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#1 ShaneXman Mar 10, 2012 05:59 PM

Help with Bearing Maintenance - Cleaning, Re-Lubing, etc.
 
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How's it going guys? Well, I recently picked up another mCP X with MicroHeli (3-Bearing) frame, and I decided to tear it down and give it a good maintenance rundown.

With that said, when I pulled everything apart, I noticed the bearings were extremely dirty. Before reassembling, I would like to give the bearings a THOROUGH cleaning and re-lubing.

Any and all help, input, thoughts, recommendations and suggestions are welcome. I want to purchase the right tools, chemicals, etc. for the job, so I can do it right the first time. Please post up links, pictures, descriptions, etc.

Thanks in advance! :D


-Shane

#2 Username> Mar 10, 2012 06:42 PM

Get yourself a bearing blaster.
I regularly used mine when cleaning car bearings that got dusty and mucky.
Buy a bearing blaster, spray into it with motor cleaner, re-lube the bearing with Triflow or similar, then wipe off the excess with a microfibre cloth.
Alternatively, just buy new bearings as they're inexpensive anyway.
Many closed bearings can also be opened up and maintained, but i've only done this with rubber sealed and not metal sealed as used on most heli's.

#3 ShaneXman Mar 10, 2012 08:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by damo666 (Post 20997538)
Get yourself a bearing blaster.
I regularly used mine when cleaning car bearings that got dusty and mucky.
Buy a bearing blaster, spray into it with motor cleaner, re-lube the bearing with Triflow or similar, then wipe off the excess with a microfibre cloth.
Alternatively, just buy new bearings as they're inexpensive anyway.
Many closed bearings can also be opened up and maintained, but i've only done this with rubber sealed and not metal sealed as used on most heli's.

damo,

Great advice. If you don't mind me asking, which "Bearing Blaster" is the globally preferred version. I did a quick search, and there are a number of different manufacturers. More specifically, which one works best with the size bearings we deal with on the micro-helis?

Additionally, I continuously hear people talking about "Tri-Flow", but would you happen to know the preferred form? I know they sell it in drip bottle, aerosol, grease, etc., and they also sell a new Soy based one, and others. Would you mind posting up a link so I can be sure it's the correct one?

I thought about purchasing new bearings, or even purchasing upgraded bearings from Boca Bearings or other. But at $13 PER BEARING, I think I'll pass. Are there other bearings that are more reasonably priced that you would recommend?

Sorry for all of the questions, and I appreciate you taking the time to answer. Cheers! :)


-Shane

#4 i812 Mar 10, 2012 10:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ShaneXman (Post 20998238)
...
I thought about purchasing new bearings, or even purchasing upgraded bearings from Boca Bearings or other. But at $13 PER BEARING ...

If Boca can manage to stay in business for a long time by specializing at nothing else but bearings, then I'd be inclined to think that someone (a PHD type) at Boca knows more about Bearings than your average Joe in this Forum.

Maybe someone should check Boca's website, to see if they have any maintenance recommendations? If not, maybe a phone call may come up with valuable info?

#5 Username> Mar 10, 2012 11:00 PM

I've not had to clean any of my Heli bearings from dirt and grime, but I used an RPM bearing blaster ( RPM #81170 ).
It was used primarily to clean 5x11x4 wheel bearings in my Trucks and buggies, but i'm sure it would be great for smaller heli ballraces.
They're only about a fiver ($8) and are handy to have.
With regards replacement bearings; I buy mine from rcbearings over here in the UK.
I've found them to be cheap and of better quality and UBEC (Tolerance) than most stock bearings (particularly Walkera and Traxxas ones).
BTW.. I use the Triflow needle point pen dispenser as it's good for those hard to reach parts in our sub micro heli's.

#6 benmlee Mar 12, 2012 11:01 PM

Word of caution on motor cleaner or other high power solvent, be sure to use rubber gloves or keep your fingers away. I read from r/c cars forum that over time, it drys out your hand to an ugly mess.

As you get older, fingers dry out, and is harder to pick up small things. With dry skins, it will actually tear easily when you try to apply too much force or scrape it. So protect your hand so you don't regret it latter on.

#7 ShaneXman Mar 15, 2012 10:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by i812 (Post 20999542)
If Boca can manage to stay in business for a long time by specializing at nothing else but bearings, then I'd be inclined to think that someone (a PHD type) at Boca knows more about Bearings than your average Joe in this Forum.

