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Thread: Adding spacers to rear wheels of TiLite X

  1. #1

    Adding spacers to rear wheels of TiLite X

    sorry for the double post - bd typos in my last title, which can't be edited. Mods, please feel free to remove previous, similarly-titled post


    I'm trying to add some spacers to my rear wheels so that my mountain bike tires don't rub on my seat back. I have a set of these: https://www.dmehub.net/TiLite-Rear-W...as100945-z.htm. i just unscrewed the axel sleeve from the camber plug, put the axel sleeve sleeve through the spacers and now I'm attempting to screw the axel sleeve back into the camber plug. The assembly instructions say to hand tighten the axel sleeve, but I'm having a hell of a time doing that. After about 2 or 3 turns, it becomes all but impossible. With a wrench, it will go but with A LOT of resistance. There was about the same amount of resistance getting the last quarter inch or so of the axel sleeve OUT of the camber plug as well, so I'm hoping maybe I'm ok to keep using the wrench, but I definitely don't want to cross the threads or anything like that. I've WD-40-ed all surfaces.

    Any idea if that last part (while unscrewing and this now the 1st part when screwing back in) tends to be harder than the rest? should I keep going with the wrench? It **looks** like it's going in straight but I don't totally trust my judgement there, and certainly don't trust my quad hands.

    Any suggestions?

    *************************************************************
    *** c4/c5 incomplete *** Injured in Summer 2003 ***
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  2. #2
    With the resistance on removal. did you inspect the plug threads for damage (galling etc) and if undamaged was there residual threadlock on the threads? Did you clean the threads before re inserting?
    I have an older camber tube that has inserts where there is fretting of the threads at the interface(?) point (where the insert exits the camber insert). It was a bitch to remove, much as you described.
    I suspect that it had developed a looseness while in the use by the previous owner.
    It is difficult to say from here but I would remove, inspect the insert and camber plug threads.
    If they show signs of damage it is a call as to whether you proceed.
    This may or may not be necessary - Do you have access to the correct pitch thread taps and die nuts? Thread files?

    Get a mate with good hand function to work with you- if you were close by I would give assistance but you are a bit further than a bus ride from my place.

    Me? I would mechanically clean then use a threadlock cleaner (maybe isoprop or acetone)- trial fit for correct wheel fitment- then reassemble using a high strength threadlock.
    Wait a while then get back into action.
    If you are unsure of determining the extent of any damage; maybe put up some clean images for discussion?
    Best of luck Dave.

    Quote Originally Posted by daveh0 View Post
    After about 2 or 3 turns, it becomes all but impossible. With a wrench, it will go but with A LOT of resistance. There was about the same amount of resistance getting the last quarter inch or so of the axel sleeve OUT of the camber plug as well, so I'm hoping maybe I'm ok to keep using the wrench, but I definitely don't want to cross the threads or anything like that. I've WD-40-ed all surfaces.

    Any idea if that last part (while unscrewing and this now the 1st part when screwing back in) tends to be harder than the rest? should I keep going with the wrench? It **looks** like it's going in straight but I don't totally trust my judgement there, and certainly don't trust my quad hands. Any suggestions?
    Last edited by slow_runner; 08-13-2019 at 03:00 AM.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the reply... and the hypothetical offer to come help You are clearly on an elevated plane mechanically than I could ever even fathom. I don't even know what pitch thread taps, die nuts or thread files are so I'm gonna go ahead and say that I don't have access to them.

    was there residual threadlock on the threads?
    Yes, I think. There were bands of black gunk around certain sections and other sections were clean. I'll post a pic shortly.

    I'll clean the axel sleeve real good today and post some pics. I don't want to get involved with taking the camber plug off of the frame. but I'll try to get some close up pics . down the hole - maybe the flash will illuminate it enough. I'll be back shortly with pics.

    Last edited by daveh0; 08-13-2019 at 09:24 AM.

    *************************************************************
    *** c4/c5 incomplete *** Injured in Summer 2003 ***
    *************************************************************

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by daveh0 View Post
    Thanks for the reply... and the hypothetical offer to come help You are clearly on an elevated plane mechanically than I could ever even fathom. I don't even know what pitch thread taps, die nuts or thread files are so I'm gonna go ahead and say that I don't have access to them. I'll clean the axel sleeve real good today and post some pics. I don't want to get involved with taking the camber plug off of the frame. but I'll try to get some close up pics . down the hole - maybe the flash will illuminate it enough. I'll be back shortly with pics.
    No, I wasn't suggesting removing the camber plug. (sorry for the confusion Dave). macro shots of the insert thread should reveal what I suspect. It's 1am here and about time I nodded off. I will check in later and see what is revealed.

