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Ask DocSk8 (Expert Indoor Skate Building Advice) This forum is different then the other SkateLog forums in that it is not a discussion forum, but rather a place you can ask skate building expert Fred "DocSk8" Benjamin about building and repairing indoor speed, derby, and jamskate quad roller skates. Please start a new thread for each new question.

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Old January 18th, 2011, 03:14 AM   #81
FarmTruk
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Default Did someone say "rust"...?

As the Bones Reds arrived in the mail. Totally locked up.



Soaking in Gibbs penetrating oil...



After soaking for a month, I then rubbed the inner/outer races with a scotchbrite-like pad, and re-assembled/lubed with 3in1 oil...



They roll smooth and quiet, but IDK about long-term durability. The rust appears to have caused a small bit of surface damage to the balls, as you can still see outlines of the removed deposits.
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Old January 18th, 2011, 04:30 AM   #82
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They roll smooth and quiet, but IDK about long-term durability. The rust appears to have caused a small bit of surface damage to the balls, as you can still see outlines of the removed deposits.

Roll 'em till they blow!! Or till ya can't stand the noise, which ever comes first.. Might want to put a little grease in 'em, they will last longer..
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Old January 18th, 2011, 05:35 PM   #83
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I know I`m late for the party but here`s how I`ve cleaned my 30 yr old fafnirs:
I pop out the retainer and soak it and the bearing in carb cleaner. Depending on how dirty they are dictates how aggressive I get with the cleaning. Usually a toothbrush will remove whatever goody I have accumulated. I then use an alcohol to remove any of that residue once bearing spins freely and goody is removed from retainer. After that I blow dry with canned compressed air and then a couple drops of Mobil 1 to each bearing and we ride again.
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Old January 25th, 2011, 11:57 AM   #84
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Does anyone use an ultrasonic cleaner? I was thinking about getting one. What's the best cleaning medium to use in one?
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Old January 25th, 2011, 01:44 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Salamanda View Post
Does anyone use an ultrasonic cleaner? I was thinking about getting one. What's the best cleaning medium to use in one?
I use an ultrasonic cleaner with different solutions for different bearings. You'll find a zillion different opinions on what to use so just read this thread.

I will say that you need a GOOD ultrasonic cleaner to clean the bearings well. I tried a cheap one at first and it didn't do much. I then got a good quality industrial (but benchtop) model used, and it cleans the bearings down to near spotless in all but the filthiest situations where I use a toothbrush and run a second cycle.
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Old January 25th, 2011, 04:31 PM   #86
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I use an ultrasonic cleaner with different solutions for different bearings. You'll find a zillion different opinions on what to use so just read this thread.

Interesting... I use the same one for everything.. Care to expand??

I will say that you need a GOOD ultrasonic cleaner to clean the bearings well. I tried a cheap one at first and it didn't do much. I then got a good quality industrial (but benchtop) model used, and it cleans the bearings down to near spotless in all but the filthiest situations where I use a toothbrush and run a second cycle.
I have Gemoro 1 QT but it does not seem to be available any more..

BTW, I will toothbrush the gunky ones before putting them in the ultrasonic..
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Old January 26th, 2011, 08:45 AM   #87
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You guys have certaintly come up with some creative ideas to clean bearings. I have never had any troubles just soaking my bearings in mineral spirits overnight and then cleaning them with a brush. The only thing I remove are the shields. I used to clean my bearing about once a month when I was skating heavily. As long as you do them regularly they clean very easily. After removing them from the spirits I would dry them with a paper towel. Put 2 drops of Uncle Charlies Magic Oil, available at Connie's Skate Place, and reassemble. I used to be able to do this very quickly, other than the overnight soak. My bearings roll great after this and some have been rolling for 25+ years.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 03:19 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by quadlover View Post
You guys have certaintly come up with some creative ideas to clean bearings.

A lot of this creativity comes from buying eBay / Swap meet / Yard sale skates that need more help than the not so run of the mill well cared for bearing....


I have never had any troubles just soaking my bearings in mineral spirits overnight and then cleaning them with a brush. The only thing I remove are the shields. I used to clean my bearing about once a month when I was skating heavily. As long as you do them regularly they clean very easily. After removing them from the spirits I would dry them with a paper towel. Put 2 drops of Uncle Charlies Magic Oil, available at Connie's Skate Place, and reassemble.

Uncle Charlies is also available at your local superstore... 3 in 1 oil..

