Turning down axles, fitting sleeves, and Bushings on Star Hubs - The Jockey Journal Board

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Old 09-05-2012, 02:20 PM   #1
H2otoad
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Default Turning down axles, fitting sleeves, and Bushings on Star Hubs

Hi everybody. I've been lurking for a while soaking up info, but now I am ready for a couple posts. Here's my issue, I'd love to know what experienced builders think of this.

I've recently gotten myself into a basket case. I've got parts from some very special places, and people. I'd like to use these great old star hub wheels with the other parts I've accumulated. I'm running a narrow glide front end with no front brake, and a mid to late 70's custom frame with a swing arm. The star hubs don't have axles with them, but the front end and swing arm do. They don't match up though. I've read all sorts of posts about people milling out the star hubs to run Timkens. But that just seems like more work than necessary. The bearings and hubs are still in great shape, and could last a long time still. Is it out of the question to just use a stock axle and turn it down to fit the small side of the hub, and then put a sleeve on the larger side?

This seems like a pretty simple solution, but I am not finding any proof of anyone doing this. Is there a good reason as to why?
Any input is considerably appreciated. Thanks in advance for your time.

Todd
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Turning down axles, fitting sleeves, and Bushings on Star Hubs

i always use the battered up old starhubs en put them on a lathe to match them with the newer timken bearings

loads of customers and friends are using these (that i've done) and never came back because they had any problems
some are already using them for a couple of years now ...so i can highly recomend you to change them !!
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Turning down axles, fitting sleeves, and Bushings on Star Hubs

I would love to do that, but I am working on a thin budget, and could most likely have a friend machine me a couple new axles. That way I don't have to unlace the wheels. Then I could be onto other parts of my build sooner. I may end up doing just that later on down the road, or just end up trading the wheels out for a newer ones. But for now, I was thinking that this would be an easy and inexpensive alternative.
Is there something inherently wrong with milling a custom axle in this way?

Todd
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: Turning down axles, fitting sleeves, and Bushings on Star Hubs

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Originally Posted by H2otoad View Post
I would love to do that, but I am working on a thin budget, and could most likely have a friend machine me a couple new axles. That way I don't have to unlace the wheels. Then I could be onto other parts of my build sooner. I may end up doing just that later on down the road, or just end up trading the wheels out for a newer ones. But for now, I was thinking that this would be an easy and inexpensive alternative.
Is there something inherently wrong with milling a custom axle in this way?

Todd
i't could be done
but i'm no fan of the idea of milling a custom axle for a worn out spoolhub

i would just wait a month longer with putting my bike on the road and do it right the 1st time instead of putting loads of work into something that will probl. cost you some cash ...that you will change later anyway

better to safe some cash ,buy the right parts and do it good rightaway

never take any changes with wheels ,bearings,brakes,tyres
when an engine brakes down ...its a bummer ,but when a wheel bearing locks up while driving 45mph is deadly

what you'd rather have ....bummed out or dead
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Turning down axles, fitting sleeves, and Bushings on Star Hubs

I would totally understand that situation if the hubs were worn out, or the races were shot. But they look like they're in good shape, and have quite a lot of miles left on them. Even when it does come to needing to replace them, isn't it pretty easy to just get new bearings and races for the hubs, without having to go through the trouble of milling out the hub for Timkens? That way I could make a custom axle and just clean and grease the bearings that are in there now. When needed, I pull the front wheel and replace the bearings, still never having to unlace and mill the hub...
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Turning down axles, fitting sleeves, and Bushings on Star Hubs

Has anyone else tried this solution? Or is everyone milling out their star hubs?
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Turning down axles, fitting sleeves, and Bushings on Star Hubs

There is no reason whatsoever not to do what you have planned. I do it all the time. Any wheel will fit any frontend if you will take the time to do the math. Have your machinist mic the hub and inner sleeve to check how much clearance you have in the rollers. Bearings are available to compensate for wear. One thing to remember about star hubs, the hub is the bearing race. Once it is allowed to run dry or the surface is egged or too big, timkens or ball bearings will have to be fitted.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Turning down axles, fitting sleeves, and Bushings on Star Hubs

Awesome. Thank you for the input. I'll take it as just a matter of time until I'll have to mill the hub out. As for now, I can mill a custom axle for them and get things built up. This will mean that I can at least roll the bike around during the build and have fun around town when it's finally running. I would most certainly check it out further before attempting any long trips. The bike needs to be sitting on wheels and a kickstand though as soon as possible. I was hesitating about this option, even thinking it'd be easier to just swap out the wheels for a new set, but I really want to run these that I have.
Any more pertinent info that I should know before I get my friend to start milling some axles?
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: Turning down axles, fitting sleeves, and Bushings on Star Hubs

