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Thread: Question about wheels on a 1923 'F'

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Default Question about wheels on a 1923 'F'

    I'll be riding in the next Cannonball along with a friend who will be on a 1923 Model F that is currently in the hands of a third person. My question is, when the wheels are removed to fix a flat, do the axles stay with the wheels (e.g. if they have taper roller bearings), or do they easily slide out of the wheels (e.g. if they have ball bearings)? Stated differently, if the wheels were laid on the ground would the axles keep them from laying flat? Thanks in advance for the answer.

  2. #2
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    The axles stay in the hub.
    If you have back-up following you your best friend in the flat tyre situation is a steel 20 litre/ 4 gallon drum, an empty grease bucket is excellent, with a split rubber hose put round the top edge.
    Most if not all motorcycle wheels will sit in the drum resting on the spokes and because it brings the wheel up off the ground and keeps everything on an even keel its a lot easier on everything when doing punctures.
    The split rubber hose protects the spokes but if you're really worried about damaging the finish of your spokes you can throw an old blanket or something similar over the top of the drum first.
    I do all my punctures in the workshop this way and find it very successful.
    On the road this method will only work if you have someone following in a vehicle but remember the drum can carry all the bits necessary to fix flat tyres.(Tyre levers, spare tubes, rubber tyre hammer, tyre pump, even a small compressor if a power source is available)
    Everything to fix a flat all in one location.
    Hope this helps
    Peter Thomson, a.k.a. Tommo
    A.M.C.A. # 2777
    Palmerston North, New Zealand.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommo View Post
    The axles stay in the hub.
    If you have back-up following you your best friend in the flat tyre situation is a steel 20 litre/ 4 gallon drum,
    Thanks very much for this information about the wheels.

    Unfortunately, while someone could hire the Ferrari F1 pit crew to follow along during the Cannonball, they only could help the rider during the evening stops. During each ~250-mile day the riders have to fix whatever breaks themselves.

    p.s. One more question: what is the diameter of the Harley axles?
    Last edited by BoschZEV; 07-09-2017 at 08:47 PM. Reason: added p.s.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoschZEV View Post

    p.s. One more question: what is the diameter of the Harley axles?
    Hi BoschZEV, the axles on my 20F are:

    Front = 7/16"
    Rear = 5/8"

    I am not certain if the 23 is the same, my parts book only goes to 1921 but I am sure Mark or someone similarly knowledgeable will be able to confirm.

    John

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechNoir View Post
    Front = 7/16"
    Rear = 5/8"
    Thanks very much for that information, but are you sure about the 7/16"? That seems rather spindly.

    The reason for my question is I'm making a portable tool that I would like to work with my Ariel's wheels (9/16" axles) as well as with the Harley's.

  6. #6
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    BoschZEV, I am pretty sure that those sizes are correct, at least they should be for the axle nuts, however when I get back home later today I will double check and confirm.

    John

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechNoir View Post
    when I get back home later today I will double check and confirm.
    John,

    Thanks again. It's actually the larger (5/8") that matters for what I'm fabricating. However, the 7/16" struck me as a bit on the tiny side so I was curious if that really were the case.

  8. #8
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    Hello BoschZEV,

    I have had a look at my 20F and I can confirm that the sizes of the nuts on the axles are as previously posted. I will add the following clarifications though.

    Rear axle. The nut is as per this picture:



    However the axle is stepped. I couldnít find a picture of mine disassembled and clean but I did find this picture from when I originally disassembled it. You can just see the difference in size of the axle at the right hand side.



    Also see this illustration in the parts book.



    The front axle is not stepped but is a two part assembly. The nut is as I said.



    You can see a larger nut inboard of the fork here



    The axle is, as you have said, very puny. However it sits inside a hollow sleeve which is much thicker stronger. I have pictures of my parts both before and after cleaning.





    If you need more information or measurement then let me know.

    However, note that this is only correct for a 1920 bike and I donít know if the 1923 bike is the same as I donít have the later parts book.

    John

  9. #9
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    John,

    Thank you very much for all that effort. That certainly seems to be an odd design since an axle only will be as strong as its weakest section. Plus, where the axle diameter changes is a place of stress concentration, potentially making it even weaker than it would be if made entirely with the smaller diameter.

    Not that it's important for my purposes since your photos and measurements tell me everything I need to know, but if I understand correctly the rear axle is stepped down to 5/8", meaning the main length of the axle is even larger (11/16"?).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoschZEV View Post
    ......if I understand correctly the rear axle is stepped down to 5/8", meaning the main length of the axle is even larger (11/16"?).

    Correct but I donít know the larger diameter without some disassembly

    Do you need the other dimensions of the rear axle?

    John

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