Elgin front hub issue

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OhioJones

Wore out three sets of tires already!
I will just keep it simple. Photos will show you most everything. Once you finish threading cones and have the wheel mounted you can't help but notice the grinding. I am hoping to take down the burrs with a file and move on. However, having not experienced this issue before, I was hoping to receive some well appreciated advice.

Second photo enlarged really shows the damage. Not sure of the how or the why really. Almost forgot to mention, this is on both sides.
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bikemonkey

I live for the CABE
Looks like the hub bearing cups (races) are scored and pitted from the disintegration of a bearing that got ground into powder. This usually happens when the bearing cones are not properly adjusted (too tight), especially if the right cone is allowed to spin on the axle from rotational force.

Some hubs have removable bearing cups but who knows if you could find good ones for replacements. Polishing out the rough spots would probably help but keeping the race's symmetry might be difficult - it may even be worn off center already. That makes getting a good cone adjustment impossible.

What did the axle cones and bearings look like?
 
Last edited:

rustjunkie

. . . . . . .
Moderator
pics of the cones?

bearings replaced?
axle straight?

once these are done:
fork ends parallel?

a hub can feel smooth in hand but if installed in front or rear fork ends that aren’t parallel the adjustment will be thrown off causing drag and wear.
 

ricobike

Wore out three sets of tires already!
I had this issue with a Bendix kickback hub where one of the bearing races disintegrated and the schrapnel ground up one of the races in the hub shell pretty good. I used a dremel with a ball type sanding bit to smooth the race down and it seems to be working well now. I did have to replace the high speed driver (which would be like your cone) as it was destroyed too. These old hubs are pretty tough, it appears you can get away with a little grinding on them.
 

OhioJones

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Okay, so reading the comments and taking some time to look at the cones, I now see that they are rough. Surprisingly enough the bearings seem fine. That's not to say that they weren't at one time replaced due to this issue. Axle seems about like any other 80 year old axle that I've looked at. Nothing really stands out. Cones show damage not only on the actual tip of the cone, but also near where the threads begin. Looking at the same hub and cones from another 34 Elgin hub (morrow?) that I own, where the threads begin isn't beat up or rough whatsoever.
As far as the actual cups, I have never had to remove them from a bike. This seems like the most logical thing to do, though, in this case.
I've looked over the fork a number of times and don't see even the slightest issue with the forks themselves being parallel. Any actual mathematical/measurement way of doing this in order to know 100%?
First up is one of the cones. Pretty self explanatory.
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bikemonkey

I live for the CABE
Bare axles can be rolled across plate glass to check for any bends.

On dropouts I use a Park FFG-2 dropout alignment tool and it is an important step to help prevent cone and axle issues. A visit to your LBS with the fork should result in a relatively quick check (and alignment) if necessary. I would charge you $10 to $15 if you walked into my shop with a bare fork. The tool sells for $100+ and you only need to use it once on any particular frameset unless it is involved in an accident, so it is not a practical tool purchase for limited use.

I suppose you could possibly approximate the creation of a similar tool with two straight axles, 4 nuts, and four flat washers but it would be a PITA and your results might vary.

FFG-2
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Thurman

Finally riding a big boys bike
I came across a similar problem and found one solution from a friend that runs a BMX team. He said that if you pack the bearings with valve grinding compound and ride it for a while, the races and cones seat in pretty good. You have to run them tight and adjust often to keep tension on them. If they smooth out good enough, then install a full compliment of balls without cages. Adjust normally with grease. I started with rough compound and quickly cleaned it out and proceeded with fine compound. It works pretty good if the wear is not too severe.
 
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