Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

KTM Wheel Rebuild - Rusty Nipples!

Recommended Posts

While putting new tires on my 400 EXC, I ran into some minor issues. A couple of the spokes are loose, and on the rear rim, I have 2 broken spokes.

Once I got the tires off the rims, I was pleasantly surprised to find Bridgestone Ultra Heavy duty tubes in each wheel, and both of the tubes are in good condition. What I also found was rusted nipples and the threads on some of the spokes are stripped. I've gone this far, so I might as well rebuild both wheels.

 

The first thing I did was to soak the nipples and spokes in penetrant (PB Blaster). I was able to remove most of the spokes easily. The ones that gave me any trouble I removed with a 4 1/2 grinder with a cut off blade.

 

I am replacing all the spokes, the rim locks, and the rim strips on each wheel. I haven't pulled the wheel bearings yet. but if they look bad, I will replace those too. The front rim is not original. It is black anodized, and it does not match the rear rim, which is silver (clear anodized). While I have everything apart, I will strip the black anodize off the front rim with Easy Off oven cleaner and 0000 steel wool and polish it to match the rear rim. The rear rim is getting the same treatment, and will be cleaned and polished. Both rims are in good condition with no scratches or dents, and no heavy pitting from sand and rocks. 

KTM Front Wheel Rebuild 001.JPG

KTM Front Wheel Rusted Nipples.jpg

Edited by jrabenius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got the front hub apart, and inspected the bearings. One of the bearings feels dry and gritty. Not a good sign. For $25, I'll replace the bearings and seals. The spacers are aluminum, and both are grooved from wear, so I'll replace those too. They are $15 a pair.

Front Wheel Bearings And Seals 001.JPG

Front Wheel Bearings And Seals 002.JPG

Front Wheel Grooved Spacers.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also went through and replaced my wheel bearing, seals and spacers when I purchased my 05 450 MXC, PO was not the greatest at maintenance.

Once I did that every year I take it all apart and repack the wheel bearings with good quality grease. Also when I got the new bearings I popped the dust shields off the bearings and replaced that vasoline that comes in new bearings with my wheel bearing grease.

Knock on wood I've got over 100 hours on the bearings with no wear noted, by doing a little preventative maintenance. I know bearings are cheap, but so am I!

While your back there might want to remove your chain adjustment bolts, I clean and lube those threads once a year also.

Just my .02

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While your back there might want to remove your chain adjustment bolts, I clean and lube those threads once a year also.

Just my .02

Yes, The swing arm / rear wheel assembly is next. Thanks for the suggestion.

 

I found a clearance place on Ebay selling (new) Pro-Wheel stainless steel spoke and nipple kits for KTM 21 inch wheels for $49 and free shipping!

WOOHOO! - Score!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Tire Fairy came today . . .  and Dropped off my SHINKO 700's.

 

In all fairness to the UPS guy, I don't know if he is a Fairy or not. BUT he was gone before I could get to the door!

 

POOF!

 

The tires look good, though. I can't wait to get them mounted up.

Shinko 700 Tires 001.JPG

Shinko 700 Tires 002.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started stripping the black anodize off the front rim.

 

I bought a gallon of Greased Lightning from the hardware store, and poured some into a cake pan.

 

I can only do 7 inches or so at a time, but it takes the black off in 15 minutes or so.

 

The brick is to displace some of the unused capacity of the pan, so I use less cleaner.

 

Once the anodize soaks for a while, I use 0000 Steel wool to wipe the anodize (actually the die) off.

 

It comes right off with no scrubbing.

Black Anodize Strip 001.JPG

Black Anodize Strip 002.JPG

Edited by jrabenius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours later . . . I'm 1/4 of the way around the wheel . . . and the stripped part of the rim is totally clean of the black anodize.

 

It's nice and shiny silver, just like I wanted. I'm NOT SCRUBBING anything, either.

 

I just go out every 30 minutes or so and wipe the soaked area off with the steel wool, and move to the next spot.

 

This job takes patience. It is a good Saturday job, as it will take several hours to strip the whole rim completely clean of anodize.

 

I'll post a picture when it is all done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The front rim came out really nice - you would never know it was black anodized.

 

I'll post up pics of the finished wheel soon.

 

I stripped and painted the front hub orange. It was originally an ugly grey color.

 

I got the new stainless steel spokes and nipples yesterday, and the new wheel bearings, seals, and steel spacers from All Balls Racing came today.

 

The original spacers are aluminum, and the new All Balls Racing spacers are made from bearing steel and then chrome plated.

 

They should last forever.

 

Here you can see the wear in the aluminum spacer vs the new steel one.

New Wheel Bearings, Seals, and Spacers 001.JPG

New Wheel Bearings, Seals, and Spacers 002.JPG

Edited by jrabenius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah you won't be replacing those spacers in your lifetime! I want to go the other way on my rims, have them powder coated black. Or get black nipples and new spokes. That will be a winter project, I plan on riding a lot this summer.

Keep up the good work, looks good.

image.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a picture of the front rim after I stripped off all the black anodizing. It looks like it came new that way.

 

The bike shops all use a special truing stand ($100) to mount the rim in, and a spoke torque wrench ($130).
I mounted the wheel in the forks, and used the plastic straw off my can of WD-40 and a piece of electrical tape . . .
 
The KTM factory spec is 2millimeters - .080 inches. I got the rim within 1 Millimeter - .040 inches of being true (round), and no visible wobble.
 
Any closer and I would have to use a dial indicator.
 
I used a torque wrench to torque the nipples.
 
I have all new bearings, seals, spacers, spokes, and nipples.
 
The nipples will seat in the rim as I ride, so I will have to re-true the wheel after I ride it anyway . . .
 
 

Front Wheel rebuild 001.JPG

Front Wheel rebuild 002.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's real MacGyver shit!! Love it. There's always more than one way to do things and get accurate results. When I respoke my wheels I'm doing the straw trick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The plastic tube worked really good, is easy to see, and won't scratch your rims, either.

 

If the rim does happen to scrub the end of the tube, the tube just bends out of the way - it didn't even pop the tape off.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greased Lightning, so what is in that stuff?

I don't know - it has a soapy feeling, and doesn't burn the skin like oven cleaner does.

 

I still use gloves, and do everything outside - near running water so you can flush off the rim and your hands as you work.

 

I did end up using Easy Off oven cleaner to speed things up.

 

Easy Off oven cleaner (In the yellow can) WILL PIT ALUMINUM if you leave it on too long, like over night.

 

I would spray a section, let it sit for 30 minutes, and wipe off the rim. The rim had a clear coat or sealer on it that the Easy Off removed easier.

Edited by jrabenius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×