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  1. #1
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    Your Bearings & You

    A little while ago, I posted that I found a cost effective way to minimize diff, and axle bearing failures by repacking new/used Traxxas bearings. I got a lot of Private Messages asking me to post pictures of how to do it. Now that my seasons over, I am going over my truck and boat, so here goes.

    This is a brand new 5118 bearing right out of the package. I use a exacto knife (with a new unused blade) to lift the bearing cover.



    Once I have the cover lifted, I slide my knife behind the back of the bearing cover, and rotate my knife untill the beaing cover comes off. I do this with both sides.



    As you can see, this side of the new bearing has no grease.



    This side, just has just a few spots of grease, and as I said, this is a new bearing. As soon as this bearing gets hit with a little bit of water, and begins to corrode; this beaings failure is assured.



    What's a ReglarDude to do? What you can do is: If it's a new bearing you can put more grease in it. If it's a used bearing (and it's still in good shape) you can clean it with kerosene, blow it dry with compressed air, and repack it.



    These are the two products I use to repack my bearings. The top is a BellRay marine rated grease, and the bottom is Dow high speed bearing grease compound used in aircraft jet engines. I have found that the BellRay works well, and is easier to remove than the Dow compound, but the Dow compound is the best. Kerosene will remove the BellRay, but nothing less than WD-40 will remove the Dow.



    With that said, I pack in grease on both sides of the bearing.



    Next, I spin the bearing, and check both side for grease gaps. If so, I add more grease and repeat untill all the grease gaps are gone.



    Next, I re-install the bearing covers. I use my fingernails to apply pressure to the bearing covers as I spin the bearing. With the covers installed, there will be excess grease on the bearing. I wipe it off with a kerosene dampened paper towel, and then a Windex dampened paper towel.





    In the past, I found, that anytime I had a diff failure it was due to a bearing. When one of my diffs beaings would fail, the diff gears would miss-aline, shred, and take out my plastic diff housing. I have friends that use the expensive sealed bearings, but the same thing happens to them...it just takes longer. So, every so often, I run my truck on the bench to check my diffs, tranny, and axle bearings.

    To check my axle bearings. I remove my wheels and spin the hubs with my fingers. If I feel any roughness I do the above bearing repack.

    To check my diffs and tranny. I slowly run my truck on a maintenance stand. I use a srewdriver to listen for roughness (the screwdriver end on the component, and the handle end in my ear). If I hear any roughness, I do the above. On occasion, I have to change or repack a bearing, but for over four years I haven't had a catastrophic diff failure. Anyway, I hope this helps some of you guys out.
    Last edited by ReglarDude; 10-19-2013 at 05:34 AM.

  2. #2
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    Very nice guide! Does removing and replacing the bearing covers damage them in any way? Seems like it would wear out the edges.

  3. #3
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Wolfslash16's Avatar
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    Nice write up! That's the same way I've been doing it for a few months now too!
    Sl2sh Slayer Summit Sl4sh Teton/Rally T-Maxx Pnde

  4. #4
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    Dildano, out of the two bearings I've had to R/R over the years, one had to be changed due to one of it's two covers...the rubbery material came off. It would of probably been alright, but I had it apart, so I changed it. The thing to always remember is...sharp, new, exacto knife blades when doing bearing maintenance.

    Wolf, has it been working well for you?

  5. #5
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Wolfslash16's Avatar
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    Wolf, has it been working well for you?
    Yep, I find if you GREASE the bearing, not oil it, it make it last so much longer. This method work great, just don't cut your self!
    Sl2sh Slayer Summit Sl4sh Teton/Rally T-Maxx Pnde

  6. #6
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    Cool, I'm glad to hear it. Packing bearings dosen't really take that long. What I do is, after I get done working out, I have about a half hour or so before dinner's ready. So, I have a little bit of time each day to work on my truck.

  7. #7
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Wolfslash16's Avatar
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    Oh I forgot, it helps a lot if use this too...

    http://www.rcplanet.com/RPM_Bearing_...p/rpm81170.htm
    Sl2sh Slayer Summit Sl4sh Teton/Rally T-Maxx Pnde

  8. #8
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    I had a lot of nice feed back here, and with my PM thing, so I wanted to thank everyone for their kind words of encouragement.

