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John’s Cutlas Selective Hub Rebuild

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, How To • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

John recently rebuilt a set of Cutlas Selective Hubs, the type with the knob that rotates to engage and disengage the hub. There appear to be at least two styles of these hubs, one with a flat top and one with a groove, so that a tool (or improvised tool) can be used to help engage, disengage the hub.

This exploded overview from 1961 shows how the parts assemble (see the full brochure below this post):


As you can kind of see from this diagram, there are two sections: 1) is the hub cap that holds the knob and the spring in place (from part 107-2 in the middle and everything to the right of it) and 2) the hub base (part 108-2 and everything to the left of it).

John wrote, “Overall I’d say these are my favorite hubs I’ve worked on so far. I have a pair of Warn hubs (with the tiny needle bearings) and a pair of Selectro hubs (big chrome knob type). The Warns seemed like a real pain to rebuild since the needle bearing were in rough shape. And the Selectro hubs, while very easy to operate, were probably the weakest design I’ve seen.”

Here’s a look at John’s finished product, as it’s the best example a complete hub next to a hub with the top separated from the base:


I went with a 2 tone paint job just for fun. If it doesn’t last for any reason I’ll end up with the whole thing gloss black and a chrome knob. The body was so badly pitted there was no saving the original finish


We’ll start with the hub’s cap first. John provided the following note: “To remove the coupling piece (part 102-2 Coupling) from the chrome cap (with the cutlas knob) you have to line it up right with the correct groove, then push down firmly against the spring inside (part 110-2 coupling spring). While pushing down spin the coupling, and then the coupling spring will pop the coupling right out and its free.”



With the inner portion of the cap apart, you can see the coupling ring, the coupling, the coupling cam spring (part 107-2) and the coupling cam pins (parts 105-2).


At this point, the control knob still needs to be removed, so John flipped over the cap. He reached into the cap to remove the control knob retaining ring (part 116-2). That released the control knob, allowing him to remove the control knob seal (part 113-2 — a rubber gasket that’s not shown, but easily replaced) and the bonnet seal (part 117-2).


I didnt get a picture of it, but the Cutlas knob has an O-ring (part 113-2) on the shaft, I pulled 2 for each hub out of my assorted box, easy replacement, no odd balls


John has this bit of advice for the bottom portion: “I think the most important thing to note here is…. when disassembling the bottom portion, there is that white plastic spacer (114-2 Drive Gear Bearing)  that needs to be removed with care. That is a piece I wouldn’t want to try to replace (simply because I assume its impossible to find anything like it)”

Here, the plastic drive gear bearing still secured to the hub base on the left (on the right is the other base flipped over for comparison:


This photo shows the base disassembled:

cutlas-hub-groove-rebuild-john5-loresWith everything apart, John cleaned up the hubs, painted them, and greased them. As noted before, John went with a 2 tone paint job just for fun. The body was so badly pitted there was no saving the original finish.
cutlas-hub-groove-rebuild-john7-lores cutlas-hub-groove-rebuild-john8-lores

Thanks again to John for taking the time to document his work. Hopefully, it will help other aspiring hub rebuilders out there!



4 Comments on “John’s Cutlas Selective Hub Rebuild

  1. John

    Pennsylvania Steve

    I thought about that. Since the drive gear needs that sleeve to sit in as well as having it clipped in by the snap ring, I believe 3D printing might be the only modern solution. Its really thin stuff and a pretty odd shape. I’m in no way someone who tech savvy but I have a few friends that can do some incredible stuff with a 3D printer. I’m assuming all they would need is dimensions to log into their program

    Other than that I’d honestly have no idea…

  2. David Eilers Post author


    Steve. That’s a good question.

    If I had to guess, I’d say that it’s highly probably the hub was built using an existing bearing size (to reduce costs). So, if that’s the case and if you can get some precise measurements, you may be able to source them through Timken or some or bearing supplier.

    – Dave

  3. David Eilers Post author

    Somehow I read “needle bearings” (which this hub doesn’t use) instead of the nylon bearing (still ingesting caffeine … so bear with me). lol.

    John is likely correct, but it might still be worth seeing if has something. That have flanged nylon bearings that might be alterable.

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