Rag Joint Issue

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by Groove, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. Groove

    Groove New Member

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    I apologize if this topic has been covered in the past.

    I received this instruction from the ebay seller when I inquired about the sprocket and rag joint I just received (the picture shows the nice overlapping that should be achieved during installation)

    "....try overlapping the pieces.. it should work that way..."

    The funny thing is, even just laying the three pieces in a circle the holes don't even line up with the sprocket holes...

    <Groove rolls eyes, flips table, storms out of room>
     

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    #1 Groove, Dec 7, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  2. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    The metal pieces should NOT overlap. The ends should butt against each other. During the installation it can be a task to get those plates where they need to go but I assure you, they shouldn't overlap. The rubber parts are often drilled a little off but the rubber can be moved/strtched to get everything together properly.

    You say the holes don't line up yet all the bolts are in. I don't follow you. Which sprocket/rag joint are you installing the large or small one?

    Tom
     
  3. Groove

    Groove New Member

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    Thanks Tom. It's the sprocket on the right. But this is actually a picture sent by the retailer showing how to "correctly" overlap the metal pieces in order to compensate for improper fabrication of the banana plates (they admit it doesn't fit). Even forgetting the rubber rag joint there is no possible way to align the 9 holes in the 41 tooth sprocket that came with it, with the 9 holes on these metal pieces. It's not even CLOSE. I have a bench grinder, so I'm going to grind off about 1/8" from each end of each "banana" plate.. I'll let you know if it works!

    Note: The rag joint hardware on my other bike was perfect. I don't want to name any names in the general forum, but I'll just say that I now know which online retailer NOT to order rag joint hardware from....
     
    #3 Groove, Dec 7, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  4. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    I have seen on two occasions where the holes do not align but in both cases the plates were for a small 32/36 T sprockets with a smaller bolt pattern. The larger sprocket had a wider pattern. I believe this was a situation with older parts. All nine hole sprockets and plates of later kits I've worked with were the same pattern.

    Keep in mind that I've not worked with every brand of kit out there but what I can offer is only based on my experience with four different vendors/kits/brands. Some differences might occur.

    Tom
     
  5. Groove

    Groove New Member

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    Thanks. They may have sent me some old parts it sounds like. No problem though, I think grinding down the edges of the plates will allow the holes to align without overlap.
     
  6. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    But I thought you said the holes didn't line up even with the plates laying on the sprocket. Trimming the ends of the plate won't correct that. Or Am I not understanding you?

    If you can force all nine bolts through the sprocket, rubber and plates then the holes are okay and you're just dealing with a common problem of the overlap that is normal until you spread things while tightening the bolts. Some guys use a wide blade screwdriver or similar tool. I use a large pair of snap ring pliers set to spread when you squeeze them. I put one jaw on a bolt and the other on a bolt of the adjoining plate and squeeze until there is no overlap, then snug down on the fastener. I Know it looks like a job that requires you to have at least three hands, maybe four, but we've all been there. It can be done.

    Tom
     
  7. Wickedest1

    Wickedest1 Member

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    From my experience (3kits) every rag joint setup has over lapped...just do the best you cab with it...my current ride has over lapping banana plates and my sprocket is as close to true apossible without a laser beam of some sort...use a phillips/slotted screw driver from the opposite side to line up holes good enough to get your bolts through...worry not for as long as the sprocket is true you won't have an issue with the overlap
     
  8. lambofgod121980

    lambofgod121980 New Member

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    With the rag joint I got in my kit from bgf, which is the current set up I'm useing atm my plates overlap aswell - if I had stretched the plates out as to not overlap the bolts would have been at an angle.
    The rag joint is one of the few pieces in my kit that hasn't givin me huge problems. On my current wheel I had to lose the outer rubber for the chain to line up almost perfect. I'm also not useing the crappy tensioner that came with the kit. Or any for that matter - hope this helps
    - mike from splendora
     
  9. Groove

    Groove New Member

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    Tom, you're right. Grinding the ends would not solve the problem. I just got home and.looked at it again. The holes will never align. I will attach a picture that shows exactly what's going on tomorrow.
     
    #9 Groove, Dec 7, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  10. Groove

    Groove New Member

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    My advice is not to settle for poorly matched holes. It will put unnecessary strain on the bolts. There is a manufacturer that sells the correct pieces. See the picture for proof! On the sprocket I've placed the good AND the bad banana pieces. Look how the piece on the bottom is perfectly aligned, and the piece on the top is going to be a nightmare to work with.... Anyway, hope this helps someone out there!
     

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  11. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Yep! You have some mis-aligned parts. Contact your seller and tell them to send you the right stuff. That will never work.

    As far as overlap...don't live with it. Get the right parts and install them so the ends DO NOT overlap. That's where people get into trouble with wobbling sprockets and chain issues because of it. If the plates do not fit flush it's easy to bolt a wobble into the sprocket. Roller chains have little tolerance for sprockets that don't run true. As I said earlier, it can be done but it takes patients to get it right. Good luck and let us know the outcome.

    Tom
     
  12. Groove

    Groove New Member

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    Great. Now with problem solved time to eat chicken wings and drink beer. Thanks everyone for the help. Now we know the one vendor Tom hasn't bought a kit from!!
     
  13. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Chicken wings, a crab cake and a glass of wine. That's what I'm having for dinner. Oh, and fries too. :)

    Keep us informed, Groove.

    Tom
     
  14. Groove

    Groove New Member

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    That's the superfecta of food! Man, you're good!!
     
  15. Wickedest1

    Wickedest1 Member

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    I see the point exactly...but on another note, I've got about 2000 miles on a rear sprocket that ha overlapping banana plates and I dont have any wobble whatsoever...of course I changed all my hardware to #8steel and no issues...
     
  16. Groove

    Groove New Member

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    Yeah, me thinks the rag joints will compensate. 2door would.know better but Im sure Ur good... But next time order rag joint hardware elseware. Birds are lucky, do you think. Lol
     
  17. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    No wobbles, no problem. I'm just trying to tell the man how to install it properly so he doesn't have issues down the road. All too often when the rear sprocket doesn't run true, (wobbles either horizontal or vertical) the builder has chain problems that can be traced to the installation of the rag joint. When the fasteners are tightened unevenly as which happens sometimes with overlapping plates, the sprocket has a horizontal wobble which causes chain derailment from the rear sprocket.
    Obviously yours is not causing any problems. Good for you. Enjoy it, ride careful and have fun.

    Tom
     
  18. Groove

    Groove New Member

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    No wobbles no problem. Good advice thanks. But I will let Yalls know how it turns out. I'm going to use the correct pieces though, so it might be anti climactic.. I hope.
     
  19. Groove

    Groove New Member

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    Sorry, I forgot to follow up. The new banana plates arrived and the holes lined up perfectly. It works great now, but I believe I threw my rim out of true while installing. Can the rim be trued up with the rag joint already installed? Would the bike store guy turn his nose up at me when he sees the rag joint? Should I just learn how to true a wheel myself? Sorry for so many questions. The sprocket is rolling true but the tire has a pretty bad wobble that I think will make the chain rub..
     
  20. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Groove,
    I've never tried to get a rim trued with a sprocket installed so I can't answer you on that. I suppose you'd have nothing to loose by trying. Take the wheel in and ask. All they could do is say yes or no. If they'll do it I'd surely want to re-check your sprocket after they do the rim to make sure nothing changed. Let us know.

    There are also lots of good tutorials on-line that would show you how to do it yourself. I've done a couple and it isn't the black art that the bike shops would have you believe.


    Tom
     

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