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Let me start from the beginning. Last week I noticed my tire pressure in the rear (foots mod, 200 tire) slowly leaking over the course of a few days. I waited until last Saturday to take the wheel to a local shop to have the tire plug-patched. Well it turns out the steel angled valve stem I was using had failed and was leaking, but I thought ahead and put one in my pocket (I got a four pack on amazon last year). They swapped the valve stem and everything was good.

I got home and re-installed the wheel. I took the car to work the next two days due to rain + near freezing conditions. I'll ride in sub-freezing weather no problem, but I don't play with water and cold together. Anyway, this morning I pulled the bike out of the garage to go to work. It felt very difficult to back out of the garage, almost like my rear tire was low on air again. I checked it and it was perfectly fine. I pulled out the motorcycle jack and got the rear wheel up off of the ground to take a look at everything (my Tsukayu bags block my view quite a bit of the rear wheel). Everything was there and installed correctly--I'd removed and re-installed this wheel many times without issues.

Well the wheel would barely spin by hand. A wheel should spin at least half a turn or more on its own after you let go of it, but it wouldn't. I thought the axle nut was over-torqued since I use a foot-long or longer 27mm wrench to tighten and loosen it (again, the bags are in the way, but the wrench is perfect). The axle was snug, so I loosened it some. No real change in the wheel spinning. Loosened more, and it helped a little. I texted my boss and told him I would be late, then I took off the Glen's caliper relocation bracket (remember, foots mod, no issues ever with this stuff). I thought maybe the caliper had seized, but with the relocation bracket disconnected, the caliper slid right off of the rotor without issues. I even stuck a wrench against the swing arm to pry my exhaust mounting bracket out of the way some. There might be a paper's thickness of clearance between the caliper and the exhaust bracket--again, this has never been an issue, but I was searching for the problem.

I began wondering if the wheel bearings were just shot, which didn't make sense since the bike was perfectly fine less than a week earlier, plus I rode it almost daily before the leaking tire. I put everything back together and made the axle nut snug. It felt like the wheel was spinning like it used to now, so I tightened the nut down until it was tight, but then the wheel felt like it was more resistant to spinning again. Thinking it was over-torqued with this foot-long or more wrench, I backed it out maybe a flat, then checked tire movement. It seemed to be fine, so I called it "fixed" since I figured whatever the problem was had gone in the process of taking everything apart and putting it back together. I even checked to make sure the Glen's bar/bracket thing was flat and not bent somehow and putting uneven pressure somewhere.

When I spun the wheel I didn't hear anything abnormal, so that ruled out a dragging caliper (checked it anyway). So I rode in to work, but a few miles before I got there (27 mile trip one way) my suspension felt funny AND my rear brake had no pressure. Immediately I thought the Glen's bracket had come loose or something. NOPE, worse. The axle nut had come off and disappeared on the interstate somewhere. I had my wife come get me with the truck and trailer, and now the bike is in my garage on the stand. What a crappy day, huh?

Any thoughts? Sorry for the freaking book report, but where I work more detail is always embraced.

Highlights:

I've removed and re-installed this wheel many times.
All parts were properly installed and tight--rear wheel was reluctant to spin freely (in gear with clutch pulled and in neutral).
Brakes were not sticking or dragging.
The only thing that had changed since it was running fine a week ago was a valve stem replacement.
All parts accounted for--wheel spacers, etc.
I even re-moly pasted the rear before putting the wheel back on.

Can a wheel bearing crap out this quickly and without warning? I've never had to replace one. I have a set of bearings and another axle on my watch list on ebay.

Thanks for reading!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. The axle had backed out at least four inches. FML.
 

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I'm glad you had the wherewithal to get to the side of the road before it put you on the road:thumbup:
 

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Talk about pucker factor :yikes: Glad you got it off the road and back home. Might want to pull the right side bag to get a better look -- shouldn't have to, but this incident begs for a full investigation. Axle backed out 4" ---- you had an angel riding on your shoulder :thumbup:
 

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Notice there is no cotterpin on our rear axles. The nut is an interference type of locknut. After a couple of R&Rs it loses its grip and should be replaced. Glad it worked out OK. Get yourself a new axle nut
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thinking you lost the spacer inside the final drive is what caused the initial tightness.
That's possible. Maybe it fell out when I pulled the wheel. I'll look into it today if I get time.

Yeah I've ridden this bike enough that I can tell when something isn't right. I'll post a pixc of the axle later.

I'm going to order new bearings, and I found an axle with nut used for $5 on ebay. I'll pull the axle out and check it for straightness before I get the used set. Might just order a new OEM replacement nut if it's not bent.

I hope the issue is add simple as a missing spacer in the final drive. I didn't see any extra parts on my garage floor. Lol. I always do an idiot check when I complete a job.