    Mr. Wolfslash, I was born and semi raised in Clearfield, Utah. When I got out of the service and college, I went back to Utah for my first job working for Frontier Airlines. I had to leave 2 years later due to layoffs, and have been in Maryland ever since. I live by the ocean, but do miss the mountains and Pine View Lake.

  9. #9
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Wolfslash16's Avatar
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    Mr. Wolfslash, I was born and semi raised in Clearfield, Utah. When I got out of the service and college, I went back to Utah for my first job working for Frontier Airlines. I had to leave 2 years later due to layoffs, and have been in Maryland ever since. I live by the ocean, but do miss the mountains and Pine View Lake.
    Ya, the mountains are great...




    Any way, back on topic!
    I just tore my Slash 4x4 down and re lubed every single bearing using the same method you posted here. Works great!
    Sl2sh Slayer Summit Sl4sh Teton/Rally T-Maxx Pnde

  10. #10
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. mwe-maxxowner's Avatar
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    I have always just replaced bearings, but I never seem to throw any away. So I have a ton of old bearings!

    Now I see why!

    Once the seal is removed, do I clean by placing the bearing in a small kerosene filled container, and shake shake shake?
    460, straightpipes, buried throttle, nuff said :D

  11. #11
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Wolfslash16's Avatar
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    Once the seal is removed, do I clean by placing the bearing in a small kerosene filled container, and shake shake shake?
    Yep! You can use rubbing alcohol too.
    Sl2sh Slayer Summit Sl4sh Teton/Rally T-Maxx Pnde

  12. #12
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    I'm not trying to be a stinker or anything, but I wouldn't use alcohol. If it's rubbing alcohol it has water in it. If it's 100% alcohol it drys leaving a thin white residue. Use kerosene in a small container, and use a brush to clean them. Also, I spin the bearing while it's in the kerosene. To do this, you can use your fingers (of course), but what I do is; I have different size wooden rods that I tappered the ends with a belt sander. I put the tapered end in the inner bearing hole, and spin it in the kerosene untill I cant feel anymore grit.

    Also, I looked at: http://www.rcplanet.com/RPM_Bearing_...p/rpm81170.htm. It's nice. It's easier, but only allows the bearings to be oiled. If you do this, your bearings won't last as long as a grease pack. For me, (and I'm just saying me, mind you) if I'm going to tear apart my truck to redo bearings, I want my bearings to last as long as possible...thus, the grease packing.

  13. #13
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    Wow Utah sure is beautiful! I'd love to go there one day ! That is just breathtaking!
    Thanks for the write up on this bearing maintenance!

  14. #14
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Wolfslash16's Avatar
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    I'm not trying to be a stinker or anything, but I wouldn't use alcohol. If it's rubbing alcohol it has water in it. If it's 100% alcohol it drys leaving a thin white residue. Use kerosene in a small container, and use a brush to clean them. Also, I spin the bearing while it's in the kerosene. To do this, you can use your fingers (of course), but what I do is; I have different size wooden rods that I tappered the ends with a belt sander. I put the tapered end in the inner bearing hole, and spin it in the kerosene untill I cant feel anymore grit.

    Also, I looked at: http://www.rcplanet.com/RPM_Bearing_...p/rpm81170.htm. It's nice. It's easier, but only allows the bearings to be oiled. If you do this, your bearings won't last as long as a grease pack. For me, (and I'm just saying me, mind you) if I'm going to tear apart my truck to redo bearings, I want my bearings to last as long as possible...thus, the grease packing.

    Opps, fail. I meant to say denatured alcohol.

    I was think of using the RPM bearing blaster after I popped the seals off to clean them out easier. I would still pack them wth grease after however. It just makes it easy to get the old grease out.
    Sl2sh Slayer Summit Sl4sh Teton/Rally T-Maxx Pnde

  15. #15
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    Great write up! I love seeing pictures as I am a visual learner. I do have one question though. Wouldn't grease attract more dirt and grime and require more cleaning than just using an actual lube?

  16. #16
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    In my opinion, any kind of lube will attract dirt. Some, just attract more dirt faster than others. I don't think I told you guys this in my pictures above; when I finish with the re-packing my bearing, I wipe it down with a clean paper towel (Bounty...it's the quicker picker upper), then I wipe it down with a paper towel nicely dampened with Windex. Windex will clean any greasy residue left over from doing the re-pack.

