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Thread: Final tightening and or torque for 16"&21" wheels

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Default Final tightening and or torque for 16"&21" wheels

    I cannot find a torque setting in any service manual I have regarding final spoke tightening and I want to be consistant. There seems to be a lot of pinging with a wrench and other related voodoo approaches I've found but nothing to really rely on. Is there any widely regarded in-lb figure for regular star hub rear wheel w/ OEM H-D cad spokes on a Kelsy 16" rim? I'm going to do a 21" front on a star hub, will that be a substantially different? Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Sarasota, Florida
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    Spoke tightening is subjective, and based on feel, and common sense. A trued wheel is most important, in combination with adequately tight spokes. No rim is perfectly round, so some spokes will tighten differently and be tasked to pull a rim into "round". Spoked wheels will change with riding, and it's not a bad idea (if you have nothing better to do) to check your wheels for 'true' every once in awhile. Sidecars will put a terrific strain on the motorcycle's rear wheel spokes, so that is something that can't be ignored. Harley-Davidson's lacing and truing procedure in their service manuals is about as good as it gets and can be applied to any laced and true wheel.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Pa
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    Buchanan spoke recommends 80 inch pounds for a 16 inch wheel. I think the 21 would be a lot less, maybe in the 50 inch pound range.

  4. #4
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    Thanks Dusty. I have a truing stand and dial indicator and can handle the assembly and truing but not having a lot of practical experience building wheels or access to someone who really knows the ins and outs I want to make sure the final steps are within the realm of practical reality.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2011
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    Pa
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    It’s a satisfying job to get done. Pacific Mike on you tube has a good video on a Harley rim. It’s worth a look.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2011
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    Ontario, Canada
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    I used to do the wheels for a few shops and have done a lot. Always wanted to try a torque lb (in) spoke wrench but never ended up with one. I do it by feel. As Eric said, some can be different than others especially with a used, older rim. I differ a little than conventional trueing in that i slowly bring the wheel fairly close to the proper offest first, then do the up and down true then side to side. I try to do as much as I can with a screw driver on the inside of the rim before ever tuching it with a spoke wrench, that will preserve the "new' look of Cad spokes to some degree. Also missing in most instructions I have seen is the direction of spokes one side to the other as most find that it falls naturally. I have seen people that have them put together very awkwardly, usually in swap meets. On an interchangeable 16" Star hub, the inner rows go in the same direction on all that I have spoked, but there might be exceptions, just my experience. Remember when lacing to eep a paint can lid of oil handy and dip the threads in to slightly lube them while building. I have not laced a star hub to a taller rim in over 20 years. I am turning into a 16' snob, lol.

    Lastly, if you end up with a spoke that seems loose, check the ones around it, usually as you go along looseness is because the stress is not distributed evenly. Often you can tighten the loose one up towards the end and just loosen of the opposing one a little and not affect your work. Its magic and very satisfying.

    Craig

  7. #7
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    Sep 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by dustydog View Post
    It’s a satisfying job to get done. Pacific Mike on you tube has a good video on a Harley rim. It’s worth a look.
    Mike is an old friend, he used to have a shop here.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Reno NV
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    When I am doing wheels, I always study the hub. They often have wear marks where the spokes sit on the hub which can tell you the original spoke pattern.

  9. #9
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    Sep 2010
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    Arroyo Grande CA
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    Thanks for all the tips guys.

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