Following my MTB Maintenance series of Instructables, this installment is an in depth guide on how to strip, grease and rebuild the pedals on your mountain bike. The pedals in question in this Instructable are Crank Brothers 5050x with cone style bearings. This this Instructable only shows how to overhaul the pedals with the more common type of bearing, the cup and cone style, so if you have sealed cartridge bearings look elsewhere!, so lets get started!
Step 1: What you need.
As pedal overhauling is as complicated as hub overhauling, you need a selection of tools to get the job done, as follows:
Paintbrush with stiff bristles
12mm and 9/16 sockets
Socket attachment extender
After you have gathered these items, we can continue...
Step 2: Removing the dust cap.
To get to the bolts holding the axle in place you first need to remove the dust caps, this can be done easily with a regular kitchen knife by inserting it into the cap and prying it off, some other types of pedals have a cap where you have to put the sharp tip of a knife into the side to pop it off. Put the dust cap aside for re-installation later, after this has been done we can proceed with the removal of the axle.
Step 3: Removing the axle.
Now that you have the dust cap off you can undo the bolts holding the axle in place so you can remove it to get to the bearings, assemble the ratchet with the extender and the 12mm socket and place it inside the pedal where the dust cap was. If you look inside the pedal you should be able to see the bolt you are trying to get at, and using the 15mm spanner on the pedal thread flats, undo the bolt and shake it out of the pedal body, a washer will come out as well, set this aside, then take the 9/16 socket and attach it to the wrench, place it inside the pedal body to unbolt the cone, then CAREFULLY take the cone out of the pedal body without loosing any bearings, and move on to the next step.
Step 4: Removing the bearings
Remove the bearings by carefully sliding the axle out a little bit while holding it over one of the containers HORIZONTALLY so as not to loose any of the bearings in the other side. After all of the bearings have been collected on the thread side, pull the axle all of the way out and put it aside, then take the pedal, and holding it over the other container vertically with the way the axle came out pointing up, tap the pedal body to collect all of the bearings in the container, there are 13 bearings in each side, so count them in each container to check you have them all.
Step 5: Cleaning the components.
Now that you have the pedal fully dis-assembled, you can start to clean up all the old grease, first take the axle and remove the small bearing seal that is seated on the top of the axle cone, take this off and clean it with the cloth, then set it aside and clean the axle. After you have done that, take the paintbrush and clean up the bearing cups inside the pedal body, there are two that need to be cleaned, then take the cone bolt and clean that up with the cloth. Make sure you get all that old grease off, then take each bearing, one by one, out of the containers and clean them with the cloth, then put them in a new container, do each container of bearings separately and put them in two new, clean containers, and set them aside.
This would be a good time to inspect the bearings, cups and cones, so give the a check over, and get ready to grease everything.
Step 6: Greasing.
Take your brush from the last step and clean it in the cloth, then get your grease ready and dip your brush in it, then apply lots of grease to both bearing cups inside the pedal body. Use plenty of grease here as this is what will seat the bearings. Then replace the bearing seal onto the axle from the last step and grease the seal and the cone on the axle, then grease the cone and the threads on the other end of the axle.
Step 7: Re-assembly.
Now to put the pedal back together, start by installing the bearings into the pedal bearing cups, start the the cup that is nearest to the crank when the pedal is on the bike, and carefully put each of the 13 bearings into the grease and make sure they stay still. When all 13 are in, put some more grease on top and then CAREFULLY insert the greased axle being extra cautious not to knock any of the bearings out of place. When the axle is all the way in and seated against the bearings, twist it a few times to even out the grease, then hold the axle into the pedal body and flip it upside down, so that the threads of the axle face down, and then drop the bearings into the gap between the pedal body and axle, make sure you install all 13, then tap the pedal on a hard surface to seat the bearings on the bearing cup.
Next, take the bearing cone and push it into the pedal body and turn it by hand until it has threaded onto the axle, and then get the 9/16 socket and ratchet, and while holding the cone secure with the socket, rotate the axle by hand until it is tight and doesn't wobble, but not too tight as to squash the bearings into the cones and cups. Then remove the socket and wrench and get the cone washer, put it onto the axle on the inside of the pedal housing, make sure the washer flats match up to the axle flats. Then take the bolt and thread it onto the axle by hand, and then by using the 12mm socket and ratchet, you may need to use the 15mm spanner to hold the pedal thread flats if you need more leverage.
When you have done this, move onto the last step.
Step 8: Finishing up.
Now we have everything done all that there is to do is pop the dust cap back in and wipe the excess grease from the gap between the axle cone and pedal cup and congratulations, you have just fully overhauled your set of pedals!, if any of your bearings were worn you will need to get them replaced, I recommend
as they do cheap loose ball bearings of all diameters, OK, so now its your turn to request an Instructable on the topic of mountain bikes or mountain biking, so go ahead and throw an idea at me, I might just post it :D I hope you enjoyed my second MTB maintenance Instructable and thanks for taking your time to read it :)