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Loose ball bearings

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Loose ball bearings

17 Sep 2015 07:08

We've all done them, or at the very least, had conquered them, but...

What is the best way to pack them?
User avatar Tricycle Rider
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17 Sep 2015 17:26

which area of the bike are you working on??

inspect the bearings you have (cleaned up) if the bearings have a shiny silver color and are smooth they can be re-used, if they are discoloured, i would replace
if the bearings are worn, it is likely that the cups and races are also worn (depending on which area of the bike you're working on)
check for pitting using a ball point pen - roughness and wear will be felt as the ball of the pen passes over the the worn areas

Image

use a high quality water proof bike specific grease for packing the bearings - be generous, use a grease gun or a syringe to apply
many manufacturers are now producing bearing specific grease(s)
be careful though - if you're overhauling a hub too much grease will slow the hub by packing around the axle

just replace the same bearings into a very clean and well greased (insert bike part you are working on here).....if replacing with new bearings, use the exact same number ensuring you have the correct size

tweezers can work well and the grease will hold them in place while you complete the job
unless you have enormous hands, i usually just use my fingers and press the bearing into the grease which will hold it while you insert the next one

work in a tidy, clear area
have all you need within an arms reach
be patient and don't rush the job

hope that helps you out?
User avatar JackRabbitSlims
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19 Sep 2015 02:21

I'm working on both vintage hubs and vintage bottom brackets.

I'm using marine grease to pack the balls being it usually rains a lot in my area - specifically this one. http://www.amazon.com/Sta-Lube-Marine-Trailer-Bearings-14-Ounce/dp/B000KKLLPS

I like the color of the grease, but, is this a bad grease to use? Should I just not be doing this anymore?
User avatar Tricycle Rider
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19 Sep 2015 02:27

Btw., if there is any time when there is more of a need for a magnet it's when you're packing loose balls.

(Just thought I'd share that with ya'll.)
User avatar Tricycle Rider
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19 Sep 2015 04:41

imho

i wouldn't be choosing a particular grease because of its colour :)

i recommend using a bike specific grease if you can
are you close to a lbs?

if amazon is the alternative something like this - http://www.amazon.com/White-Lightning-Biodegradable-Non-Toxic-3-5-Ounce/dp/B003UAPX22/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1442637257&sr=8-6&keywords=bike+grease
is a good option

highly recommended by ray j willings as well

myself
i use shimano or park tool grease

yes!!
you should absolutely keep doing this
you will learn
others will read and learn

just a side note
when i first started working in a shop, one of the other guys told me to never use a magnet on steel ball bearings
the magnet will temporarily magnetise the balls and they will cling together in the area you are working on

i'm not sure how much truth there is to that
but back then
i just did what i was told
User avatar JackRabbitSlims
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19 Sep 2015 13:03

The type of grease used on bicycles only matters if you are trying to get the last tiny bit of performance - and that performance could vary between: speed, durability, etc. Pretty much any grease for automotive, industrial, small motor, marine, etc. will be fine.

All that's really important is that the grease stays where you want it to, and provides lubrication.
Besides that, I like a grease that is stiff/tacky enough to hold loose balls in position during assembly.

I doubt that the 'magnet concern' has any validity. The operational forces on loose balls is much more than any magnetic attraction.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
JayKosta
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19 Sep 2015 13:43

Dudes, may I ask just what exactly you are doing with the loose balls, grease, and magnet?

I mean, I just use the magnet to sort of surgically guide the balls into where I need them to be.
User avatar Tricycle Rider
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Re:

19 Sep 2015 18:35

Tricycle Rider wrote:Dudes, may I ask just what exactly you are doing with the loose balls, grease, and magnet?

I mean, I just use the magnet to sort of surgically guide the balls into where I need them to be.



if you're overhauling / servicing a headset / BB / hub that still uses loose ball bearings - you are either cleaning up the surfaces / replacing the surfaces / cleaning up the existing balls / replacing with new balls / cleaning out the old grease / packing new grease & then making adjustments for the perfect fit.

looks like we are neither here nor there with the magnet - your choice on that one.
User avatar JackRabbitSlims
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Re: Re:

19 Sep 2015 21:28

JackRabbitSlims wrote:
if you're overhauling / servicing a headset / BB / hub that still uses loose ball bearings - you are either cleaning up the surfaces / replacing the surfaces / cleaning up the existing balls / replacing with new balls / cleaning out the old grease / packing new grease & then making adjustments for the perfect fit.

looks like we are neither here nor there with the magnet - your choice on that one.
I'm doing just about all of the above, plus more.

Besides the usual magnet (and marine grease) I also like to use a manicure kit (I think you had mentioned tweezers)... apparently there is just no easier way to do this - we're gonna have to get all surgical like.

Am I upsetting you, btw.? I don't mean to upset you. :(
User avatar Tricycle Rider
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Re:

31 Oct 2015 14:16

Tricycle Rider wrote:I'm working on both vintage hubs and vintage bottom brackets.

I'm using marine grease to pack the balls being it usually rains a lot in my area - specifically this one. http://www.amazon.com/Sta-Lube-Marine-Trailer-Bearings-14-Ounce/dp/B000KKLLPS

I like the color of the grease, but, is this a bad grease to use? Should I just not be doing this anymore?


Grease is oil in 'soap'. Any grease is fine. 'Bike' grease is just grease but with added $, cuz it's called 'bike grease'. I get a 500g tin of white lithium and blue 'marine' grease from the hardware and mix them. Each about $5.

For loose balls, grease in cup, balls(proper size) in place where balls 'live', add until they tough, remove 1.

I use a magnet to get the old bearings out, use this to get the new bearings in in close spaces.

Also one of these to measure bearing size
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