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Thread: Caster Forks Sticking

  1. #1

    Caster Forks Sticking

    I recently got a fixer-upper Tilite TR, I love it and have already made many changes so it's almost perfect now (new tires, casters, caster axels, camber tube, wheel locks, back upholstery, side guards). It's been rolling fine but today I notice when I turn the left caster fork is sticking ever so slightly. It sticks when I turn left or right and only for just as the caster is moving from straight on to either side. I hope that makes sense...

    Does anyone have any suggestions for helping it glide instead of chunk? It's really not a big issue more just a small annoyance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    I assume you've taken it apart, cleaned everything, made sure the stem is straight, and checked all the bearings? If not, do all that.
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  3. #3
    I haven't done that yet, that's what I would have done before but despite being decently handy I can't figure out how to take it apart. Do I loosen the nut labeled as number 2 in this picture? https://www.southwestmedical.com/replacement-parts/view-image/tilite/8-1.png

  4. #4
    Probably the bearing. See chapter 11 here: https://permobilus.com/wp-content/up...M_TR_YR_EN.pdf
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  5. #5
    To get the fork apart, do I loosen the nut that's right above the caster wheel? I'm assuming so as that's the only accessible piece of hardware.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by rockbybay View Post
    To get the fork apart, do I loosen the nut that's right above the caster wheel? I'm assuming so as that's the only accessible piece of hardware.
    Keep thumbing down that reference, they dribble the info out.
    9/16 socket, the manual indicates the caster comes off first, maybe to give you room to work.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  7. #7
    it can be a bear to get that fork off. we have been trying for 2 days. tons of penetrating oil and rubber mallet. the nut is all that holds the fork on. now top bearing is stuck on stem. may need a terminal puller.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by rockbybay View Post
    Do I loosen the nut labeled as number 2 in this picture? https://www.southwestmedical.com/replacement-parts/view-image/tilite/8-1.png
    Yes. I have the same problem. I took it apart last night to replace the fork bearings. Removing the nut (#2) should be all you have to do. But the bearings were rusted and stuck to the stem. Hammering didn't help. I had to put a screwdriver in between the fork and the fork cap (#8) and hammer the screwdriver until the fork moved. Then I was able to hammer the fork off the stem. Now that the bearings broke loose from the stem, I now have to get them to break loose from the fork itself. That is a much harder task. I'll soak it in WD-40 for a few hours. If that doesn't do the trick, I see a new fork in my future.

    These are the original bearings in my wheelchair (5 years old). In 35 years I have never replaced the fork bearings. I just replace the wheelchair every 5 years. From now on, I replace them every other time I replace the caster bearings, or at least examine and clean. Hopefully, a little preventive maintenance will prevent them from getting rusted in place again.

  9. #9
    Senior Member brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockbybay View Post
    Do I loosen the nut labeled as number 2 in this picture? https://www.southwestmedical.com/replacement-parts/view-image/tilite/8-1.png
    Yes, as others have said, loosening nut #2 is step 1 in solving the issue.
    Loosen it only 1/4 turn and see if that eliminates the problem. If it doesn't, repeat once or twice more.
    If that still doesn't resolve the issue you probably need new bearings. That's another beast.

    Remove the fork from the chair and hold the inner race of each bearing and turn it with your finger. Does it move smoothly? If not, you can open them up and grease them, or extract the whole thing and replace it.

    Quote Originally Posted by brian View Post
    FYI: If you've never opened up your bearings before, below is what they look like with the seal removed. You can get probably make one set of bearings last a lifetime if you clean and grease them once every couple of years. And greasing them is much easier than replacing them - they're a pain in the ass to remove.




  10. #10
    There are two bearings and only the top one is accessible. If you're going through the trouble of removing the top one to access the bottom one, you may as well change it.

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