Oh, how I've $!}%#^ up this time.

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Oh, how I've $!}%#^ up this time.

Postby timtrace » Sat May 21, 2016 8:07 pm

I've just gotten back my 2003 1800 C rear wheel from being powdercoated, and having new bearings installed.

A few minutes ago, I was preparing to chase the disc brake threads in the wheel, when I dropped a too-small tap down one of the holes and it landed INSIDE the wheel cavity. It didn't bottom out in the disc brake mounting hole, the frickin' thing dropped inside the wheel. :o Like I said, a real bonehead move.

Do I leave it be and learn to ignore the low-speed clatter? It probably weighs 1/4 ounce at best. I use Ride-On to balance my wheels so maybe that will help counteract the balance issue. Could it get wedged in anywhere and stress the wheel to the point of fracture?

Or do I pull a bearing and the distance collar to fish it out? Yeah, it will cost a few bucks in parts and labor, but if it's the better way to go. Question is, will I be able to fish it out even then? I don't remember what the center of the wheel looks like with the bearings and collarge removed. Is there even a passage into the wheel cavity?

Thanks. This is a cross-post from the OA, my apologies, but I'm more than a little pissed-off at myself right now and I could really use some experienced assistance.
timtrace
 
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Bike: 2003 Honda VTX 1800 C

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Re: Oh, how I've $!}%#^ up this time.

Postby timtrace » Sun May 22, 2016 10:40 pm

What's done is done. I thought I'd drop a reply on this topic in case someone with a similar problem finds their way here.

A smart guy on the OA recommended I drill a hole into the cavity and snake the tap out through the hole. I went with that option because the weight of the removed material would be much less than the weight of the tap and the Great Stuff.

I'm aware that this has compromised the integrity of the wheel to some degree. I put the hole on the disc brake side, where it can easily be inspected for obvious signs of deterioration over time. I'll plug it with a soft rubber plug that has an oversized head to keep things from getting into the cavity. All this being said, I understand that stress fractures may develop which can't be seen by the naked eye, so I'm going to find a replacement wheel and get it on the bike before too long.

I drilled the hole nice and slow. I started with a 3/8" bit covered in bearing grease, ran my DeWalt 18V drill at the slowest trigger speed which pulled curls, and got through the wall and into the cavity with no problem. I'd say 99% of the waste material stayed outside the wheel.

Pucker factor...
Image

Then I stepped up to the 1/2" drill, loaded with grease like before. It pulled great curls, too, but they disintegrated with the breakthrough into the cavity. I'm sure a little of it got into the wheel cavity, but it wouldn't be much because the grease-laden bit was like a magnet for the waste material.

Pucker factor x2: The Aftermath.
Image

The cleaned-up, newly-drilled 1/2" hole...
Image

Here's an interesting shot of a high-lumen flashlight shining into one of the six disc brake mounting holes, with light shining out of the newly drilled hole at the 10 o'clock position. Note there is no light visible where the distance collar meets the bearing. From what I can see through the drilled hole, the distance collar is indeed enclosed in it's own channel which does not open into the wheel cavity.
Image

And finally, the result of all this hoopla and folderol. Here's that annoying little tap coming out of the drilled hole, stuck to a bolt which has been magnetized by a rare-earth magnet with 36 pounds of pull. Taking this picture was the most satisfying thing I've done all weekend.
Image

Now to drink a beer and hit the hay. Wheel re-assembly can wait for tomorrow :)
timtrace
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:39 am
Bike: 2003 Honda VTX 1800 C

Re: Oh, how I've $!}%#^ up this time.

Postby Bareass172 » Mon May 23, 2016 5:25 pm

Sorry I missed this post over the weekend, we've been so slammed the last few weeks I was playing catch up at home and never made it in front of the PC. ;)
It's a moot point now, but if it were me I would have pulled the bearing. Granted, it's a pain and it would have required replacing it, but the bearing would be much cheaper than a wheel or a wheel plus new powdercoating. We run All-Balls bearings and can get entire wheel sets with seals for $20-30 depending on the specific application. As a dealer we can also order single, specific bearings like this, but often the shipping eats up savings. You have to consider too, most of my thinking is dealing with customer bikes and obviously I have to do it "right". I can't just give it back like I might if it were my own personal bike.

Moving on, since that's a moot point. Your method is a creative one for sure! I, frankly, don't think you did anything terrible. What I might consider, if I were you, would be to tap the hole and install a bolt. If you drilled up to 1/2" like you said, you could go with a 9/16 bolt in either 12 or 18 TPI depending on the tap you have and bolt you can find. A short bolt in that hole would give you some strength and rigidity. You could also tell people a myriad of hilarious stories about what you hide in there. "That's where I store my blinker fluid", "I keep helium in my wheels to make the bike lighter", stuff like that...
I'd monitor for stress cracks, but really don't think you'll have ANY problems.

Thanks very much for posting the follow-up. I think it's incredibly helpful to others who may find themselves in the same spot!
Pro-tip - match your tap to the bolt, not the hole. ;)
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