I used to be able to do this very quickly, other than the overnight soak. My bearings roll great after this and some have been rolling for 25+ years.
Great results. It just proves that with constant TLC you can run a bearing set till dooms day... Unfortunately well cared for sk8 bearings are the exception, not the rule..
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Old January 26th, 2011, 08:38 PM   #89
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I use an ultrasonic cleaner with different solutions for different bearings.
.
Quote:
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Interesting... I use the same one for everything.. Care to expand??
I didn't mean anything terribly complex - I use acetone sometimes for really gunky all-metal bearings like a 7 ball fafnir or snyder. I use plain alcohol on other bearings with plastic components. I've used gasoline before just to see how it worked out on some NASTY bearings (really well actually).

Once they are cleaned the first time, its nothing to dip them for a cycle, blow em dry, and re-oil.
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Old January 28th, 2011, 09:31 PM   #90
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Just did two sets of mine a few days ago. One set of China Bones and one set of Bones Swiss.

I remove the seals, spray the bearings out good with brake cleaner, blow dry them with the air compressor, drop 2 to 3 drops of Castrol Syntec in them, put the seals back on, and away we go.

I used to take the plastic cages out also cause I didn't know what the brake cleaner would do to them. But I figured I'd give it a try with the cages in this time since the brake cleaner says "Safe on most automotive plastics". The first set I did I let sit to air dry (the brake cleaner evaporates off completely and without leaving a residue, which is why I like using it). A couple were sitting in a little puddle of cleaner so I just blew them all out with the air compressor. After leaving them sit, it looked like the brake cleaner may have dried the plastic cages out a bit, but they still roll just fine. The second set I did I did not leave the bearings sit. I sprayed them with the brake cleaner and then directly to the air compressor. The cages in these ones seemed better than the first set. So from now on I'll leave the cages in and just blow them dry right after cleaning.

As far as spinning the bearings with the air while their dry.....I let mine spin for a couple seconds just to make sure all the cleaner was out. I would not recommend spinning them for a long time because yes they could freeze up from spinning with no lube.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 01:59 AM   #91
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I cleaned my Fafnirs again last night just to get the lube off of them so I could try a new lube out. I think I have found me a new lube.
When I change the oil in my truck I always substitute 1 qt of oil with Lucas Heavy Duty Oil Stabilizer and its getting close to that time again so I had to pick some up and it made me think, it quitened down an otherwise noisy upper valvetrain that my old Pontiac Grand Am 4 cyl had so it should definately work in skate bearings. Awesome stuff, I recommend it if you don`t already use it ... but anyway, back to the story. After cleaning the bearings and drying them I took a toothpick and dabbed it in the Lucas and let the Lucas drip off 1 drop per ball. Now, the bearing won`t spin freely in your fingers but on the floor, NICE!! And after the session I inspected the wheels to see if I had any run off, nope. It doesn`t take much for skate bearings so I`m gonna pour some into a jar of some sort before I change the oil in my truck that way I`ll have me some bearing lube.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 02:10 AM   #92
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I finally purchased a bearing press. So, I cleaned bearings for the first time this week. One set was absolutely horrifically caked with black goop and barely rolled. (They were loaned to us with a set of wheels.) That set needed a bath in mineral spirits and a rinse with denatured alcohol. I did a quick blow dry and two drops of 3 in 1 oil. I put them back in DH's figure wheels and he said they rolled great when he tried them out today.

The rest weren't bad at all. A quick clean in denatured alcohol to get the dust and carpet fibers out and then a rinse in clean denatured alcohol. Blow dry and two drops of 3 in 1 oil. There was one set of Bones Swiss and four sets of Bones Reds. I did take the shields off before cleaning and wiped them down with a cloth and put them back in after oiling.

S
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Old January 31st, 2011, 02:24 AM   #93
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Way before the Internet was invented and you didn't have all this information at your fingertips, we would clean our Fafnir bearings in acetone. The toothbrush was used as needed and then the bearings were allowed to dry which didn't take very long. Lubrication consisted of one short squirt of WD-40.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 06:58 PM   #94
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But eventually we learned better ;-)
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Old February 19th, 2011, 12:15 AM   #95
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Default what about brand new bearings??

Okay - so I didn't see this answered yet, but maybe I didn't look in the right thread... what about brand new bearings??? I just bought bearings and thought "awesome - these are supposed to be great bearings AND they are new so I can just throw them right on and..." NOPE.

I feel like I'm skating through jello. Little did I think before just slapping them on that maybe, JUST maybe, the manufacturer packed them full of something to keep them protected while they were stored. So I'm sure there is some kind of lube packed in there, but skating on them twice has not made them any more 'free'. So could I just run them through a quick wash of alcohol/brake fluid/whatever and then dry them and put my oil on and be good? Or is the stuff they pack them in so nasty that I have to resort to a toothbrush?

