Whenever I take apart my 3-pc. bottom bracket I find one or both of the bearing retainers damaged. The grease looks good as new, and plenty of it, but the retainer is broken, and the fingers that curl around to hold the bearings in place get uncurled, and there's usually some damage to the spindle wherever that happens. Last time, I replaced the spindle, both cups, and both retainers, but I just tore it apart the other day and found the retainer in the fixed cup was pulled apart and the spindle was chewed up on that side. What am I doing wrong?
I didn't have a spare retainer this time, so I put it back together without the retainer, with 11 loose bearings instead of the 9 in the retainer. Is there any reason not to do that on a permanent basis? That was standard on the bikes I had before this one.