Jump to content
CrankFate

Best Solvent to Flush Bearings

Recommended Posts

I’m trying to flush bearings that Shimano packed completely with a thick grease similar to petroleum jelly. I cannot get it out of the bearings with acetone, grain alcohol or lighter fluid. I do not want to attempt unshielding these, since they are quality bearings. What can I use to get this thick grease out of these bearings?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Short of using an ultrasonic cleaner acetone or lighter fluid should work fine.  Let them sit a while, then agitate. Dry and you're good to go. Contrary to popular belief a perfectly flushed bearing isn't necessary.  What little grease that may be left behind will get cut with your low viscosity oil. Unless one is a BFS enthusiast bearing maintenance is way over thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am going for BFS. I took a compressed air can to clean keyboards from work and got a bottle of brake cleaner. This grease is completely impervious to everything! I soaked the bearings for about 20 minutes in lighter fluid. Nothing happened.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I soak mine in diesel or gasoline. 

 

Ive also used mineral spirits and Dawn dish soap

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, CrankFate said:

I do not want to attempt unshielding these, since they are quality bearings. 

Take the shields off...

 

oe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  If Xylol or strong vinegar clean it up, then that means that the stuff is probably silicone grease.

Watch that Xylol, though. Nasty.   jj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, OkobojiEagle said:

Take the shields off...

Just know that removing shields sometimes warps or destroys the shields in the process. But then, running without shields can make future cleanings easier. Everything's a tradeoff.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, OkobojiEagle said:

Take the shields off...

 

oe

 

41 minutes ago, haggard said:

Just know that removing shields sometimes warps or destroys the shields in the process. But then, running without shields can make future cleanings easier. Everything's a tradeoff.

 

I’m leave the shields on. That’s where I draw the line. I’m good with small parts, but any time I try to get metal shields off something goes wrong. I sat here for the last hour and a half soaking in brake cleaner, then spraying with a keyboard cleaner (compressed gas). It took a lot of time, but they’re clear now. All I’m going to say is Shimano grease is bulletproof. This makes anything else ive ever seen look like water.

 

If a spark goes off in here, it’ll explode.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use acetone in small mason jar sit on top of air pump for aquarium over night. For stubborn grease I would use carp cleaner, spray into mason jar and soak those over night or use with air pump only for awhile with close supervision. I use plastic to cover on top so the cleaner doesn’t splash everywhere when spray. After that soak in alcohol to clean all solutions.

Another tip is to use hot simple green, shake well and rinse with hot water before soak in acetone on top of air pump.

BTW all grease that you see on top of bearing from Shimano, those are to shield water to get into bearing. They didn’t really pack grease into bearing just brush outside.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, CrankFate said:

I am going for BFS. I took a compressed air can to clean keyboards from work and got a bottle of brake cleaner. This grease is completely impervious to everything! I soaked the bearings for about 20 minutes in lighter fluid. Nothing happened.

A lot of BFS enthusiasm use air bearing or at least abec 7, becuz they believe it helps in startup for super light lure. Casting light lure you cannot just whip it to get the lure moving. I don’t use one so I’m not sure how much it would help, but then again I don’t plan to get myself into BFS just yet.

In the mean time I used this opportunity to dry clean one of my hard used reel and video how the air pump work the bearing for you better than let it just soak. You can see the bearing spin itself and that I think it might help getting all the gunk out better than sitting still.

 

If

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, CrankFate said:

I sat here for the last hour and a half soaking in brake cleaner, then spraying with a keyboard cleaner (compressed gas). It took a lot of time, but they’re clear now.

I’ve heard that to spin the stainless steel bearing in high rpm (blow with air can) without any lube would shorten the life of it fast. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many years ago my wife gave me a tiny (4" dia) food strainer wire basket with a handle on it and I put my bearings in it, step outdoors and blast them through the inserted red tube with either CRC Electronic cleaner, or Brake Kleen and either cleans my bearing fast and thoroughly.  I have purchased a lot of Shimanos over the years and the only bearing I have ever found packed with grease is the pinion bearing and my procedure has eliminated the grease pronto. I then follow with a short lighter bath and they are good to go. Once I degrease them I simply dip them in TSI 301 and no longer pack them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I broke down and bought an ultrasonic cleaner. A good one is about $100 or so on Ebay but you can get smaller cheaper ones, just not sure how well they work. It is one of the best fishing purchases I've ever made. I put the bearings in a small glass jar with acetone and then into the cleaner, works amazingly well. I also use it to deep clean entire reels, (taken completely apart) and various other household items. I use a mix of Simple Green and distilled water for things that aren't bearings.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, OnthePotomac said:

Many years ago my wife gave me a tiny (4" dia) food strainer wire basket with a handle on it and I put my bearings in it, step outdoors and blast them through the inserted red tube with either CRC Electronic cleaner, or Brake Kleen and either cleans my bearing fast and thoroughly.  I have purchased a lot of Shimanos over the years and the only bearing I have ever found packed with grease is the pinion bearing and my procedure has eliminated the grease pronto. I then follow with a short lighter bath and they are good to go. Once I degrease them I simply dip them in TSI 301 and no longer pack them.