    Then, I do what I wrote about in my post " Diff and Axle Bearing Shields". This post is still on this forum's first page. It's near the bottom, and has pictures too...cuz, I'm a visual learner myself.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReglarDude View Post
    In my opinion, any kind of lube will attract dirt. Some, just attract more dirt faster than others. I don't think I told you guys this in my pictures above; when I finish with the re-packing my bearing, I wipe it down with a clean paper towel (Bounty...it's the quicker picker upper), then I wipe it down with a paper towel nicely dampened with Windex. Windex will clean any greasy residue left over from doing the re-pack.

    Then, I do what I wrote about in my post " Diff and Axle Bearing Shields". This post is still on this forum's first page. It's near the bottom, and has pictures too...cuz, I'm a visual learner myself.
    I agree anything will collect dust and dirt. Maybe I'll try it with some grease since I have a ton of that around the house and no bearing lube. My bearings are in need for a good cleaning so this should help out a lot.

  18. #18
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    Alright, I need your opinions on this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KS3lOPVzAUg
    What is that machine called?
    Can I melt the grease I want to use, say by microwaving it, and using that instead of what this gentleman did, instead of chainsaw bar oil?

    I'm sorry, I would heat the grease up by putting the grease in a small jar and then placing the small jar in boiling water so the grease softens up......not by microwaving it

    BETTER YET
    Can someone please tell me how I can get this tool or how I can make one to maintain my bearings on my emaxx and on my rc helicopter? I'm in desperate need of this tool. This will really help me !
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-bCSlAcTl0
    Thanks
    Last edited by cooleocool; 12-08-2013 at 04:49 AM. Reason: merge

  19. #19
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    Cool video! I have seen that trick with other things, but not bearings. If it was me, if I had bearings I could take apart, I would do what I show you here in this post, because grease lasts longer than oil. But, if I had shielded bearings (the all silver bearings in the video) you have to do it the way it is done in the video. Down the road, I'm going to look into the cost of a vacuum pump.

    I have always stuck with bearings I could take apart and re-pack; but if I can re-lube shielded bearings, I would be very interested in using them. Also, I would feel much more safe using the vacuum method, then using the heating method. Mixing heat and patroleum products doesn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside...that's just me though. Oh yeah, really nice find on the video!

  20. #20
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    I guess I found myself the perfect tool, the greaser
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvA8cRrcirY

    the Greaser is the perfect tool to have for what I wanted to do , simple !

    o wait, the greaser can't grease sealed bearings
    Last edited by cooleocool; 12-08-2013 at 04:51 AM. Reason: merge

  21. #21
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    There's a video on YouTube where the guy is greasing a sealed bearing http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4IIKoQn...%3D4IIKoQnEk-Q
    The smartest person, asks the most questions...

  22. #22
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    An exacto knife an some bell ray grease is what i'll be using for my rubber shielded bearings on my emaxx.....I'm afraid to mix two different kinds of grease as a Regular Dude does above because I've heard not to mix two different kinds of grease, ( although when I purchased my Bel Ray Grease in the description it states Bel Ray Grease does well with other kinds of Greases ) I was even thinking of getting some of this :
    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Super-Lub...e#.UqSCuPoo61t
    Would using only the Bel Ray be sufficient enough ?

  23. #23
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    where do I buy kerosone and will it say kerosene.? can I also use wd-40 and spray into ball bearings instead of kerosene to clean them? anyone know if the avid rc bearings also have very little grease in them like the traxxas ones?

  24. #24
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    It generally comes in 1 gallon or 5 gallon cans anywhere that sells kerosene heaters.
    KCCO

  25. #25
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    Some people love WD-40 and some people hate it. Nowa days there are many products to use. I went to the Home Depot yesterday and they had all different kinds of products, Liquid Wrench, WD-40, Super Grease, the list goes on. WD-40 actually had several products under that name to do the job. I personally use BelRay Waterproof grease because I like to run my Emaxx on snowy days like this, and also on hot days in the summer, with a great fluctuation in temperatures.

  26. #26
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    You're a very good boy Usman (lol), that's what I like to use also. Let me know when you get all the stuff for your heat-sink together, and I'll help you with the next phase.

