Instructables
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Picture of $2 Motorcycle Wheel Bearing Puller
bearing puller.jpg
The shop wanted $50 a wheel to change out the bearings. 

The internet wanted $60 for the tool to do it.

I knew there had to be a better way.

The official name for this tool is a 'mandrel bearing puller.'

 
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Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools
bearing puller.jpg
Materials
1/2" Button head machine screw, at least 1 1/2" long, available at any hardware store
Flat head screwdriver with a somewhat large head and an impact resistant handle (this may get destroyed)


Tools
-Drill
-Hammer (any type, even a rock will do)
-File or belt sander to speed things up
-Hack saw, or band saw to speed things up
-Some sort of clamping device (vice)
-Safety goggles for power tools and hammering

Step 2: Shape the Head

Picture of Shape the Head
Mount the bolt in the drill chuck.

While the drill is spinning, use the belt sander or file to shape the head until it just fits through the inside of the bearing . Profile it to  have a narrow edge, like an umbrella. The edge allows the tool to fit into the chamfer (space between the bearing and spacer) to grip the bearing.

Step 3: Cut

Picture of Cut
Now cut the bolt lengthwise, through the head and down most of the shaft, leaving about 1/4" uncut.
I used a horizontal bandsaw, but a hacksaw and some elbow grease should do the trick.

Bend the two sides away from each other just SLIGHTLY by pressing the screw driver into the slot.


Step 4: Make a handle

Picture of Make a handle
This probably wasnt necessary, but I made a handle with a bolt, a lot of washers, and a nut. The tool threads into the other side of the nut.

Step 5: Using the Tool

Picture of Using the Tool
IMG_0383.jpg
bearing puller.jpg
To use the tool, insert the bolt head side of the tool into the bearing until you feel it reach the indentation on the other side of the bearing.

Next, press the screw driver from the other side of the wheel into the slot in the bolt head. Tap the back of the screw driver lightly with a hammer, and then harder to drive the bearing out.

Repeat for the other bearings.

DISCLAIMER: THIS WILL DESTROY THE BEARINGS. NEVER APPLY FORCE TO THE INNER BEARING RACE WHEN TRYING TO SEAT THE OUTER BEARING RACE OR VICE VERSA. THIS DESTROYS BEARINGS. DO NOT USE THIS TOOL TO INSTALL NEW BEARINGS.

Destroying the old bearings doesn't matter as the whole reason to remove bearings is to replace them.

I guess, I would have to way the balance of time vs money. Seems like alot of work to make one of the most janky looking tools I have ever seen. Not to mention you should never strike the end of a screw driver with a hammer, screw drivers are for screwing screws, they are not punches or pry bars. Not to beat this up but this is not a good idea and a huge waste of time. Oh and did i mention dangerous. Get the right tool for the job or don't do it. This is a perfect example of how you can break things, cause an extra headache for yourself and make a job way harder than it should be. If your lucky you won't be angry and injured at the end of this. Pay the 50 dollars and let the mechanic do his job or get yourself a nice new tool. After all this is your motorcycle wheels (or maybe some other part) here how cheap do you want to be with such an important area of the vehicle. I'm just trying to give some good advice here for the more inexperienced people out there, sorry if I seem to stern.

Depends on what you mean by "janky"...by that definition, a collet to you probably looks "janky." This works on the same principle as most machine tool holders, using a lever to translate force from linear (the wedge in the mandrel) to angular (outward grabbing force on the bearing). You speak of the balance of time and money; most of the people here are here because they have the former and not the latter. Personally, to quell your issues with a screwdriver I might substitute a similarly beveled cold chisel with some length but the principle does not change and the idea is to avoid owning a $60 tool with a singular purpose when the same can be had for a bit of labor and more than likely less than $1.00. It doesn't matter whether you use an expensive tool or a cheap tool, the mechanical forces exerted on the rim are roughly identical. Any interference fit bearing is going to require significant impact or other force to remove. The bearing will be completely ruined, but it should come out as a complete unit and not damage the wheel. The device he has made is one of the oldest clamping tools devised for machining; you may not like it, but it's mechanically sound in the ways that count.

