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  1. #1
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    WTB Laser Disc Lite rear hub Servicing pics

    Ok, I'm reaaaally really tired right now. I'm going on 12 hours of hard labor, riding, then a stupid idea to try and service my rear LDL hub.

    I'm gonna post pics, little to no explanation. I will provide it at some time, but the procedure is so effing easy, the only thing I will recommend is to (of course) make sure you remember the order of the thin washers and make sure the main seal is fully seated. WTB told me many of the warranty returns are due to the user not installing the seal properly when they think it is. I used prep M. Lots of it. Also, make sure the preload nut is just barely snug and no more is needed. Cover all the exterior bearing surfaces for a hydrophobic barrier.


    First pic is the axle with the locknuts removed.
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  2. #2
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    moreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
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    dhfkhvxbclxcl
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  4. #4
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    Reassembly. This hub is so easy to service, it's not even funny. The only special tool needed is one 19mm cone wrench, while you may use a regular one for the locknut. The instructions WTB sent me even said bearing preload is adjustable on the bike.
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  5. #5
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    Awesome pics thanks.

    Just to re-emphasize what you said
    -keep track of the thin washers. They can hide themselves and stick to the top of the bearing w/o you realizing it. Keep their order correct.

    -put the freebody/axle on first, THEN put the black rubber/metal sleeve back on and seat it properly. When taking the hub apart it is easy to pull the freebody off and then take the seal off. It seems natural to put the seal on first then put the freebody on but that is wrong.

    - remember which side the cone nuts go on. I actually put it together backwards and put the cone nuts on the free body side, and the freebody was getting in the way of the cone wrench. I had to consult the pictorial direction at Am classic to get it right.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, one thin ring in question was missing and I didn't know I lost it until I was puzzled about why the hub was binding real bad. It turns out it goes between the bearing of the freehub and the bearing in the hub body. Inserted and problem solved.

    This is how the hub works:
    1. Torque applied from pedals turns freehub body.
    2. Spring tang catches in cam plate holes, turning cam plate slightly.
    3. Cam plate has angled holes that control the position of the pawls. Pawls move down simultaneously and engage the ring on the freehub, thus transferring torque from freehub to hub.

  7. #7
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    Also,

    Mprep is the perfect lube. Greasy but not sticky. Regular bearing grease is too sticky and the pawls move too slowly. I've found that the Mprep does break down easier though and that the seals can't handle a really wet /muddy ride.

    As you said rebuilding is really easy but those that expect total weather performance and never having to touch them should look elsewhere.

  8. #8
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    JC...how old was this hub?? Was the grease in there pretty crappy dirty?? Looked that way in the pics... Does WTB send out a new freebody seal with the kit??

  9. #9
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    Two months of use, or so. The grease was dark, but I don't consider it truly dirty, per se. Lubricants turn black in the presence of carbons from the metals. I didn't find any grit in there, luckily. I don't know what color the lube was originally, btw. It really looks like the lube was just blackened, but functional from use. There was probably some moisture contained in it, however. I tend to spray the hubs for cleaning.

    Don't know about the seal with the kit. Call them. They are very nice and helpful.

  10. #10
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    Oh, I might include that you really shouldn't use "Tons" of grease. The pawls seem to return to rest simply from centrifugal force, so too much grease there may impede it. I ended up removing a bit of grease, along with adding a few drops of penetrating oil to the whole mix. Prep M is fine, I just used too much initially.

  11. #11
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    sorry to ask...

    thanks for the visual demo. now, how do i take the axle out? i tried unscrewing the cone nuts but the silver end cap only allows the cone nuts to unscrew so far. i just don't want to accidentally break anything!

    thanks for your time!
    Our life is a journey. let it be epic.

  12. #12
    JHK
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    silver end cap

    Yup... better safe than sorry, eh?

    No problem though, just keep unscrewing and the silver end cap pops out. when you put it all back together you just tap it in with a hammer.

    Good Luck.....

    ps... the hardest part for me was figuring out how tight to tighten the axle when I put it back together.... sealed bearings don't give you the same input as loose bearings.

  13. #13
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    Is this just standard cleaning and re greasing or did you replace any seals or parts?
    Have your hubs held up well?

  14. #14
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    Thanks for this post. It is really helpful! I just wanted to reiterate not to use too much grease. I just overhauled my rear hub a few days ago. I had too much grease under the cam plate, and between the cam plate and the hub body. Too much grease prevents the spring on the hub body from engaging the cam plate. Just put a very thin layer of grease on both sides of the cam plate.