Is it possible the shop damaged my bearings while replacing the valve stem? Also how hard is it to replace wheel bearings without a press? Can I put the bearings in the freezer to help them pop in place with a rubber mallet? I haven't googled this yet.

Thanks everyone!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I sees zeh problem, and one of my guesses was correct. The drive side bearing puked its guts.

Wait a tick. Isn't the drive on the stock 1300C wheel the same as this 1800C wheel? I still have the stocker sitting in my garage! Gonna go look.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I cleaned up all the metallic mess in the final drive. Looks to me like the only damage was the actual bearing internals. The gear, or whatever you call it, looks free of damage, so does everything else. I used a flat head screw driver to clean out every nook and cranny.

I also swapped the 1300 hub over, made sure it was clean, and put a good helping of moly paste on it. Actually I think the 1300 hub bearing is what ate sh1t since I think I swapped them when I did the foots mod. Either way both hubs look identical, so now I just need a new nut.

Pretty nasty.
uploadfromtaptalk1423099707651.jpg

Replacement from my 1300C wheel. God I'm glad I don't throw away or sell anything anymore like I used to.
uploadfromtaptalk1423099798303.jpg


And my fancy bike stand made of three 2x6s. Comes in handy for oil changes.

uploadfromtaptalk1423099826243.jpg
 

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Flange bearing failure.. all so common... mine started going bad at 50,000 miles... (last year) checked it while replacing rear tire... felt gritty ...


FYI... if you need to loosen a Nut... loosen it fully and retighten...NEVER just back it off a little. DANGER.
 

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Notice there is no cotterpin on our rear axles. The nut is an interference type of locknut. After a couple of R&Rs it loses its grip and should be replaced. Glad it worked out OK. Get yourself a new axle nut
:agree: Excellent advise. Going to order me a new one as I've had mine off/on several times. Got to pull my muffler off pretty soon and will check the torque on the axle nut just to be on the safe side. Just to be honest, I never thought about getting a new one and just torque to specs and ride on. Thanks Blast.
 

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:agree: Excellent advise. Going to order me a new one as I've had mine off/on several times. Got to pull my muffler off pretty soon and will check the torque on the axle nut just to be on the safe side. Just to be honest, I never thought about getting a new one and just torque to specs and ride on. Thanks Blast.
Never thought of a new one either. May get one...may not. But I always reinstall using blue loctite. I put that _____ on everything! :mrgreen:
 

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I like Red on axle nuts.. blue on everything else. but that's me.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Flange bearing failure.. all so common... mine started going bad at 50,000 miles... (last year) checked it while replacing rear tire... felt gritty ...


FYI... if you need to loosen a Nut... loosen it fully and retighten...NEVER just back it off a little. DANGER.
That's what I did at first. I backed it off and went until it was good and snug, but it wasn't as tight as I remember always making it. I should have realized right there that something wasn't right, but I had been without my bike for like a week and it was driving me crazy. And I thought I had remedied it.

I got an axle and but off of ebay for $7 shipped. I'm going to blame the bearing for my nut disappearing, not miles or number of times it's been removed. I've never used loctite on axles. Even if I had it wouldn't have helped with a wiped bearing and me riding down the interstate at 70 mph. The axle started spinning and that's all she wrote. I have been considering drilling a hole for a hitch pin. That's what I use on my sport bike instead of a cotter pin. Reusable and really easy to remove and reinstall.
 

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You are at fault - you backed off the nut.
Had the 81 ft-lbs torque been on the axle it would not have turned.
The 81 ft-lbs pulls all the bearings(inner race) and spacers together.

There were many flange bearing failures, I never read about one that caused the axle/nut to come loose.
Most if not all found the failed flange bearing on tire replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
You are at fault - you backed off the nut.
Had the 81 ft-lbs torque been on the axle it would not have turned.
The 81 ft-lbs pulls all the bearings(inner race) and spacers together.

There were many flange bearing failures, I never read about one that caused the axle/nut to come loose.
Most if not all found the failed flange bearing on tire replacement.
Thank you, Captain Obvious. Had the bearing not taken a dump, the shaft would have never pun the nut off also, even if the nut were torqued all the way. Argue that all you like, we shall never find out if that theory is valid or not. It was a series of problems, but I've admitted it didn't feel right so I should have taken the car to work and looked deeper into why the wheel wouldn't spin freely when the nut was torqued. I love to ride and I hate driving a car, so sue me.

I'm still baffled as to how my bearing failed so quickly. The bike felt fine before I took the wheel in for a leaking valve stem, then after the wheel had way more resistance than it ever had. I thought I had over-torqued it or the Glen bracket was bent. Lesson learned: if it doesn't feel right, it's not right. I've had this bike long enough that I know when something is off.

Every other bike I've owned has been a sport bike with a castle nut and a cotter pin. This is also my first bearing failure in about 100,000 miles of riding over the past 9 years. Lesson learned.
 
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