Maybe someone should check Boca's website, to see if they have any maintenance recommendations? If not, maybe a phone call may come up with valuable info?

Ok, so I talked to Boca Bearing directly, and their instructions were as follows:

"Soak the bearing in brake cleaner overnight."

That was it! :rolleyes:

I asked if re-lubing was necessary and he said "No.". However, if I wanted to re-lube I could use ""High Speed Oil".

Just thought I'd report back. :D


Quote:

Originally Posted by Username> (Post 20999587)
I've not had to clean any of my Heli bearings from dirt and grime, but I used an RPM bearing blaster ( RPM #81170 ).
It was used primarily to clean 5x11x4 wheel bearings in my Trucks and buggies, but i'm sure it would be great for smaller heli ballraces.
They're only about a fiver ($8) and are handy to have.
With regards replacement bearings; I buy mine from rcbearings over here in the UK.
I've found them to be cheap and of better quality and UBEC (Tolerance) than most stock bearings (particularly Walkera and Traxxas ones).
BTW.. I use the Triflow needle point pen dispenser as it's good for those hard to reach parts in our sub micro heli's.

Thank you for the recommendation, including manufacturer and part number. :p

I ended up purchasing the RPM Bearing Blaster from my LHS, along with some Nitro Engine Clean (which also states that it's safe for bearing cleaning) to use with the Bearing Blaster. The Tri-Flow needle point pen dispenser will be my lube of choice as well, and I think I'll be all set.

Regarding the bearing replacement option, I did ask Boca Bearing, and the part number for the MR63 Radial Bearings (3 x 6 x 2 Millimeters) found on the MicroHeli frame is MR63-ZZ/W2...in case anybody wanted to know. I haven't purchased these or tried them to confirm, so I'm only basing this on information provided from Boca Bearing. If anyone knows for certain if these are a proper replacement, please post up. :popcorn:


Quote:

Originally Posted by benmlee (Post 21018224)
Word of caution on motor cleaner or other high power solvent, be sure to use rubber gloves or keep your fingers away. I read from r/c cars forum that over time, it drys out your hand to an ugly mess.

As you get older, fingers dry out, and is harder to pick up small things. With dry skins, it will actually tear easily when you try to apply too much force or scrape it. So protect your hand so you don't regret it latter on.

Thank you for the words of caution, I will certainly wear Nitrile gloves to avoid any unwanted damage to my hands. Cheers! :cool:


-Shane

#8 i812 Mar 16, 2012 02:26 AM

I've used Brake Cleaner on my cars. It is economical (available at Wal-Mart?), and does a good job of dissolving grease so it can be sprayed/washed away. It may dissolve other "organic" type of products (plastics, rubbers, ... ?).

I think Carburetor "Choke" Cleaner is a little more caustic, and Engine Cleaning stuff is the most caustic. The Chem12 stuff I use to help remove stubbornly stuck on "gunk" from engine parts when rebuilding, will melt plastic gloves within a few minutes. If you use the caustic stuff, I'd "rinse" it and the gunk it dissolves off with Brake Cleaner. Brake Cleaner spays on as a liquid, and evaporates without leaving a residue (of itself) in about a minute.

Automotive brakes work using friction, so having grease on the surfaces that are suppose to have maximum friction is bad, and is the reason Brake Cleaner is produced (so mechanics can clean their greasy/dirty handprints off Brake friction surface areas). Once grease is removed from a metal's surface, the metal has a better chance of oxidizing/rusting; however, having squeaky clean bare metal exposed on the friction surface areas of Brakes isn't a problem, because those areas are going to have the "rust" polished off everytime the Brakes are pressed.

On the otherhand, having no lubrication on metal-to-metal bearing surfaces sounds questionable. Even automotive Brakes use lubricant between metal-to-metal non-friction sliding surfaces. Considering how important to life and property it is for automotive brakes to work fine, last a long time, I suspect if someone had thought of a better way, Auto manufacturers would be doing it by now.

Maybe Boca doesn't recommend lubing their bearings because they are made from "greasy" ceramics? Maybe their bearings are greased in the factory, and sealed for life? It makes me wonder why Boca offers special Heli Bearing Cleaning and Lubing products?

