Sunday, February 26, 2017

Rebuilding Wheels

The Interceptor wheels were a mixed bag. The front rim was bent and twisted requiring a replacement while the rear was relatively straight but rusty. I had a '69 Commando front wheel fitted with the same rim which was straight so I decided to use it. The rims were re-chromed and the spokes were CAD plated to match the originals. The nipples were nickel plated completing my part set.

The starting point.....a bit rough but alright to restore. 

The front hub was in decent shape. The bearings were replaced with sealed units and the brake pads and drum surfaces were cleaned up. The Commando wheel had a dual leading shoe brake which was restored in addition to the original Interceptor unit. I will put the original RE brake on but may switch to the Commando unit in the future.

Commando DLS brake ready for assembly & installation on the RE some time in the future. 

Finished......a fine looking brake.  Nice job Norton.

The rear unit was a different story. The bearings were shot and fell apart upon dis-assembly. The cush drive unit was busted up a bit and needed repairing. Parts were fixed and the hub was rebuilt with new rubber blocks and sealed bearings.

Busted up bearings and cush drive probably took it off the road. 

Parts sorted and ready to go. Measurements of the spokes and rim offsets were made to aid in assembly. Pictures of the wheels were taken for reference as well. 

The inside spokes were installed first. One side was completed and the wheel was flipped to complete the opposite side. Then it was on to the outside spokes.  

Outside spokes being installed.

The outside spokes were completed one side at a time. I worked over the edge of the bench which facilitated inserting the spokes. Spoke nipples were left fully loose until all spokes were in. They were tightened 1/4 turn at a time in the following order...brake side inner...opposite brake side inner....brake side outer...opposite brake side outer. This sequence was provided in my torque wrench manual. 
Side two and the final spokes being fit. 

Complete and ready for the truing stand.

The front wheel was pretty straightforward. I followed my pictures and diagrams and everything fell into place. The rear wheel was a bit trickier but came out well. The next steps were; get everything running true, set the offset, and torque down the spokes.

The rear wheel on the truing stand.  Pics on the PC are of the front wheel which was being assembled on my other bench. I used the pics to get the proper direction of the spokes and spacing. If something is off it is quite obvious as spokes don't match well with hole directions and some stick out of  the rim more than others. 

I purchased an Excel motorcycle spoke torque wrench for this build. I'm not sure this is a critical tool for an experienced wheel builder but it added a level of consistency to my process.  It seems like a person could get into trouble by stripping out spokes or pulling spokes through holes with a torque wrench if they are not careful. Torque specs are hard to find & I set mine to readings taken from existing bikes. Measured torque was lower then internet postings. Beware. 

Wheels were laced finger tight and indicated true after the proper hub offset was achieved. Spokes were tightened with a standard spoke wrench and the torque wrench was used to get everything consistent. This process seemed to work well for me. 

Checking the hub offset with a steel scale. This was done at 90 degree intervals. 

Rear wheel finished with rubber and ready for the road.  On to the front....

One lesson learned on this build is to inspect the original wheels before taking them off the hubs. Spinning the wheel on a stand makes it easy to find damage. It is much easier than measuring the bare rims after dis-assembly which was my approach. 

Now it's on to assembling the chassis. Most parts are refinished and ready to put together. Engine rebuild parts are purchased enabling that phase to begin shortly thereafter. This should take me to riding season where my project will slow down until it is cold again.... 

On with chassis assembly.....

The pipes and the headlight trim ring back from chrome plating. They look very nice.

No comments:

Post a Comment