Author Topic: Stainless wheels and fasteners  (Read 1932 times)

Offline Taffy

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Stainless wheels and fasteners
« on: 05.03. 2011 22:28 »
What is the view on stainless.Assuming the correct grades are used is it really a case of job done for life?
or is it considered inferior to original.It seems that just about all bits are now redily available to
More or less change everything.

Online Brian

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Re: Stainless wheels and fasteners
« Reply #1 on: 06.03. 2011 07:25 »
I've been using stainless on my bikes for quite a few years now and I find it very good. The last two bikes I have restored are almost totally stainless including axles.

I make all my own stuff and the advantage is being able to put it straight on the bike, no delays getting stuff plated.

There are two grades commonly used, 304 and 316. 316 has better resistance to corrosion and is harder than 304 however the better resistance only comes into play in extreme conditions like on boats. 316 is harder to work with, it will blunten taps and dies very quickly. I used to use mostly 316 but have changed over to 304 for most jobs. 304 is more than adequate for any motorcycle applications and is easier to work with and cheaper.

There are a couple of things to be aware of with stainless the most important one is galling or "picking up". You must use a lubricant on the threads, prefferably a never seize. It also helps if you have large items like a axle with a nut on the end to use two different grades, for example make the axle out of 304 and the nut from 316. If you use two different grades there is less chance of galling.

I would definitely recommend using stainless on your bikes.

Offline pato08

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Re: Stainless wheels and fasteners
« Reply #2 on: 06.03. 2011 09:09 »
I have used "stainless spokes" on other project bikes all had problems, as the stainless spokes seemed very brittle. I had one back wheel completely implode. On all other aplication I've used stainless items, I've had no problems.

Is there a weight factor ? Stainless V Mild steel ?
1957 Plunger, one of the very rare collector's items ;-)
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Offline bikerbob

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Re: Stainless wheels and fasteners
« Reply #3 on: 06.03. 2011 10:43 »
Hi there
Would agree 100% with what brian has said about stainless I was a Sheet Metal Worker for over 40 years working for 38 years in a maintenance role in a large confectionery factory where the vast majority of things were made from stainless it is however not easy to  somtimes work with. Also if you are using different grades of stainless it would pay to always keep them seperate because you cannot for instance just by looking at it tell the difference between say 304 and 316 they both look the same, 304 was not allowed in the factory only 316 as 304 is a poorer grade of metal and reacted to some of the ingrediants used. Another thing to remember is that if you heat a peice of mild steel and then bend it when it cools it will in the main return to it's original state, but if you heat stainless and bend it when it cools it will become more brittle. Welding is another thing, the best welding is done by TIG welding it can also be welded using a MIG welder or MMA. you cannot weld using an oxcy acetylene setup it just badly oxidises.

Online Triton Thrasher

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Re: Stainless wheels and fasteners
« Reply #4 on: 06.03. 2011 10:53 »
Stainless is great for mudguards and handlebars and probably rims.

Can be good for an exhaust, but vibration can crack it to bits.

Spokes are reported to break, so to Hell with that. Rust is better than broken spokes.

Getting stainless spindles made is something I will never understand, unless your motto is "Shine Over Safety."


Offline MG

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Re: Stainless wheels and fasteners
« Reply #5 on: 06.03. 2011 12:12 »
I'm with Brian on that one, there is absolutely nothing to be said against stainless parts, as long as you can be SURE that the proper grade material is used.

Just a few weeks ago I've fitted cylinder studs to my Matchless' engine, custom-made from high tensile stainless steel (with a tensile strength better than that of 10.9 grade ferritic steels used for fasteners), 5/16" in diameter, tightened to 35Nm (26ft.lbs).
If you make a spindle from that or similar stainless material, it will outlast the whole bike. Opposite to common belief, a wheel spindle is not a highly stressed part anyway. If you consider the load and it's size, any mild steel will work for it.
Both my As have high quality stainless spokes fitted (made by WWS, Germany; I'm sure there are others that sell good stuff as well, but those I know are good). No problems there whatsoever, but you will pay 150 Euros for a full set (for both wheels).

Problems, once again, start with cheap parts of unknown origin and quality.

Just my 2p worth, as per usual.
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Offline Goldy

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Re: Stainless wheels and fasteners
« Reply #6 on: 06.03. 2011 12:42 »
The original bolts would have been steel and been  cadmium or zinc plated. This process is toxic and I understand that it is not carried out in European Countries. This means that the ones that are available are possibly made in India or China and the quality is very poor. I tried some and when tightening the nuts the threads just stripped, so stainless is the best option.
56 A10 Golden Flash - Restore, ride, relive.                                          
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Offline Beezageezauk

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Re: Stainless wheels and fasteners
« Reply #7 on: 06.03. 2011 14:23 »
Could somebody advise me of the type (or grade) of stainless steel that a magnet will stick to?