Hi-speed Oil sounds good and economical. Sewing machines have parts that spin at high rpm for long periods of time (I think some "sweatshops" keep their machines running 24/7), so it's been tried an proven. My guess is if there is a problem with Lube, it will be because it may be too viscous (not let parts slide easily), may become a "gunk" magnet (accumulate dust, grime, grit, etc.), if not viscous enough may be slung off and need to be routinely reapplied. Not knowing any better, I'd copy what the sewing machine people do, since they've been doing it for a few hundred years, around the world, and probably more than one "genius" has spent a lifetime thinking about it.

I year ago, I started thinking my old mSR Motors and bearings were getting noisy, so I tried researching what might be the best product. From the mSR and Walkera threads I had been reading, Tri-flow was the most recommended product, but I was curious what Motor and Heli manufacturers recommended so when I was price shopping during a major repair parts purchase I checked many different places to see what Motor lubes they sold, and was surprised to find most places didn't! A few sold Tri-Flow as a "cure" for everything, and the only Motor Lube I found offered was "Scorpion" offered by Scorpion Motor manufacturer. I bought the Scorpion Lube, and as soon as I started using it in bearings, my helis got quieter, and I'm not certain but I think they actually gave me a little more flight time; however, it didn't take much longer to notice once I started using the product dust started clinging to bearings.

#9 Chap1012 Mar 16, 2012 08:54 AM

Shane, that is one nasty looking bearing you have there. I'll be quite honest with "all" of you. I threw all my lubes out the window a long time ago. Of course I'm being a bit sarcastic. For about 30 years Break Free CLP (Cleaner, Lubricant, Preservative) has been my "go to" lube. This lube was developed for, and used by our DoD. Still is! Ask any combat soldier (especially those serving in the Navy on a ship). I have used this on my guns, salt water big game fishing reels, fresh water reels (some used in salt water) and countless other applications including all my helis. It is not a lube per-se....meaning, it doesn't stay wet. Break Free CLP treats the surface after being wiped clean. It's designed to "push dirt out." Break Free CLP is also plastic friendly and working on helis, that's a no brainer. I use it on all my plastic ball links, gears, pinions and virtually anything that moves.

Look at my join date. I received a ESky Lama V4 for Christmas before joining RCG. I still have the "exact original" bearings in it. Each time I break her down,,.. the bearings just need a little wipe down and I re-apply a dab of Break Free and wipe clean. I use gun patches to wipe clean as they are lint free;)

This is coming from someone with 30 years of experience using this product. I rest my case;)

BTW, Break Free CLP is only available at gun shops, sporting goods stores or on line AND it is expensive. $6.99 for a 4OZ liquid bottle. I also have an aerosol spray can of it.

Mike.

#10 HeliFlyer711 Mar 16, 2012 12:45 PM

The greaser (20 min 18 sec)


http://helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=296446

#11 i812 Mar 16, 2012 03:50 PM

So, if a person was using thick high viscosity grease, probably the easiest/best method to clean and "re-pack" the grease is to force new grease until old the old grease is out, followed by a stand-alone bench "run-in" to sling off excess grease, as shown in Bob's video posted above.

However, I watched a "related" video showing the Bearing Blaster, and saw it is intended for thin low viscosity oil, where it's probably easiest/best to clean old oil and grime out from a bearing by using a solvent agitated bath, followed by a new application of fresh oil.

The videos made me question which of the two different types of lubrications should be used? I think historically before 1970's, grease was commonly used on heavy duty stuff, like automotive wheel bearings. Back then, people routinely manually re-packed grease into their wheel bearing like Bob showed; however I think around the 1970's, automotive wheel bearings started being shipped as sealed for life, and inside the sealed bearings, thin low viscosity oil was being used. I think the "old school" reasoning for using grease was because having a big glob of thick grease fill up the void inside the Bearing cavity acted as a barrier preventing outside water and grime from getting into the void where the balls were; whereas if lightweight oil is used without use of a seal there would be nothing to stop water and grime from getting in. I think back then it was recommended to have unsealed wheel bearings re-packed with grease every 12,000 miles (~ once a year); whereas today's sealed oiled bearing have a "no-maintenance" lifetime of +100,000 miles.

Probably thick high viscosity grease offers more resistance to movement then thin low viscosity oil (especially at low temperatures); therefore grease would probably only be preferred in un-sealed bearings mainly for its use in helping keep water and grime out; whereas, oil would probably be preferred in sealed bearings.

