How To Remove & Install Front Wheel – Harley Davidson Softail


Hey this is another video by Pet Rock. And
today I’m working on my ’06 Harley Night Train. It’s an FXSTBI and today I’m going to be removing
the front wheel in order to replace it. It’s a pretty simple job. The service manual actually
makes it sound a lot harder then it really is. For example it has you remove the front
brake caliper. On this bike at least you don’t have to. There may be other models where you
do. If the caliper goes inside the rim. But in this case you don’t. One thing you do have
to do is you have to put the bike up on a lift. Whenever you put a bike up on a lift
you want to put, you want to make sure that you put tie down straps around it. I have
seen too many stories on line and videos of people who have lifted their bikes up and
then all of a sudden have it fall down and have no idea how that could have possibly
happened. Because I guess they don’t have gravity where they live. Anyway, so you want
to make sure that your bike is properly secured, especially when you are going to be changing
it’s center of gravity when you are changing the front wheel. So this wheel only actually
has eight thousand miles on it, but if you look closely you can see a nice big bulge
that’s formed right here and another one right in here. Maybe you can see it from this angle.
See it right there. And there are a few others on the tire. So if you look at the bulge you
can see I can actually squeeze it with my finger. That’s not good. This is a bad sign.
It means that the tire, the outer shell is actually separating from its inner carcass
and that’s a blow out waiting to happen. This is why they say you should inspect your tires
when you go out for a ride. As you can see I lean pretty deep in my turns. There is literally
an eighth of an inch of chicken strip there. So I ride pretty hard, but I also ride every
day. So I need to keep this bike up and running. So before you even pick up a wrench you want
to pick up some painters tape and a Sharpie. And right on it ‘L’ and ‘R’. Now the reason
for this is you need to, need to mark the spacers right there and right there. And mark
them and make sure that you don’t mix them up. They are not the same size. There really
aren’t any distinguishing marks on them to find out which one is which. So in order to
remember I always put a little bit of tape with a right and a left on it in order for
me to tell. So right and left is always in relation to you sitting on the bike. So this
side is right. And this side is left. Now if your bike is as dirty as mine the tape
may not stick that well so you might want to wipe it down with some brake cleaner or
something like that first before putting the tape down. So then you take a three quarter
socket and a breaker bar because this nut is on pretty tight if you use the proper torque
spec and you loosen it. You can remove it all the way. It has a spring lock washer and
a regular washer. Set those aside. Next you take a half inch socket and loosen these two
nuts. You don’t want to remove them. This plate here and these nuts obviously is what
is holding the axle on on this side. So you just want to loosen it a little bit in order
to free up the axle. These shouldn’t have too much torque on them. They should be fairly
simple to get loose. If you don’t drop your wrench. Next you want to place a floor jack
underneath the tire. You don’t want to lift it a lot. You just want to relieve the pressure
off the axle so you can remove the axle easier. That’s it. Almost nothing. You don’t want
to lift the bike up too much otherwise you could knock it off it’s jack. Next you want
to take a metal rod or a Phillips head screw driver and stick it in the hole right here
and then rotate it slightly so you can get a better grip on it. Then you just take that
rod and pull. Now as you saw both of the spacers just rolled off onto the ground so that’s
another reason why you want to mark them so you know which one side came off where. Now
you just lower the jack and roll the tire out of the way. So while you have the axle
off you should also clean and inspect it. If the person who installed it last installed
it correctly there will be anti-seize or some kind of a lubricant on here that you should
wipe off. In the areas where the bearings are on the rim you want to look for excessive
wear marks. So in my case it’s right about here and right about here for my axle. If
you have excessive wear marks where you can actually feel peeks and valleys of the wear
with your fingernail then your axle is garbage. You need to replace it. What that means is
your bearings at some point got stuck and decided to spin against the axle rather then
spin amongst the bearings inside, inside the bearing, wheel bearing and wore into the axle.