    I've had my hubs for three years and they have been very good. I just replaced the bearings for the first time, but all other parts of the hub appear to be great shape. They are light, strong, and look nice.

  15. #15
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    I have a tub of Slick Honey, do you think that is good to use? I think it is a little
    lighter than some greases.

  16. #16
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    I've never used Slick Honey so I don't know for sure, but I'd think any waterproof grease should work fine. I used Prep M on the cam plate, and Finish Line Teflon grease on the pawls near the large black seal.

    Below is a link that I found really helpful also. These are overhaul instructions from American Classic. It's the same hub design as the WTB hubs.

    http://www.amclassic.com/pdfs/17mmHubOverhaul.pdf
    Last edited by mandj89; 01-05-2007 at 10:08 AM.

  17. #17
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    Nice document, thanks!

  18. #18
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    O.K., stupid question.... how did you get WTB to send you the parts? I'll do what I have to, but I sent them an email almost a week ago and haven't heard anything. Should I call them or what? I'm trying not to be impatient but I'd like to get this hub rebuilt. My spare wheels are pretty heavy and I'd like to get back to my regular stuff.

    Really nice demo/photo thing. Thanks a bunch.

  19. #19
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    WTB recommends that you use next to no lube since it can make the camplate slow to rotate. I find that 75-90 wt synthetic gear oil works best on my Laserdisc Lites. The two wheelsets I have are still rolling great.

    Also a few more comments:
    The original hubs had a completely flat cam plate with holes to engage the spring wire. The newer one is pictured and has raised sections that engage the SS wire on the f/h body. This is a much better steup. When the wire wears on the old hubs, the wire will not engage the holes and the rotate the camplate so the drive pawls will not engage the f/h body and your cranks just spin. Voice of experience on that one. If you have an old-style cam plate, give WTB a call (forget e-mail; they do not respond). You will need a new cam plate and an upgraded Freehub Body, which has heavier gage engagement wire. They will send you what you need. It cost me about $25.

    When the hub is apart, rotate the bearings. If they feel notchy or grabby, ditch them. The OE bearings are pretty cheesy. Get a set of Enduro replacements. I am thinking about ceramics the next time I need to replace them since they are about 60% lighter.

  20. #20
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    The lube comment contrasts with my own experience, as they told me to use PrepM. I believe I have mentioned not using too much, as this does slow action down. For the most part, engagement it not affected due to the disproportion of driving force to resistance of the grease. The place where it messes things up is upon disengagement. Those pawls need to flick themselves out of the way and can sometimes hit the tips of the engagement teeth.

    Again, the LDL's are made like this only to minimize rolling resistance. This is also the reason cited by WTB as the reason for sealing being next to nothing.

    At this point, the LDL's are overpriced since the ProII's became a lightweight contender. THey are also sealed and made to last as investment pieces.

  21. #21
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    Very good info. Thanks for letting us know.

    I'd like to break my hubs down to see what is actually wrong with them, but at the same time, if they're under warrenty or recall, WTB might not want me to. I just can't seem to figure out how to get a hold of someone at WTB to find out what to do. Email hasn't worked and I don't really want to lug a whole wheel across down on my bike if the one shop that I know of that does WTB won't/can't help me.

  22. #22
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    You call them. They've been really good about talking to me on the phone in the past.

    I'm gonna sound like a dick saying so, but if you need info and they're not answering the emails, call them. I've had good success both ways.

  23. #23
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    JC:
    The original cam plates were fussy about any stiction since the edge of the spring wire caught the edge of the camplate hole and that was the only thing that engaged the camplate and pawls. The new raised camplate design is a lot more tolerable of lube since engagement is more positive. Just the same, gear oil has been working flawlessly for me for the past 3 years.

    The only thing I miss about the hubs with the old camplates was that they were virtually silent when freewheeling. The new ones have the typical ratchet whine as the spring rides over the raised sections of the camplate like most other hubs. Well maybe not all hubs. Kings are the all-time winnersl when it comes to noise.

  24. #24
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    Thanks for all the posts. I'm about to do this service. Anyone ever use King ring drive grease as lube here? It's pretty light.

  25. #25
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    Wink No problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    You call them. They've been really good about talking to me on the phone in the past.

    I'm gonna sound like a dick saying so, but if you need info and they're not answering the emails, call them. I've had good success both ways.
    No... your advice is sound. The only problem is that I have to call them about 20:00 hour here to get them just coming in to work. I also don't understand why companies put email addresses & contact info. up if their not going to respond.

