Front hub troubles... AGAIN! (PROBLEM = SOLVED!)

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3/15/2016 7:30 PM

Seriously, I swear OneEye is secretly touching my front hub when I'm not looking or something haha.


So some of you might remember my last thread where in the end I opted for a Tree front hub after having multiple front hub problems previously... And it was a great hub... Until I took my bolt out one day (after having it only for like 2 weeks) and the center axle threads came with it. I'm almost positive the hub came like that, but warranty hooked me up with a new axle for free so I thought I was good.

That was back in like October when I received the new axle, and earlier today the axle shit the bed again. This time it was during a 180 double peg to drop down smith on a stair-style ledge. As soon as I hit the smith, I heard a tink noise and looked down to see my peg was no longer tightened to my axle... and sure enough, I pull the bolt out and out come some threads with it! And no, I don't crank down on the bolts like a madman. I tighten them a fair bit, but I understand it doesn't need to be piss tight.

Photo

Had to take my pegs off, until I got bored of that and just took all the extra hardware off my axle bolt, swapped the side the bad part of the axle was on to my non-grind side, and managed to get the bolt to thread into some of the remaining good threads, and was axle to put my pegs back on(minus my front right one)





BUT ANYWAY, HERE'S MY DILEMMA



I could hit warranty up again, but I'm not sure they'd warranty it a second time. Plus my main concern is that this has happened twice already, and I'd probably just have the same thing happen again... This hub actually spins very well when the bolts are tightened (Unlike my last 285982 hubs) so I'm weary about just getting a different hub again.

So I'm thinking besides that, could I install steel helicoils in there? or would they just pull out eventually since they're not factory installed or something? If not, then my last option is to find someone to machine me a steel axle instead of the dumb aluminum one it has. Which I have someone who owns a lathe, but I'm not sure if he can machine hardened steel on it or not? I've heard good things about Zodiac Engineering but I'm not sure if they still do requests for bmx stuff or how much it would cost, I'd like to exhaust the other options before that if they'd work better but it seems like a steel axle would solve my problems for good.



Any incite/advice/comments on this or what I should do would be appreciated, I'm at a loss and still kinda pissed about it haha.

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3/15/2016 7:46 PM

I would say hit them up regardless, worst case scenario they say no, best case, they send another axle out.

THEN measure up the axle, and see if any other brand has one that meets a lot of the sizing, and consider a replacement that way. (Might be a possibility).

If they hook you up, sell the repaired hub to someone (or send it to me for the cost of shipping-I'll paypal the shipping or pay for a label and email it to ya haha) and find something with a steel axle.

Maybe look into the cost of having a steel one made? If the guy you know can't, maybe another shop can? Check local trade schools too, they MIGHT have the tooling. I know the one I got my welding degree at was investing in steel tooling back in 06-07 or so because so many dudes wanted to bore out engine blocks.

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"Hey anybody ever make that mistake like right when you wake up in the morning and you believe in yourself?" -Kyle Kinane

"BIKES!" -Tom Segura

3/15/2016 7:50 PM

I vote new helicoil

Or Simian

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3/15/2016 8:25 PM

Colony has a simple white hub out.

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3/15/2016 8:29 PM

dave lawrence wrote:

I would say hit them up regardless, worst case scenario they say no, best case, they send another axle out.

THEN measure up ...more

True, and like you said I could always sell the hub to someone who doesn't grind a lot or at all.

I'll have to look and see if any brands make a 17mm steel center axle, didn't even think of that haha it could work if the measurements are right. But I think getting a block of steel and getting it machined by someone would be the best option if I can, I'll have to ask him when I see him on Thursday. I just hope if I go that route that I'll be able to get some steel as strong as any other steel center axles that won't bend or break easily on me.

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3/15/2016 8:32 PM

Oddity wrote:

I vote new helicoil

Or Simian

I'll have to look into them, helicoil was my first thought but I'm worried about it fitting or pulling out too easy. I've never dealt with hubs that have them so I'm not sure, but I know the G-Sports are helicoiled aren't they? And they hold up fine from what I've heard.

I'd like a Simian, or Antigram. I kinda wanna save buying a new hub as my last option though unless it would be cheaper to just buy one of them instead of getting a steel axle made or something.