So in addition to having your axle be garbage you should also look into replacing your wheel
bearings. So in my case the axle is nice and smooth. There is no wear marks. These pieces
right here are machined in from the factory. Probably to balance the shaft. So in my case
the axle looks perfectly fine. Its a good idea to put the parts back onto the axle the
way they came off in the order they came off so you don’t forget. Unless you have a tire
shop in your garage it’s going to be a little while before you put this thing back on so
you don’t want to forget where everything went so you put the right spacer on and then
you put the left spacer on then you put the washer then you put the spring washer and
then you put the nut. Then set it aside and go get your tire changed. While it’s in this
state you want to make sure you don’t touch the front brake. Otherwise you will compress
the caliper and it will make it harder to get the tire back on when you are done. So
through the magic of video editing I have a new tire on my rim. So before installing
it one thing you want to do is you want to check your rotor. Roll the tire a couple times
to make sure there is no excessive run out on the rotor. If your rotor is warped it will
cause some pulsation in the brake when you are trying to apply the brakes or like cause
the bike to jitter like that as you are trying to brake as well. Additionally you want to
check your wheel bearings and rotate them like that and make sure that it’s nice and
fluid. There is no noise and that there is no lateral movement. If there is then you
have bad bearings and you should replace them. So before installing the tire you need to
apply a little bit of anti-seize to the axle shaft. This is for a couple reasons. One is
to help prevent the axle shaft seizing to the bearings or the tube between the bearings
when you are going down the road. You want those to be completely fluid. Additionally
it also helps for installation so the axle slides in easier and also for removal later
on when the axle slides out. So you just take it apart and then you take a little dab of
anti-seize and stick it on there. About that much. you don’t need a whole lot. You want
to anti-seize to cover from this point to this point. You don’t want it out here. Definitely
don’t want it on the threads and you don’t want it out here. The area here and the area
here is what goes through the fork sliders. The area in here is what goes into the rim.
So you take the anti-seize and you just spread it out. A little bit of this stuff goes a
long way. And that’s it. Now you just wipe your finger off and set the axle aside for
installation. You roll your rim with it’s new tire in between the forks. Roll the jack
underneath it like that. Slide it into place. You don’t actually have to use the jack. You
can just muscle it up yourself if you choose. I just find using the jack a lot easier so
you don’t have to sit there and fiddle with it while you are trying to get the axle through
the hole here, through a spacer, through the wheel, through the other spacer and through
the other side. Having the wheel up on a jack just makes it so much easier. Slide the rotor
in between the brake pads. Raise up the wheel so it’s in line. Now you take your axle and
your right spacer and put it through the hole through the other side. Then stick the spacer,
the left spacer on the other side. Push the axle through
like that. Now you can remove the jack. And
you take the solid washer, put it through. The spring washer. Put it through. And then
put the nut on finger tight. Make sure not to cross thread this because if you cross
thread it then you are probably going to have to replace the axle shaft. And because it’s
a Harley they are not cheap. Next you’ll tighten up the axle nut. So you take a thick Phillips
screw driver. Stick it through the hole in the side of the axle. And then you take your
torque wrench and torque it down to between fifty and fifty five ft/lbs. I usually half
that so I set it to fifty two and a half. So next you move over to the right side and
you want to snug these nuts up evenly. The key is to get them on even. And then you torque
them down with a half inch socket between eleven and fifteen ft/lbs. You still want
to do it evenly. So next you want to spin the tire a couple times and look for any,
any oil or grease or even the lube that the tire shop used to install the tire and you
want to remove it. So you just take a rag or paper towel with some brake cleaner on
it and you just wipe off any areas that look suspect. So next you want to apply the brakes,
spin the tire and apply the brakes a couple times to re-seat the brake pads against the
rotor. And you are pretty much done. So I hope this video helped you out If you have
any questions comments or concerns please leave them in the comments section below.
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