    I've now sent them two emails to two different addresses. Guess I'll call 'em next. I've got another frame showing up this week and no wheels to put on it. Would love to have this wheelset fixed this fixed this week. However, last time I had a problem, it took them almost 6 months to get me the right parts to fix the wheel. They must have some really good weed that they pass around the office or something. :-)

  26. #26
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    Got my kit in the mail today from WTB. Unfortunately, I have an a appt. in an hour and then class till 8:45 tonight. I might have to come home and do the rebuild tonight when I get home anyway.

  27. #27
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    Throw me a message through here if you need any assistance.

    Just remember to make sure you don't lose the washers when you take it apart. It's real easy to do so.

  28. #28
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    O.K., I think that I've gotten it all back together. Only two questions. 1. In the Am. Classic pics they have a small washer or something (at least it looks that way to me) on the axle. I never had such a thing. Was I supposed to? 2. Is the washer that doesn't seem to go anywhere, slip over the cassette body for before you put the cassette on or what?

    Thanks for the pics, they helped a lot.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1 Speed
    O.K., I think that I've gotten it all back together. Only two questions. 1. In the Am. Classic pics they have a small washer or something (at least it looks that way to me) on the axle. I never had such a thing. Was I supposed to? 2. Is the washer that doesn't seem to go anywhere, slip over the cassette body for before you put the cassette on or what?

    Thanks for the pics, they helped a lot.
    Are you talking about part #11 in this diagram?

    Cheers, Chris
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  30. #30
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    Wink Um.. yeah.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris130
    Are you talking about part #11 in this diagram?

    Cheers, Chris
    Yup... at least I think so. It just goes under the cassette... where I to use one anyway.

  31. #31
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    It looks like I have come to the right place…
    I had some bearing play issues with the front and rear Laserdisc lite. I replaced the bearings in the front hub, and the play went away. However, after replacing the bearings (all four) on the rear there is still noticeable side to side movement, and no amount of bearing preload seems to fix it.
    My hubs have an aluminum "tube" between the bearings that the axel slides through. This tube falls out when the bearings is removed. I don't see this tube on WTB's diagram, and I have this suspicion that it may cause my problem, because I removed it and installed the bearings and the play seemed to disappear. However, I didn't ride without this tube as I wonder what its function is.
    The front hub has a similar tube between the bearings.

    Any ideas? Does your hubs have this tube?

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by biking_dane
    Any ideas? Does your hubs have this tube?
    I'm honestly not sure. It's been so long since I changed out my bearings that I have no recollection at all. Sorry. One of the other guys probably can tell you though.

  33. #33
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    Side to Side Play

    WTB LDL hubs are designed to have approx. 1-2mm of side play in an effort to make them rotate more freely. It's possible to get it a wee bit closer, but the hub will eventually bind or drag if you exceed the freeplay margin.

  34. #34
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well Where to find those bearings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    Ok, I'm reaaaally really tired right now. I'm going on 12 hours of hard labor, riding, then a stupid idea to try and service my rear LDL hub.
    Could you please wrote where did you manage to find bearings for LDL hub? I can't find any site/LBS/SKF store that has them in stock... and I have two rear LDL hubs in parts...


    Thanks!
    I'm not a complete idiot, some pieces are missing.

  35. #35
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    You might try...

    Quote Originally Posted by gremlyn
    Could you please wrote where did you manage to find bearings for LDL hub? I can't find any site/LBS/SKF store that has them in stock... and I have two rear LDL hubs in parts...
    Thanks!
    The best bet might be to call WTB directly. Frankly, I'm all but allergic to the phone and when I, finally, called them, they were very helpful and my parts came all the way to Germany in a really fast fashion.

    I'd guess, that they have the bearings or will give you a good idea where to find them. If you can get 'em, I hear that ceramic's are the way to go. They supposedly have great longevity and roll better as well as being lighter.

    WTB phone # (415) 389-5040. By the way, call 'em, don't email them. I've never received a response to any of my emails. Not sure what's up with that, but the phone worked out perfectly.

    Let us know how it goes.

  36. #36
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    Thanks, I'll give them a call tomorrow... I'll keep you updated...
    I'm not a complete idiot, some pieces are missing.

  37. #37
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    My rear hub just failed me today. It doesn't engage when I pedal. Does that mean I need service? Or is it broken? I will plan on calling them on Monday.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by rconceptsinc
    My rear hub just failed me today. It doesn't engage when I pedal. Does that mean I need service? Or is it broken? I will plan on calling them on Monday.
    I'd guess, that you need to rebuild it. Same thing that mine did. It's actually quite easy, just a little bit of care and organization and you should be good to go. Oh... make sure that you have the wrenches before you get all set to start. A couple 19mm cone wrenches is not something that most people have.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1 Speed
    I'd guess, that you need to rebuild it. Same thing that mine did. It's actually quite easy, just a little bit of care and organization and you should be good to go. Oh... make sure that you have the wrenches before you get all set to start. A couple 19mm cone wrenches is not something that most people have.