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3/15/2016 9:12 PM

I looked into other axles that might fit... Only one that I think comes close is the 14mm version of the Primo N4FL v2 hub which is 17mm chromoly. It's a "floating" axle, which just slides through. Only problem then is getting a tube spacer the right size since the axle has no shoulders itself. That is, if I can even find just the axle for sale to begin with...




Also, if I were to helicoil it... How do I go about doing that? I'm about as familiar with them as a blind person is familiar with their surrounds...

I tried looking it up but I couldn't make heads or tails of it. My bolt is 3/8" x 24tpi, so obviously I'd need 3/8" x 24tpi helicoils right? But what size does the axle need drilled out to to accommodate the helicoil? Or is that factor dependent on the helicoil itself? And then the helicoil itself actually needs threaded into the axle to make it stay in too, right? I'm still doing research on my part, but someone else who can explain it like I'm 5 years old would be better haha

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3/15/2016 10:32 PM

Usually everything is included to install the helicoil, i.e. correct drill bit and tool to install. I suggest watching some YouTube videos of the install process. Go get you some grade 8 3/8"-16 or 24 bolts, depending on your helicoil of course.

I've had zero issues with my Marmoset or Antigrams, I even rode the Ratchet with aluminum axle and 3/8" bolts(helicoiled of course) with pegs without issue other than couple bent bolts that cost $2 to fix. I weigh 215Lb and do lots of icepicks.

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3/15/2016 11:00 PM

Oddity wrote:

Usually everything is included to install the helicoil, i.e. correct drill bit and tool to install. I suggest watching some ...more

Ohh okay that makes things a lot easier. I'll look some videos up to get familiar with the process. The bike shop owner where I work (And also the person with the lathe I mentioned in my first post) is also a tap & die maker so I'm betting he's familiar with it and can help, but I'll still look some up to be sure. I've just never had to deal with them so far haha.


You definitely got me leaning towards the Simian or Antigram if I do choose to just get a new hub, I'll keep it in mind. Thanks for the help

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3/15/2016 11:05 PM

I'd say buy a hub with a chromo axle if you're doing grinds a lot. There's a lot of hubs I keep hearing people say are shit, but (I don't want to sound like a dick saying this) if you grind on an aluminium axle, what do you expect to happen?
Try and get a new axle under warranty, then sell it and buy a different hub

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3/15/2016 11:36 PM

grumpySteve wrote:

I'd say buy a hub with a chromo axle if you're doing grinds a lot. There's a lot of hubs I keep hearing people say are shit, ...more

My last hub had a chromoly center axle and I bent that actually... haha. I thought a 17mm aluminum one would be okay since it has more material.

so nah you don't sound like a dick, I thought the same but Tree's claim of "Our tests have shown that the aluminum threads are very strong so that under high torque the bolt will pull apart before the threads strip out." made me think otherwise... Obviously I've proved that wrong twice now.


Getting the axle replaced & selling it is at the bottom of the list right now though. Mainly because of how well it spins. I've had a bad luck spree of hubs that spin like shit, and this one hasn't failed in that department yet. So if I can get steel helicoils put in it or manage to get a steel axle for it, I want to do that first. If not, bye bye Tree front hub.

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3/16/2016 9:22 AM

Antigrams don't spin nearly as nice as Tree hubs do. The only hub I've had that was even close to the Tree hub was a Madera.

I think I would pull the axle out and try to get your buddy to make a steel version.

I've turned 4130 on a lathe before. It's not particularly challenging, especially to make an axle, they are not particularly complicated.

Material isn't all that expensive. Get a foot and make a spare.

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3/16/2016 10:07 AM

tecnic1 wrote:

Antigrams don't spin nearly as nice as Tree hubs do. The only hub I've had that was even close to the Tree hub was a Madera.

...more

I'll ask when I see him tomorrow, hopefully he'll be able to. Thanks for linking somewhere I can buy metal like that, I tried looking but couldn't find anything other than a slab or something haha. Is it gonna matter that it's not heat treated? I know a lot of axles are heat treated so I don't want it to bend/break easily on me

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3/16/2016 12:15 PM

sundaybmxRR wrote:

I'll ask when I see him tomorrow, hopefully he'll be able to. Thanks for linking somewhere I can buy metal like that, I tried ...more

That's a good question. I looked into it a little, and I don't think it would matter too much.

