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Author Topic: Cleaning/servicing bearings  (Read 845 times)

Offline GeorgeJ

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Cleaning/servicing bearings
« on: August 15, 2017, 04:56:07 PM »
I had some time last night and a pile of seized bearings so I experimented with different cleaning materials to try an resurrect them.

I started with the assumption that all vacuum bearings can be restored because their duty is generally only with dust and hair, which is softer than the hardened metals and, therefore, won't wear the tracks and balls down.  I didn't bother with bearings which have heavier duty (e.g. rollerblades exposed to sand).

At the end, I found using a penetrating oil such as Liquid Wrench: https://www.amazon.com/Liquid-Wrench-L116-Penetrating-Oil/dp/B000VWHQJA performed the best.  I'm unsure if that particular brand is available in the UK, but I'm sure they're all about the same.  I removed the guards, soaked and agitated the whole kits for about a half hour in a glass container then removed them and scrubbed them with a paper towel.  I then used a screwdriver to remove the gelled grease and gave them a spin.  Every one of the 10 previously seized bearings I cleaned in this method spun freely.  I then gave them a quick smear of grease (used this https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0045NK4YK/) and put them back together.

Since bearings can be purchased for less than $1 each in bulk, this is likely only useful for anyone on either ends of the bell; those with only a pair of bearings which need to be fixed quickly and those with hundreds which would be cost effective to clean.

In either case, I hope someone finds this useful!  :thumbsup:
You miss 100% of the Dysons you don't buy.  -Wayne Gretzky
 -Michael Scott  -GeorgeJ


Offline Parwaz7862

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Re: Cleaning/servicing bearings
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2017, 07:29:47 PM »
Cool!
DC14s are tanks, just need a slightly longer motor life. Do plastic parts often break on DC14s? Nope. DC41- Sexy looking futuristic and powerful machine. Just needs a better designed cleaner head wheel and cyclone clip along with a dense metal rod in the chassis.

Online ryevac

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Re: Cleaning/servicing bearings
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2017, 08:02:08 PM »
I sometimes soak them in petrol overnight, then after drying use compressed air to clean any bits out followed by grease.

If it was assembled it can be disassembled - if we can't repair it then it probably isn't worth repairing !

Offline GeorgeJ

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Re: Cleaning/servicing bearings
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2017, 08:52:56 PM »
I sometimes soak them in petrol overnight, then after drying use compressed air to clean any bits out followed by grease.
Penetrating oil is a low viscosity petroleum product....  just like gasoline/petrol  ;D
You miss 100% of the Dysons you don't buy.  -Wayne Gretzky
 -Michael Scott  -GeorgeJ


Online ryevac

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Re: Cleaning/servicing bearings
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2017, 01:33:07 AM »
we aren't rich enough george to buy that product, here in the uk we have to save the last few drops from the garage pump whilst filling the car.  ;)
If it was assembled it can be disassembled - if we can't repair it then it probably isn't worth repairing !

Offline beko1987

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Re: Cleaning/servicing bearings
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2017, 02:34:38 PM »
I find that Hoover Activator bearings do wear, especially 40+ year old ones! I have split and greased them before, but the wear means the new grease falls out quickly. Pattern agitator bearings are pennies.

Most motor bearings I see are 2 styles. Sealed ones with a metal plate, which can't be opened. A drop of oil might help, but not much. The other type (and I see these on Dyson brushrolls too) have a plastic cap either side that can be popped off, then thoroughly cleaned and re-greased.

Hoover sleeve bearings are generally OK, a clean out with IPA and a cotton bud and as long as it's not worn, a drop of lithium grease has them happy again. The fancase bearings are pressed together, so a soak in spray grease/oil is all one can really do (or soak them as mentioned but I can never be fully bothered, and don't find it needs it much, the felt pad keeps the dirt out, they just dry up!

Ryevac, I've seen people say to soak an old style car air filter in petrol to clean it, back in the 70's when it was a few pence worth in a bucket it was probably a good idea! Not nowadays when it would be a good tenners worth of pez!

I read on Vacuumland once that you Grease your Balls and Oil your Sleeves! Never stood me wrong yet
Collector and restorer of vintage vacuums, Dyson Appreciator! Come and see my blog, where I am uploading all my mountains of brochures, manuals and other vacuum cleaner paperwork, and also my youtube channel @beko1987!

Offline GeorgeJ

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Re: Cleaning/servicing bearings
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2017, 05:04:38 PM »
we aren't rich enough george to buy that product, here in the uk we have to save the last few drops from the garage pump whilst filling the car.  ;)
It's not cheap but not prohibitive.  I also purchased it a while back for working on the car... I live in the rust belt and you need lots of penetrative oil to do anything on the chassis/suspension, so I had it already.  It's just sitting there goldbricking.
You miss 100% of the Dysons you don't buy.  -Wayne Gretzky
 -Michael Scott  -GeorgeJ

Offline GeorgeJ

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Re: Cleaning/servicing bearings
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2017, 05:17:37 PM »
I find that Hoover Activator bearings do wear, especially 40+ year old ones! I have split and greased them before, but the wear means the new grease falls out quickly. Pattern agitator bearings are pennies.
I haven't had a chance to work on anything that old!  These are just dyson/hoover/kenmore bearings.  It's funny because one of them is missing one guard so despite working flawlessly, I can't use it.

Most motor bearings I see are 2 styles. Sealed ones with a metal plate, which can't be opened. A drop of oil might help, but not much. The other type (and I see these on Dyson brushrolls too) have a plastic cap either side that can be popped off, then thoroughly cleaned and re-greased.
Some of the metal ones can be opened.  If it has a solid seal, it can be worked out with a pin.  If it's a pressed one, likely not.  I mean, you can....


Hoover sleeve bearings are generally OK, a clean out with IPA and a cotton bud and as long as it's not worn, a drop of lithium grease has them happy again. The fancase bearings are pressed together, so a soak in spray grease/oil is all one can really do (or soak them as mentioned but I can never be fully bothered, and don't find it needs it much, the felt pad keeps the dirt out, they just dry up!
That's a surprising way to use an India Pale Ale!  ;D  I agree, however. 


Ryevac, I've seen people say to soak an old style car air filter in petrol to clean it, back in the 70's when it was a few pence worth in a bucket it was probably a good idea! Not nowadays when it would be a good tenners worth of pez!
I have one of those K&N filters in my car (I went from a responsive 4 cyl with a 7,500rpm redline and a dual mass flywheel to a slow V6 and was looking for faster throttle response) and I just had to soak and reoil it.   I....  kinda forgot about it for 4 years.  Kids and all.

I read on Vacuumland once that you Grease your Balls and Oil your Sleeves! Never stood me wrong yet
Heh, this reminded me of when my bathroom exhaust fan went out.  I torn it down and it had the most ridiculous bearing.  There was a brass ball over the shaft.  The ball then sat in a housing packed with felt and held in place with folded-over brass sheet metal fingers.  The felt dried up and compacted, the fingers loosened and the shaft/ball duo wore out.  Every piece was wobbly.  ::)
You miss 100% of the Dysons you don't buy.  -Wayne Gretzky
 -Michael Scott  -GeorgeJ

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