  5. #5
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    I know this doesn't help your current situation as I'm not sure why your feeling so much resistance (I've never pulled my camber plugs out). But its sounds like it may be easier for you to get a second set of axles that are longer and use the spacers they make for them that have a set screw so the spacer is always attached to the longer axle. That way you never have to touch you camber tube and you can always put your shorter axles back on for non knobby tires. I leave my standard length axles in my everyday wheels and a longer set of axles in my offroad wheels. So all I have to do is swap the offroad wheels on and they are spaced out appropriately.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    I've used similar spacers but put them on the bigger tire's axle pin itself, between the button end and the outside of the hub. I did that because I didn't want to permanently increase the wheel spacing (and overall width of chair), since I only needed more space when using the bigger tires.

    Then I found a set of wheels with an offset designed right into the hub itself. Wish these were still available, or some wheel company would pick up on this idea (Rogue went under, the company that made these):

    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

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  7. #7
    I have used smaller spacers between the hub and axle insert; they work well.
    Dave has already removed his threaded inserts and is having difficulty reinstating them. If the s/s axle sleeve insert thread/s are damaged they may need dressing before re inserting to prevent further possible thread damage to the alloy camber plug.
    Last edited by slow_runner; 08-13-2019 at 09:59 AM.

  8. #8
    No, I wasn't suggesting removing the camber plug. (sorry for the confusion Dave).
    I know I was just saying that the photo of the inside of the camber plug might not be that great because it would still be attached to the chair, whereas I have the axel sleeve removed and can position it best for a good shot. Anyway, here are the pics - https://photos.app.goo.gl/UzBcdWcbhnCyhdE67

    The axel sleeve itself seems to be ok... I think. But the plug doesn't look as good to me... thoughts?

    *************************************************************
    *** c4/c5 incomplete *** Injured in Summer 2003 ***
    *************************************************************

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Brad09 View Post
    I know this doesn't help your current situation as I'm not sure why your feeling so much resistance (I've never pulled my camber plugs out). But its sounds like it may be easier for you to get a second set of axles that are longer and use the spacers they make for them that have a set screw so the spacer is always attached to the longer axle. That way you never have to touch you camber tube and you can always put your shorter axles back on for non knobby tires. I leave my standard length axles in my everyday wheels and a longer set of axles in my offroad wheels. So all I have to do is swap the offroad wheels on and they are spaced out appropriately.
    yeah I'm kicking myself now because that's exactly what my initial plan was. I even ordered the longer axels along with the spacers, and the day after doing so, a guy from the web site I ordered from called me telling me that that's not how the spacers are supposed to be used and convinced me to only get the spacers. In his defense, he was only trying to save me some $$ on the axels, but I should have got them just in case. Now I leave for vacation on thursday (this is my travel/beater chair) and can't even get the axel sleeve back into the camber plug. UUUUUGH!!

    *************************************************************
    *** c4/c5 incomplete *** Injured in Summer 2003 ***
    *************************************************************

  10. #10
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
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    IMO (50 yrs auto tech) the threads on the inserts look fine.
    The inside threads on the tubes looks kind of normal for aluminum.
    That doesn't mean all is good! I recommend pragmatic approach: find someone with a grinder with a fine wire wheel on and clean out the male threads on it. Or get a fine wire-wheel for a drill and do likewise.
    If you have a machinist's scribe handy (every mechanic has one. I even have one in my toothbrush holder for cleaning teeth), try putting the angled point into the start of the threads of the tube and work it around, as you run it down in the thread groove. This will remove a fair amount of the black thread-locker. You might also try using some carburetor cleaner aerosol (which is basically lacquer thinner). Some thread lockers are solvable in this. Leaving the threads wet with this may also be helpful.
    If all this fails, then you'll need to find a tap of this size and clean out the tube with it. It will likely be an oddball tap; looks to be quite a small pitch for the diameter!
    If you can source a spare insert, you can slice it with a hacksaw or skinny carbide wheel. You'll want the cuts to present a <90* angle to the tube-threads. This then becomes the poor man's thread chaser tap.
    I think a new camber tube with inserts is fairly cheap, $100us?

    PS: too late now, but I run slightly oversize axles (+~5/8") and cut up 1/2" copper pipe (1/2" ID), making two spacers per side, one 1/3 nd one 2/3 of the 5/8.
    You can then put both on the outsides making it easier to push the axle buttons but in no way sticking out too far (assuming you have a little camber), and giving you 3 options for spacing the wheel out depending on the placement of the two spacers. I've run this way for 10 years often with 1/2" spacing and never harmed an axle despite 200lbs and some big curbs.
    Last edited by pfcs49; 08-13-2019 at 10:56 AM.
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

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