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Rear Wheel problems

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May 16, 2007
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#1
I am storing a 2000 KX250 for a friend and I have free ride prviledges if i can fix it. When you roll the bike forward it doesn't really make any bad sound but the wheel looks out of balance or something, it almost touches the swingarm. When you roll it backwards it makes a pretty nasty grinding/popping sounds like it is binding.... I haven't had a really good chance to look at it yet.

When i get home I am going to make sure the wheel is straight and the spokes are all tight. Is there a trick to adjusting spokes once they start to strip?

Also does anyone have any tips for adjusting the rear wheel? Chain tension? Maybe a walkthrough from the pros?

Thanks for all your help in advance!
 
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#2
1st. Check the air-pressure in the tire. It should be at 14-16lbs. Any more, you run the risk of rubbing the center of the tire on the swing-arm, any less you run the risk of rubbing the sides of the tire on the swing-arm.

2nd. Make sure the wheel is plum (true). Set the bike on a stand so the rear tire's off the ground, start it, put it in 1st, and let it kinda coast on the clutch, then hop behind the bike and see what the wheel, chain, and rotor looks like. It's best to do this with a buddy as to not accidentally knock the bike from the stand while it's in gear.

3rd. Assess the damage.
-Loosen the rear wheel, slide it forward and check the chain/sprockets for damage.
-Ensure the rear brake isn't binding and that your pads are releasing fully.
-Take off the chain and spin the wheel on the axle. If it's wobbling or kinked slide the axle out and see if it's bent. If it's bent, you'll need a new one.
-If the axle is straight, simply go around the wheel and find out where the dip is. Snug up any loose spokes. If it's beyond your ability to true a spoked wheel, take it to a shop and they'll do it for pretty cheap (just bring in the wheel and tire assembly not the whole bike).
- Ensure the wheel spacers are in the right spots. The brake-side should look different than the sprocket side... considering it's rear disc, they may be the same.

When you re-assemble, put a little grease on the axle and oil the hell out of the chain. Snug up the wheel EVENLY, if you try to snug up the chain side first it'll end up binding when you snug up the brake side.

Don't forget to spray down the rear disc with brake cleaner before you ride it.

I've got a feeling it's probably the axle, but then again I can't see it.

Good luck!

Dan
 
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#3
The nasty popping, grinding noise you hear could be the knobs catching the mud flap or the brake pads vibrating. Do check the wheel bearings because when those fail, things start getting really expensive.
 
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#4
76GMC1500 said:
The nasty popping, grinding noise you hear could be the knobs catching the mud flap or the brake pads vibrating. Do check the wheel bearings because when those fail, things start getting really expensive.
THE BEARINGS! I never even thought of that! Hah... leave it to me to go all complicated first. :coocoo:

Yeah... sorry... just jack up the bike and wiggle the rear wheel... if it's lose, 76GMC1500 is right and you'll need bearings.

I need coffee... long day. :nod:

Dan
 
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#5
Wow you guys are good.

How much wobble is a "wobble"? It doesn't wobble really so much as feel a bit loose. When I shake it on the stand the bike moves way more than the wheel. As in the wheel barely moves...I would say that the wheel moves about a 1/8 from side to side.


Also, after more careful examination (not at 10 last night in the dark), it looks like the wheel is straight. It may just be that the wheel was mounted wrong. When you say snug up the wheel evenly, do you mean just loosen everything and then set the spacers? once those are set then tighten down the nut on the brake side and put the cotter pin through?

I just did this and the spacer line is on the second marker on the brake side and the third one on the chain side but it looks straight. Is this a bad sign?

Thanks for your thoughts!
 
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#6
That's exactly what I mean. Loosen the axle nut and slide the tensioners back evenly, then snug everything down, line up the crown-nut and slide a new cotter pin through. Both Spacer lines should be equal... this means you'll probably end up having both at 3 (the chain should have about a half-inch up and down play to it).

To further isolate the problem... take the whole wheel off.

Take a wrench and tap all the spokes, if you hear a hollow or dull clunk on the spoke, it's loose.. tighten it up so it's a little beyond snug.

