Grubee HD Axle/Brake a Mess!!

Discussion in 'Frame Mounted Engines' started by Mike S, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. Mike S

    Mike S Member

    I thought I would try a cool idea and install the Grubee HD axle and brake drum kit, but quickly discovered big problems. After paying to have the hub installed in a wheel and for new spokes, now I find the assembly is too wide to fit into the back bike frame. It looks like my only option is to bend the frame wider or abandon the HD axle/brake drum kit altogether. Maybe a
    simply friction brake would be better on the rear with a disk brake on the
    front. Any ideas? I'm sinking fast on this one. Mike S

  2. reclaimer

    reclaimer Guest

    Mine was also much wider than my stock coaster hub was. I couldn't get the wheel in by hand.

    I used a car jack covered in a hand towel to spread the chain stays enough to get the wheel in.

    edit: When you spread them they will flex out then back in. they wont stay where you bend them to. Try to "loosen" them up until there close enough to spread them by hand.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2008
  3. Mike S

    Mike S Member

    Well that's two of us with the same problem. I knew I couldn't be
    alone on this. I may have my brother help me spread the frame
    with a jack like you said and I hope the frame doesn't
    fall out of alignment. Mike
  4. Mike S

    Mike S Member

    There's other problems: The bold heads bind against the brake drum,
    and the nuts bind against the spokes on the other side. The bolt
    holes are drilled too close to the brake drum. They should be
    further out. Chinese Engineering!! Mike
  5. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    In my experience steel has to bend an awful lot before it cracks so the only time this will cause a problem with your frame is if you already have bad welds to begin with. If your welds snap while spreading the frame an extra inch or so you probably needed a new frame anyway.
  6. reclaimer

    reclaimer Guest

    Mine is the solid version(non freewheel) the nuts hit my spokes as well. They had 2 washers on the back side. I moved 1 washer from the back to the front, pulling the nut away from the spokes. It sits nice and flush now.

    Once I got it in, the bike squeezed the brake drum against the sprocket(binding). To fix this I added a big washer between the drum and the inside axel nut.(inside the drum).

    edit : I also added a thin nut to that side
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2008
  7. Mike S

    Mike S Member

    Yeah, I see your point about the nuts and how to deal with it. I'll try something,
    like you did. Thanks. Mike
  8. Demosthenese

    Demosthenese Guest

    did you get the hub put into a rim at a local bike store? if so how much did they charge you to install it? just trying to get an idea, although i'll probably still try lacing mine myself when it gets here....

    you can find frame spreaders from some retailers, and your local bike store would probably have one. sells em too

    probably easier to get a car jack though.
  9. highrider

    highrider Guest

    any pic? it would be nice to see the kit and how much wider you got to spread the rear forks.
  10. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

  11. mickey

    mickey Guest

    Cold setting

    Sheldon Brown,RIP, has an excellent section on stay bending. How to do it, how to true it, etc.
  12. Mike S

    Mike S Member

    The charge for installing the hub is $45-50 and the new spokes about $30. I'm making progress with this unit but it's been rough. The directions are not too helpful, and I'm finding spacers have to be used at various points. In one sense, I'm fortunate because the back frame is 5 inches wide, and there's some flexibility in the frame. It can be pulled apart about 1/8 inch on each side. I'm struggling to get the brake drum and brake to work, and hoping I'll have it all solved by next week. It's a bear though. Mike
  13. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    I just tossed the strap brake aside. I was only going to use it as a parking brake anyway.
  14. Mike S

    Mike S Member

    Maybe the drum brake is too hard to install. I agree that the best option may be to
    just use the drive wheel with the HD kit and install some other type of brake.
  15. reclaimer

    reclaimer Guest

    My brake seems to work, though I haven't tried to stop using it. It does stop the wheel when I squeeze it.

    The threads or going to still be there if you leave the brake off. Using the brake cant add more than .25" maybe a bit more with an extra locknut and washer inside the drum. I don't really have a choice there are no other mounts on the rear of my bike.(edit: also the brake holds the solid sprocket on the hub)

    One concern I have is the travel it takes to engage the brake. It seems to take allot more movement to engage it than the sturmey archer x-fd thats going on the front. Might force me to abandon the dual pull brake lever.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2008
  16. Mike S

    Mike S Member

    I've made the decision to abandon the rear brake drum part of the Grubee HD axle and keep the drive sprocket, and install a different type of brake for the rear wheel. The brake drum and brake were causing all kinds of problems and interference. In the end, I could not recommend the HD Axle kit. Stay with the drive sprocket to the spokes if possible. Mike
  17. Demosthenese

    Demosthenese Guest


    well, i will be getting mine from soon, it's in the mail. i will let you know if i experience similar issues. perhaps there are problems with your kit. we all know these engines are inconsistant in quality, the accessories could be similar.

    was it spacing issues that finally drove you to abandon the brake? that could be different depending on an individuals frame, rather then the kit itself.

    Alaskavan i see you also abandoned the brake? Do you have a rear brake on your trike then? O is it like a dual front brake lol? I know v-brakes can usually be adjusted to be effective on most rims, even if the rim isn't specifically designed for v brakes. I was hoping to find this to be an effective rear brake though :*(
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2008
  18. Demosthenese

    Demosthenese Guest


    If these hubs prove to not be worthwhile in the long run, that doesn't mean there shouldn't be a product for this application. Someone needs to develop this. If 4 strokes hit their niche over the next couple years, and we see the laws relax, the kits need to address the power transfer issue with a specifically designed rear hub/clamshell type kit, because i think most of us here in N-A probably recognize the advantage of not hooking up an engine to the spokes. We would probably pay 30-40$ more for a well enginered hub like this that we could think of as reliable and strong, and it could just be included with the basic install kits.
    Andy, make us this. Do it. Patents be d4mmed.
  19. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    I don't have a brake on the rear of the trike. I'm keeping my eyes/ears/mind open. I would like to have a parking brake. I can't recommend the brake that comes with the axle (it looks like it might not be very effective as a brake anyway). But, I do like the axle. I really like the idea of sealed bearings. If they ever get worn, I can just buy and install new bearings. The bearings are good enough that if I park on any incline, or there's any wind, the trike will roll away.
  20. Mike S

    Mike S Member

    The drive sprocket in good on this kit. Without the brake, it provide good spacing to clear a fat tire, and is a solid mount to the wheel. With the brake on, there are spacing problems, and the brake itself kinda floats around. I would buy the kit again only to have the drive sprocket mounted to the axle. Mike