Replacing the Wheels on an Old Samsonite Carry-on Suitcase




Introduction: Replacing the Wheels on an Old Samsonite Carry-on Suitcase

The wheels on our old Samsonite carry-on suitcase, otherwise in great shape, lost their rubber threads. Once the rubber was gone and the plastic exposed, the suitcase became very noisy. I figured it would not be long before the plastic wheel would completely fall apart.

Here are the steps I took to replace the wheels.

Step 1: Remove the Wheel Assemblies

Unzip the suitcase liner and take a look at the wheel assembly from the inside. If you see screws that can be removed using a hex wrench, congratulations, you are in luck. Unfortunately, some models use rivets instead of screws making it much harder to service. If you see rivets instead, you may want to look up youtube videos that deal specifically with that type of assemblies.

Using a hex wrench, unscrew the 4 visible screws as well as the one hidden under the liner. Pull the wheel assembly from the suitcase.

Step 2: Remove the Wheels

Using a screwdriver pop up the C shaped retaining ring ("E-clip"). Drill a hole right above the bolt; this will allow us to insert a punch and hammer out the bolt. The picture shows the sum of all the components. Using a caliper, measure the diameter of the bolt as well as the diameter of the wheel. In my case, the bolt axel was exactly 8mm, the plastic wheel diameter (without its rubber thread) 68mm and the wheel width 24mm. The wheel casing was 29mm.

Step 3: Buy the Replacement Wheels

I ended up ordering the 76mm replacement wheel from The Flight Attendant Shop: 76mm-wheels

The wheels are advertised as 76mm diameter, 24mm wide and as having 8mm inside bearing diameters (I discarded the flanged bushings). The ABEC 9 precision bearings makes for a nice upgrade to the original wheel, which did not have bearings.

Step 4: Install the New Wheels and Test Drive

The process for installing the new wheels follows the reverse steps from the disassembly process. I reused the original bolts and E-clips but discarded the metallic round washers as I was not able to reinstall them. They should not be necessary.

All in all, it took me a few hours to take the wheels apart and put them back together, taking my time and documenting the process.

The new wheels are super quiet compared to the original ones and should last a lot longer!

Fix It! Contest

Participated in the
Fix It! Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Pocket-Sized Speed Challenge

      Pocket-Sized Speed Challenge
    • Super-Size Speed Challenge

      Super-Size Speed Challenge
    • Metalworking Contest

      Metalworking Contest

    5 Discussions

    Thibaut A
    Thibaut A

    5 months ago

    Thanks, great tutorial and info about the replacement wheels. I need to replace mine as well, had a go at removing one wheel, which is quite similar to this one and it turns out they are the same size! Once I had the wheel enclosure and the C-clip off, I didn't have to drill tho, I could just use a flat screwdriver as a lever against the enclosure to push the axle out, then grab it from the exposed side.


    5 months ago

    Thanks for this instructable. I signed up to thank you.
    I have this exact case and was looking to change the wheels.
    Job took about 1hr. I was able to get the axle out without drilling the hole (levered it on the square end with a screwdriver) and also reused all the washers.



    10 months ago on Step 1

    Hi, I cannot reset the lock for this specific type of old samsonite. Do you know where I can find how to do it? Thanks!!!


    Reply 7 months ago

    I got this information from Samsonite:

    "Thank you for contacting Samsonite. We appreciate your recent purchase and would love to assist you in setting the lock.

    1) The lock should be set to the default 0-0-0.

    2) Once you have it set to 0-0-0, you would simply open the bag and notice there is a small square button on the inside behind the lock.

    3) You would then move the button from A to B

    4) Once the combination is on B choose your own 3 digits which you can easily recall (birthday, address, etc.) without closing the suitcase.

    5) When you have set your desired combination simply move the button back fom B to A.


    7 months ago

    That is my question exactly: I have the same great small suitcase. reset seems to be inside, under the protective cloth and zipper. An A and a B position....but...I have no clue. Thank you