Captive spacers - ZX6R Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 10-17-2019, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Captive spacers

Is there some reason why every time I take my wheels to the local mom & pop shop for tire changes some damn mechanic decides he needs to remove the captive spacers - and destroy my wheel bearing oil seals? WTF?! I don’t see any issue with balancing the tires with the spacers in place .... do you guys? My balancer has its own bearings on either side of the balancing rod so there is absolutely no reason to need to depend on engaging the wheel bearings themselves (requiring removing the spacers). After this happening today I more than likely won’t make the (paid for) track day on Sunday; unless these oil seals are REALLY common and don’t have to be ordered.... arrrrrgggg!
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post #2 of 19 Old 10-18-2019, 02:16 AM
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Will you be changing you wheels over the course of the day?

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post #3 of 19 Old 10-18-2019, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Will you be changing you wheels over the course of the day?
No.

Right now I am shocked that they thought I wouldn’t notice the damage. The metal coiled spring that is in the lip of the seal is torn out and completely exposed. No sealing from dirt penetration going on there!
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post #4 of 19 Old 10-18-2019, 09:02 AM
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More than likely it's just a tire monkey that yanks them out simply because of habit. However, there is sound justification in actually pulling them out, as they can interfere with the balancing of the wheel, where they'll ride on the captive spacers and not the wheel bearing themselves. Pulling them out eliminates this variable.

The most sure method to balance them is getting a rod that allows the wheel to ride on the wheel bearings as intended. What most people do, myself included, is just get a rear axle and cut it down to size. Since the inner diameter of the captive spacers are slightly larger than the OD of the axle, the spacers don't interfere with anything. You then use the cones and snug them up into the axle itself, allowing the wheel to spin freely on the wheel bearings as intended. My cut down stock axle is long enough that I don't bother pulling the carrier off the wheel.

If you are using a normal small rod to balance your wheels, you are not getting a true, accurate balance of your wheels. Simple as that.

All that said, those simply act as dust seals, since the wheel bearings themselves are completely self contained and not serviceable, they don't "retain" any wheel bearing grease. If they're a little chewed up, they'll be fine for a track weekend. Long term you might see premature wear if rain/dust/dirt worked it's way into the wheel, but for one weekend? Run it.

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post #5 of 19 Old 10-18-2019, 09:03 AM
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I wouldn't hesitate to run one track day without an oil seal on your wheel bearing. If you were running on a salty beach, splashing through the surf, or mud.... I would only be cautious then.

The grease will not migrate enough to be a problem in the miles you could accrue in a track day.

I understand why you're rightfully p.o.'d, don't let that cramp your style.

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post #6 of 19 Old 10-18-2019, 10:11 AM
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What most people do, myself included, is just get a rear axle and cut it down to size. Since the inner diameter of the captive spacers are slightly larger than the OD of the axle, the spacers don't interfere with anything. You then use the cones and snug them up into the axle itself, allowing the wheel to spin freely on the wheel bearings as intended. My cut down stock axle is long enough that I don't bother pulling the carrier off the wheel.
That's a great tip.

+1 on running it for one day on pavement with a chewed up seal. Off road would be a different deal, but on road should be no issue at all.


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post #7 of 19 Old 10-18-2019, 11:25 AM
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Also, removing and reinstalling captive spacers shouldn't damage the seals! I wonder what process they used to remove them.

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post #8 of 19 Old 10-18-2019, 11:37 AM
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I've never had anyone take mine out when mounting and balancing tires. I've never damaged one whenever I've taken them out...pretty easy to take them out without damaging anything. However, those are not oil seals, they're just dust seals. You can run with them damaged, or not even in place, it just makes it harder to put the wheel on because you need another hand to hold your spacer in place now.
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post #9 of 19 Old 10-18-2019, 02:07 PM
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They likely did it out of habit as mentioned. I am sure they do not often see captive spacers!!!!!!!! But had you notified them of those they may have left them alone? or atleast taken more care, but maybe not...fucking assmonkies just blindly rush through far too much with little thought

but yes the spacers are not the correct place to snug up your cones to- they can be slightly offset etc.the actual wheel bearings is the place to snug up to!- while it may in fact make little difference in balance? I have not tried doing ti one way then another on the same wheel back to back to see if there is a difference and if so, how much

I too remove them often and reinstall and am not ruining the dust seals (sans those assholes who paint their rims multiple times and have it "locked in" via copious amounts of paint)
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post #10 of 19 Old 10-18-2019, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. I appreciate the support, good suggestions, and sound advice! I was told today of the need to remove the spacers and engage the cones in the actual bearings to get an accurate balance. However, I will tell you from experience that when I’ve had my wheels balanced the “correct” way, and then taken them home to verify the balance with my static balancer engaging the spacers, the same result occurs; it balances true both ways.
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post #11 of 19 Old 10-18-2019, 08:50 PM
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However, I will tell you from experience that when I’ve had my wheels balanced the “correct” way, and then taken them home to verify the balance with my static balancer engaging the spacers, the same result occurs; it balances true both ways.
Not always the case with all types of wheels and different brands of wheel spacers, but sometimes you can get it "close enough" even with a small rod and captive spacers in place. The only way to get it 100%, 100% of the time, is to remove the wheel spacers or make sure the rim is riding on the wheel bearings.

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post #12 of 19 Old 10-18-2019, 09:01 PM
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I would just have them mount the tire and balance it myself with Otto's method, especially since you already have a balancer.
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post #13 of 19 Old 10-19-2019, 05:21 PM
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Or.............

just start mounting and balancing yourself?

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Stupid people say stupid things on the internet, so be wary of who those people are. If you solicit advice on the internet, just keep in mind 99% of what you'll receive is not based on fact or science-and likely atleast 95% of it is based on bullshit and bravado regurgitated from some other schlub who also did not experience any of what they claim and are also full of shit. If you don't like my bluntness- too bad. I am not here to please you, so move along, your approval is not desired nor is it needed. So before opening your pie hole and adding more stupidity, perhaps sit back, listen, absorb and learn something. You know that saying, it is better to remain silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!
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post #14 of 19 Old 10-20-2019, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Here’s another “anomaly” with this tire mounting experience: when I went to check my tire pressure on the freshly mounted tire I found ...wait for it .... no measurable air pressure! There was no air in the tire above barometric pressure. How is that even possible? Every time I’ve had a tire mounted it has had too much air pressure ....I’m assuming from seating the bead of the tire .... not this time.

Gotta do everything yourself, I guess.
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post #15 of 19 Old 10-20-2019, 07:05 PM
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At least find a shop that meets your expectations.....

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