Front wheel noise
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  1. #1
    Member Dwight's Avatar
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    I've got a 2007 TW with 6,300 miles. Bought it use off of CL and have done some work including new sprockets, chain, rear tire/tube, front tube, cyclerack, and front brake fluid replacement. Lately I've noticed a thumping in the front wheel, first at higher speeds around 40, now at lower speeds aroung 20. When I lift the front tire and spin it, I can hear a slight clunk at one point in the rotation. Anyone have an experience with either the speedometer gear failing on the front wheel or a front wheel bearing starting to fail? When I bought the bike, the front tire mud guard was cracked on both sides just in front of the metal holding bracket. I JB welded that and it seems to be holding ok. It suggests that the bike had been ridden hard before I bought it. Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Senior Member jontow's Avatar
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    Doesn't sound like a speedo gear issue, they're pretty weak, and the inertia of the front wheel spinning around will likely bend the goofy little tabs out and sacrifice themselves. Might wanna play wiggle-the-wheel games and see if you can find an issue in the bearings. If you pull the wheel, its pretty easy to get down into the speedo gears to inspect them, anyway. The speedo doesn't necessarily have "one spot" that it hits, its just tabs that lock the hub/gears together. If the tabs do bend, its possible to "fix" them with a hammer and some careful whacking, we had to do it on one of the TWs here. Chances are its off to procycle [or your vendor of choice] for a wheel bearing kit. Good thing they're cheap
    --

    1997 TW, well loved, a bit modified.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Rainman's Avatar
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    Jontow gave you some good advice. Take off the wheel and use your finger to spin the bearings. If they don't spin freely you may be able to pull off the protective cap and put some grease in there. If grease doesn't work, then I would get new bearings. Bearings are not too difficult to do.
    If you can't find it, grind it

    1990 TW200

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  5. #4
    Senior Member jontow's Avatar
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    Maybe you know how to do this already, but for those that don't, and happen on this thread via searching, this may provide some insight:



    Honestly, I haven't replaced them on my TW (yet--they're in a box and waiting to go in this week), but usually you don't need any crazy tools to do the job. The last few I've done needed a long punch of some sort (6" would be plenty adequate, I think), and a hammer: put the punch through the bearing closest to you and drive out the opposite side, try to work around it in a circle pattern so you don't get it lodged sideways and mess up the bearing seat in the hub. A screwdriver should do to get the seal out, but a seal puller works better: you need to plan on replacing the seals, they sure don't seem to survive being pulled very often. To install bearings, a socket that pretty closely matches the *outside diameter* of the bearing does pretty well, vs. a specialty bearing driver. You have to be careful, *never never* hammer on the inside part of the bearing, which is the one that spins. In fact, its best that a hammer itself never come in contact with the bearing



    If there's interest, maybe I'll snap some pictures and do a quick write-up when I get some time to swap mine. I've got both front and rear to do, and the parts are here.
    --

    1997 TW, well loved, a bit modified.

  6. #5
    Member Dwight's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, good info. I hope to pull the wheel later this week and see what I can find. I'll let you know what I find.

  7. #6
    Member Dwight's Avatar
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    I went for a ride today to see if I could get a better notion of where the front wheel sound was coming from. After a short while the thumping noise increased and the speedometer stopped working. The noise continues even when nothing registers on the meter. I pulled the meter head assembly and rotated the slot where the cable fits and it registered milage and speed, so I think it is ok. When I push the bike, the cable does not rotate, so I think the problem is either in the cable or wheel gear unit or both. I'll pull the wheel tomorrow and see what I can find. If it turns out to be the gear unit that failed would you suggest replacing the cable as well? Jantow, are the metal ears on the hub or on the wheel gear? If I need to straighten them, what's the best tool, hammer, pliers or something else? Thanks.

  8. #7
    Senior Member r80rt's Avatar
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    I'd bet it's just a broken cable, if it's broken you can just pull it out of the liner from the top and see.
    Only a fool would attempt it, and God help me, I am that fool!

  9. #8
    Member Dwight's Avatar
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    You were correct r80rt. When I disconnected the cable from the wheel gear unit, about 5 inches of cable came right out of the lower end of the cable sheath. I reconnected the outer cable sheath at both ends, without the 5 inches of cable, rode the bike and no noise was detected in the wheel. I've ordered a new cable. Hopefull(I'm gambling here) the wheel gear unit is ok. I'll let you know how the fix went after I get the new cable installed. Thanks! Oh, on a positive note, I meant to add that in the process of looking at the meter head unit, I noticed a very poorly done electrical splice on both front running lights. The electrical tape was falling off and bare wires were exposed. So I got to fix it before they shorted out. The unknowns of this used bike continue reveal themselves.

  10. #9
    Senior Member r80rt's Avatar
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    Grease the heck out of that new cable when you put it in, Glad you found and repaired another potential problem too.
    Only a fool would attempt it, and God help me, I am that fool!

  11. #10
    Senior Member jontow's Avatar
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    Before you install a brand new cable in it, pull your front wheel and get into the speedo gear assembly, make sure it turns freely. Old grease will set them up pretty solid, and any rust will, too. Unknown origins are unknown origins! Glad you got the noise figured out
    --

    1997 TW, well loved, a bit modified.

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