I just picked up a great set of wheels from Bob's auto (thanks, Bob!) I need to replace the bearings. Can I drop the hub out of the spokes and work on it without messing anything up? A bit easier to work on with 20" less diameter.
Not a good idea. If the wheel is tight, its the devil to remove and hard to reinstall, not to mention getting the holes lined up. Believe me, its easier to work with the wheel intact.
I take them out and put them back in all the time. I don't see any reason not to - realize that you will have to replace all the bolts and the nuts too.
If the wheel is tight you probably will damage some spokes. In the good old days they wouldn't have thought of removing the hub. In 60 years of working on Model T's I have never before heard of removing the hub to work on bearings. I guess you learn something every day.
I can't see dropping a hub out for a bearing change all by itself either, but will also say I have pulled hubs for other reasons...better hub condition on something else, wanting a better hub on the rear or better bearing seat in the front...
My advice on that is to press out the hub with ample support ON the spoke flat area...likety split out and in (I use draw bolts for the reseat and just replace the draw bolts one at a time when it is close enough to using standard wheel bolts for the final pull in before peening. Try banging the old one out and rotsa-ruck, you usually do more damage that you do good is my experience and that was only that first experience. since then I press them out using a jig made up of 2x4's and long bolts.
Don't do it.
Sage advice from Dave. Let sleeping dogs lie. If you have great wheels, why risk messing them up unnecessarily? Millions of bearings have been replaced without dismantling any wheels.
Ok, i'll leave the hub on, per the consensus. Cheers for the advice!
OTOH, you might pull the nuts off one and see if anything is loose. If the hub is loose in the spokes, this would be a good time to fix it.
if the nuts were put on correctly they would be peened so as not to come loose, so if you loosen them, you are supposed to put new ones in again, and peen the threads!, like steve said, just put the bearings in, leave the wheels alone. another tip, you will find there is no room for a punch or puller on the outer bearing,hard to get at. one easy way is to weld a large washer to the race and pull with a slide hammer. perhaps others will tell they're tricks too, but that outer race is a bugger.
I just got through changing a hub on 1909 S/N 904. Some one had installed a later model 6" hub in the original early wheel long long ago. They had peened over the bolts properly.
I ground off the bolts until the grinder was grinding on the nut. Still, the swelled bolt was sticking hard in each nut. So I had to drill each nut to make it split easily with a carefully placed chisel, to avoid damaging the wood.
After that a lead shot filled hard rubber dead blow mallet against a block of wood was used to drive out the hub. You must use a block of wood to keep from deforming the hub cap threads.
I reinstalled the original small diameter hub the same way. It fit perfectly, and the paint on the wheel spokes was undisturbed. However due to removing a 6" hub and installing the original hub the wheel will still need to be repainted.
I did the exact same thing when installing original '15 hubs in the wheels on my '15 touring. Again not a bit of drama, and I can't imagine why you guys who obviously have no experience at this are saying something bad will happen.
If you do decide to remove the hub, I would suggest numbering them with a piece of tape or something so if they wind up in a pile, you can put them back in the same order.
I, like Royce, would not hesitate to remove a hub, if circumstances dictate doing so. However, some cautions previously mentioned do apply. Also, although it is easier to work on the bearings without the weight and bulk of the wheel itself, the effort to remove the hub is more than you would save by having removed it. So unless there is a compelling reason to remove the hub from a wheel. I wouldn't.
Another thing. If you do remove the hub, and it comes out of the spokes easily, that means it is too loose. You would need to tighten the wheel by some reasonable means. THAT can lead to all sorts of discussions on the right and wrong ways to do it. Best to do a Google search for past discussions, read a few before asking specific questions.
Statement so you know where I stand: I like wood wheels. I have driven on them hard and fast and I trust them. I cannot afford to have wheels respoked, so I have tightened a few wheels that others would recommend respoking for. Wood wheels need to be tight and the wood needs to be reasonably strong and healthy. If they are loose. they move. If they move, they work the points that need to be tight and wear away the wood making them even looser, fast.
Whether the spokes are new or old, wood wheels should be routinely checked for any sign of looseness if the car is driven much at all.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I made a little ring out of some PVC that holds the wheel by the hub lust outside the bolt circle. I was able to get everything cleaned and swapped out without taking off the hubs. I also gave the spokes a good pull and some thunks with a deadblow, they are tight and all sound the same, that is to say not dead, like on the other wheels I have.
Thanks again for the help.
I'm not going to ask what kind of grease to use.;-)
Doesn't the outer race have the cut-outs to knock it out with a punch? Have only replaced an inner and I seem to remember it had the reliefs in the hub.
If your wheel turns true, and you remove the hub and press it in again, the wheel might wobble afterward. I have found that putting the hub in a different position in relation to each other can make it wobble, so be sure to mark the position of each spoke in relation to each other and to the holes in the hub, if you do decide to remove it. However if you support at the hub or very close to it when you remove the bearing, you do not need to remove it to work on the bearings.
There you go again, Royce. Its just not enough for you to make a suggestion and let it lie. You have to insult those whose experience differs from yours. I was beginning to think perhaps you learned a bit from all the hits you've taken from your negative remarks, but I guess you just can't help yourself. Congratulations, you've just alienated someone who was beginning to respect you.
Charlie: yes there are cuts on both sides for pushing out the races. I built a tool for doing it. Everything went well, and it was not as a pain to work on the whole wheel as I thought.
Richard Gould Very well said!! He is extremely knowledgeable and very opinionated; which comes across very arrogant. I've been told he is really a nice guy ,as long as you agree with him!