This material comes already heat treated. The ultimate tensile strength (if you pull on both ends, the amount of force required to pull it in half) is not quite as strong as 4130 (115 ksi, vs 125 ksi for 4130), but the yield strength (amount of force required to deform the material) is identical (100 ksi).

I'm going to keep looking. You have a kinda unique failure mode; it's not like you're bending axles in half or snapping them, which would be easy to fix. Because you're pulling thread out like that, heat treating might matter more, and the UTS might be more important.

The thread pitch might matter also. I think Tree uses a 3/8-24 thread, so I'm not sure if having fewer, bigger threads (like the 3/8-16 Profile uses) might be better than more, smaller threads.

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3/16/2016 12:27 PM

Damn dude, you're a beast.
The Antigram and simian both still have aluminum center axles. The BSD pro street has 15mm crmo center axle. Tough as hell and spins like a champ. I don't even know what a helicoil is so that's the only input I have

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3/16/2016 12:35 PM

tecnic1 wrote:

That's a good question. I looked into it a little, and I don't think it would matter too much.

This material comes already ...more

Awesome thanks for the input. I think you're right that heat treating might matter more too, the axle itself should be strong enough since it's 17mm and not 14mm, and my issue isn't bending/snapping them (knock on wood) haha so yeah. I'll give that site a look and see if the guy I know with a lathe will let me know if that's something he could do for me.

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3/16/2016 12:40 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/16/2016 2:34 PM

ironmaiden666 wrote:

Damn dude, you're a beast.
The Antigram and simian both still have aluminum center axles. The BSD pro street has 15mm crmo ...more

I just grind a lot haha and have bad luck with front hubs.

I didn't know much about helicoils until last night. I knew they thread in & fix stripped threads but that's it. Basically when you have a stripped thread, you can drill it out to the size of the helicoil, then thread that, and then the helicoil threads into that and the bolt then threads into the helicoil. And since the helicoil is steel, it's stronger and won't strip out like aluminum threads will. At least that's my understanding of it after I spent an hour or two researching it last night haha

the G-Sport & Antigram hubs both use helicoiled threads

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3/16/2016 12:46 PM

Ahhh ok that makes sense. thanks for the lesson. Hopefully the cheapest solution works!

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My Ride
My Other Ride
I've sold stuff to Ecuadevil, LLURider, and Mario.villegas90 with no complaints.
IG: evildeadhands

3/16/2016 1:23 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/16/2016 1:25 PM

If you bend a lot of axles, i'm thinking you should just get a Primo n4fl and put some daily grind hub guards on it.

With the N4FL you can buy plenty of axles and bring 2 or 3 every time you ride.

You can just slide in a new axle every time you bend one. lol

I always had my V1 aluminum axle in my tool bag when riding. I had a V2 chromo axle installed.

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In real life, i'm a short Perverted Azn Man.
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3/16/2016 4:36 PM

one try kid wrote:

If you bend a lot of axles, i'm thinking you should just get a Primo n4fl and put some daily grind hub guards on it.

With the ...more

Dude, carrying around spare axles is 1993 shit. We're better than that.

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3/16/2016 4:39 PM

one try kid wrote:

If you bend a lot of axles, i'm thinking you should just get a Primo n4fl and put some daily grind hub guards on it.

With the ...more

tecnic1 wrote:

Dude, carrying around spare axles is 1993 shit. We're better than that.

Why not just carry around like 4 extra bikes?

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"Hey anybody ever make that mistake like right when you wake up in the morning and you believe in yourself?" -Kyle Kinane

"BIKES!" -Tom Segura

3/16/2016 4:51 PM

You just need these forks:

Photo

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3/16/2016 6:28 PM

Hahaha shit I need those.

So update, major questions are in bold for the lazy.

Well I talked to Joel today, who is the person with the lathe. And he COULD turn the heat treated steel bar on the lathe and make it into an axle... but he said with it being heat treated, he wouldn't be able to thread it then. So I guess that option is out for now.


But, he did say he could help me helicoil my current axle and said that would actually be the better option anyway cause it would be a quick fix and I wouldn't/shouldn't pull the threads out. My only concern is most of the helicoil kits I've seen seem to only have smaller helicoils (length-wise I mean) which he said would be okay, because it's not like the bolt is going in super far so it should be okay. I just wanna know for sure if they'd be enough, like if I bought this kit, the helicoils would be okay right?




