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dragging rear wheel

Posted by charles_collins at June 17. 2018

This is a very nagging and ghostly problem for me on a 1949 plunger es2.

The rear wheel would scrape on the brake pivot bolts and when the rear wheel spindle was tightened down it
would make the rear wheel very hard to turn.
Thinking it was a bent brake plate I put a small shim behind the plate to move it out instead of banging on the brake plate to straighten it. This worked. Tighten the axle nuts down and it moves freely.
Now a year later I want a new rear tyre that is the exact same as the old one without sidewall cracking. I took off the wheel and noticed nothing unusual.
I took it in to a shop to put the tyre on. I get it back and whenever I tighten down the axle it freezes the rear wheel again.
I decide that before I start banging on the brake plate I will substitute a washer for the now unmounted brake plate to be certain that is the problem.....nope!
That's not it! Rear wheel freezes up when the axle nuts are tightened. Almost tight and they bearings spine nice. Tighten like it should be and it just about won't move.
I am certain I have the correct distance pieces in the proper orientation. It's possible I ‫might not have all the correct parts on the bike when it was sold to me but it is a weird intermittent problem.

All suggestions gladly welcomed.

Re: dragging rear wheel

Posted by colin_mosley at June 17. 2018

I had a similar problem with my rigid rear wheel.  I bought the bike as a semi basket case withe the hubs built and painted.

I couldn't figure out why the brake plate somtImes rubbed. The previous owner had replaced the bearings washer (15 in the attached picture) with one with a too small OD. This caused it to occasionally drop down and partially cover the bearings inner race. This would cause the spacer and brake plate to tip. Sometimes by luck the washer would centre itself and the world was fine!

Colin

Attachments

Re: dragging rear wheel

Posted by terence_terrell at June 17. 2018

I also had this problem on my 1949 plunger ES2.I later found the missing shim(15) on the garage floor.Bad practice on my part.

Re: dragging rear wheel

Posted by philip_hannam at June 17. 2018

You can also get a brake rubbing problem if the wheel bearings are not correctly positioned. It might be worth checking that the Hub Bearing Lock Ring has been tightened sufficiently. Otherwise, all the innards shift across towards the speedo -drive.  Mind you....having all the correct chunks on the drive side of the spindle does also help.

Re: dragging rear wheel

Posted by charles_collins at June 18. 2018

You guys nailed it. The one that came with the bike was too small in diameter and when I packed the bearings I left it off.

Re: dragging rear wheel

Posted by charles_collins at June 25. 2018

STILL Dragging! Is the pen steel washer too big with an I.D. of 26mm? It does not cover the inner bearing race. The O.D. is 40mm and seems correct.   Several sites say pen steel and felt retainer the same for all bikes front and rear for all years 1940's through 1976 but I wonder about that. I know the felt retainer washer was 5 mm bigger on the later bikes' front bearing. Is the old pen steel washer thicker as well? This is about 0.010 of an inch thick.  What am I missing here? Next check the bearing lock ring I guess....urgh

Re: dragging rear wheel

Posted by Barry Carson at June 25. 2018

i had a similar thing happen on my es2 rear brake . on fitting new bearings i knocked one bearing into place then knocked  the second one in not realizing it was moving the opposite bearing from its seat. anyway fitted it all back together tightened the lock ring tapped it around all tight as i thought.  so i put the wheel on the bike and when i turned the wheel you got a heavy scraping knocking sound and you could see the brake plate moving in and out . as i found out it was catching on the brake drum studs within the brake drum. so i re tightened the rear spindle thinking it was loose as i tightened it i noticed the lock ring coming loose . once i realized it was the spindle just pulling the bearings together onto there seats just redid all ok.

 

 

Barry

Re: dragging rear wheel

Posted by charles_collins at June 25. 2018

I'm thinking things got shifted when the wheel was on the tire mounting machine. When the wheel is off the bike the axle has 1/8 inch side to side play in it. Supposed to be nil isn't it? I am totally unfamiliar with this, as you can tell.

