Join Date: Jul 2007
Bikes: bicycles with round wheels
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Cartridge bearings (dual rubber seals,one on each side) like this one :
are easily serviceable, despite what everyone says.
Step 1: remove sealed cartridge bearing from hub or BB using the appropriate bearing removal tool
Step 2: take a scalpel or pin and carefully (without damaging the seal) lift up the seal. Remove both seals . Set seals aside
Step 3: immerse bearing into solvent (NOT Simple Green or Citrus- see footnote) and soak. scrub with toothbrush, spin the bearing and scrub again, until ALL traces of the old grease are removed.
Step 4: rinse bearing in clean solvent, spin the bearing a few times, rinse again.
Step 5: rinse the oily solvent residue from the bearing , using Acetone or 99% methyl hydrate. Spin the bearing by hand and blow dry with canned air. The reason we rinse the solvent is it leaves an oily residue that "cuts" or thins the fresh bearing grease, rendering it useless (does'nt adhere to the raceways or balls). So rinse the solvent form the bearing good...brake cleaner, acetone, methyl hydrate etc for the rinse liquid
Step 6: clean the seals, using a bit of methyl hydrate and a clean rag. Pop one seal back into the bearing.
Step 7: take a nickel sized dab of automobile wheel bearing grease, and work it into the bearing races and bearing balls. Pack the bearing about 60% full. Take the second seal and pop it back into the bearing. Wipe the bearing clean and re-install.
Footnote 1: the reason we dont use Citrus or Simple Green cleaners, is they contain ingredients that "wet out" the metal. These ingredients do not get removed, and prevent the fresh grease form adhering properly to the metal surface of the bearing raceways. Solvent rinses clean with methyle htdrate or acetone, and leaves no surfactants in the metal. There is a reason industrial users utilize solvent for cleaning metal parts exposed to movement.
Last edited by Bushman; 08-17-07 at 07:25 PM.