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Hi, everyone, I'm new here and hoping someone can help me out.

I bought a 1985 Aspencade with 84 K miles last week and driving it home I noticed some odd sounds from the front wheel.

At low speed there was a sort of scuffing sound which I thought was normal brake pad dragging noise. However, when I would apply the front brakes, the sound didn't seem to change.

At highway speeds, I started hearing a sort of "crackling" sound from the front wheel. Not really loud, but a little obnoxious.

I concluded it must be the wheel bearings, and with 84k I figured they would be replaced anyway, so I did. But the noise is still there, just the same as it was.

I'm thinking the noise must be coming from either 1) one of the brake discs, or 2) the electric speedometer sender unit (which appears to have a worm drive).

I'd appreciate any advice on what my next step should be. Thanks!

Ken in North Dakota (warm at last after a long cold winter).
 

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Someone here posted about the front tire rubbing the front fender. Guess you have checked that, huh?
 

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Dear Wichita Scorpion and Dennis: Thanks for the quick reply.

I pulled the front fender and went for a drive--same noise, only louder without the extra barrier between the hub and my ears.

Next, I pulled the axle and removed the speedometer sender unit with the worm drive in it. I taped it up out of the way and went for another drive. Bingo! No more funny noise.

I removed the single philips head bolt and disassembled the sender unit (black plastic housing with wires coming out) from the worm drive unit (aluminum unit). There appeared to be some wear on the worm gear shaft bushing next to where it mates with the black plastic housing. I put some grease inside where the drive goes into the slot, then packed up the worm drive gear with fresh grease, and reassembled.

The noise appears to be completely gone now. Hopefully it won't come back.

Incidentally, I couldn't detect any wear on the plastic gear the runs the worm drive. After 84.000 miles I expected to see some.

So, the GL is going quietly now, with a new set of front bearings for peace of mind. Next challenge is replacing the rear bearings (figured it would be a good idea to do both ends at the same time).

Thanks again for the suggestions. This is a great forum.

Ken in North Dakota
 

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Glad to hear you found your problem. The speedo gear drives can make noise when they go dry, an occasional cleaning and relubing is always a good idea since they can pick up a good bit of road dirt and grit over time. Wheel bearings last a long time, I've got around 127,000 miles on my 1500 and the wheel bearings are still tight and smooth. Long as they feel good they can stay, but I do check them each time I replace a tire or have a wheel off the bike.
 

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Regarding the wheel bearings, my front ones weren't loose as I had first supposed. But they weren't smooth either--spinning the inside race with my finger I could feel resistance every few millimeters. Both of them were this way. I'm not sure if this damage comes from impact or normal wear--I'm curious though.
 

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Looks like you caught them just in time, got all the miles out of them they had in them.
 

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Wichita Scorpion wrote:
Someone here posted about the front tire rubbing the front fender. Guess you have checked that, huh?
with mine it was chrome plastic thingie I added to the fender rear
 

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I hope you went ahead and replaced the bearings while you had the wheel off. That slight resistance every revolution is a sure indication the bearings are wearing. Time to replace!
 
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