag bars, Dakota Digital speedo/tach, Big Bike parts light bar with small bullet lights

  30. #89
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    Personally..... I think it is Hal's fault...It a subversive plot to get us all to buy one of the new hubs....
    Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie!" ...until you can find a rock

    Mark
    2002 1800C

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    Default Flange Bearings

    I have been reading your letters about the bearing problem and wondered if there is something we can do now.I plan my first long ride(Phila to calif and back) in July and don't want this happenin when I'm on the road.I have 2700 miles on an 03 1800 leftover brought in the end of sept.I should be close to 6000 by July.Well if theres any ideas I'll be listening-Thanks-Moondog

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