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Old 02-23-2009, 09:30 PM   #1
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Default Bearing Cleaning

Previously, I had a nice big utility sink to clean my bearings with motor spray/brake parts cleaner where fumes/chemical smells weren't an issue. I'm currently living in an apartment with just a kitchen and bathroom sink where smell is an issue. Just curious, for those of you in the same situation, how do you go about cleaning your bearings?
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:34 PM   #2
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Previously, I had a nice big utility sink to clean my bearings with motor spray/brake parts cleaner where fumes/chemical smells weren't an issue. I'm currently living in an apartment with just a kitchen and bathroom sink where smell is an issue. Just curious, for those of you in the same situation, how do you go about cleaning your bearings?
Us racers just replace them.

www.avidrc.com
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:36 PM   #3
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:47 PM   #4
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Don't waist your money buying new bearings if there not bad.
I think RPM makes a bearing blaster. It's small and I believe some one at Trackside has one. I replace sets of bearing as I see fit. Not cause I don't want to clean them . It is always nice to have a 2nd set to soak
in cleaner then swap them out weekly.

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Old 02-23-2009, 10:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by RB FIVE View Post
Us racers just replace them.

www.avidrc.com


For those of us that aren't "us racers"...but still race, what do you do to clean your bearings in your apartment/house without stinking up the place.

Dan,

I have a bearing blaster. My problem is the smell that comes with the cleaners I've been using (motor spray/brake parts cleaner). I don't always have time to tear my stuff apart at the track to clean, so I'm looking for a way to clean my bearings at home without the awful smell (neighbors/gf don't approve).

EDIT: Dan, what nights do you race at Trackside?
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:45 PM   #6
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Keep them away from mud and water and you shouldn't have to ever clean them..... Occasionally all I do is dust them.

If you do clean them out, the RPM bearing blaster works well in a pinch. The only problem with doing that is when you clean them, you destroy the grease inside. Being so small its not worth the time or effort to repack them, so often oil is used to relube.... once you do this, you have to do it very often.


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Old 02-24-2009, 12:15 AM   #7
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Just use some ultrasonic jewelery cleaner (make sure you get one with the french fry basket) and use either electric motor cleaner or some alcohol and clean our your bearings.

Make sure to remove the shields for maximum effect. Ultrasonic cleaning is pretty standard in cleaning electronics. For metal bearings (with the shields removed), I rather use acetone (nail polish remover) to clean them out, but you stated smell is an issue. Ultrasonic jewelry cleaners usually have a lid on them. Which brand of ultrasonic jewelry cleaner? I don't know, it's a crap shoot since the crappy ones have flooded the market drowning out the good ones...

If you are going to use an acetone solution for cleaning, you must clean it afterwards with alcohol (run it through the machine again with alcohol instead of acetone) to get rid of the residues that acetone leaves behind. So long as you keep the lid closed, there should be minimal smell.

One warning with acetone, KEEP AWAY FROM PLASTICS. Some plastics (like the bottles that it comes in) can resist them, but most plastics literally melt with acetone...

Ones your bearings are nice and shiny, you have two choices for lubricants: grease or oil.

Oils are superior for the least amount of friction, but they are a pain in the ass to maintain. They leak out really easily, which implies that you will have a more frequent maintenance schedule. However, since they do have less friction then grease, they are usually used for high RPM applications.

Grease are superior for low-maintenance or seldomly maintenanced applications. They are usually for low RPM applications where you don't want to service it frequently. For RCs, I prefer greased bearings over the oiled kind since I hate taking the shields on and off and cleaning them (what a chore).

But as other posters have stated, AvidRC sells them for a $1 each. Just use them til they're junk, then buy a set from AvidRC. I really like AvidRC. David Joor (the owner) used to run www.rc10b4.com which was THE place to talk about all things RCs before rctech came along...
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:15 AM   #8
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Tom,

thank you. That was exactly the idea I was looking for. Now to hunt down a decent/cheap jewelry cleaner. Anyone else have any experience with ultrasonic jewelry cleaners for cleaning bearings?

Thanks again,

Matt
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:17 AM   #9
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Us racers just replace them.

www.avidrc.com
Thats easy being said living at home. it is worth maybe one cleaning unless your running Acers......Party On....
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:19 AM   #10
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:31 AM   #11
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okay so ceramics are another story right?


can i clean them the same way as i clean a steel bearing?

and as far as the grease or oil goes. i removed the grease from all the bearings, and for the internal ones, just oiled them, since the done see dust, they shold be fine for a good long time.

the hub bearings will need to be cleaned much more often since i oiled them all,

all the grease, and the tires woudl barely spin 3 times before friction ground them to a hault.
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:15 AM   #12
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IMO for $1 a bearing, I'd just replace them. By the time they are gritty, you probably have some wear in the races and it's not worth it to clean them.
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:23 AM   #13
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IMO for $1 a bearing, I'd just replace them.

Where do you find $1 bearings at....
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:30 AM   #14
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Where do you find $1 bearings at....

Ummmmmm it was already posted: www.avidrc.com
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:44 AM   #15
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