This is a picture of my 1917 Maxwell front wheel hub. The original seal was felt with a tin cup that sat on that tiny little ledge just above the outer race, bet it fell of before delivery!
What do you car guys think of my idea to take a modern seal that fits the inner cone and grind away the outer part of the seal till it just sits on that tiny ledge and silicone it to the hub? I think once it sets the silicone should hold it in.
You didn't give dimensions but have you checked on a modern seal to fit? Otherwise, I'd probably just make one out of stiff felt and hold it in with a ring tapped into that recess.
That's the problem, there is almost no recess at all. I just sat my smallest drill bit 1/16 on the lip sideways and about a third of the bit is above the recess. The race is fully seated and I can't cut the top of the race off or the ball bearing snap ring won't have a groove to lock into. The hub can't be machined any deeper because immediately after the ledge the race seats on it necks down to the spindle size and any machining in that area would blow through the hub wall. Other than casting and machining new deeper hubs I don't see any other way to hold a seal in.
have you tried to locate a modern sealed replacement bearing of the same dimensions ...if a modern sealed bearing is available for both the inner and outer bearings i would remove the seals from the inside ends of the bearings to allow lube from the grease filled hub ...many bearing supply houses can measure your bearings and may be able to locate a direct fit modern bearing
I pretty much exhausted all Timken roller bearing possibilities as too thick leaving no room at all for a seal. But your not the first one to suggest sealed ball bearings. I'll check out that option when I go to get a pair of modern seals from my local bearing supplier.