He'll be turning them in a lathe not milling them, but anyway you need a manual so you can set those up correctly. Star hubs were made in an era where things were more adjustable than nowadays. The side play must be adjusted with shims and the internals need to be set up correctly. I don't know exactly what you're building but generally speakin the wheel is in the middle of the forks. Sometimes the rim has to be trued off center to get this. If you plan on running a brake there will have to be provisions made for that too. Don't let it scare you, tell the machinist what you plan to use and he should be able to set it all up for you. Star hubs are very well made and will last a lifetime with the proper maintenance. The ones on my scooter have way over 100,000 miles on 'em and are in perfect shape. Pull the bearings and clean 'em every tire change and put new grease in 'em is the ticket.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:32 AM   #10
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Default Re: Turning down axles, fitting sleeves, and Bushings on Star Hubs

I think I've come to the conclusion that I want the star hub and will just swap out the square swingarm for a round swingarm. As that would mate everything up sooo much easier. i can then use a stock axle. Now to find a round swingarm.... Anyone have one that they would trade?
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:04 AM   #11
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Default Re: Turning down axles, fitting sleeves, and Bushings on Star Hubs

Quote:
Originally Posted by H2otoad View Post
Has anyone else tried this solution? Or is everyone milling out their star hubs?
H20toad!

I believe in staying as close to original design as possible, and the only milling I would do would be to install new races (45" rod race shown in attachment).
And only then if the hub were not merely hone-able.

A Timken-converted hub is "chopped", as it no longer accepts the original axle.
Un-molested, the hubs still carry value in the vintage market.
I would suggest trading worn ones off for modern hubs plus.

But yes, if yours are serviceable, an appropriate axle and spacers may be your simplest solution!

...Cotten
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:16 AM   #12
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Default Re: Turning down axles, fitting sleeves, and Bushings on Star Hubs

yes you can have a custom axle made up to fit your hub no problem there I do custom axle all the time as I like to run narrowglide width trees with 41mm wide glide tubes and I like to use the 2000 and up FLT lowers to shave down as they have a nice looking taper to them but they take a 1" axle so I make up a custom axle to fit the width and run the 1" lowers with a 3/4" wheel.

not necessary to run timkens on a star hub the original design works just fine
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:12 PM   #13
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Default Re: Turning down axles, fitting sleeves, and Bushings on Star Hubs

Thanks guys. Words if wisdom... I'm gonna keep my original rear star hub and set it up with a round swingarm and juice drum to match. That all just means buying/finding parts to fit.

I have a mid star hub in the front narrow glide. And have not decided against the custom axle, but it would be much easier to swap it out för a modern 3/4" wire spoke hub. Especially if there is value in the hub I have.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:20 PM   #14
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Default Re: Turning down axles, fitting sleeves, and Bushings on Star Hubs

H2,
I did something similar to what your talking about. I had a nice star hub and springer front brake (oem stuff) that I wanted to run on a late model Harley springer, instead of the alloy hub and disc brake that the front end was set up for. It ended up being a tight squeeze, but it was really just a matter of machining an axle with the correct steps in it, a spacer, and a bushing for the left rocker. So yes, it's very doable. Just do your axle layout carefully regarding any steps you might have to incorporate into the axle diameter so you end up with your wheels centered.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:49 PM   #15
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Default Re: Turning down axles, fitting sleeves, and Bushings on Star Hubs

In respect to the front axle, does that step in the axle have to be in contact with the step in the race inside the hub? Doesn't the wheel get centered with the spacers? In that case, I can just cut down a new axle that would fit the star hub to the length of the 35mm Narrow glide front end... And add spacers to gain center.

Cutting down the axle to length on the larger end though would leave me needing a bushing at the fork end with the clamp. That doesn't sound safe. I should probably turn the shoulder back on the axle and then cut the short end and re-tap it? Any thoughts?
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:24 PM   #16
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Default Re: Turning down axles, fitting sleeves, and Bushings on Star Hubs

H2,
As I recall, the steps in the axle and spacers pretty much match up. On the particular axle that I spoke of, I machined it up from scratch, I'm pretty sure I used some 5160 stock I had laying around. I would machine the axle so the step is a hair long, and let the spacer actually locate the hub position (hope that makes sense). I agree with you as far as cutting off the skinny end and rethreading if you are modifying an existing axle and its too long.
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