Then, take the spacers out of the hub and check the bearings. Get yourself a grease gun and a needle-greaser fitting, pump about 2 pumps of grease into each bearing up under the plastic dust cover. Then, reinstall everything, oil the chain, put a little grease on the axle itself, and check the tire pressure.

After you set the rear wheel to true, tighten the hell out of the rear axle nut. Not so much that you can't spin the rear tire... but really tight just the same. Now give it a couple spins and see if you can get a wiggle out of it.

Also, when you check for wiggle, hold the swing-arm with one hand and the rear of the tire with the other, then pull the rear of the tire towards you while pushing slightly on the swing-arm. Simply grabbing the wheel and wiggling or shaking the bike could be causing anything to wiggle (swing-arm, shock mount, caliper mount... etc.) This is the only way to single the wiggle down to the rear axle.

Considering it's not too bad right now, I wouldn't worry too much about it... just grease'm, true the wheel, and run 14lbs in the tire... should get you rolling. If there's still a problem, then you will need new bearings... You can buy bearings from a dealer and install them yourself, but it's kind of a pain without the right tools. I'd just take the whole rear wheel off and bring it to a dealership to install new bearings.

*Again, make sure you spray down the brake with brake cleaner after playing around with grease... the slightest bit on the rotor or pads will really mess things up.

Good luck!

Dan
 
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#7
rmordo said:
he wheel looks out of balance or something, it almost touches the swingarm. When you roll it backwards it makes a pretty nasty grinding/popping sounds like it is binding....
After re-reading this for-go the ripping the whole wheel apart theory and simply try running both tensioners at 2 or 2.5 each... then check out the tire pressure...

It could just be that the chain side is too tight causing the clunky-binding due to the cockeyed rear wheel, and the tire's simply over-inflated...

Get back to us!

Dan
 
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#8
Thanks Dan for all the info!

I haven't gone so far as to rip the whole thing apart but I did loosen everything up and remounted the wheel. The problem I see is that to make the whole thing line up correct and look straight, on one side the tensioner line is at 2 and on the other side it as at 3?! But with it like that the wheel spins free for about 3 rotations or so with a modest spin both forward and back and it doesn't even wobble at all. With them at the same line it won't even spin cause it binds on the chain.....

I know there are some loose spokes. Like so loose they move a lot! So that will definately need tightened.... Should I just go around or do you do one on one side then the other side in a star like pattern the way you do lug nuts on a car?

Thanks again!
 
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#9
Also, what is the best thing to oil the chain with? Is WD-40 alright or do you need special grease?
 
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#11
rmordo said:
Thanks Dan for all the info!

I haven't gone so far as to rip the whole thing apart but I did loosen everything up and remounted the wheel. The problem I see is that to make the whole thing line up correct and look straight, on one side the tensioner line is at 2 and on the other side it as at 3?! But with it like that the wheel spins free for about 3 rotations or so with a modest spin both forward and back and it doesn't even wobble at all. With them at the same line it won't even spin cause it binds on the chain.....

I know there are some loose spokes. Like so loose they move a lot! So that will definately need tightened.... Should I just go around or do you do one on one side then the other side in a star like pattern the way you do lug nuts on a car?

Thanks again!
Hmm, that's weird. Go with my first suggestion and rip everything apart then. With the spokes, spin the nipple so that they're snug, then take a sharpie and mark off every 5th spoke. Then go around and give each spoke a half-inch turn. This will snug up the spoke as true as possible.

Then, do as I suggested earlier... grease bearings, check shims, check the axle for bends, check the brake for binding, etc.. etc.. It sounds a little more screwed up than I thought.

Maybe someone with a KDX could chime in and give some insight as to how the rear end should line up, because from all my experience, the wheel should track true when the axle is evenly lined up on both sides.

As I said, the problem is either a bad bearing, crooked axle, OR.. quite possibly, the swing-arm could be bent. Check out the swing-arm and the swing-arm mount in the frame. Make sure the bushings are in there and THAT axle is straight as well.

Good luck!

Dan