After the restoration: Alloy wheels
Oct 6, 2001 (Saturday)
When I bought my bike it came with alloy wheels. However, they did not match each other. I broke down the wheels, sold the rims, and then re-built the wheels using new chromed steel rims. I wish I hadn’t done that: the new rims are not of the same quality as the old. It would have been better to try and buy a used alloy rim that matched one of the two that I had. Live and learn.
When a member of the slash2 mailing list posted that he’d a pair of matching alloy wheels for sale I snapped them up. Not wanting to have the bike off the road too long I also bought a hub in good condition, new SS spokes, nipples, and spoke retainers. My plan is to build one wheel, put it on the rear of the bike, then use the hub and spokes from my existing rear wheel to build a new front wheel. That will leave me with a spare wheel and a spare rim. Not sure what I’ll do with those, yet.
Before I can do anything I had to clean the garage. The work bench and work table were both under about 18 inches of stuff. Much of that stuff wound up in the garbage. In any case I now have a clean bench and a work table. On the work table are most of the bits I need to build the first wheel.
I picked up a used hub from Joe Groeger last week. I got it grease and dirt free yesterday, then bead blasted it this morning. I still need to give it its after blasting wash and blow dry. The bearing surfaces and splines were protected with tape before blasting.
As noted above I ordered new spokes, nipples, and retainers. The spokes and nipples come as a kit with the goop needed to keep the spokes from galling. They are Buchanan stainless steel spokes. The only thing missing is a “bearing stack” which I’ll need to true the wheel. I think I’ve got enough old/used parts to build something up. When mounting the new wheel on the bike I’ll use the existing stack.
Oct 7, 2001 (Sunday)
A bearing stack using old bearing was put together. I wont install these bearings on the bike, but they are good enough to true the wheels. A new seal was installed on the brake side of the hub as it will be used when the wheel is installed. I found a used seal for the hub nut. Also, I didn’t have the large style “top hat” thrust bushing, so used a small one. Again, it’s good enough for truing the wheel. (Note: actually, no seals are needed for truing and balancing the wheel – it may be best to wait until the greased wheel bearings are installed to install the seals).
This is image is annotated to show why the rim only fits one way. When the rim is correct the “high” and “low” spoke holes will match. The picture shows the rim in the incorrect orientation where a high spoke on the hub would match to a “low” spoke hole on the rim. Don’t do that.
A little foresight makes initial spoke placement easy. I start with the brake side down, rim in proper orientation, and then install the low spokes. It’s obvious which hole the spokes go to. Once the proper hole is found the spokes go to every 4th hole.
The rim and hub are then turned over and the low spokes installed on this side of the wheel. The second picture shows both sets of low spokes installed. Once the low spokes are installed the high spokes can be installed. I do the side that is up, then flip the wheel over to do the other side. Picture 3 shows 3 sets of spokes installed, picture 4 all spokes.
The spoke nipples are barely started on all the spokes. I haven’t started using the goop yet – first I want to make sure that I’ve got all the spokes, nipples, and retainers needed. I’ll be removing each nipple and applying goop before I start the truing process.
The wheel is now ready for truing. I’m using an Ed Korn inspired truing stand, a dial indicator, and a home made jig to ensure the proper hub-rim offset – the hub needs to be 6.5 +/- 0.1 mm above the rim. Oh yeah, I’ve also a clicker spoke wrench. I’ll start the truing process some time this coming week.
Oct 8, 2001 (Monday)
With the wheel on the stand I started from the valve hole and removed each nipple, added a bunch of goop, and then re-installed the nipple. The nipples were tightened until the spoke threads just couldn’t be seen. That was my starting point for truing the wheel.
Notice the retainers. When first starting things are loose enough that the retainers may hang up above the ridge that is there to keep the retainers from twisting. After gooping all the spokes/nipples I made sure the retainers were all seated properly.
The process is simple: tighten the spokes keeping the wheel round and true. As I started I noticed that the spoke wrench wasn’t grabbing the nipples firmly. A quick check with the calipers shows these nipples are 5.6 mm. The head for my wrench is 6.0 mm. A new head is $9.95. I place the order and forget about the wheel for a while.
Oct 14-16, 2001 (Sunday-Tuesday)
The spoke wrench head arrived Saturday afternoon. I came
home right after the Sunday morning ride and started truing the wheel.
Things go much faster with the proper tool.
The dial indicator is used to verify that the wheel is round. Specs call for no more than 1 mm. The home made gauge is to check that the distance between hub and rim is correct. This distance is supposed to be 6.5 mm +/- .1 mm. OK. The variation is supposed to be within .02 mm. That is a joke. I doubt that a brand new rims was that true. I’ve been told that 1/16 of an inch (about 1.5 mm) is OK. After truing the wheel I moved the dial indicator to the side and checked – this wheel has less than 1 mm lateral runout.
The first picture is of the finished wheel. It’s spinning on its stand while I look for wobbles, dips, etc. Side-to-side looks great. There is a bit of a dip, but it is within specs. I guess it is to be expected with 40 year old rims (the inside is stamped ‘61). After verifying that none of the spokes came all the way through the nipples duct tape is wrapped around the rim to protect the rubber. It’s now time to move the tire from the existing rear wheel to the new wheel and try it on the bike.
Nov 3, 2001 (Saturday)
Several weeks ago I took the wheel with tire mounted to Joe’s to use his balancing stand. He noticed a slight ding in the rim. “We can fix that, you know.” Expecting something like that I’d brought my tire removal tools. The tire came off, the ding was removed, and the tire was re-installed. Oops. I didn’t pay attention to the red dots on the tire and it would need excessive weight to balance. Oh well. I’ll remove the tire one more time. At home. Later.
Time to get this wheel back on the bike. I popped one side
of the tire over the rim and aligned the red dots with the valve stem.
The tire was installed again, bounced, filled with air, and them put on my spare axle. With oiled (not greased) wheel bearings and the seals remove, the axle-in-a-vice works just fine as a balancing stand. 1/2 ounce of weights and its ready for the bike.
The new wheel is now back on the bike. I’ve already pulled the wheel I remove apart in preparation for a front wheel with alloy rims. I’ll not document that process as it should be pretty much a duplicate of the above.