Yes, the pinion bearing was packed. And even more annoyingly to me, the gearshift bearing, which has a clear plastic shield, was completely packed with grease and sitting inside of a blob of grease. This was extremely difficult to degrease. The spool bearings weren’t as bad. I sprayed and soaked them in a flat bottom shot glass, several times and alternated spraying them out with a keyboard dusting can of compressed gas refrigerant and air and brake cleaner. Finally, it is spinning to my liking. Meanwhile, the annoying sound at higher speeds that was bothering me, was the centrifugal brakes riding in the brake ring.  But it’s all good now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@crankfate, the pinion and shaft bearing (x-ship) are there to support spool when loaded. There is no need to flush these bearing and grease doesn’t hurt them at all, unlike those of spool bearing. You won’t gain any distance nor any smoother cleaning them, but you would gain quicker grinding noise from them, just like a lot have complained.

you will be surprised to hear this, Shimano doesn’t use any grease nor oil on those pinion and shaft bearing, but intensionally brush special grease (not drag grease) around the outside to block water to get in. I was surprised too, to hear they don’t use any lube at all, but never have second doubt on the grease part. In my old day every time when I open my reels (Abu 6500) I alway add/brush grease around the rim of side plate before put it back together, this to help block some moisture to get in.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/5/2019 at 2:48 PM, CrankFate said:

I’m trying to flush bearings that Shimano packed completely with a thick grease similar to petroleum jelly. I cannot get it out of the bearings with acetone, grain alcohol or lighter fluid. I do not want to attempt unshielding these, since they are quality bearings. What can I use to get this thick grease out of these bearings?

i don't bother with it ... send mine off to a pro. reel clean & repair professional ... 

 

good fishing ...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, JustJames said:

@crankfate, the pinion and shaft bearing (x-ship) are there to support spool when loaded. There is no need to flush these bearing and grease doesn’t hurt them at all, unlike those of spool bearing. You won’t gain any distance nor any smoother cleaning them, but you would gain quicker grinding noise from them, just like a lot have complained.

you will be surprised to hear this, Shimano doesn’t use any grease nor oil on those pinion and shaft bearing, but intensionally brush special grease (not drag grease) around the outside to block water to get in. I was surprised too, to hear they don’t use any lube at all, but never have second doubt on the grease part. In my old day every time when I open my reels (Abu 6500) I alway add/brush grease around the rim of side plate before put it back together, this to help block some moisture to get in.

 

I don’t know, looked to have grease in it to me. And I’m stubborn and opinionated about how the reel should feel. I need everything to be moving as fast and quiet as possible. Otherwise, no matter what actually happens, I’ll feel like something is slowing everything down and that must be reducing my cast distance. I got everything moving fast now.

 

12 hours ago, greentrout said:

i don't bother with it ... send mine off to a pro. reel clean & repair professional ... 

 

good fishing ...

There’s nothing else to do at this time of year than to spend  my time servicing reels that dont need any servicing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CrankFate said:

I don’t know, looked to have grease in it to me. And I’m stubborn and opinionated about how the reel should feel. I need everything to be moving as fast and quiet as possible. Otherwise, no matter what actually happens, I’ll feel like something is slowing everything down and that must be reducing my cast distance. I got everything moving fast now.

 

There’s nothing else to do at this time of year than to spend  my time servicing reels that dont need any servicing.

A heavy gear oil in the frame bearings will give a far better smooth and fluidless feeling than a low viscosity bearing oil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use acetone (do not use scented acetone used for nail polish) in small glass jars and an ultrasonic cleaner (cheap one off amazon). Just be careful to use it in a well-ventilated area as it is extremely volatile. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use an ultrasonic and acetone. If I just soak them and then place them in the ultrasonic it i impressive how much more comes out of the bearings and off other parts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing forum

    fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing poles

    fishing

    fishing reels

    fishing reels

    fishing

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×