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H: Hubs, Wheels and Tyres Wheel Bearing (H22) Seals?

Texas John

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
I am rebuilding the wheels on my 1948 Rapide. I obtained Nilos Seals (H55/1) (presumably Nilos # 09074/09196 AV as Nilos uses the SKF numbers for their seal numbers) from VOC Spares for the front & rear wheel bearings . The bearing cone is marked W5413 (not 09074) and may well be the original SKF bearings. The only references I can find to W5413 are Vincent related and suggest it is superseded by SKF 09074 (cone) and 09196 (cup). Unfortunately, these seals are too shallow for the bearings and do not make contact with the races when flat against the cones, i.e. perhaps modern cups are slightly taller than the earlier bearings. I have carefully shimmed the bearings to .005 inch up-down play on the axle. The bearings are still good so I had not planned to replace them.
1) Replace cones with modern and see if the Nilos seals will fit new cones with old cups. If cups are the problem, then this will not work. Anyone know?
2) Replace cones and cups. I didn't want to remove the old cups etc. as that can be a pain (and the expense).
3) Is there a modern regular grease seal that will work against the OD of the old bearing's inner cone section and fit tightly into the hub?
4) In another post (I have read a lot of posts) was mention of Speet brass seals but I do not know where to obtain them or cost.
5) Use the old ratty felts (no thanks).
I welcome any suggestions for me as to what to do for seals?
Thank you.

Marcus Bowden

VOC Hon. Overseas Representative
VOC Member
Use to have them in the Ex Works Flash big port head, very poor really as they lost interference fit long before Harry Cox bought it for my brother to ride, I rode it once at Cadwell Park but I hadn't run it in enough and seized on lap five. LRO 993. Ted Davis bought it off Harry £250.

Texas John

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
May I suggest that you have H55/2 Nilos seals which fit narrow bearings instead of H55/1 seals which fit the wide bearings. Easy mistake to make when stocking the shelves. they look the same unless compared side by side.
Thank you for the suggestion, but it appears I have the recommended seals (H55/1) as confirmed by measuring the height (0.25 in) and verifying against the specifications shown here (height columns s+v): https://www.skf.com/binaries/pub12/Images/0901d19680237e2b-950-710-Nilos_08_tcm_12-228382.pdf

Texas John

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Vincent - Did you receive my email a few days ago? When you have a minute, please reply as I am still interested in your items and will save my Nilos seals for a later bike with the newer style bearings. Thank you. John

Vincent Brake

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Thought the replay above was clear.
So if you look at the picture, you see to what bearing numbers the seals fit. Only.those.

I have not looked into your bearing numbers John, sorry.


Texas John

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Vincent, My apologies as I did not understand those are the only bearing your items fit. Then there is the problem that I cannot compare my bearings (cone W5413, cup is ?) to the more modern bearing numbers. I noticed Maughan & Sons carry an H55 Brass seal so I will look into that, as the H55 part number is in the HRD parts book of same time as my bike was made. Perhaps I will get lucky?

Texas John

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Sorry, but my lathe is small (and broken at the moment) and my skills not so advanced.
Relevant dimensions from my hub and bearings (imperial bearings):
ID of hub (where cup/race is inserted): 1.931 in or 49.05 mm.
Depth from face of hub to top of cup (race), i.e. amount cup/race is sunk into hub: 0.135 in or 3.43 mm.
OD of center part of cone bearing that projects through the center of the seal: 1.279 in or 32.49 mm.
So seal ID about 1.283 in or 32.59 mm. (per Vincent in post #17).
Height of center part of cone above top face of hub: 0.120 in or 3.05 mm.
Do either Vincent's seals or H55 seals have appropriate dimensions, please?

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