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Thread: Steib Wheel Bearings

  1. #1

    Steib Wheel Bearings

    For no particular reason, I gave the sidecar wheel a shake and discovered a lot of play. This is with the wheel on the ground.

    Good time to do bearings. There is only one problem: I am not sure where to get the part number breakdown for all of the components involved. In addition to bearings, I'll need seals and possibly new thrust washers.

    I am pretty sure my hack has a Steib drum brake wheel (there is no backing plate or other brake components, just the hub / wheel), but would like to properly ID this before taking anything apart.

    Can anyone confirm if this is a Steib wheel?

    I found this part number catalog (in German); somewhat useful, but they do not show the drum brake wheel.

    Wondering if there are any in depth Steib parts catalogs either online or in print. PDF anyone?

    Michael Stoic
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  2. #2
    Have you tried Vech at Bench Mark Werks ?

  3. #3
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Pismo Beach, CA
    Most bearings, if not all, have a six digit part number on the side of the race... I'd bet a buck that you can go down to your local auto supply, or bearing shop, and pick up a set, and the seals. They can be cross-referenced.

    For example:

    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden
    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner
    1963 Dnepr

  4. #4
    Thank you I'll try contacting Vech...

    Reading the numbers on the bearing is a nice approach, but I'd like to get the parts manual anyway in case there are other parts I need.

    I've done some looking around, since posting the original question ...what seems to be the case is that the TR500 came with the spindle hub from Steib, but when BMW paired them with the bike from factory, BMW fitted the hydraulics and mechanics for the drum brake.

    This probably means that the brake parts along with the drumbrake hub (and its bearings) are somewhere in the BMW PN record. The only question is ...where ?

    Actually, how does this supposition work? Since some of the rigs carried a spare wheel which could (I presume) be used on any of the three positions, then this would mean that all of the wheels used the same bearings, seals and spacers.

    If the above is correct, then I might already have the info I am looking for and the bearings + seal I need for my drum brake Steib wheel are the regular /2 parts.

    It would be great to get a confirmation from anyone who has gone this route before me.

    Michael Stoic

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Port Angeles WA
    Tapered roller bearings are pretty straightforward. BMW doesn't make the bearings, they source bearings from a bearing manufacturer. There are a number of bearing manufacturers, and each makes a wide variety of different bearings, so its usual to be able to take a bearing number to a bearing supplier and get the part--even if it's not the same brand. Remember, for tapered roller bearings the outer race and the inner bearing are different part numbers.

    Seals are a different can of worms. Bearing houses in the USA typically stock seals in inch dimensions, although they can cross reference from mm dimensions. Motorcycles sometimes use seals that are not commonly available, other than from the motorcycle manufacturer. However, seals have the size imprinted somewhere--usually molded into the rubber. The numbers represent outside diameter, inside diameter, and width. In the case of BMW, seals are metric. If you study the parts breakdowns online, you'll see the seal dimensions. A wheel bearing seal is not high speed, so don't worry about getting the identical part--so long as it fits. However, if you can find a multi-lip seal, that's better for a wheel bearing.

    If you can't find the needed metric seal from a BMW parts source, head for your nearest oriental bike shop, where you'll have a good selection, maybe even better than your old one.

    When I have a hard-to-find bearing or seal, and eventually find it, I usually lay in spares (for next time)

    You can yank that sidecar wheel off and check the bearing number and seal size without damaging anything--or even removing the grease. You don't even need the parts numbers--just measure carefully with a digital caliper. If the parts are OK but there is excess slop, you can swap shims, turn down the spacer, or whatever to get zero clearance. Regrease, put back together, and you're good to go until you get in the new parts.


  6. #6
    Dave, Thank you for the comments! The method you've outlined is a very useful one. I've often gone that route.

    Here, I am after a different approach, trying to find the documentation to supplement the observation.

    I am pretty sure my supposition (outlined in a few posts above) is correct. ...that BMW took a Steib TR500 and built a different wheel, based on its /2 hub and then added the hydraulics for the brakes. ...which means that the sidecar bearing stack is in fact a /2 product.

    I'd bet that the brake components are shared with some contemporaty BMW auto production model.

    Michael Stoic

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