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I finally got around to assembling the front wheel I had powder coated. When I took it apart I apparently wasn't paying attention. My concern is that the distance collar seems loose inside the hub. Is this normal? Is the collar held in place by the pressure between the bearings? When disassembling it nothing rattled so I assumed it was a tight fit in the center. Can anyone enlighten me?

LAW
 

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I have never had the bearings out of my 1800 but I have certainly done a lot of wheel bearings on other bikes. Some spacers have washers pressed on them to hold them centered in the wheel so they do not fall out of place when the axle is removed. SOme do not have these washers as the hole in the wheel is only slightly larger in diameter than the spacer. You are right that the pressure of the bearings holds it in place. BUT it should not rattle around. The bearings should be holding it snugly in place when the axle is out. If it is loose between the bearings then when the axle nut is tightened the inner races will be forced inward and grip the spacer. The purpose of the spacer is to prevent the bearing inner races from moving inward and misaligning the bearing. Put the axle through the bearings and then make sure that the bearings are fully seated in the wheel. When driving the bearings into the wheel always use a driver that contacts only the outer race. Sorry if I am preaching things you are already aware of.
 

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The service manual just says to drive the bearings in until they are fully seated.
 
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