  27. #27
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    absolutely ! I'll be getting the parts gathered up shortly and will certainly let you know. Just two more questions while I'm at here and that is if you think it is ok just to use the BelRay waterproof grease when re-greasing me bearings and not using the Dow compound. Maybe I should get the Dow compound as well.
    And I've never used kerosene in my life, but I guess it aids in the removal of old grease. Do I just simply pour the kerosene over the bearings with the old grease and pat it dry?

  28. #28
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    1). BelRay's what I use now, but you can never go wrng with the Dow. Dow is what I use to use, but it's harder to work with.

    2). You get a plastic or metal bowl, pour some kerosene in it, get/use an acid brush (or a toothbrush), and scrub out the old grease from your bearings.

  29. #29
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    kerosene is basicly just diesel fuel,you can get it at home depot,lowes any home improvent store will have it.or you use carb cleaner ,motor cleaner, belray or maxxima waterproof grease is good stuff and easily found at any motorcycle shop.

  30. #30
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    Thanks guys. I'm always eager to learn new things. One thing I was afraid of thinking about all of this is over drying out the bearings in the process of cleaning them out. Is there a greater potential for the bearing components to begin rusting if using kerosene to clean out the old grease? I'd rather be as gentle as possible on the bearings....I just am unsure if using kerosene threatens the integrity of the components within the bearings

  31. #31
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    Re-read and do the above steps that I laid out, and things will be fine...trust me, you don't have to over think this kind of stuff.

  32. #32
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    I got all my bearings out of my emaxx and my new Exacto knife at hand, along with some fresh new grease. My only question at this time is if one of the blue covers gets damaged with the RPM Bearings that came with my RPM Axle Carriers and True Track system, will I need to buy new bearings or can I purchase the covers?

  33. #33
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    Nevermind, it was a breeze removing the rubber seal, I was just nervous at first !

  34. #34
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    Somebody even suggested trying to use gasoline instead of kerosene or denatured alcohol to remove the old grease....any oppositions?

  35. #35
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    You could clean bearings jut like skateboard bearings-with Brakeclean or acetone(be careful). Use an X-Acto knife to get the seals off. If you bend the seals, sandwich them between two paper towels and put something heavy on it for a minute or so. Only use bearing oil NOT GREASE to lube them.


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  36. #36
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    Thanks for the input. How come no grease you suggest Emaxx Racer and only oil ?

  37. #37
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    Glad to see someone made a tutorial about this. I'd like to contribute something.

    For those of us (like me) who don't have access to an air compressor, you can use WD-40, motor spray, or carburetor cleaner to clean out the bearings. I tend to like the two latter options because they are pressurized and blast away the grime more easily. They do tend to make a bit of a mess though, so you may want to wear gloves, eye protection, and work in a well-ventilated area. And make sure the over-spray goes in a direction that you don't mind getting wet with the spray.

  38. #38
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    Many great ideas in this thread. No matter what you use, some maintenance is better than none.

    Any sort of solvent will work to clean the bearings. Personally I use lacquer thinner or mineral spirits. After I remove the de-shielded bearings from the solvent I drop them into a plastic baggie with a generous blob of grease and push the grease into the bearings. Then I remove them, wipe off the excess and reinstall the shields. Typically I have a little bit of seepage around the seal as the grease is run-in, but its not bad. I like packing them this way because the bearing is completely full without room for dirt or moisture intrusion.

    I also use a marine grade grease since most of my vehicles spend so much time in water and mud.

    One suggestion about 'running in' the bearings. I've noticed that after rebuilding all the bearings on my truck at once the driveline is tight, especially when packing the bearings. I've started rebuilding just the front end, running two or three times, then doing the rear end. This limits the rolling resistance and reduces the load on the motor. If you do all of them at once just be aware of the potential for a gummy driveline for the first few runs and adjust your runtime / driving style accordingly.

  39. #39
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    Great advice! Thank you soo much !

  40. #40
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Wolfslash16's Avatar
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    Ok, I thoughts I'd post some thing I found. I got a bunch of new Avid bearings in the mail today, so just out of curiosity I popped a few seals of to see what the grease looked like. They have a lot more grease in them than the Traxxas bearings did. Much better IMO.





    Sl2sh Slayer Summit Sl4sh Teton/Rally T-Maxx Pnde

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