I tightened the loose locknut and all was seeming well until it was tight and reassembled. Still drags. I took it all apart. Is the right side bearing to be so easily extracted when the axle is pulled out?  What the heck is going on here?

Anyone know where to get a service manual or know a decent place in the USA to send this to? I give up!

Re: dragging rear wheel

Posted by ian_soady at June 26. 2018

Re: dragging rear wheel

Posted by John Carter at June 26. 2018

I had exactly the same symptoms on my 36 Model 18. There was an additional washer on the axle between the brake drum and frame that, because it wasn't in the parts book, I left off when I reassembled. The wheel dragged badly. On replacing the washer it improved a lot and I found that by tightening the axle nuts and the three nuts that connect the wheel to the brake drum a little at a time I could improve it to a, not perfect, but acceptable level. I had to redo a few times before I got it 'right'. I also read / heard / imagined somewhere that when finally tightening the rear axle bolts applying the brake will 'centre' the drum and avoid dragging. Tried it and didn't seem to make a difference but I pass it on anyway. Getting a drag free back wheel at the same time as correct chain tension and wheel alignment is a good skill to have... with me it's about abundant trial and error..

Re: dragging rear wheel

Posted by colin_mosley at June 26. 2018

The right hand bearing should be held in place by the lock ring so if it is slightly loose in the wheel it shouldn't be too much of a problem. I would fit this bearing first, tighten the lock ring and then fit the left bearing. There should be no end float.

Are you sure that the binding is on the brake side? Did the spacer behind the speedometer drive get misplaced during the tyre change? Try removing the speedo drive and substituting with a washer about 1/8 inch thick. Does it still lock?

If it is locking on the brake side and clearance has always been an issue is the left side bearing the correct size?

Re: dragging rear wheel

Posted by charles_collins at June 27. 2018

Re: dragging rear wheel

Posted by charles_collins at June 27. 2018

Thank you all for suggesting I put my shoes back on and approach this situation with bigger hammers to solve the problem. I am keeping everyone's comments in mind while I figure this out. Dragging wheel must become driving wheel.

The info in the .pdf  link in an earlier post says the longer portion of the sleeve .......is this called the axle?    It is to be fitted into the single row bearing by the speedo drive. It says the long end but the illustration shows an equal length piece.

There is a longer end. It was reversed when returned from the tire fitter. Could this work if it was reversed all the time and I didn't know it or maybe it is part of my unpleasant situation after receiving the newly fitted tire?

All other parts are correct and in place.   I am also buying a new 2 row bearing for the brake side. The bearing just does not seem right, it hangs up at times. I hope this thread helps someone else after all of this trouble.

Re: dragging rear wheel

Posted by charles_collins at July 08. 2018

Well I have a free turning wheel now with new 2 row bearing and working brakes. It is assembled in the proper order with all correct parts in right places. I can't figure out why the speedo drive and distance piece is very slightly loose even when axle is tightened down on both ends. Is this a black art of wheel building?

Re: dragging rear wheel

Posted by Barry Carson at July 08. 2018

yours is probably different but i had the same on my 56 19s the rear wheel spindle was slightly to long butting up inside the dummy axle not tightening everthing up fully.   as i found out later it was simply a washer missing on the wheel spindle.

 

https://andover-norton.co.uk/en/shop-drawing/417/cotton-reel-rear-hubs

 

Barry

Re: dragging rear wheel

Posted by ian_soady at July 08. 2018

The plunger model doesn't have a dummy axle, the spindle goes right through.

I would check that there's enough thread protruding on the RHS to fully tighten the nut down, but would also suspect a missing washer as Barry suggests. I can't see that the wheel building would affect it at all.

Re: dragging rear wheel

Posted by charles_collins at July 10. 2018

I think the wheel hub can be located on the outer race of the bearings in slightly different spots even with correct bearings. I gave it two slight whacks on the speedo side and that freed up the dragging but made for a tiny bit too much play on the speedo side. I guess only one slight whack would have done it just right. Now I am fitting thin washers in to take up the very slight space needed on that side.

