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Removing axle dust cover
Hey guys!

I'm both new to these forums as well as to cycling, in general, so please bear with me for not using correct terminology and or not using them well.

My first project was to convert my front wheel from the standard axle / nut system to the quick release so I could fit it into my car and take it to nearby bike routes. After a few visits to my LBS (local bike shop?), I picked a quick release skewer but they didn't have an axle for my wheel. They were kind enough to dig through their junk piles and, lucky for me, found a used QR (quick release) axle that would work. I took it home and got to work.

The dust cover, from the QR axle does not fit into my axle hub (? term). Fortunately, the QR axle is identical to my original axle except that it was hollow and a shorter length (which I understand is how the whole QR system works). This allowed me to keep most of my original parts, including the nut and one dust cover.

My problem is that I can't, for the life of me, get the second dust cover / nut off the original axle. I went so far as to vice-gripping the axle but the entire axle spins when I try to unscrew the nut. Is this normal? or am I just missing the correct technique / tools?

I've attached a photo of the axle and situation. I just need to get that nut / dust cover off this axle to move it to my new QR axle. Any / all advice will be greatly appreciated!
What is still on the axle is actually 3 parts. The silver nut is the "locknut", the black part with the two flat parts on the sides is the "cone" and the silver ring sitting on the cone is the dust cover.

The locknut and cone are both threaded onto the axle. They have probably been tightened against each other very tightly. You need to try to unscrew one while holding the other in place instead of holding the axle itself.

The flat spots on the cone are usually too narrow for a normal wrench to fit. "Cone wrenches" are special thin wrenches that shops will sell just for these. There are several sizes so get the right one. Note that you really need at least one of these wrenches to properly adjust the bearings when you put the wheel back together with the new axle. Only other solutions are to take a cheap open end wrench of the right size and grind it down so it's thin enough to fit. Or try to grab the cone with a needle nose vice grip, but this will tend to chew it up and is not recommended.
Hey JJ! May we call you JJ? We have several Johns here. Smile
Your terminology is pretty spot-on. Cool.

The hub that you're dealing with - is it just a generic, unmarked hub or, does it have markings on the shell? A pic is worth a 1,000, ya know.

To knock that metal dust cover off of the cone, remove the axle nut and find a socket that fits closely over the cone and tap the cover off.

Here is where we need pics. Take a shot of the hub, at both shell and end; and a pic of the outside of the cover still on the original cone.

Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
JJ works just fine! (sorry for the generic name, lol)

Thanks for the details guys, I think I get it now. I'm glad to hear that they are threaded on; both are on the axle so good that I almost concluded that they must be permanently fixed to the axle (for one reason or another). It sounds like if I can get a good enough grip on both the cone and the locknut, I can turn them in opposite directions of each other (away from each other) and at least one, hopefully both, will come loose.

I tend to save the improvising for last resort, whenever possible, so I'm glad to hear they make cone wrenches. Is there a way for me to tell what size cone wrench I need? is there a standard size for axle cones? There are no markings on my hub (where the axle goes in?) so I'm guessing its of the generic type.

If the outer locknut is a 15mm, the cone is probably a 13mm. But sometimes you hit oddballs.
BTW, have you checked to make sure that the locknut and cone from your old axle thread on to the quick release axle ok? Often they have different threads.

Finally, RoBAR took your question differently and maybe his's right. the silver ring dust cover is just pressed onto the cone. You can take that off without unscrewing anything else if that's all you need.
Yep, the other side missing from that axle, other locknut and cone, were threaded perfectly onto the new QR axle, so I guess I got lucky on that one.

Thats interesting to know about the dust cover being just pressed onto the cone. I'm tempted to try knocking it off (since thats all I want) but before I do, is the inner diameter of the dust cover the same from one to the next? (I'm afraid it won't fit onto the new cone). The existing dust cover on the QR cone is larder in overall diameter, so its bigger and doesn't fit into my hub like the original one does.
since thats all I want) but before I do, is the inner diameter of the dust cover the same from one to the next? (I'm afraid it won't fit onto the new cone). The existing dust cover on the QR cone is larder in overall diameter, so its bigger and doesn't fit into my hub like the original one does.

Not a snowballs chance in Arizona in August. Get a pic or three and I bet we can make it last 100 miles. Ready?
The cap must press-fit onto the cone and Also fit into the hub flange.

Do a Search for "Wheels Manufacturing + bicycle" and look for a Corporate description. That is the site.
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
Ye , I just went through rebuilding hubs on my bikes. Parts are very hard to find, and the seals and dust caps vary. You got the right thread so thats a big plus to begin with.

Since you got a bike dealer close by that gave you the axle why not ask him to remove the cone and the lock nut for you, and buy cone wrenches from him as you will need them for reassembly anyway.
Its best to save and reuse the original parts as they fit. Even if you do knock the dust cap off it may not fit the new cones.

Carefully check the old cones to make sure they are smooth and do not have pits in them. If good reuse and just change out the axle. Make sure to clean and grease bearing cup and bearings on reassembly. New loose bearings are cheap. Are the bearings loose or caged.

Check this site repair guide for reassembly info.
Never Give Up!!!
Finally found some more time to play around with the axles a bit more. My untrained eyes can't tell if the diameters are the same, just by looking, so I'll defer to your guy's advice and take this one to the professions. When I get a chance I'll head back to my LBS and see about getting the proper cone wrench to finish up the job.

Thanks everyone for all the excellent tips and information!

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