|Replacing the stock drive wheel with a Ural wheel by Mattias Sjösvärd|
|I'm finally done with my conversion to use an Ural rear wheel instead of a stock Chang one.|
|I decided to change from my stock rear wheel to a Ural when the latter was badly treated by a disintegrating brake shoe. This is what the left side of the new Ural wheel looks like. Note that the drum extends over the whole center of the wheel.|
|This is the right side of the Ural wheel. As you can see, the drum is wider and have a steel lining wihtin an aluminum cast hub.|
|A is a side-by-side comparison of the Chang an Ural brake shoes. Guess which is which :)|
|A nice feature of the Ural shoes is the adjustable end of the shoe (the one resting on the brake cam).|
|A look at the original wheel axis. The narrower part of the axis needs to be lengthend at the point indicated by the screw driver.|
|Insert the axle into the Chang wheel and measure the amount sticking out from the hub. In my case, 107mm.|
|Insert the axis into the Ural wheel and again measure the amount sticking out. In my case 96mm. The difference, 11mm, is the amount that must be shaved off the thick part of the axle to make it the same as the narrow part.|
|A close up photo of the left side after fitting the wheel and before putting everything else in place.|
|A close up photo of the right side after fitting the wheel and before putting everything else in place.|
|Left side after everything is fitted.|
|Right side after everything is fitted.|
The Ural wheel does not have the same vintage look as the original Chang one. However, after everything is put back into place, it's not that disturbing. I may think twice before converting the sidecar or front wheel to Urals, though.
The big bonus is the brake power. The Ural brakes are definitively better than the stock Chang ones. The overall feel of the Ural wheel is that it is sturdier and of better quality. Friends driving Urals have less problems with broken spokes. This is yet to be proven on my rig, but it cannot really get worse than it was before.