Cheers,

Beezageezauk.

Offline MG

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Re: Stainless wheels and fasteners
« Reply #8 on: 06.03. 2011 16:36 »
The ferromagnetic (i.e. magnet will stick to it) stainless steels are either duplex steels (ferritic and martensitic matrix, often used offshore) or purely ferritic steels with low carbon content that are stabilized with 12-18% Chrome and Titanium and/or Niobium.
Typical duplex steels are: X30Cr13, X50CrMoV15,  (used for tools and knives, these are temperable ferritic-martensitic steels)
X2CrTi12, X2CrTiNb18, X3CrTi1 are the most common steels used to build stainless exhausts, stabilized ferritic steels with low carbon content.
1955 A7 Shooting Star
1956 A10 Golden Flash
1961 Matchless G12 CSR

www.histo-tech.at - Restoration, Repairs, Racing

Austria

Offline bikerbob

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Re: Stainless wheels and fasteners
« Reply #9 on: 06.03. 2011 16:47 »
Hi there
Why would you want magnetic stainless steel it would be low quality stainless and would probably rust althouh not as easily as normal steel. I have just checked the stainless items in the kichen the mirror finish waste bin and toaster are are magnetic but the mirror finish kettle is not also the satin finish microwave is magnetic and all the stainless cutlery is magnetic.

Offline Beezageezauk

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Re: Stainless wheels and fasteners
« Reply #10 on: 06.03. 2011 17:22 »
Thanks for in depth reply Markus.  That was something that I have thought about for quite a long time so I just took the opportunity to ask the question.

I don't have a problem with stainless steel on my bikes.  Obviously the thread problem is in the back of my mind when unbolting but I always use copperslip on the threads. 

I rebuilt the wheels on my gold A10GF about 12 years ago using stainless steel spokes and rims.  Having now toured several countries, sometimes two up and carrying full camping equipment, I haven't had a problem yet, even though I was advised that stainless steel work hardens over time.  After this length of time I don't even think about it and carry on regardless. 

Beezageezauk.

Offline BSA_54A10

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Re: Stainless wheels and fasteners
« Reply #11 on: 06.03. 2011 21:08 »
Quote
you cannot weld using an oxcy acetylene setup it just badly oxidises.

You can ozy weld most grades stainless.
I do it all the time you just need the right gear and I have a Dillon gun.

As for grades I will leave that to Markus as this in well within his specality area.

However the only thing I will mention is that any stainless used on a motorcycle must be a marine grade as chlorine ( from road salt & sea spray) will cause other grades to crack & fail.

The usual caveat on only buying named or branded parts also applies there is a lot of cheap stainless out there.
Bike Beesa
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Offline NickSR

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Re: Stainless wheels and fasteners
« Reply #12 on: 06.03. 2011 22:19 »
Hi Everyone
Just purchased some cylinder heads bolts for my Super Rocket from a very good source, will copper slip be alright for the threads etc.
Regards
Nicks
1962 Super Rocket
1955 BSA C11G
1998 BMW R850R

Online Brian

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Re: Stainless wheels and fasteners
« Reply #13 on: 06.03. 2011 23:26 »
Copper slip will be fine, any of the readily available never seize compounds work ok.

The problem with stainless "galling" is one of those it only happens sometimes things. If you are using stainless bolts with steel nuts for example it isnt a problem. It seems to only occur when you use stainless on stainless and usually of the same grade.

The advantage of stainless is its durability, even if it discolours after a few years it only needs a polish to bring it back. Cad plating is long gone due to its toxicity, zinc is ok but the trouble with zinc is its a sacrificial coating, it works by slowly dissolving for want of a better description.

Just quickly on wheels, some have brought up cases of stainless spokes breaking, I have never used stainless spokes so have no experience although I do have friends with bikes fitted with stainless spokes and not one of them has ever broken a spoke. The most common cause of broken spokes is because the spokes were too loose, not too tight as some would think.

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Re: Stainless wheels and fasteners
« Reply #14 on: 07.03. 2011 09:03 »
Hi NickSR - just a thought, if your going to use copperslip or similar remeber to allow for this when you torque up the bolts, go to a little less than you would if the bolts where dry.
I'm sure there is a thread on here somewhere giving figures
All the best - Bill
1961 Flash - stock, reliable, steady, fantastic for shopping
1959 Rocket Gold Flash - blinged and tarted up  would have seizure if taken to  Tesco