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cleaning bearings

Old 07-29-2020, 09:53 PM
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Default cleaning bearings

do you guys clean bearing or toss them.

I spent an hour cleaning bearing and Im asking myself if I should have just tossed them. But i did work out a system that is pretty good.

first I throw the bearings in camping fuel or lantern oil.
pull them out and wipe them off
I use a dental pick to remove the rubber shield
I throw them back into the fuel oil
I have a small pump thats in the oil that really gets most of the sand and dirt out
but you still have a little grit in all of them
I take them to my airbrush gun and blow them out
I then use pressurized paint gun cleaner on the bearings again
you would expect anything to come out but allot does
when i air blow or use the gun cleaner I hit the bearings from 2 directions and index the bearing 1/4 turn
at this point I spin the bearing by hand and they are silky smooth
if the bearings that have too much gap as seen by tilting the inner and outer race they get pitched (10%)
I set the air gun to 20 psi and see if it will spin the bearing (this is not suggested because it will destroy a dirty or dry bearing).
if it doesnt spin free enough at 20 psi I throw it away. (another 10% pitched)
if a bearing is loud, I pitch it. (20%)
I use slip oil and put the shields on.
they appear to be like new
on a 40 dollar set of bearing I throw away about 15 bucks and invested an hour.
the 25 dollars I retain for an hours work seems like I might be wasting my time.
plus 10 dollars in consumables.
I dont buy grease packed bearings so Im not benefitting from the tear down.

anyways, I think im done with cleaning bearings but I figured I would post this process for others who go to deep or give someone an opportunity to tell me a cheaper or quicker way to remove all the grit from a set of bearings.





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Old 07-29-2020, 10:29 PM
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I just remove shield, blast them with brake cleaner dry em, oil them. Life is too short to be cleaning bearings. Just replace all of them at once. Send them my way and I'll throw them away for you😋

I racing twice a month, I have plenty of time to clean them.
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Old 07-29-2020, 11:04 PM
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I used to clean them back when they were somewhat expensive. But I just toss them since I can get them for a buck each at AVID. Also AVID recommends you leave the grease in them because they will last longer rather than clean out the grease and using a lighter weight oil.
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Old 07-29-2020, 11:07 PM
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If a quick blast and relube doesn't restore them, I toss them.
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Old 07-30-2020, 05:44 AM
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Throw them away, Bearings are cheap enough to replace. Maybe keep a set of spares. I replace them once they start to feel gritty, and if there is any doubt, out they go. Same for Motor Bearings and Steering Rack bearings.
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Old 07-30-2020, 05:51 AM
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I use a Bearing Blaster from RPM and motor spray, but if the bearing is still not right I toss and replace. Boca Bearing sells economy bearings for about $1 per bearing so it makes little sense trying to clean them.


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Last edited by SteveM; 07-30-2020 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 07-30-2020, 06:38 AM
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I have a vibrating bath which I fill with WD40



(original from Team Titan)

The dirt will drop out and the bearing is lubed with WD40.
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Old 07-30-2020, 01:13 PM
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great info guys.

Ive been thinking about going back to grease. they seem to last longer.
Ive noticed that on a $40 set of bearings that brand A seems to have less play in the bearings versus brand B. I like brand A.

I like the ultrasonic. I have read that it does damage the bearings over time but I havent seen it and I use it anyways. I just bought a cleaner that is way too big. I did just read that I dont have to fill the whole tank with cleaner. I fill it with water and then use a glass cup with cleaning fluid inside the tank. I guess that glass is invisible to the ultrasonic energy.

Im going to stop overthinking the bearings and pitch them after a quick attempt at cleaning them.

thanks guys.
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Old 07-30-2020, 01:16 PM
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I've used WD40 in the past but I have read where it's not a very good lubricant because it's more of a solvent.
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Old 07-30-2020, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by glennhl View Post
I've used WD40 in the past but I have read where it's not a very good lubricant because it's more of a solvent.
And if you use WD40 with rubber shielded bearings, well in a while you'll end up with shielded bearings with no Rubber! ​​​​​​​
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Old 07-30-2020, 02:04 PM
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Take of shields, put bearing in a bearing cleaning kit, rinse them for 5-10 minutes using 99% isopropyl alcohol, let them dry out, put speed cream in, put shields back on, and you're done.
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Old 07-30-2020, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by 1/8 IC Fan View Post
And if you use WD40 with rubber shielded bearings, well in a while you'll end up with shielded bearings with no Rubber! ​​​​​​​
Never seen it happen. And yes, WD40 is no 100% oil but it does contain oil and never had issues with the bearings, they will run smooth and light.

That blue vibrating case is no ultrasonic. it has a same kind of vibrating motor as a moblile phone has. Still available at Hobbyking
https://hobbyking.com/en_us/mini-ult...___store=en_us
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Old 07-30-2020, 03:24 PM
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Most people I see cleaning bearing are the people that run the stock classes. Bearing with no shields, cleaned out and oiled will make a more free moving drive terrain. Once they get gritty and oil can't save them they get tossed and replaced.
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Old 07-30-2020, 03:34 PM
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Yep, run with no shields and light oil...Toss when they get noisy after motor spray and oil lube... I always wonder when the ADB ceramic bearings with no inner cage(no shields/no lube needed) will make their way into the Rc world ???
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Old 07-30-2020, 04:51 PM
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I clean and lightly oil new bearings before installing.

Once they show any sign of wear, I replace them. It's not just the resistance that matters-- as a bearing wears, it develops play that can create binding and inconsistencies in a car.
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