Next option is to rig a chromoly axle to it. I have a good idea of how to do this, but I'm wondering how well it would work. It seems good in my mind but I want to see if any of you can pick out any flaws.

So, if I can order a 15mm chromoly axle meant for the Primo N4FL v2 front hub (this one), and since it doesn't have shoulders on the axle, we could just make an internal spacer. Now since it's a 15mm axle and the bearings are meant for a 17mm axle, there's a problem... BUT, I have these steel axle shims that slide onto 15mm axles. They're probably a 19mm or 20mm outer diameter, but can easily be turned down to 17mm to fit in between the bearings & the 15mm axle. Would this potentially work? I know it's a bit ghetto, but all I'd need is the axle which I can get for cost so it's probably less than $10 for all this. In my head it seems like it would work, and I'd prefer the chromoly axle over the aluminum with helicoils axle... But if it's not gonna work and the helicoils would be the better option, then just let me know.



thanks in advance guys, I really do appreciate all the help/incite I've been given!

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3/16/2016 6:31 PM

These are the shims I'm talking about. In the second photo I slid it onto a 15mm axle and put it next to my other stripped Tree axle for comparison.

Photo

Photo

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3/16/2016 6:37 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/16/2016 6:39 PM

I would say the internal spacers would work, the only issue you would have is there would be more potential for play or clicking.

Maybe check and see if there are bearings available to match up the sizing through a bearing shop?

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"Hey anybody ever make that mistake like right when you wake up in the morning and you believe in yourself?" -Kyle Kinane

"BIKES!" -Tom Segura

3/16/2016 6:50 PM

dave lawrence wrote:

I would say the internal spacers would work, the only issue you would have is there would be more potential for play or ...more

Yeah I'm worried about potential play, I hate that noise it makes when something in my wheels are loose haha not to mention it's not good for it.



I'm off my game, I didn't even think to look for bearings the right size -____- I'll have to get on that haha. That would be the best cause then it's not ghetto rigged (Well, that much) and I can probably use my old Daily Grind guards on that axle, and best of all not have to buy a new hub!

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3/16/2016 6:55 PM

dave lawrence wrote:

Why not just carry around like 4 extra bikes?

1 Pegless All Profile/made in murica build
1 4 pegged flat black build
1 flatland build
1 low standover all chrome with purple parts, gyro and brakes.

I'll start saving money now.

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In real life, i'm a short Perverted Azn Man.
But in the internet, i'm a killing machine with 10 years MMA training experience.

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
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(͡O╭͜ʖ╮͡O)

3/16/2016 8:01 PM

dave lawrence wrote:

I would say the internal spacers would work, the only issue you would have is there would be more potential for play or ...more

I had a thought but it's another ghetto fix, but less ghetto than the 15mm axle with shims thing. Maybe I could buy a 17mm axle for a cassette (Since I can't find any front hubs that use a 17mm axle except the 14mm bolt version of the N4FL v2, but there's no replacement parts for that yet.) and just get the shoulders on that turned off on the lathe so it'd effectively be the same thing as I was going to do, but 17mm. Then just make an internal spacer and boom I'm set.


I tried finding the right bearings but couldn't. I'd need a 15x30x7, and I couldn't find one anywhere. There was one site that said it was a 7903C bearing, but other sites said that was a 17mm ID, not 15. So...

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3/16/2016 8:50 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/16/2016 8:51 PM

one try kid wrote:

1 Pegless All Profile/made in murica build
1 4 pegged flat black build
1 flatland build
1 low standover all chrome with purple ...more

Hahaha classic Mr. Otk.

@Sunday that sucks, you make me never want to ride pegs haha. Always breaking hubs.

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3/17/2016 4:34 AM

alright.

So part of why the Tree Hubs are so fast is the bearing/cone/axle arrangement. I'm not positive you would keep that using a Primo Axle. It might not matter though.

The problem with Helicoils is that you still might rip one out. It's a bigger surface area, so it will definitely be harder, and the edge of the helicoil should bear against the cone and transfer the axial load to the dropout, but who knows?

You could ask your buddy to gun drill the axle out to 3/8th, and use a through bolt. You would have to measure it up, but something like this.. That might be easier.

I would either switch to a through bolt, or helicoil it. Shims and spacers to make a Primo axle work seems too shady, and adds more parts that could break/not fit right.

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