Anyone? Anyone?

p.s. thanks to everyone for all their awesome experiences shared in this thread!!!
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Old February 19th, 2011, 12:42 AM   #96
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What bearings are they? I`ve never had to do that with the 2 sets of Bones Swiss and 2 sets of fafnirs from back in the day. Are they too tight on the axles? Did they get (the seals/shields) pinched during installation?
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Old February 20th, 2011, 03:58 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sommemi View Post
Okay - so I didn't see this answered yet, but maybe I didn't look in the right thread... what about brand new bearings??? I just bought bearings and thought "awesome - these are supposed to be great bearings AND they are new so I can just throw them right on and..." NOPE.

I feel like I'm skating through jello. Little did I think before just slapping them on that maybe, JUST maybe, the manufacturer packed them full of something to keep them protected while they were stored. So I'm sure there is some kind of lube packed in there, but skating on them twice has not made them any more 'free'. So could I just run them through a quick wash of alcohol/brake fluid/whatever and then dry them and put my oil on and be good? Or is the stuff they pack them in so nasty that I have to resort to a toothbrush?

Anyone? Anyone?

p.s. thanks to everyone for all their awesome experiences shared in this thread!!!
Bearings sold as skate bearings usually come pre-lubed with the right stuff tbh, machine bearings can be a different kettle of fish entirely and sometimes come filled with "packing grease" which is designed to stop them getting damp and corroding while in storage.

The former type are good to go out of the package but the latter should be cleaned and lubed before you install them.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 06:44 PM   #98
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well, I feel kinda lame since the box from the bearings is in the basement and I can't remember for the life of me what brand they were... but my coach bought them at the last rink owners expo he went to and got a whole box of them for a huge deal. Supposed to be good quality bearings, usually around $80. But they got them cheap enough I was able to buy them for half that... but when I put them on, even compared to my older bearings that needed a good cleaning, I felt like I was having to push constantly in order to keep rolling. So I got frustrated, yanked them off right before my meet on Saturday, and put the old ones on with a good cleaning in brake cleaner and a little drop of lube. Smooth rolling all the way.

Now to just go back and clean my NEW bearings and see if it has the same effect.

FYI: my 'old' bearings were twincam bearings. a mixture of 5 year old ones and 17 year old ones. lol
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 10:02 PM   #99
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Hi Doc

I have these old NMB bearings, they didn't spin very well and hadn't been used in 15+ years, and likely never cleaned in their lifetime.

So I just gave them a good clean with acetone:


(hope that pic isn't too big...)

I had to prise off the side, was metal and I guess not meant to be removed, all bent and broken now. There was a lot of grease and gunk inside, the acetone I used is now black, and now they look visually very clean but.... they don't spin AT ALL now. Totally clogged up with something, I guess the same gunk I could see before except it's on the other side that I can't get to?

So my question is what should I try next? I could remove the other side too, but I think then the bearings would just fall apart completely, not sure really. Or I could try to remove the retainer thing inside? I've already bought new Bones Reds so I don't care so much what happens to these, I'm just curious if they can be saved before I throw them out.

(Also, were these ever good bearings? I used to hear NMB were great but with no internet back then I don't know if that was true. I haven't seen them sold nowdays or heard anybody talk about them.)

Thanks!
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 10:43 PM   #100
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Hi Doc

I have these old NMB bearings, they didn't spin very well and hadn't been used in 15+ years, and likely never cleaned in their lifetime.

Bummer.

So I just gave them a good clean with acetone:


(hope that pic isn't too big...)

I had to prise off the side, (shield) was metal and I guess not meant to be removed, all bent and broken now.

No, not on those bearings..

There was a lot of grease and gunk inside, the acetone I used is now black, and now they look visually very clean but.... they don't spin AT ALL now. Totally clogged up with something, I guess the same gunk I could see before except it's on the other side that I can't get to?

Or could be in cage... Balls could be rusty... Lots of possibilities.

So my question is what should I try next? I could remove the other side too, but I think then the bearings would just fall apart completely, not sure really.

No, lots of bearings from back in the day had both sides open..

Or I could try to remove the retainer thing inside?

The cage?? No, then we are talking fall apart..

I've already bought new Bones Reds so I don't care so much what happens to these, I'm just curious if they can be saved before I throw them out.

Quit possibly... Read back through all the different techniques used by sk8rs to clean their bearings..

(Also, were these ever good bearings? I used to hear NMB were great but with no internet back then I don't know if that was true. I haven't seen them sold nowdays or heard anybody talk about them.)

BAD A$$. Many of us feel like we could sk8 on those for the rest of our lives.. I'd say a third of my quads have them in them..

Thanks!
Good luck...
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