OP: Nice instructable! I was looking for a way to pull/install bearings in a different scenario and came across this one. Won't work for this instance but loved the creative use of a homemade mandrel.

Ok you used your big words here I get the principal but you obviously are showing your lack of mechanical experience. It's one thing to talk in theory but honestly how many hours have you actually spent turning wrenches? I was not trying to cause trouble but I have thousands of hours logged in the technical aspects of power sports and it does matter if you use a cheap or expensive tool or procedure for that matter. Just trying to point people in the right direction.

I'm a full time mechanic working on multi-million dollar equipment for the federal government as well as an auto mechanic on the side and understand your complaint. The thing is, you're absolutely right about the aspect of doing things correctly. However, if someone's here looking at an Instructable, they're probably in a position where cost or distance or some other factor is limiting. I don't think it's irresponsible of the original poster--where I work, we have a huge budget and a room full of parts and expensive specialty tools and yet I wind up making tools, arbors, jigs, and all kinds of things because the manufacturers of the products I maintain don't always provide quality support for their product and the designers aren't the manufacturers and so you wind up with a product that is made by whoever bid the lowest and no aftermarket support because it's used in one product for one industry.

You're using a lever to create a wedge, which by proxy becomes a slide hammer in reverse. It's not the best way to remove a bearing, but I really don't see much harm coming to the race; if anything, I can see a situation where a bearing's inner race comes free of the cage and bearings during the process, so I'd definitely recommend safety glasses and gloves. But the technique provides pretty evenly distributed force, and is less likely than a drift (as you'd use on a rear wheel bearing or a trailer bearing) to score the land where the outer race fits.

But do I recommend this technique over a bike shop or a bearing puller? No. Only for expedient repairs when the correct tool is not available. My admiration is for the creative use of leverage to create an ad-hoc puller out of cheap, hardware store parts. Let's not have a war over whether sometimes quick and dirty, while not ideal, is apropos.

pandamopeds132 months ago
Yayy! no more torching hubs or throwing wheels iff walls! (Its just mopeds... they all say). Why i never thought of this on my own is beside me haha. Thanks for the how to duder!
markey19796 months ago

Amazing, I will definitely try this out in the future.....

This really works. I took a $0.99 carriage bolt, did the same, make sure you grind down the bolt head where it barely fits through the bearing, I couldn't get the first run to work, and it just got jammed and I thought I was screwed, so I hammered the bolt back through, and the side the screw driver was on came out instead, It doesn't matter which one comes off first. Thanks for the post
mtnvortex1 year ago
I also made an account just to say thank you. This is one of those things that is so simple, that once you see it, you wonder how you didn't think of it already. Thanks a lot, man. :-)
ntrizzle2 years ago
I made an account just to say THANKS! This saved me 40 bucks from taking it to a shop. I got a screw that was a little bit smaller than the baring inside diameter and cut it down the middle. Used a screw driver and hammer to get it out. I also used a bushing pull/press i bought for the control arm bushings on my M3 to push them back in. So thanks!
fred272 years ago
What's wrong with the standard technique of pushing the spacer to one side with the screwdriver and hammering the bearing out from the inside using a screwdriver directly on the bearing? I've done it loads of times. As long as you rotate the wheel after each tap it comes out evenly.
kylemoe fred272 years ago
There isn't always enough space to get a screwdriver (or a proper drift) between the spacer and the bearing.
chrisdp2 years ago
Brilliant! This can help with dismantling other tight fitting assemblies too.
dejavhu12 years ago
ufff eso si que es una verdadera muestra de ingenieria 10 estrellas
tholopotami2 years ago
I don't have a moto but clever ideas deserve a high vote!
mkarvonen2 years ago
very nice! 5 stars!!