Cleaning sealed ball bearings, questions about stuff.

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Ttrees

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Thanks for your thoughts folks

Not being at all knowledgeable about this sorta stuff, so it's very nice to read that there's various ways of cleaning them out.

It would seem to me like white spirit will be best, as I don't have any solvents to get rid of any residue, should I use paint thinners for the job.
No compressed air, but think I might manage with patience and toothbrush instead.
Hot water just feels wrong to me, but will if nessecairy should I not get things shiny and not tacky.

Bought some lithium grease for 3 euros
Lithium EP2 multi purpose -20c to +140c in a brownish tube.
Guessing this is the stuff, but seen some red stuff which I was considering either.
Not to worry, I will see how things go.

Haven't made a wee tool for the job of seal removal yet, good to hear some warning
as those utubers seem a bit confident with a pick or blade.

Eager to see how good they turn out, and should they be pants, then nothing lost but a hour or two and a 3 quid tube.
Have some other bearings which I could also do if it goes well, so hopefully the grease tube can earn it's keep in the press.

Thanks for your comments folks
I'll make an update when I get back to this.

Tom
 

Inspector

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Note that paint thinner and mineral spirits are similar to the solvents I mentioned so disposal is still the same. You take the oily film (minimal) off with Acetone type solvent but why? You’re going to put grease on them anyway. If you’re going to Loctite them in then you would degrease the outside.
Pete
 

OCtoolguy

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Many years ago, I was enrolled in classes at General Motors Institute and the instructor told us to NEVER wash out a bearing with any type of solvent as once dried, grease will not adhere to the bearing balls or rollers. I did in fact have to try that just to satisfy my own curiosity and it is true. I washed a ball bearing, wiped it dry with a lintless cloth and then blew it out with compressed air. I then tried to apply a good coating of wheel bearing grease and it would not stick. I forget now, it's been 60 years, what I finally had to do to get the grease to stick. Another type of cleaning, possibly hot soap and water. The solvent leaves something behind that will not allow the grease to adhere.
 

Phil Pascoe

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They start to look like a well sucked gobstopper. Good luck

I replaced bearings on my lathe that were shot with used bearings off an identical shaft - they looked absolutely perfect and rumbled to the point the lathe was unuseable. I can understand someone taking time and trouble to reuse old unobtainable or ridiculously expensive bearing, but for ffs for the work involved just replace them. Every time.
 

Phil Pascoe

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Many years ago, I was enrolled in classes at General Motors Institute and the instructor told us to NEVER wash out a bearing with any type of solvent as once dried, grease will not adhere to the bearing balls or rollers. I did in fact have to try that just to satisfy my own curiosity and it is true. I washed a ball bearing, wiped it dry with a lintless cloth and then blew it out with compressed air. I then tried to apply a good coating of wheel bearing grease and it would not stick. I forget now, it's been 60 years, what I finally had to do to get the grease to stick. Another type of cleaning, possibly hot soap and water. The solvent leaves something behind that will not allow the grease to adhere.
I wonder what the bearings were cleaned with before lubrication when assembed?
 

TheTiddles

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I must be tired, almost sounds like you want to replace some premium bearings with old dirty ones after you’ve fudged around with them?

Sounds about as good an idea as reusing a stretched bolt or a cracked o-ring.
 

Sandyn

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Sometimes it's good to try to do this, just for the fun of it and to see if you can. It might work, it might not, but it's how you learn. Go for it!!!
 

Ttrees

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OCtoolguy, kudos for mentioning this, I will be doing a wee spot test first,
to be sure now thanks a million.
Just for clarification there was no reason to have swapped these bearings in the first place, and I was thinking it was them which was to blame rather than all the other things
which was the reasons.

Thanks for mentioning all these solvents Pete, although familiar concoctions I've read of before, I had to google to make sure which each was.

Not sure if I mentioned that I planned to keep a very close eye on these bearings with the intention of getting new ones after a bit of testing and light use, say not challenging the machine and only running for say 30mins a week max kinda thing.

I will be taking the bearings out anyway, only installed the old one just to make sure I didn't damage the SKF newer one, whilst I was getting the fit right making a new spacer for the wheel.
Now I have the fit right, I am going to make two more,
the part made below could be more accurate,
(plastic got squished a bit in the vice whilst drilling, so the hole is a bit shoddy)
IMG_20220214_175624.jpg


I think there's more chance of getting everything a bit more solid with the original bearings.
Guessing there inst much mileage on this machine to begin with, as it was a Friday lemon, possibly only getting as much run time as I've put on the newer bearings.

Even though I've got the fit right for the top wheel, I might well end up faffing about with the bottom wheel, or possibly not going near it either.
Gotta do some alignment checks as the wheel will sit further out of the shaft with the new part,(I have another thread about those spacers),
and the pulley is sitting as far out on the motor shaft as I dare to use.
Quite a distance, one could possibly take a little of the face of the back of the shaft to sit the wheel in further, and get that pulley more on the shaft.
Have the original measurements written down for it, something like below as is now.
Probably not good.
SAM_4616.JPG

Gotta figure out those wee things, along with the play about with wheel protrusion on the top wheel and other tests, etc
so that might explain why I wish to use old bearings for a while...
plus I'm skint at the moment.

Thanks
Tom


SAM_5279.JPG
 
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Sandyn

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Today, I had to do a repair on my bike and happened to notice some rust muck coming from my bottom bracket which has a BB30 bearings (42mm Outside and 30mm inside Dia.) When I took the pedals off, and rotated the bearings, they were full of crud. I picked out the bearing seal, very very easy, without damage. I cleaned the bearings using anything I could spray inside, then high pressure air to get the grime out. The bearings are knackered, but it will keep me going for a while yet until I can get replacements and make a custom tool for removing the circlips and a make a bearing press on the lathe, or I might try printing a 3D tool.
 

Ttrees

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Hi again, sorry been a bit late to reply back.
Have some photos of a bearing puller tool which I made from the end of a masonry nail,
and had a test of the tool.
There was a lot of crud, and possibly fatigue of the edge of the rubber, and possibly damage from me pulling them off too, didn't try cleaning them to inspect properly,
and put them away as had some dusty work to do.

At the same time as doing some turning my lathe bearings started rumbling,
not to mention the drill is needing attention aswell. (definitely replacments needed as are bad)
Quite instant I would say, well in the case of the lathe anyway, so I must investigate that.

As you might have guessed this made me have second thoughts about using the old ones, for something quite a bit more crucial than other applications, so going to stick back in the newish one, as I've still not made the other new spacers yet.

Hopefully I'll be able to report back with some queries I've made recently on a few threads, and depending on how critical those bearings for the other machines are,
might be worth trying on, now I've got a big tube of grease.
Typical! 🙂
 
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