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Author Topic: Rear Axle Bearing.....To Replace or not to Replace?  (Read 5540 times)
two_tenths_off
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« on: July 27, 2009, 11:10:51 PM »

How difficult is it to replace the bearings in the birdcages on the rear axle? How often should this be done?

Is it as simple as sliding the birdcages off the ends of the axle (leaving everything else in place, removing and inserting new bearings and sliding the birdcages back in place? Or is it a bear of a job?

What is to be gained by doing it? Time on the watch or just peace of mind?

If it matters this is a non splined axle on a Storm chassis.

Thanks.
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goffin20
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2009, 11:25:11 PM »

I replace my bearings front and rear before each season.  Do they need it, not at all, just that peace of mind thing you mentioned...  ;-)

I have replaced them in Nervo, Stanley, Eagle and Bullrider cars and they are very easy to do, just time consuming having to take everything off the axle to do it.
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IndyQMDad
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2009, 10:18:13 AM »

As Scott mentioned, changing them once per season is a pretty good rule of thumb if you are running standard steel ball and race bearings. They are inexpensive and easy to replace. As long as you inspect/clean/lube them on a regular basis they will last a long time. It's also a good idea to inspect them after any hard impact. Especially, if you bend a rear axle.

There are many schools of thought when it comes to bearings. Some people leave them sealed and run them, others remove the seals, clean out the grease and lube with a lightweight lube such as Tri-flow or Micro Blue. Some people swear by ceramics while others claim that they are unnecessary. Personally, we run standard bearings and replace the heavy grease with a lightweight lube. Here are some instructions you may find useful.
http://freemanracing.com/home/index.php/Answers-to-misc.-questions/Bearing-Maintenance.html

Removing and inserting bearings is very easy. I've found heating up the aluminum birdcage allows the bearings to drop right in/out. You can also press the new bearings in with a vice, but be careful if you choose this method. I recommend using the old bearings to press the new ones in if you choose this method. This will help prevent any damage to the new bearing by ensuring the load of the vice isn't pressing on the center race and damaging the retainer.

If you have any questions you are always welcome to call me. You may reach me at 888-917-4777.


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David
racemom2000
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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2009, 10:48:40 AM »

David,
Thanks for posting the maintenance doc. Wink
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Katherine Weaver
www.noahweaver.com
tarpondawg
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2009, 12:17:13 PM »

Hey Racemom.........did you ever get a chance to talk to anyone @ Nervo?
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sfreitas20
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2009, 01:31:21 PM »

We picked up a set of cheap dental picks which work great for pulling the rubber seals off the bearings for cleaning.

http://www.walgreens.com/popups/s_image.jsp?id=prod369735&skuid=sku369736
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Scott Freitas
Patriot Motorsports Inc.
racemom2000
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2009, 12:22:19 PM »

Hey Racemom.........did you ever get a chance to talk to anyone @ Nervo?

I did, & they were extremely nice. They said to call them & they'd send me both manuals.
PS: Thanks for reminding me. I need to do that today. Wink
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Katherine Weaver
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sfreitas20
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2009, 12:32:32 AM »

After just doing a round of bearing maintenance on AJ's car, I figured it might be fitting chime in on this one...

I think your bearing maintenance is probably going to vary based on how your track is.  I am completely cleaning and re-lubing bearings as often or even more often than I change valve springs and when I do it, the bearings are just loaded with sand.  Here in FL when our kids run off the track they are running through sand.  I haven't met a bearing yet that likes to have sand in it.  Of course if we could just get the kids to stay on the track that would help too. Wink

As far as ceramic vs normal bearings...from what I read ceramic bearings hold up better in higher heat environments with less lubrication.  I don't know if I would have put all ceramic bearings in AJ's car, but it already had them in it when we bought it.  My backup set of bearings are not ceramic.

To replace or not replace...that would depend on the condition of the bearings.  If you clean them out and they roll totally free without any grinding sounds or clicking, then I wouldn't replace them (however, if I didn't yet have a backup set I might buy a new set and move them to a backup set).  Like a couple of the others said though, inspect them really good after hard contact because they can get damaged at that point too.
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Scott Freitas
Patriot Motorsports Inc.
ssssmoke
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2009, 05:17:05 PM »

i would not pull the seals out of a ceramic bearing. i have steel bearings that have never been replaced but well maintained. i like them old and loose!!
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sfreitas20
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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2009, 08:59:57 PM »

How can I clean the bearings if I don't pull the seals?  I put them back on afterwards and run them with the seals in place.

I was also going to comment earlier that older looser bearing tend to roll pretty free as long as they were maintained well. Smiley
« Last Edit: August 04, 2009, 09:08:17 PM by sfreitas20 » Logged

Scott Freitas
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goffin20
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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2009, 09:24:33 PM »

I only remove the Inner seal and leave it out, keeps the oil on the bearings.  I keep the outside seals in to keep the dirt out.

I have a small hole in the top of my birdcages so the straw on the lube fits in it and I spray the lube directly into the bird cages when warming up the motor before each race.

Oil In, Dirt Out, Works great!
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sfreitas20
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2009, 10:09:07 PM »

I have seen that in a post you made on another thread...when you get down here, I will have to check that setup out.  Sounds pretty cool.  At this point I am pulling the birdcages off the car and pulling the bearing out to clean them out and lube them back up before putting the seals back on them and doing the reassembly.
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Scott Freitas
Patriot Motorsports Inc.
ssssmoke
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« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2009, 05:18:23 PM »

sfreitas, you can send me a message on this forum how to get a hold of you and i can give you a good way to maintain your rear bearings and what to use on them. we just cant let sprintcar39 find out!!!!!
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sfreitas20
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« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2009, 05:36:25 PM »

Now that is funny!  My email is on my profile: Scott.Freitas@Yahoo.com. Smiley
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Scott Freitas
Patriot Motorsports Inc.
racemom2000
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« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2009, 11:42:16 AM »

Who is sprintcar39?
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Katherine Weaver
www.noahweaver.com
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