Re: dragging rear wheel

Posted by terence_terrell at July 10. 2018

Previously charles_collins wrote:

I think the wheel hub can be located on the outer race of the bearings in slightly different spots even with correct bearings. I gave it two slight whacks on the speedo side and that freed up the dragging but made for a tiny bit too much play on the speedo side. I guess only one slight whack would have done it just right. Now I am fitting thin washers in to take up the very slight space needed on that side.


Yes a Birmingham screwdriver and an Anglo Saxon phrase book can work wonders.

Re: dragging rear wheel

Posted by ian_soady at July 10. 2018

It's worth remembering how the whole thing works. The outer race of the RHS bearing is locked into position via the lock ring A2/440 so cannot move laterally once assembled.

The spindle's increased diameter centre section, which locates on the inner races of both bearings, secures the LHS bearing into place. The recess for the LHS bearing outer is intentionally slightly "too deep" to ensure that there is no sideways force on the balls and that the outer race can find its own position. There is no positive lateral location for the LHS bearing's outer race.

It's often the case that when first assembled everything seems a bit tight but once the wheel is rotated a few times this will allow this slight sideways movement and should free up.

Provided the spindle is the right way round, there should be enough thread showing on the RHS so that when the RHS nut is tightened down it will clamp the distance piece A2/441, speedo drive, and distance piece D12/461 between the inner bearing and the inner face of the fork end. Of course there is also the chain adjuster stirrup B4/665 located on the fork end and washer B2/659 under the nut.

There's enough play and general flexibility that tightening down the RHS nut will be enough to remove any side play between the RHS fork end and the bearing. I would check again that the spindle is correct and that it has enough good thread for the nut to travel far enough to clamp everything down.

Re: dragging rear wheel

Posted by charles_collins at July 11. 2018

Thanks for all comments informative and funny.
It helps to understand the whole setup knowing that there is no positive placement for the double row bearing.  Obviously I could not grasp how this hub works.
The spindle is inserted properly as that it can only go one way after doing it both ways.


It was so tight that I could not imagine it centering after many rotations and insisted I did something wrong.
It would hardly let the wheel turn so I gave the spindle a slight mallet smack on the speedo side..


There is plenty of threading on the speedo side to tighten the nut but it seems the nut tightens on the plunger fork and stirrup but never contacts the distance piece and speedo drive enough.
It seems my options are I can either tap the double row bearing in just a little bit more on the brake side or add a thin washer to the speedo drive side.
I am running it now. Is it not a good idea to have the speedo and distance piece very slightly slightly loose?

Furthermore I originally found a washer with the same I.D. as the outer race of the bearing next to the pen steel washer and felt grease retainer on the brake side.
This can't be right so I left it out. Maybe it was supposed to be between
the 2 row bearing and the axle shoulder and not mentioned in any part diagram or maybe it was added accidentally from a previous owner.   Sheesh....!

Sorry to be Dragging this wheel thread so long. Thanks to everyone.

Re: dragging rear wheel

Posted by ian_soady at July 11. 2018

Hi Charles.

It's a VERY bad idea to ride with them loose. The speedo drive can be carried round with the wheel; this will then pull the speedo drive cable and can whip the bars onto full lock. A common problem with spring frame Velos.

The gentle whack will have moved the brake side bearing enough to free it up - as I said, on initial assembly they often feel very tight.

One thought has struck me - the nuts (at least on mine) are blind ie the outer end is closed. It's possible that the recess is clogged up with muck, not allowing the nut to travel along the spindle enough to clamp everything. It's also possible that it's the incorrect nut with insufficient thread.

You do have the washer between the nut and the stirrup don't you? It's quite thick.

Re: dragging rear wheel

Posted by charles_collins at July 12. 2018

Thanks Ian and everyone. I now understand how it is supposed to work, what happened and why it did what it did.  It will be fine!

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