This is from our old web site but it still works
"The care and feeding of one ways."
A one way bearing is a amazing device. If you ever have a bad one don't toss it out until you have an opportunity to do autopsy. You will find needle bearings housed in a steel housing with the needles seated in a nylon race. It's really not like a bearing and race though as the nylon part is bonded to the steel housing. The real work horse in the one way is the thin curved strip of steel placed next to each roller. When the driven shaft (tight tolerance) rotates past the needle in one direction no problem but try to go the other way and the unit will jam and the driven shaft and the one way will operate as one. The one way requires several key points to work correctly:
1) tight tolerances
2) good lubrication.
3) A clean environment.
The tolerances are really up to the factory but when wear becomes noticeable on the driven shaft or adaptor the one way's can fail.
Good lubrication is easy. Just enough oil to wet the one way's but not enough to attract dirt. As for what oil to use, I have had good luck with mineral oil and with Mobile One. In 1999 Serpent introduced SER 1680 one-way lubricate to correct a high failure rate on their one-ways. I have to admit that this stuff really works and it is now all that I use. More on chemicals later.
As for the clean environment if dust and dirt are kept off of the outside of the one way and its components this is a good start. If you clean your car off with compressed air try not to blow the dirt into the one ways or bearings but rather away from them.
Chemicals: The easiest way to kill a one way is to damage the tolerances. If an oil or cleaner swells the nylon even a little the first thing you will notice is some parasitical drag on the one way or if enough damage occurs you can have slippage or complete lock-up. I learned this by cleaning out my one way's with electric motor spray a number of years ago and then not being able to refit them to the drive axles until the swelling went down. The one ways never worked quite as well and ultimately requires replacement. For this reason I clean my one way's by flushing them out with more of what ever oil I'm using. I'm not suggesting that this is the only right way to do things only that it works for me.
SER 1680 One Way Lube