How to remove bearing shields and seals

remove skateboard bearing shield sealBefore 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 Cover types
  • 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.
Poke bearing seal

2. Use the paper clip to pry the seal off.
Pry bearing seal

3. To replace the bearing seal, lay the seal on the bearing and press it gently into place.
replace bearing seal


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.
Bearing C-Clip    Poke metal shield
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.
replace shield



Non-Removeable metal shields:

Pressed IN nonremoveable shield

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.


Related Information:

Bearing Seals & Shield Types

How To Clean Bearings

How To Make A Bearing Cleaning Kit