StromTrooper banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,017 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Re-did the front bearings on my '09 Wee recently, went with All Balls kit, which I've used half a dozen times before and always had great luck with. That was 900 miles ago.

The other day my front end starts making a random clunk sound....like something is hanging and randomly bouncing off the fork. When I got home I went through everything, and with the front wheel elevated and the brake calipers off the wheel, a spin of the wheel reproduced this random clunk sound.

Got the wheel off and I could feel one bearing felt very odd...not gritty, smooth for a 1/2 turn then a jarring pop, then smooth.

So, today I pulled both bearings off. The side that was the obvious issue fell apart in my hand when I pried the oil seal off. The inner race was split, fractured like so:



The rest of the inner workings looked good...balls and capture looked fine, but this was definitely my culprit.

Guess my luck ran out on the All Balls kits. Would still use them in a pinch, but I'm gonna replace these with some Timkens monday morning.

Oh, and having a stuck outer race is a gob of fun. Had to dremel cut it in a few places to relieve pressure and bang it out very slowly with a big drift. Gah.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lrobby99

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,017 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Ah man.....WTF??
That's what I thought. Guess some bad metallurgy or something went screwy in the manufacturing.

Not a huge deal, in the grand scheme of things, and I'm glad it didn't sideline a trip or anything, but not the kind of lifespan I was expecting out of those bearings!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,325 Posts
Misaligned? You didn't crack it during installation?

(Sorry for asking plz don't take it as offense)

Visited provinces:

Visited states:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,017 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Misaligned? You didn't crack it during installation?

(Sorry for asking plz don't take it as offense)

Visited provinces:

Visited states:
Highly unlikely, drove it in with a bearing driver and was sitting nice and flush (very evident by the stuck outer race I had to get out)...inner race was never impacted. Done the same way I've done dozens of bearings over the years.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cyclopathic

·
FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
Joined
·
38,103 Posts
I think I've mentioned before that Chinese bearings have spotty quality control.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,017 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I think I've mentioned before that Chinese bearings have spotty quality control.
Yup, they do, and they're cheap and plentiful so I rolled the dice. Eventually, you lose a hand.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jergy52

·
Registered
Joined
·
650 Posts
All Balls stuff seems to be gaining a declining reputation...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
969 Posts
It takes a tremendous amount of shock or force (on a bearing that size) to crack an inner race even when the outer race and balls are removed. Bad bearing would be my guess.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,203 Posts
It takes a tremendous amount of shock or force (on a bearing that size) to crack an inner race even when the outer race and balls are removed. Bad bearing would be my guess.
I would have to agree this is a manufacturing flaw. This must have been a flawed race from the beginning.

Makes saving money on critical components less of a priority somehow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,017 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I would have to agree this is a manufacturing flaw. This must have been a flawed race from the beginning.

Makes saving money on critical components less of a priority somehow.
If I truly thought the price/quality curve was reliably true, I'd ride a BMW believing they're the most reliable brand on the market.

>:)

Truthfully, I've used a lot of All Balls kits and had nothing but good service life out of them. I'll allow that almost any manufacturer can let a bad horse out of the barn. Not condemning them, just yet, they're by far one of the most common replacement kits. If they're getting more reports of failure it's likely because they're being used as replacements far more often than other brands....so it would follow and explain why we hear about their failures and not WIB bearings from Switzerland (which are, obviously, higher quality bearings if you wanna pony up the $$).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,203 Posts
Oh, I'll buy Chinese (or by price) for non-critical components but wheel bearings, brakes and such are critical components and I will buy higher on the food chain than I do on less critical items. My opinion - your results may vary.

Same reason I never installed those $17 brake pads from eBay, I've had experience with cheap replacement brakes before.

I don't think there is any way you could have tweaked that race installing it in an aluminum hub badly enough to have caused a fault like that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,017 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I don't think there is any way you could have tweaked that race installing it in an aluminum hub badly enough to have caused a fault like that.
Yeah, I can't see how I could have tweaked them. I start them with a race driver, then pull them in together with a threaded rod & washer stack until they're snug. About as gentle and uniform as I think can be done with hand tools.

I'd imagine that if I bunged it at all vertically i'd have noticed the oil seal (it was on that side) would not sit flush...but visually everything looked good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,017 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Stopped by an industrial outfit that stocks bearings, they had bearings but no seals. Was in a hurry for a ride this weekend, so I ordered a Pivot Works kit off Amazon Prime. The reviews stated they were American made, a little more $$ but since it was the whole kit/seals, figured it was worth it...they have lifetime replacement too.

So, bearings arrive today, and are clearly marked China. Ugh.

I'll use the seal, go back and get Timkens from the local outfit.

Speaking of seals, I noticed on the right side of my front hub, where the seal sits that it's grooved up. Wondering how that happened? Seal rotating and grooving up the aluminum? Never had that happen with my Stroms before, even with high mileage. The mating surface where the bearing sits looks perfect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,017 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Interesting update....got my new bearings this morning, was getting them ready to install using the old (non destroyed) bearing to start them into the hubs and I noticed that they're not Chinese. They're All Balls bearings, I still have the packaging and the receipt, but these are clearly marked Japan.

Now, I wouldn't put it past China to fake a bearing seal, but IIRC All Balls isn't a manufacturer just sources them and sells kits, so it's possible this is a Japanese bearing sold under their banner.

 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,527 Posts
Wow what a cluster dude, and there is so much misrepresentation and flat out lies from sellers on the net.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
360 Posts
Your best off to go to a bearing supply store and get em. They, quality German, Japanese or U.S. made bearings are not that expensive. I don't use cheap bearings on my road bikes-Vstrom included, but have used Turkish or Indian made ones on my dirt bikes with decent results-no failures. Thats, basically, cause in the dirt bikes I change them way more often due to water/dirt intrusion. You can order them online too from a bearing supply site too.I just prefer to see them in person so no fitting problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,017 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Wow what a cluster dude, and there is so much misrepresentation and flat out lies from sellers on the net.
Well, it's all sorted out now...rolling smooth as butter. Put Timkens in it, greased the seals up, kind of concerning with the grooves in the front hub, but I'll keep 'em cleaned and greased and hopefully the seal doesn't let water/crud in.

BTW, BDI over on Goodale BLVD is cheap on bearings, the Timkens were only $4.95 a piece and they can get the seals if you don't mind waiting a couple days or pre-order them for pick up at the counter.

$13 total for US-Made bearings and seals, if you go that route.

Ready for the camping trip, now, bucko!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,527 Posts
Well, it's all sorted out now...rolling smooth as butter. Put Timkens in it, greased the seals up, kind of concerning with the grooves in the front hub, but I'll keep 'em cleaned and greased and hopefully the seal doesn't let water/crud in.

BTW, BDI over on Goodale BLVD is cheap on bearings, the Timkens were only $4.95 a piece and they can get the seals if you don't mind waiting a couple days or pre-order them for pick up at the counter.

$13 total for US-Made bearings and seals, if you go that route.

Ready for the camping trip, now, bucko!
Glad all sorted out finally, and once again thanks for doing the parts homework for me!!! Ride and camp time, weather is looking good.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top