    Thanks for the reply. Did you need the bearing kit or the freehub kit or both?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by rconceptsinc
    Thanks for the reply. Did you need the bearing kit or the freehub kit or both?
    I only needed the freehub kit. However, changing out your bearings as well is probably a good idea.

  41. #41
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    I just got a new pair of wheels with the LDLs, and there seems to be play in the front wheel. I don't see how there is any adjustment for the bearing preload in the front. Does anyone know if this is normal, or if it can be fixed?

  42. #42
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    This message is more for RandyP, maybe JC can answer this. I went through the pictures by JC (THANKS!). I'm replacing an old freehub with the new from WTB. Once I assembled everything, things are not smooth. Theres a little roughness before it engages. Kind of like the paws are having a hard time smoothly engaging. I need some suggestions before I end up sending this wheel off if anyone has experience with this. I do have one washer and one of the rubber seals left over.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by gremlyn
    Could you please wrote where did you manage to find bearings for LDL hub? I can't find any site/LBS/SKF store that has them in stock... and I have two rear LDL hubs in parts...


    Thanks!

    Ceramic:

    http://www.enduroforkseals.com/id139.html



    Steel:

    http://www.enduroforkseals.com/id138.html
    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  44. #44
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    sweet pics im geting that hub soon on my shore 1

  45. #45
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    I too had my rear hub fail and had to order the rebuild kit. I got both the freehub kit (about $27) and new bearings ($7 I think). Note that neither of these kits come with replacement pawls so if you need them (like I did) order them too. A few ovservations:

    1. I had the older style system with the weak freehub spring (this is the piece that broke). The replacement freehub assembly that came had a different cam plate (no holes in this one) and a much heavier duty spring in the freehub body.

    2. There is a small washer in the old system that went between the bearings and freehub that is no longer needed in the new system. I verified this with their tech support and this piece was not included with the new kit.

    3. You are not supposed to leave any play when you are setting the preload. The old system had you leave some play that would get taken care of when the quick release was tightened.

    4. After assembly (which I found to be very easy) the freehub was much louder, similar to a hope but not near as loud as a king. There is also a bit more drag. I think that WTB redisigned the freehub to be more robust and in the process overdid it on the new spring and cam plate. It may be more durable but I miss my nice quiet rear hub. It still spins pretty freely but nowhere near as smooth or long as my old XT hubs. Oh well, it's fixed and until the wheel craters again I will keep riding it.

  46. #46
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    Are you guys happy w/ these hubs? Would you recommend them?

    I'm considering the WTB LDL w/ Velocity rims from oddsandendos.. I'm just not sure if there is a better more modern option for the buck. Thanks

  47. #47
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    ... and if we just ... Yup

    Quote Originally Posted by HuffyMan
    Are you guys happy w/ these hubs? Would you recommend them?

    I'm considering the WTB LDL w/ Velocity rims from oddsandendos.. I'm just not sure if there is a better more modern option for the buck. Thanks
    Yup...been very happy with mine. Granted, when the rear blew up after 4 years of heavy use I was annoyed, but the minute that I rebuilt it, it seemingly became bionic!

  48. #48
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    I am happy with mine. Theya are very light and have high flanges which helps out for a stiff wheel build. They were trouble and maintenance free for three years until the rear hub failed. Even then the replacement parts were cheap and I have never seen a hub that is easier to work on. The only downsides I see are the limited engagement points and the little bit of extra drag I noticed with the new rebuild. That drag seems to be going away gradually though.

    I would recommend them to someone who coming from an XT or similar type hub but if you are used to higher number of engagement points or do a lot of technical climbing (ledges, step ups, etc.) you may be better off going with a hub like the Hope II, King or I9. But then you are looking at a few more bucks.

  49. #49
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    I have only ridden about 50 - 75k and have a small amount of play on my rear LDL hub resulting in very minor wheel wobble. I am able to remove the locking nut, but how do I stop the axle from turning to remove the inner nut - is it just a matter of putting it in a vice?

  50. #50
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    Keep the rear wheel mounted in the bike and while holding the rear wheel loosen the inner retaining nut with a 19mm spanner wrench.

    From what it sounds like you need to thghten the inner adjusting nut, not remove it. This should take the play out. I have had best success making these adjustment with the wheel on the bike. You do need two 19mm spanner wrenchs though.

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