Greasing front wheel bearings

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Greasing front wheel bearings

Postby MalcW » Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:41 pm

Do I need a particular grease gun for the front wheel bearings? My 1960 bike has the 7" full width hub,but I can't get my grease gun onto the grease nipple under the RH cover, as there isn't enough clearance between the nipple and the hub.

Thanks,

Malc

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Re: Greasing front wheel bearings

Postby Rob Harknett » Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:52 pm

Most grease guns should clear the hub plate hole OK. Has the cover plate moved so the nipple is not dead centre of the cover plate nipple access hole?

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Re: Greasing front wheel bearings

Postby MalcW » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:11 pm

Rob Harknett wrote:Most grease guns should clear the hub plate hole OK. Has the cover plate moved so the nipple is not dead centre of the cover plate nipple access hole?


Hi Rob. No, it's not the cover plate that's the issue. If you look at the wheel with the cover plate removed, there isn't a great deal of metal machined away from around the grease nipple's location, so there isn't enough clearance for my grease gun between the nipple itself and the alloy housing the wheel bearing.

Malc

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Re: Greasing front wheel bearings

Postby Mick D » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:21 pm

Hi

It depends whether a previous owner has replaced the original nipple or not.

Original nipples require a Tecalemit push type grease gun, (quite easy to pick up at boot sales / auto jumbles) but messy in use, even with a cotton rag between the nozzle and nipple:

Tecalemit Nipple.png


If the nipple has been replaced with a modern design one the grease gun may not fit due to the increased diameter of the nozzle, (mine clears the cover plate but it needs careful alignment.

I have a needle nozzle adaptor which fits to a modern gun and both types of nipple:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sealey-AK447 ... 3186000851

Regards Mick
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Re: Greasing front wheel bearings

Postby MalcW » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:27 am

Mick D wrote:
I have a needle nozzle adaptor which fits to a modern gun and both types of nipple:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sealey-AK447 ... 3186000851



That looks really useful. I've ordered one, so I'll see how I get on.

Malc

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Re: Greasing front wheel bearings

Postby MalcW » Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:35 pm

So, I finally got around to getting a needle nozzle adapter. Do you just press the needle end against the little sprung ball in the grease nipple? I tried it and seemed to lose most of the grease. Mind you, it is quite a large lever action grease gun, so it's a bit unwieldy.

I've also just got a small brass Tecalemit gun via a certain well known auction site. 10 minutes with some metal polish and it looks lovely. I haven't loaded it with grease yet, but the internals look good, so hopefully it will work.

How much grease should I be putting into the front hub, or indeed both hubs (full width front, QD rear)? The manual doesn't actually mention lubricating them at all, even though there is a grease nipple.

Thanks,

Malc

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Re: Greasing front wheel bearings

Postby SPRIDDLER » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:19 pm

MalcW wrote:
How much grease should I be putting into the front hub, or indeed both hubs (full width front, QD rear)? The manual doesn't actually mention lubricating them at all, even though there is a grease nipple.

Very little; a couple of strokes maybe - can't tell you exactly as it depends upon how packed with grease the hub is already and the volume per stroke of the grease gun that you use. There are no 'normal' oil/grease seals in the front hub, just a felt ring on my earlier bikes (1960 is a bit too modern for me ;) ) , so you risk grease getting onto the brake drum/linings.
Steering head the same so don't get carried away with your new toy and pump a pound or two into the head races expecting a pressure resistance or grease to appear from around the joints.
EDIT.
TBH they require very little lubrication for the little mileage that most owners cover. However, the best way is to strip out the axle and examine the bearings, removing the possibly 50 years old and probably hard grease and replace with fresh.
I poke badgers with spoons.

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Re: Greasing front wheel bearings

Postby 56G80S » Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:31 pm

On the steering head front, the frame of my Matchless must be full of grease, because that's where ti goes with those nipples. Back in the day I didn't know.

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Re: Greasing front wheel bearings

Postby Duncan » Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:34 pm

I usually exchange the original for a long modern type that comes flush(ish) with the outer cover and cover it with a grommet, a lot easier to use, its also possible to temporarily swap them just to add grease if you prefer the original look.
Long Grease Nipple.PNG
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Re: Greasing front wheel bearings

Postby Mick D » Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:53 am

MalcW wrote:Do you just press the needle end against the little sprung ball in the grease nipple? I tried it and seemed to lose most of the grease.


Hi

I use the needle to depress the ball and the cone seals on the hole - I don't leak any grease as long as I maintain a little pressure on the needle and keep it reasonably square to the nipple.

Regards Mick

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