How to clean sheilded bearings

Discussion in 'Reel Repair and Upgrades' started by OkieHenry, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. OkieHenry

    OkieHenry New Member

    Hulbert, Oklahoma
    Cleaning sheilded bearings (with metal sheild)

    I run across a site a few years ago and lerned how to clean and lube sheilded berings. So I figured to pass this on and maybe save someone a little cash by cleaning insted of replaceing your bearings.

    Most sheilded bearings with the metal side shield has a snap ring holding the shield in. Remove this snap ring (I use a pick), turn the bering over and give it a tap on the back side and the sheild will fall out. Repeat on the other side.
    After cleaning and lubeing, put the sheilds back on and replace the snap rings and your done.

    I use gun scrub to clean it out, if you want them back like they were, lube with vassiline or reel greese, if you want them a little faster use reel oil insted of greese, if you want then alot faster leave the sheilds off an use reel oil. Now if you leave the sheilds off you'll half to clean them every time you clean your reel and they will wear out faster.

    I your bearings have the plastic sheilds, I know they are pressed in, But I don't know how to remove them properly


  2. Ken D

    Ken D New Member

    B.C. (CAD)
    Hio, OH (and all)... several companies market tools called "dental picks"...because they are shaped much like those tools. These are a nice addition to the collection for many purposes, including removing that retaining ring on ball bearings, to get to the dust shield, plucking that stuck drag washer, etc..... They are about 2.00 each. is one such vendor. They offer a set of 6 for 6.00 and stamps.

    One big challenge these days with many mini bearings is: _lack_ of a retaining ring, with the dust shields crimp-pressed in. This means a destructive removal, or at best, a distorted one.

    Many rodsters leave one side of the bearing open, to make cleaning and servicing a breeze later.

    Still others do what industry has been doing for decades: using liquid ether
    to clean and degrease bearings, as it leaves no residue, and is easy to get, in the form of diesel starting fluid. It's in a spray bomb, extremely flammable, and not spendy.

    A couple of ways to proceed: place the bearing on the conical end of a sharpened pencil, push to prevent a fly-away, and lightly spray the bearing both sides to get it spinning. A flick of the finger shortly thereafter will tell if the brg is clean... it should spin very freely. This way wastes ether, and sets up much loss of product, as the space between the bearing and the dust shield is small.

    I take a small 'shot-glass', and spray the ether inside, getting me the liquid. Then I can swirl the bearings to clean, and place on the pencil to check for sani. If the bearing is rough, it goes back in solution. If the bearing is eventually clean, but rough, it gets replaced.

    Still other folks will use naptha, marketted as (coleman) stove fuel, or lighter fluid. This product is highly refined, easy to buy, already liquid,
    not too spendy, and it works. They will soak the bearings a time, then give them a spin, repeating as required. As to residue, I'm usure if it leaves any.

    I do not smoke, nor do I use camping fuel, so I just stick with the ether.

    Hope this helps. Best, KD

  3. Mickey

    Mickey New Member

    Henry Thanks for sharing some good info, and Welcome to the BOC. Reps.:0a23::0a25::0a25:
  4. Relocated-Yankee

    Relocated-Yankee New Member

    I like to let mine soak in lighter fluid for about 5 minutes. Pull'em out and sit'em on a paper towel etc. for another 5. Check'em for smooth operation. If good, two drops of oil each and they're ready to put back!
  5. alantani

    alantani New Member