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Powder Coat -Does Heat Damage Cartridge Bearings?

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Powder Coat -Does Heat Damage Cartridge Bearings?

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Old 10-16-09, 08:32 PM
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Thunder Dan
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Powder Coat -Does Heat Damage Cartridge Bearings?

Getting a full sus rig of mine powder coated next week, so I am currently in the process of stripping it down to the frame. They mask everything off with a silicone gel, but I am wondering if I should be removing the cartridge bearings on the swingarm assembly as well. They are mechanically pressed in, so I am concerned removing them will be a project in and of itself.

The powder coat process concludes with a 400 degree bake. I've read more generic articles on car forums stating that the process should not affect the integrity of cartridge bearings. However, I don't know how this translates to what would be on a bike. Any experience or knowledge in this area? Thanks.
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Old 10-17-09, 06:25 AM
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Everything needs to be removed, frame and frame only. Knocking out bearings is eay, just use a socket and hammer, done it MANY times on bikes and ATV's. Use blue loctite when putting them back in and it's a VERY good idea to use a vise to press them back in.
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Old 10-17-09, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by RIC0 View Post
Everything needs to be removed, frame and frame only. Knocking out bearings is eay, just use a socket and hammer, done it MANY times on bikes and ATV's. Use blue loctite when putting them back in and it's a VERY good idea to use a vise to press them back in.
Thanks RIC0. When you say vice, are you talking just a run-of-the mill bench vice, or is there something better suited to the job? With my only other experience with bearings like this, I used some threaded rod, nuts, and large fender washers to draw the bearings in evenly. Not sure if that makes sense without a visual, but it seemed to have worked pretty well.
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Old 10-17-09, 08:00 AM
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Take out the bearings. Standard decent sealed ball bearings are dimensionally stable to 350 degrees F, however the rubber seals are only good to 225-250 F (depending on the exact compound).
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Old 10-17-09, 12:31 PM
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a standard bench vice yes, or a large C-clamp would do the trick also.
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Old 10-18-09, 07:55 AM
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Make sure that the 400 F (plus the time at that temp) is not hot enough to cause any annealing of your frame - assuming it is aluminum. I remember a story back in the late 90s that a friend of a friend had a FSR max backbone frame powder coated - first ride after the main tube buckled.
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Old 10-19-09, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by sscyco View Post
Make sure that the 400 F (plus the time at that temp) is not hot enough to cause any annealing of your frame - assuming it is aluminum. I remember a story back in the late 90s that a friend of a friend had a FSR max backbone frame powder coated - first ride after the main tube buckled.
Yikes! It's there right now, so I'll be sure to ask them when I pick it up. I highly doubt it based on the fact that this place came recommended by numerous other riders who got their (AL) frames done there, but it'll definately be worth it to check. Thanks for all the help. I'll post a pic when it's done.
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Old 10-19-09, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Thunder Dan View Post
Yikes! It's there right now, so I'll be sure to ask them when I pick it up. I highly doubt it based on the fact that this place came recommended by numerous other riders who got their (AL) frames done there, but it'll definately be worth it to check. Thanks for all the help. I'll post a pic when it's done.
Not trying to freak you out - again, I don't know if this really happened, just a story that comes up once in a while. If the shop has done this before, I'm sure it's OK.
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Old 10-19-09, 10:50 AM
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I had my KHS frame stripped and PC'd about 2 years ago with no problems, I even called KHS to ask if it was OK. I was told yes by one of the techs, as for Road frames it's a no go.
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Old 10-25-09, 07:05 AM
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Last edited by Thunder Dan; 10-25-09 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 10-25-09, 02:14 PM
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6061T6 aluminum ages at 320F so heating it hotter will over-age and decrease strength. How much? Don't know. Maybe huge, maybe negligable. Every alloy is different though and most Al bikes now 'days are high fatigue resistant custom alloys proprietary to the bike maker.
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