How to remove bearing shields and seals
Before cleaning bearings, remove the seals or shields for best results.Follow the steps below for easy ways to remove and replace bearing seals and shields.
Each bearing accommodates 2 covers/closures that are one of three styles:
- Removable rubber seals
- Non-removable pressed in metal shields.
- Removable metal shields held in by a C-ring.
Tools For Removing Rubber Seals:
- Paper clip (a needle can damage rubber)
Tools For Removing Metal Shields:
- Push pin, needle, or razor blade
Remove rubber seals:
1. Poke the end of a paper clip inside the bearing between the inner ring and edge of the seal. Be careful not to touch the ball retainer inside the bearing.
2. Use the paper clip to pry the seal off.
3. To replace the bearing seal, lay the seal on the bearing and press it gently into place.
Remove metal shields:
1. A C-ring is a narrow skinny washer in the shape of a 'C'. Place the tip of your push-pin, needle, or razor blade corner under the open end of the ‘C’ and pry it out.
2. When the c-ring is out, tap the bearing on a hard surface to get the shield out.
3. To replace the shield, lay the shield back on the bearing and slide the c-ring back into place. It can be a bit tricky.
Non-Removeable metal shields:
Pressed in non-removeable metal shields are commonly found on less expensive bearings, but still allow proper bearing functionality. To reduce bearing production costs, and accidental damage from improper bearing maintenance, non-removeable pressed in metal shields are used as bearing closures. Pressed in shields can make bearing cleaning more difficult and time consuming because there is no direct access to the balls and raceways. Because of these factors, extra care is needed to thoroughly dry the bearings after cleaning.