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Loose Ceramic Berings in Vintage French Hub -- Strike One!
I'm back from trip, and all the loose black ceramic bearings that I was waiting for have arrived (These were a gift by the way, for work I did for associate at work).

The bike. 1980 or so Peugeot U09 with solid axle, Normandy Hubs.
When I put in new #25 5/32" bearings on front axle exam (heard noise), 2-3 Months ago, I found the cones pitted (Polished/re-used at that time, as I did not at first find parts)Front axle was also found slightly bent. (I replaced rims and headset bearings on this 10 years ago). Races were good.

Found an ebay quick release axle that fits (did successful dry fit with light oil just before trip)....

Today removed the Steel Balls, and replaced with Loose Black Ceramic Bearings.... Or at least I tried to!!!

Problems in order of their occurrence....

1. With 9 bearings on each side, when tightened finger tight, there was still too much 'play' in the wheel.... Like as if I hadn't put in correct number of bearings......
It was also a bit 'touchier' with the adjustment...

2. Took it all apart again and counted bearings... Verified 9, then put it back together again... Same... ???

3. It was so loose, I added 2 more bearings on each side... 2! Then it wheel felt correctly. I then put wheel back on bike for the first time.... It seemed "OK" until I looked at the rim to brake pad (backed off for dis-assembly)....

4. The rim is not straight.... (If you remember, I found the stock cone drilled out of round)..... I figured it was this.... So I Started in adjusting rim via spokes... until I realized I was chasing my tail.... There is still 'play going on in the Axle/Hub.. and it seemed as if it was coming from the ball bearing area... Rotate it enough and the bad area 'moves'...

It was at this time that I measured the bearings... The (5/32") ceramic balls are slightly smaller than the steel balls.... I then measure the ceramic 1/4" balls--they are OK. (I haven't done anything with the 1/4" bearings yet... They are for the rear wheel and crank).

5. So... I dis-assembled the front hub one more time, removing the ceramic <5/32" loose balls, and put the 2 month-new steel #25 balls back in, using the ebay quick release axle and Normandy Hub...

Beautiful!!!! (Except for the slight rim adjustment that I had to un-do from step #4!!!)


So, at this point, I'm suggesting that Step #1 should have been: Measure the Ball Bearings to make sure that they are identical in size to the one's being removed!!!

So... A learning experience was had..

Does that mean I won't use Loose Ceramics again? Not if they don't match the size of the bearings coming out....

I just may try them in the crank area.... If not, I've got Replacement #25 Steel Ball Bearings....

Did a follow up on the ceramic bearings....
I have a plastic micrometer -- and measure:

The 1/4" Ceramic measures between 6.3 & 6.4mm, and bag says 6.35mm.
New 1/4" #25 Steel Ball measures 6.3 & 6.4mm.

But the 5/32" Ceramics measures 3.9mm and bag says 3.969mm
And a New 5/32" #25 Steel Ball measures 4.6mm
Thats a big difference, .7 mm per bearing X 9 gave you close to 6.3 mm extra room in the hub .

As per bearings fit as many as you can without jamming them in. Gap about the size of one bearing remains open.
Never Give Up!!!
5/32" = 3.97mm
Those steel bearings labelled as 5/32 might be 3/16"

Also, for the future, side to side play in a hub wouldn't be caused by too few bearings though too many could make it very hard to adjust. But yes, wrong size would.
Thanks for the suggestions.
I find the 3.9's will properly fit (tried a 'dry fit') on pedals...
Strange reddish 'varnish like' stuff on inside of pedals that was softened somewhat by the WD40 & oiling done earlier this year. Dis-assembly continues.
Normal size for a front ball is 3/16, not 5/32 (headset) or 1/4 inch (BB and rear hub). That is likely the source of your problems.
Yes... One of the things I did last night was re-measure the 3 month old, original removed bearings.

You are correct... I must have given the guy the wrong size to order! The error is "All Mine"!
(I started putting them in pedals, where they do fit)...

I'll 'grovel over' to the IT guy today, and see where he got them....

(11-12-2014, 12:03 PM)cny-man Wrote:  Normal size for a front ball is 3/16, not 5/32 (headset) or 1/4 inch (BB and rear hub). That is likely the source of your problems.
One other thing to consider with ceramic balls, because they are stiffer (deform less) than steel balls; there is higher stress in the cups and cones. Cones are replaceable, but it is very hard to replace cups in a hub.
Based upon your comments, this would lto indicate that I must be extra careful not to over-tighten the cones... I will do that.
Yesterday PM finished both pedals and rear axle (not going into hub area, do not have tools, or history in this area, and it appears to be working fine)...

Considering the issue I had with front axle, it was refreshing to have things go together smoothly!!
SUCCESS!!!! (All I had to do was put in the correct size Bearings!!!)

Thanks to ALL for your suggestions... I spent greater time verifying the correct Cone adjustment..
(in this "new" quick release Axle). Night and Day difference with regard to alignment and "Feel"..

I have only myself to blame for attempting to use wrong bearings...

2nd Ball bearing derailleur pulley arrived today as well...

Peugeot is finished!!! Now can we take a vote and have it become May 2015, Please Smile!
(11-24-2014, 10:32 PM)JanJ Wrote:  ...... Now can we take a vote and have it become May 2015, Please Smile!

It is going to be in the mid 70's and clear tomorrow here Smile
We almost hit 70 in Syracuse, NY today! Last gasp, though, I'm afraid.

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