How to clean SMALL ball bearings

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How to clean SMALL ball bearings

Postby Lumpy [OP] » June 3rd 2014, 1:41am

This isn't Astro or even automobile related. But it is mechanical.

Tiny ball bearings in their races. My bike pedals. Single bearing about 10mm OD, maybe 3mm ID, maybe .250 inch thick. I'm not sure how to tell if they're sealed or not. They're so small it's difficult to force grease through them. But I've got one that seems to be rough and doesn't allow the pedal to free spin very well.

How do I clean the little bugger? Or if they're sealed, how do I tell? And THEN is there a way to clean them.

Or do I just go to Bearing-R-Us and find a new one?


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Re: How to clean SMALL ball bearings

Postby chevymaher » June 3rd 2014, 1:54am

Use PB Blaster spray it in and break up the grit. Spin the pedal. Keep hosing it out till in your case you wash the pieces of sand out. If it is a problem child take it off and soak it in trans fluid or kerosine over night. Then wash it out. It isnt a sealed bearing. A race and ball bearings without guides, then a dust cover over that. Not a tight one either sand will get through, it is for mud and rocks more or less.

I use WD 40 once a week to lube everything. They sell chain lube also. White foamy junk that soaks in and turns clear.
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Re: How to clean SMALL ball bearings

Postby Lumpy [OP] » June 3rd 2014, 3:48am

OK thanks.

I just pulled the bearing in question and started it soaking in ATF. Dammit if I didn't spill some on my bench, floor, shorts, my new camo deck shoes. Stunk up the house.

Took a bearing out of another set of pedals and put it in to the pedal I want to use. They seem to be all the same size.

These have kind of a "C" clip on one side to hold them together but the clip is wire. Is that a non-sealed bearing?

I tried shooting some solvent through them but they're so small I can't tell if I'm getting through them or not.


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Re: How to clean SMALL ball bearings

Postby chevymaher » June 3rd 2014, 4:02am

They all are non sealing unless somebody snuck a new one in on me.

It almost the exact same bearing arrangement as the front wheel on a smaller scale. So if you ever messed with a bikes axle and had the bearings all fall out you know what they are inside the pedals.
I have used them till they literally fell apart and all that was left was a bar where the pedal was. Now that is a pain trying to ride it home. Got to lift your foot and move it or it rolls off the front of the pedal.
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Re: How to clean SMALL ball bearings

Postby Lumpy [OP] » June 3rd 2014, 5:46am

chevymaher wrote:They all are non sealing unless somebody snuck a new one in on me.



Looks like they've been sneakin' on ya.

Doing the research reveals they are indeed sealed. It's not like old style bikes where you literally have the little balls in your hand. Nor like a cone bearing in a car spindle. In a bike you can't see the bearings. You're just looking at the steel donut.

You can apparently set a tiny bit of preload but the assembly is designed not to need it. Nylon sleeve with grease lubricates the pedal axle. The end bearing keeps it all centered.

My original bearing (brand new pedal) did indeed seem to have a flat or rough spot. Turning the bearing very slowly by hand I could feel it grab with every revolution in the same spot. I suppose that means it's the race, not the balls.

In any case, I've got everything put back together. Ride tomorrow and see how it works.


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Re: How to clean SMALL ball bearings

Postby chevymaher » June 3rd 2014, 5:49am

Lumpy wrote:
chevymaher wrote:They all are non sealing unless somebody snuck a new one in on me.



Looks like they've been sneakin' on ya.

Lump

Ah it happens. :confused:
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Re: How to clean SMALL ball bearings

Postby RECox286 » June 3rd 2014, 4:48pm

When I was a youngster, and just before I became as foolish as I am now,

I would go around town and pick up all the bikes I could that were at the

curb for trash pick up. Gathering them all together, and disassembling

them into stacks of parts, I would clean up the best of the parts I had on

hand, and then I would build my new to me bike. Bearings, being one of

the items that were needing to be cleaned up, I (again being young and

knowing it all) found out that regular leaded gasoline was both cheap and

did the trick as a solvent par none. Now, I know you have taken a dislike

to me and my rantings, for some unknown reason ( But yes, I still love you

like a brother, and was glad to see you return to the forum) However, I just

thought I would put in my 2 scents to let you know what I used to do

when I was young and knew everything, and before I got older and more

ignorant than I am even now that I'm closer to the black void...

So, keep on bikin'

Uncle Bob
Start a fire for a man and he will be warm for a day.
Set a man on fire and he will be warm the rest of his life.

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Re: How to clean SMALL ball bearings

Postby Lumpy [OP] » June 3rd 2014, 5:44pm

RECox286 wrote:
When I was a youngster, and just before I became as foolish as I am now, I would go around town and pick up all the bikes I could that were at the curb for trash pick up. Gathering them all together, and disassembling them into stacks of parts, I would clean up the best of the parts I had on hand, and then I would build my new to me bike...



I just recently did that. Built a nice little Mtn Bike. Bought a new lock and chain. Gave it to a local homeless guy who used to ride his bike everywhere but said someone stole it.

A week after I gave it to him, cops called me. They found the bike in posession of someone else. My name and phone # was engraved on the bottom of the crank housing. I went to the scene, guy said he bought it from the homeless guy for a bottle of wine.


RECox286 wrote:
... Now, I know you have taken a dislike to me and my rantings, for some unknown reason ...



Huh? ... :confused:


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Re: How to clean SMALL ball bearings

Postby RECox286 » June 4th 2014, 3:23am

No good deed goes unpunished...

Coupla years ago, I collected a bunch of bikes over on the Island when it was near clean-up day.

Brought them all home and got the word out to the neighborhood kids that there were scads of

bikes for the taking, and I would help out resurecting if they needed help. Next day a horde of

bike hungry locusts showed up and the huge pile of junk was devastated in a half hour. Should

have seen and heard the ruckus ! I think there were 3 bikes left from the pile that had about 40

and the other 3 went missing the next morning. Only one small feller asked for help, and there

was a definite hurt put on my air compressor over the next week or two. I felt purdy good about

the whole evolution, to be honest. Made me go into smile mode.

Uncle Bob
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Set a man on fire and he will be warm the rest of his life.

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