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June 9th, 2014, 09:17 AM   #1
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Wheel Bearing Engineering Project

KTM seems willing to allow axle bearings to be a premature failure point by most engineering standards. So, after replacing far too many over the years, after playing with seals and injecting grease and still not seeing adequate lifespan, I'm going to take on a project and post it.

But before I do, If someone can tell me that they have seen this attempt before or have seen this posted already, please let me know. What I have seen is discussion around supplier offerings on bearings, seals and spacers. I've scanned for a couple of days now and I am not finding this particular approach posted.

Here's a summary of what I am thinking: Drill the rear hub and fit it with a grease zerk. Pump the hub cavity full of waterproof grease to create a positve pressure environment; create a post-ride service point not much different than lubing the chain while it is hot; create a visual indicator of successful grease application as the grease pushes through the outer seal on the seal spacer running surface.

Before I drill a brand new Warp 9 wheel (bearings lasted about 20 hours), can anyone see a glaring weakness in my thinking and/or has this been attempted before and if so to what end ?

I have Moose (larger load bearings) and Pivotworks (o-ring sealed w/hardened spacer) kits inbound to look at each to see what they are - rear hub is the fist victim. If anyone has suggestions for this process, by all means, send me your thoughts. I understand Warp 9 may not have used the same quality bearings et al as KTM, but they advertise OEM sizes so this will still be a good test given all of my bikes have had what I consider premature bearing related failure.
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June 9th, 2014, 11:04 AM   #2
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June 9th, 2014, 04:04 PM   #3
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interesting idea,

FWIW if it were done by someone with internetz it would probably be on ADVrider
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June 9th, 2014, 04:57 PM   #4
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Maybe a similar concept to what boat trailers use bearing buddies they have a spring to keep positive pressure on the grease to prevent water infiltration. Use a spring centered in the hub with two plungers at each end you would need to fit a zerk on each side. The concept works great on boat hubs 9 years dropping into salt water all summer long no issues

picture below shows a general concept but plungers not round balls

getting the correct pressure would be tricky may blow the seal out or grease may sneak out somewhere if it does work cut me in for 10%

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June 9th, 2014, 05:28 PM   #5
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That's a GREAT idea. Hmm. I started questioning the thought altogether though as I wonder what kind of heat the grease might hold? Could it be detrimental and could it push outward from expansion and potentially land on the brake disc? Thoughts to ponder.
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June 10th, 2014, 04:00 AM   #6
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Heat should not be an issue the trailer rotor gets hot no problems the pressure is minimal maybe 2- 4lbs. Enough to keep positive pressure the real question is would the grease stay in or squeeze out and would it even put pressure to the actual bearing.thought about grease sneaking out and landing on the rotor as well
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