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How To Handle A Sealed Bottom Bracket

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How To Handle A Sealed Bottom Bracket

Old 01-27-14, 04:32 PM
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How To Handle A Sealed Bottom Bracket

I've been in the process of overhauling my Schwinn Voyageur SP- I'm in the process of putting the BB back together- It has a Suntour sealed bottom bracket.






I've read that you're supposed to leave it alone- just reinstall it. I've also read that you can grease it.

If I'm supposed to grease it, do I just slather the ends and put it back together and slide it in there?

Thank you!
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Old 01-27-14, 04:37 PM
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You can't affect that type of BB with grease. You would just be wasting your time. Just grease the cup threads and be done.
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Old 01-27-14, 04:44 PM
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Once the cranks but not the chain are on, spin it several times to see how smooth it is. Grab a crank and wiggle it around. Also push/pull it at the spindle. Any play in the bearings? If it doesn't spin smoothly or there is play, replace the BB. bk
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Old 01-27-14, 05:16 PM
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The intent behind a sealed bottom bracket is that routine maintenance should be unnecessary. If the spindle turns smoothly in the bearings, just grease the threads and re-install the cartridge. If/when the bearings actually go bad, the typical fix is to replace the cartridge. You can, if sufficiently determined, overhaul it, but it's not generally cost effective unless your labor is free. That said, the SunTour cartridge is patterned after the Phil cartridge. The threaded pieces on the ends pull off, exposing the bearings. Once exposed, you can either pry off the seals, flush out the bearings, and re-pack with fresh grease or pound the bearings out of the cartridge and replace them with new bearings.
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Old 01-27-14, 05:23 PM
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Thank you all very much!!!
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Old 01-27-14, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy
I've been in the process of overhauling my Schwinn Voyageur SP- I'm in the process of putting the BB back together- It has a Suntour sealed bottom bracket.
I had one of these. I featured 2 catridge bearings, one on each side. After several years of use, the BB started to get clunky, and so I took the bike into the local shop with instructions for them to: "fix it". Mistake.

The shop didn't have the right tool to remove the cups, so they mangled them on removal with what appeared to be very large vice grips. Since these were now destroyed, they installed some cheap Shimano cartridge BB (UN25), and gave me back the shattered remnants of what had been a very nice Suntour BB in a sandwich baggie. Turns out only one bearing was bad, and this could have been replaced with a $5 bearing. So the 'fix' cost $80, evenly divided between the cost of the new BB and labor.

Now, suppose a couple of years earlier, I had cracked open the seals of the cartridge bearings, flushed them out and pressed-in new grease. Then they would have been good as new.

This preventative operation would have cost me a a few pennies in solvent and grease. In terms of time, it would have taken less time than dropping off my bike to the shop. Or picking it up again. Or waiting the 3 weeks it took them to do the job.
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Old 01-27-14, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
I had one of these. I featured 2 catridge bearings, one on each side. After several years of use, the BB started to get clunky, and so I took the bike into the local shop with instructions for them to: "fix it". Mistake.

The shop didn't have the right tool to remove the cups, so they mangled them on removal with what appeared to be very large vice grips. Since these were now destroyed, they installed some cheap Shimano cartridge BB (UN25), and gave me back the shattered remnants of what had been a very nice Suntour BB in a sandwich baggie.
Ouch. Probably too late now, but Phil mounting rings work with the SunTour cartridges.
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Old 01-27-14, 09:09 PM
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If you can see the seals they can be removed and the bearings flushed out and regreased. Some I have seen with radial bearings have odd sizes that can't be replaced.
.
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