Can't remove front axle - Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old May 7th, 2019, 9:15 pm Thread Starter
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Can't remove front axle

Hey, me again. 2002 ST4S, first time removing front wheel from this particular bike. Brake calipers are off, axle nut off, fork pinch bolts plenty loose. I tried tapping the axle out, light taps with a dead blow. If I can move it far enough to access the through hole, I'm home free. But as I tap, the spacer on the right side (that's a spacer, right?) seems to slide into and jam up partway inside the bottom of the fork. At least, I think that's what's going on. Correct me if I'm wrong. There's a ton of side-to-side wheel play at that point.

With axle tight:


After trying to tap axle out:


Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Aram

Aram 2002 ST4S
Life is too short for 4 wheels
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old May 7th, 2019, 10:00 pm
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often when people overtighten the axle pinch screws it deforms these axles and makes them hard to get through the bearings. knock it back in, rotate it 90 degrees, tighten the pinches up and see if that helps. maybe rotate it 60 degrees, tighten, loosen, another 60 sort of thing if it's really crabby.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old May 7th, 2019, 10:13 pm
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If I understand this correctly, the spacer is fused to the axle, but the axle is freely moving side to side through the fork legs, but whose motion is limited by the frozen spacer.

If this is the case, I think heat is your friend here. Put a wide steel hose clamp around the spacer and tighten it until you see God. Then lightly heat the spacer all around its circumference and use an adjustable pliers to grab the clamp/spacer and work it axially until it breaks free. The clamp will take the abuse of the pliers. You don't want too much heat here because of the bearings and seals etc but a little will help.

Failure is not an option 1995 Duc 916,1994 Bim DB2,1986 Duc MHR Mille, 1974 Duc 750 Sport, 1965 Duc Monza

Last edited by casor; May 7th, 2019 at 10:14 pm. Reason: Typo
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old May 7th, 2019, 10:25 pm
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I have had it when the axle is rusted on the bearings due to lack of grease. I used a drift and knocked it out but had to hit it pretty bloody hard.

If you cant fix it with a hammer, its probably electrical.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old May 7th, 2019, 11:26 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casor View Post
If I understand this correctly, the spacer is fused to the axle, but the axle is freely moving side to side through the fork legs, but whose motion is limited by the frozen spacer.

If this is the case, I think heat is your friend here. Put a wide steel hose clamp around the spacer and tighten it until you see God. Then lightly heat the spacer all around its circumference and use an adjustable pliers to grab the clamp/spacer and work it axially until it breaks free. The clamp will take the abuse of the pliers. You don't want too much heat here because of the bearings and seals etc but a little will help.
First, thanks to everyone for your help.

Casor, that does seem to be the case. Clever idea. I think I'll try it.

Safe riding,
Aram

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old May 8th, 2019, 12:56 am
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there's no spacer on the right, that's the axle. there's a spacer on the lh side where the speedo drive used to be. if it has moved that far then nothing is seized.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old May 8th, 2019, 1:52 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belter View Post
there's no spacer on the right, that's the axle. there's a spacer on the lh side where the speedo drive used to be. if it has moved that far then nothing is seized.
Judging from the diagram here https://ducatiparts.bmwmcjax.com/a/D...A_2003-86.html it appears that @belter is correct and there is no spacer, - what we're seeing is simply the difference in the diameter of the axle that looks like a spacer. Either the axle frozen on the inner wheel bearing race ID or something (rust, crud) is preventing it from sliding through the fork. The forks are split underneath - a hardwood or aluminum wedge (OK, use a shorty screwdriver if you're careful) may be inserted in the split and tapped in carefully open it up a few thou to give the fat end of the axle more clearance.

You have to carefully analyze this thing and ID exactly where and how the axle is hanging up. What a pain in the neck.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old May 8th, 2019, 1:57 am
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I'm also assuming that you've hosed the offending parts down with PB Blaster, WD-40 or KY Jelly or some other damn thing.

Failure is not an option 1995 Duc 916,1994 Bim DB2,1986 Duc MHR Mille, 1974 Duc 750 Sport, 1965 Duc Monza
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old May 8th, 2019, 4:36 am
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Listen to what belter said. Rotate, tighten pinch bolts, try again. That works every time.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old May 8th, 2019, 8:24 am
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As others have said You simply have a crushed axle due to it being over tightened, you are trying to push a oval through a round hole and it is likely oval on both sides. Get a plastic or other soft driver and beat that sucker out of there. You will do no harm to the forks and the axle is already done, it is common when people do not use a torque wrench and do not know how tight to make things.

I have a number of customers with similar axles and they choose to let me deal with it, you know know why to not over tighten the axle so if you buy a new one you are not likely going to cause the problem again. Buying used axles is gambling because this is so common, if the used axle is guaranteed then that's one thing otherwise either get used to it or buy a new one. And a torque wrench.

There are many critical fasteners I do not torque because I have been doing this so long, those pinch bolts (or any pinch bolt for that matter) I always torque. Now pull up your skirt and get that axle out of there! lol
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