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Another question regarding my 1911 Little Giant, which should apply to other makes of the era. The wheel hubs are fitted with ball bearings, with the hub races machined into the hubs, and the spindle races are loose pieces. From the photographs you can see features that would suggest some sort of seal to keep the grease in and the dirt out. There is a machined groove in the spindle and three cast grooves in the hub. There is about 0.048 clearance between the hub and spindle. There seems to be no relationship between the grooves in the hub and the groove on the spindle. The front wheel hub and spindle are exactly the same as the rear, just proportionally smaller and there are 2 grooves in the hub instead of 3. (To avoid any confusion, the Little Giant is dual chain drive. The photos are of the rear wheel.)

I've seen quite a few varieties of grease seals, but none would seem to apply here. Any ideas, anyone?

Thanks.

Wayne MacDonald

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Are you sure the race is machined into the hub? It looks like the race may be a separate part that is pressed onto the spindle. I would also think that the cup in the hub is also pressed in, since these are wear points and the bearings were most likely supplied by another vendor (Timken maybe?) I just went through a similar process with my Reo hubs and bearings and had the hubs reworked to accept Model T inner bearings and Model A outer bearings. They are readily available and roller bearings are far superior to the ball type. It was simply a matter of pressing sleeves of the correct dimension into the hubs to accept the new races.

Frank

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Thanks for the reply, Frank. I'm going to stick with the original ball bearings. The races are OK, and I replaced the balls (5/8, 3/4, and 7/8 diameters) with new ones, as the originals were worn and out-of-round. The question I have is regarding the type of grease seal. Can you explain what kind of grease seals your Reo had before you machined the parts for roller bearings?

Thanks,

W. MacDonald

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The Reo had a standard grease seal that had a felt washer in the middle and was tapped in with a light hammer. Nothing fancy. Just one word of caution on your plan to replace the balls. About one year ago, I replaced all the balls in my bearings with new ones from McMaster Carr. The races were fine and just the balls were worn. I put maybe 400 miles on the new balls in a tour last summer and when I checked the bearings this spring I was surprised. The new balls had worn the old races very badly and they were mushroomed beyond use. Just keep an eye on them.... The new balls wore the old races like I never would have imagined. I'll post a photo of them tomorrow for you...

Frank

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Not sure, but I think the simple answer is that the cones wore enough to remove the hardened surface and when I put the new hard balls into the soft cone, you see the result. I can remember when I was quite a bit younger, a mechanic told me never to replace a new roller bearing without replacing the race, since the race will wear at the same rate as the rollers. I guess this proves the point...

Frank

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