Re: [CR]Servicing Harden hubs - please help! :) NOW: Harden Hub Service

(Example: History:Norris Lockley)

Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2007 22:00:52 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Ted E. Baer" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Servicing Harden hubs - please help! :) NOW: Harden Hub Service
To: dima <>, Classic Rendezvous <>
In-Reply-To: <>


I was wondering how to service these hubs as well. So I just took an old Harden hub that I've had sitting around here and opened it up. The hubs I have are quite old 50's?, 60's? models. If it helps, the one I just disassembled is engraved "PAT 596137" and has a zert (grease nipple) fitting on the shell between the flanges.

Let me preface this in saying that I have never overhauled a Harden hub until just this minute--so I am a complete amateur. Here is how I did it:

1. I took two wrenches and placed them on the old hex nuts (one wrench for each nut per side) in front of the bearing plate covers.

2. I then turned the wrenches counter-clockwise; I immediately busted a nut, (freed up one of the nuts) and was able to unthread and remove one nut by hand while holding the opposite end of the shaft. The little bearing cover is basically just laying on the outer face of the bearing and will pop right off. The bearing cover is not threaded.

3. Now firmly hold the hub shell and start beating on the end of the axle with a plastic mallet. You will start to feel and see the bearing on the opposite side of the axle you are striking move out of the hub shell. Then, the axle, bearing cover, and bearing will come completely free of the shell. You will see that the axle used in the Harden hub has a raised section on each side of the axle; this is (obviously) where the sealed bearing cartridges rest.

4. As for the bearing still stuck in the hub, the correct way to remove it is with a sealed bearing removal tool. I use to have the Bicycle Research "stepped" removal tool which worked well. There are others. I improvised and just used an old 8mm axle and started banging the bearing out through the back. It popped out. The bearings in the Harden I just took apart are "open" on both sides--meaning you can pack them with grease or oil them. They seem smoother with grease but faster with oil--(like oiled Raleigh hubs.) As for grease, I chose Phil and commenced to packing.

5. You can easily work the second bearing (one that came out with axle) off of the axle by placing the end of the axle (where the bearing is lodged) on a 2"x4" and then employing a socket to use to slide it over the top and start banging up and down on the back of the bearing like a slide hammer. It will come off.

6. Now grease the bearing you just took off.

7. Gently pound one bearing onto the axle and one bearing (opposite side) into the Harden shell. Make sure both bearings are sitting nice and flush with their respective flats.

8. You may notice some old grease on the shaft and be tempted to wipe it off. Leave it on there. That old grease catches particulate from the shell and thereby helps to keep it out of the bearings. If you've already wiped it off, re-grease the shaft.

9. Slip the axle back in the same way you removed it and then put the bearing covers and nuts back on.

10. Get those two wrenches you used to disassemble the hub, place them on the hex nuts and start turning them against each other. Hopefully the bearings will ease in to place without you having to use too much force. I tightened mine until it felt a tad bit rough and then backed off each nut just a bit. The hub feels smooth as glass now!

Again, I am not a Harden expert so please continue to ask questions.

Ted Baer
Palo Alto, CA

--- dima wrote:

> Hi list,
> Sorry but I have to give it another try. Anybody can
> provide any
> hints/tips on servicing Harden hubs with cartridge
> bearings, please?
> Those hubs seem to be very popular and highly
> regarded for use on
> classic British bikes on this list - I can't believe
> nobody has serviced
> them - please share your experiences. Searching the
> archives brings up a
> couple of similar questions but no answers... here
> goes again:
> - how do I disassemble them? I can unscrew the
> locknuts - but how do I
> remove the cups covering the bearings?
> - I'm assuming that - provided I manage to get those
> cups/covers off - I
> can then either take the bearings out and replace or
> thoroughly clean
> them and put back, but even if not, I hope I'll be
> able to flush the
> insides with some degreaser, lube and put the cups
> back on... BUT then
> how do I adjust the locknuts? how tight should they
> be against those
> bearings covering cups?
> I'm really afraid to screw it up... am I asking a
> stupid question or
> missing something obvious?
> Thanks for any insights/help.
> --
> Cheers,
> Dmitry Yaitskov,
> Toronto, Canada.
> _______________________________________________
> Classicrendezvous mailing list

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