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how to remove old axle bearing grease inside the bearings

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how to remove old axle bearing grease inside the bearings

Old 04-24-2019, 11:23 AM
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Default how to remove old axle bearing grease inside the bearings

how to remove old axle bearing grease inside the bearings



Iím currently redoing the grease inside the axel bearings which look reusable the races appear to have marks where the bearing sat but are smooth to my finger, last year I got lazy and just swapped the bearings and reused the races, (normalley I always swap both race and bearing) would like to do this again reuse the race.



there has to be a a way to remove the old nastie grease, what is the recommended solution to soak them in and the procedure for doing this nastie grease removal?



In the past I never consulted anyone and soaked bearings in desil fuel then let them dry for a few days, not sure if the desil residue detereated the new grease.



I use the cheap blue grease they sell at walmart, upon removal this stuff was inbetween grey and beige and upon hub removal there was water inside the first hub.



All I really want to swap to new is the inner seal, it was intact but there was water inside hub.



Also this new brake (a brake disc built into the hub) is all jammed up like I canít rotate the hub is this just disc. surface rust binding to the caliptor?



Been watching videos however they like to skip the old grease removal.

Thanks for advice STB

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Old 04-24-2019, 11:26 AM
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Kerosene or mineral spirits (paint thinner)......once mostly clean, finish up with carb spray

Diesel will not hurt anything, itíll work too, just doesnít clean as good as kero.

Last edited by WillyC27; 04-24-2019 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 04-24-2019, 12:21 PM
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excellent I still have leftover desil, how long should I soak and then dry? thank you for advice.STB

BTW nice grady you have there.
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Old 04-24-2019, 12:23 PM
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After wiping off as much as possible with papertowels, I've always just used brake clean. Let it dry, which doesn't take long, then repack.
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Old 04-24-2019, 02:42 PM
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Second the diesel or kerosene, get a parts cleaning brush and just brush parts lightly it will break grease up pretty easy. Be sure to get almost all the cleaning solution out as it can break down the new grease
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Old 04-24-2019, 03:32 PM
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brake clean..... get a couple cans and wash it all away
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Old 04-24-2019, 04:32 PM
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Been using just plain ol' gasoline for decades and it does a pretty good job. My friends would smoke cigarettes while they were cleaning the bearings, but I wouldn't recommend that.
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Old 04-24-2019, 04:34 PM
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Mineral spirits/paint thinner is what I've always seen used. And blow the bearing off with compressed air.
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Old 04-24-2019, 04:58 PM
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A great thing about using kero, mineral spirits or diesel is mix the dirty stuff with your waste engine oil, but if you use chlorinated brake cleaner don’t let it mix in the waste oil, instead let it air dry on rags.

Chlorinated brake cleaner will contaminate the waste oil if it’s recycled.
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Old 04-24-2019, 05:27 PM
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Diesel fuel works best. That being said, I throw out the old bearings and hubs and get new ones.
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Old 04-24-2019, 05:30 PM
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Just a quick tip from a diy guy.

Mineral spirits in a plastic peanut jar with lid on. Shake it up. Then put it in one with clean mineral spirits.

Cheaper than cans of brake cleaner.

Use left over thinner as campfire starting fluid. Or dump in recycle oil.

Don't spin bearings with compressed air. They can fly apart.

Oh if you donít have a bearing packer they are not a gimmick. Much faster than the way dad taught me.

Somehow, water always gets in there but if you load enough grease in there day one then itís less likely to dilute the grease and rust.

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Old 04-24-2019, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by cajflynn View Post
Diesel fuel works best. That being said, I throw out the old bearings and hubs and get new ones.
this. Bearings are too cheap these days to screw around with cleaning them. And use good grease and new races unless getting out of a bind.
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Old 04-24-2019, 05:56 PM
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Use a parts brush to clean them while they're in the solvent. Wear some rubber gloves. A part brush looks kinda like an old barber brush used to apply shaving cream. Just soaking them in solvent alone will never get them very clean.
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Old 04-24-2019, 06:49 PM
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Just never clean bearings in a parts cleaner. There most likely contaminants in the fluid unless its new.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Walleye Guy View Post
Just never clean bearings in a parts cleaner. There most likely contaminants in the fluid unless its new.
Parts washer wonít hurt them. Bearings are just steel. Over the years we have cleaned hundreds of thousands of bearings, all in a parts washer, and never had any noteworthy failures. Granted wheel bearings are so cheap and common there isnít much use in reusing them.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:36 PM
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Put in new races and bearings-they are cheap these days.
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Old 04-25-2019, 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post


Parts washer wonít hurt them. Bearings are just steel. Over the years we have cleaned hundreds of thousands of bearings, all in a parts washer, and never had any noteworthy failures. Granted wheel bearings are so cheap and common there isnít much use in reusing them.
It's not the washer Auto. It's the cleaning fluid that is not changed frequently. Backyard mechanics bring in engine parts to work and wash the parts out, etc. I was in the bearing manufacturing/sales business for 42 years. I've seen this time and time again. Shops get lazy about replacing cleaning solvents. I wish I had pics of what I've seen over the years.
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Old 04-25-2019, 04:37 AM
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the bearings on the first hub had maybe 10-15 drops of water zero rust that I could see weird how water entered or is this actuelly condensation?

I've been using old toothbrushs to assist the cleaning I'll check into the proper tool.

not sure if I'm under greasing before I started using the bearing buddy (just now found out about the full grease exit hole been just observing the piston pushing outward) the only grease was a wipe around the races and the packing of bearings. now w/ a BB I'm pumping into the middle of hub before BB seams like I have been under greasing.

I really need to setup an account or keep track (parts list) so when I order new bearings for my 84 spindels I get the correct size there's so many sizes it can be confussing hence reusing.or isn;t the part # inscribed on the bearing?

currently irratated about the brake calipor being locked up I assume it will need dissassemble and rebuild it was only dunked 4 times last year and rinsed after each contact w/ saltwater.

Thanks Guy's for excellent advice as usale STB
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Old 04-25-2019, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Walleye Guy View Post
It's not the washer Auto. It's the cleaning fluid that is not changed frequently. Backyard mechanics bring in engine parts to work and wash the parts out, etc. I was in the bearing manufacturing/sales business for 42 years. I've seen this time and time again. Shops get lazy about replacing cleaning solvents. I wish I had pics of what I've seen over the years.
I'd suspect it has more to do with not rinsing them after the cleaning process, moreso than the actual cleaner or cleaning fluid used.
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Old 04-25-2019, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Walleye Guy View Post
It's not the washer Auto. It's the cleaning fluid that is not changed frequently. Backyard mechanics bring in engine parts to work and wash the parts out, etc. I was in the bearing manufacturing/sales business for 42 years. I've seen this time and time again. Shops get lazy about replacing cleaning solvents. I wish I had pics of what I've seen over the years.
Well, no excuse for that. We have a distiller on site and clean a few hundred gallons per week. Fortunately the days of good quality cheap bearings are here, and the days of re-using are long gone in reman.
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