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81 xt250 rear wheel binding

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Trying to get this bike setup correctly. I had to replace one of the rear wheel bearings so I just tightened the rear wheel down to what seemed right, I didn't have the repair manual at the time so I didn't know the proper torque. Well when I received the manual I found out the torque should be 70 ft lbs. I took the rear wheel off to clean everything, when installing and adding 70lbs of torque it wouldn't turn. I actually didn't even get to the 70 lbs. because I didn't want to damage the bearings. I inspected to make sure it had all of the spacers etc. and it does. So what torque do you tighten that rear wheel. I can only do 20 ft. lbs. to have the wheel move perfectly free, meaning it will continue to move to the heavier side, it's not balanced. Should I leave it there or tighten so it just spins a few times and then stops? Can anyone offer any advice on this? Any idea what could be wrong? Thanks for your help.

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Are you sure that both inner bearing spacers are in place ?

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The only inner spacer besides the main long spacer is the spacer flange which fits over the long spacer to keep it centered in the hub.

That's correct and I should have been more precise in my wording . Sorry .

Other than that , maybe the new bearing isn't totally seated or the old bearing you didn't replace is bad , too .

Seriously , 70 ft/lbs seems like over kill to me , but I've only been wrenching on bikes for close to 50 years and I didn't write the book , so ...

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I checked the other bearings and it did seem like it was sticking out a bit, so I seated it with a socket that was the same size as the outer part of the race to not damage it. It didn't make a difference. The other bearings don't have any play and move freely.The axle didn't seem bent but I didn't check the runout, would a very slight bend cause this binding? It looks like the original axle. Now it doesn't bind if I don't tighten too much. How tight do you think it should be considering how it spins. If I take the chain off and tighten so it is totally free spinning it is about 20 ft. lbs. If I tighten more, it encounters more resistance. Is it OK to have some resistance? How many spins or how do you eyball it? Thanks for all your help.

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I usually tighten axles with a 1/2" ratchet until the nut doesn't want to go more without significant force . Then enough more to align the castle nut with axle hole . Sometimes I'll have to back it off a bit to make that alignment . I've never had an axle change position on any bike I've had . That includes at least a dozen dirt , street and various race bikes that I rode like I stole 'em . :busted:

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Is the short collar in the sprocket hub (the thing that engages with the rubber dampers)?

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If you tighten the axle nut, and the wheel binds, it is because you are now compressing the bearing by pushing the inner races inward until the balls jam into the outer race. For whatever reason, the relationship of the space between the outer races and the length of the tube-like spacer that goes between the inner races inside the hub. So perhaps during installation of the bearings, a burr of metal was pushed up inside the hub, keeping the outer race from seating properly against the step inside the hub where it seats.

I'd pull the bearings back out, and carefully check the seating area for debris, metal shavings, etc. if you have acces to precision measuring equipment, then measuring the tube like spacer and seat to seat as well. They should be very close if not exactly the same.

If you find something, I'd also carefully check the bearings; if you torqued the axle nut and bound the wheel, you could have brinnelled the races, which is where you put little dents into the races from the ball bearings being pushed into them. There is a possibility of damage to the bearings. I'd check. I've done this myself. Be sure the seals are good as well. I often pull the inner seals on new bearings, and pack them with moly water resistant grease, along with the area between the hub and the spacer tube. Makes for a nice reservoir of grease, and they never run out of lube.

When you find it, it will be very basic and simple.

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Yamaguy55, thanks for the good information, now I just need to get a bearing puller and check it out.

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Yamaguy55, thanks for the good information, now I just need to get a bearing puller and check it out.

Why do you need a bearing puller? How did you remove them the first time? I've always used a long drift, and they come right out. On many Yamahas, the tube like spacer between the bearings has a hole in it, and you are to put the end of the punch/drift/rod against the edge of this hole to drive it, and the bearing, out. Once one side it out, you then reach through and drive out the other. On the spacers without the hole, I have a piece of heavy rod stock that I've intentionally broomed ( made it somewhat larger in diameter and flat on the end) over the end which I them reach through and catch the inside of the inner race, and knock it out that way. Once one side it out, you can then remove the other very easily.

In fact, I've never used a bearing puller on Moto-wheel bearings since I started riding in the sixties. Not trying to sound smug, just trying to understand.

For the non-toolists out there: a drift is a tapered punch, as opposed to a punch, which has a rod-like shape.

The drift can have a small diameter business end, but due to the taper up to the striking end, it is more resistant to breakage than a punch in rough use.

I have a SnapOn PPC905A that I've used for years for just this purpose, it knocks them out every time. I've had to regrind the tip a few times, but I've had it since the 70s, so what can you expect?

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Well I purchased a bearing puller from Harbor Freight for only $32 yesterday and took the back wheel off, removed both bearings and inspected, they seem good, repacked. Turns out I am missing a part from the rear wheel assembly, something simple just like you said Yamaguy, a wheel collar that fits between the larger outer bearing and the inner bearing on the sprocket side. So there was nothing making contact with that left side at all. I ordered the part last night. I am sure that is why that left bearing was bad when I purchased the bike last month, that critical part was missing. Thanks for all your help.

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Is the short collar in the sprocket hub (the thing that engages with the rubber dampers)?

YZEtc, You hit it right on the head, I was missing that short collar. I didn't understand what you were talking about until I found it missing. Thanks for your help!

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Had a hard time finding the part, online shows no ETA, called local shop, they said it is not in any warehouses in the country and it doesn't look like Yamaha is making it any longer. He did a dealer search and found one at a Dealer in MN and gave the phone number. I called, they have it and are shipping it to me now.

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