Also bearings intended for use with small weak forces probably would do best with thin low viscosity oil rather than thick high viscosity grease.

So ....

Since my micro heli's have open bearings, and the Motors seem strong, I'll grease the Bearings the way Bob showed, mainly to add a seal/barrier to stop outside grime from getting inside the bearing.

Since my electric Motors are nearly sealed and I don't want to and/or can't pack grease inside the electric Motor, I'll continue using electric Motor oil so it can wick on to the Bearing/Shaft surfaces.

I think I learned something today, and will start becoming a "greaser"

Thanks HF

#12 Chap1012 Mar 16, 2012 04:37 PM

Did anyone even read my post? Wait a minute....did ANYONE even take the time to even google Break Free CLP?:confused:

Obviously NOT:( Stay with your grease but, somewhere, sometime very soon you'll be reading exactly what I have just told you guys. As they say..Two each his own.

FWIW: Google "Break Free CLP" review...;
Pick "any" website:rolleyes:
https://www.google.com/webhp?sourcei...vid=1616997157

Mike.

#13 i812 Mar 16, 2012 07:15 PM

I read your post(s), and gave it some thought. I don't need to google the terms "Break Free CLP" to read what other people have to say about it, because when I was in the military, we spent considerable time cleaning our firearms with LSD (I think that's what they called it in back in the 70's? I forgot what it stood for). Our weapons had to survive being exposed to all kinds of animal-like outdoor environments: crawling and rolling in water, mud, dirt, grass, brush, etc. With the gazillions of $ and manpower both the US and businesses spend doing research over the centuries, I'm fairly certain the US military is probably using the best most economical product. I had a desk job, so I don't have a strong opinion about how well it worked, or how much better it worked than other products. If I remember correctly, my father had no problems using 3-in-1? Machine Oil on all his various firearms, but maybe I have a bad memory and he/we used something else (to date I've never chosen or bought a gun cleaning product, and have always used what was provided without question).

The point in my above post was/is, I'm guessing the reason why most people use(d) thick grease for un-sealed bearings, may be because the grease "doubles" as an effective cheap easy water proof seal? The reason why bearings were/are "packed" with grease is to keep water and other trash out of the interior of bearings that will be placed into service in wet and/or dirty environments.

I'm not a gun "hugger", but have been around many for most of my life. Gun "huggers" practically sleep with their guns (I know a few people that do!). How many of those guys are going to expose their "piece" to a bad environment? Even the one's that don't sleep with their guns, how many of them do you think would willingly throw their "piece" in a puddle, mud, grass, bushes? I bet if they saw me do that to their "piece", they'd turn "red". From what I've seen, just about the only grime their "piece" gets exposed to is oily hand/fingerprints, and powder burns, and then a gun owner would probably immediately go back to a clean environment and spend "quality" time gently cleaning their "piece", before lovingly placing it under their pillow, or storing it in one of the cleanest areas they have.

I don't think many heli owner's reading the micro thread are going to be as careful or want to spend as much 1-on-1 quality time with their heli's bearings. I don't do it on purpose, but my micro heli's routinely take dirt "naps". I don't think I'm having much fun with my heli's unless they take dirt naps every once in a while. I think having a protective coating of something around an otherwise open bearing might be a good way of keeping unwanted stuff out of areas that are supposed to be clean and waterproof. I feel fairly certain, if it wouldn't cause a gun's muzzle to mushroom, every gun "hugger" would be using a "grease" plug also. Right?

Does "Break Free BCP" keep water, dust, dirt, grass, and/or debris out of the insides of a barrel? Don't you think a grease plug would? (until someone tried to fire the weapon)

Final comment: I wish I knew a way to post what I want to say with fewer words.

#14 Chap1012 Mar 16, 2012 08:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by i812 (Post 21055764)
<<<<SNIP>>>>

Final comment: I wish I knew a way to post what I want to say with fewer words.

Well, I can,,,,. "Use your grease or whatever you use.":p

#15 ShaneXman Mar 16, 2012 10:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kopperlis123 (Post 21057456)
Word of caution on motor cleaner or other high power solvent, be sure to use rubber gloves or keep your fingers away.
http://www.primeaffiliate.com/track/images/22.gif
http://www.canadablackberry.com/imgs/images/2.tod.gif

Nitrile Gloves. :D


-Shane


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