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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hopefully I'll be mounting my new tires on my '12 Super Glide soon. Been watching all the YouTube videos and starting to feel confident I can do it, even on a Harley.

On all my bikes over the years, when re-installing an axle, I gave it a light coat of wheel bearing grease. The YouTube videos call for anti-seize.

Eyeballed a HD forum and some say grease, some say anti-seize. It looks like to me, if I need to pull the axle in less than 20 years, grease will be okay.

Then some sites wandered off in to spark plugs and stuff that didn't interest me. Thought I would see what you home Harley mechanics thought, grease or anti-seize? :plain:
 

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Not a Harley mech but with many years of mechanical experience on all sorts of equipment for an axle I use a nice coating of a quality chassis/ wheel bearing grease, it will still be there when you pull out the axle doing it's job but without the nasty mess that anti-seize makes, that stuff works great but makes a mess, it gets into things , even cracks in your skin and never comes out.

Spark plugs get a small amount of good quality anti-seize compound, anything less will not hold up to the heat and abuse they get and they might just get stuck in the aluminum threads without it.
 

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The axle has to do two things initially, go in the hole, and have sufficient contact with the inner race so that they turn. Sometime in the future the axle has to come out, without to much bashing. Whatever goes on the axle should not upset the bearings.
And one more thing, the seals on each side must run on the axle. Grease seems to be the best option for all of the jobs. Just a thin coat. The pros probably have different ideas.

UK
 

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Ace Tuner
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Grease, NOT anti-seize.

Anti-seize compounds have metal suspended in them. It will migrate from the axle into your bearings.
That metal, in anti-seize, is very bad for bearings. Grease will last well.
I've never seen a stuck shaft that had lube when it was put in. :plain: :smile: :smile_big: :grin: :devil: .. :eek: ..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
With my dirt bikes, street bikes and touring bikes, I've always used wheel bearing grease whenever I've had reason to pull the axle. They don't seem to be able to agree on the HD site I was on.

Don't know why a Harley axle should be any different than any other motorcycle axle I've dealt with. But I did want, and appreciate the opinions I get on here.

Thanks fellow riders,
 

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Anti-seize compound is just grease with added solid materials; powdered aluminum, copper, graphite, teflon, and various others. There's even food grade.

The solids are there to prevent the surfaces from galling or welding after heat dissipates the grease. If the joint won't get above 400 degrees, grease is fine. If it's going to get hot, anti-seize might be called for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I hope to get a couple years out of the tires, but more would be better. :)

i think I'll still be making payments when the next set of tires are needed. If grease is the wrong choice, I'm sure I'll know better next time, maybe. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Changed the front tire, used high temperature wheel bearing grease on the axle. Got to get some bigger star sockets before I can get the rear wheel off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Both axles reinserted with high temp wheel bearing grease. Rear wheel has new wheel bearings now too. Didn't really need them but I didn't know they could be installed too tight until I got one out, then I wasn't going to put just one new one in, so both bearings got replaced. Next time I'll know better.
 

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Didn't really need them but I didn't know they could be installed too tight until I got one out
Oops. I'm curious as to why you thought you needed to get one out though? Was one a little rough when turned or something? Yeah, they are a forced tight fit kind of thing with nothing else holding them in but that tight fit. And you were right to replace both unless they really didn't have many miles to begin with. Some people change them on every tire change with sealed bearings. But it really depends on how they feel. Nice and smooth with zero rough spots then I let mine go and pray they last to the next tire change. See your service or owners manual for their recommendation though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
When I pulled the front wheel off, I checked the bearings. Both were as smooth as glass and felt like, well like they're supposed to feel like.
When I pulled the rear wheel off, I had to use a great deal of force to get either bearing to turn just a little bit. So I thought it was bad. So I got the new bearings and a puller/installer.
When I pulled the first bearing out of the wheel, I checked it again. Son of a gun, it worked just fine. The bearings had been forced in too tight against the piece of pipe that sits between the two bearings inside the wheel.
 

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It didn’t do any kind of damage did it? I could see a lot of heat getting generated with the bearing being driven to far in as you describe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I didn't see or feel any damage. I cleaned the axle up real good with brake cleaner and cleaned inside the wheel. Used a flashlight to look inside the wheel. I think with the weight of the bike sitting on the bearings, it must have made them work.
 

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I would have still thought extra heat might have been generated. Maybe there was but apparently nothing be concerned with.
 

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Hopefully I'll be mounting my new tires on my '12 Super Glide soon. Been watching all the YouTube videos and starting to feel confident I can do it, even on a Harley.

On all my bikes over the years, when re-installing an axle, I gave it a light coat of wheel bearing grease. The YouTube videos call for anti-seize.

Eyeballed a HD forum and some say grease, some say anti-seize. It looks like to me, if I need to low cost color copies at 55 printing the axle in less than 20 years, grease will be okay.

Then some sites wandered off in to spark plugs and stuff that didn't interest me. Thought I would see what you home Harley mechanics thought, grease or anti-seize? :plain:
 

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~
if I need to get the axle out in less than 20 years, grease will be okay.
~
This is the way I look at it but really, which ever one you have in your hand at time of installation will do.
 

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According to my book anti-seize
Hopefully I'll be mounting my new tires on my '12 Super Glide soon. Been watching all the YouTube videos and starting to feel confident I can do it, even on a Harley.

On all my bikes over the years, when re-installing an axle, I gave it a light coat of wheel bearing grease. The YouTube videos call for anti-seize.

Eyeballed a HD forum and some say grease, some say anti-seize. It looks like to me, if I need to pull the axle in less than 20 years, grease will be okay.

Then some sites wandered off in to spark plugs and stuff that didn't interest me. Thought I would see what you home Harley mechanics thought, grease or anti-seize? :plain:
My book says anti-seize, my book also says once bearings are removed you toss them and replace with new.
 
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