Picture of clean and lube skateboard bearings (long method)
bearings - 01.JPG
This instructable is a step by step guide to refurbishing your skate bearings. With bearings that have plastic or nylon parts, paint thinner is used so as to not damage them. Not all shields are nylon some are teflon and ceramic bearings require only one drop of lube. Warning this is not a green instructable, wear gloves and use the chemicals in a well ventilated area.

Skate Stuff
One set of eight bearings with removable nylon shields
Bearing spacers
Bearing lube (skate brand)
Axle washers

Materials and tools
Paint thinner
A rag
A Latex glove
Roll of paper towels
Bearing pick or push pin
Stir stick
Axle nut wrench
Long tweezers or pliers

Optional professional tools
Air compressor with gun
Bearing press
Hazardous chemicals disposal unit

Step 1: Bearing Removal

Picture of Bearing Removal
bearings - 61.JPG
Remove axle nut with a wrench, be careful not to scratch or damage the shield. Put the washers and the nut aside for now so nothing gets lost. To pull the bearing out of the wheel use the trucks axle to pry it out, keep rotating the wheel and applying pressure till it pops out. Put your bearings and spacers onto the rag; wipe off as much dirt and debris as possible. Rotate each bearing and take note of any that are glitchy, or need to be replaced.
Put on a latex glove, Take the bearing pick or push pin and insert it at the inner metal ring between the rubber shield and metal. Push in and turn to pry the shield off, if these are skate bearings the nylon shield should pop out with out too much pressure. This instructable has a video of another way to de-shield a bearing. Collect all the shields and stick a wire through them. Bend the wire to fit the container they'll soak in. On this wire you can include the spacers and washers if they need cleaning too.
nathanwide2 years ago
What type of wheels are those?
conceptualstratagem (author)  nathanwide2 years ago
good job and that was alot of junk in that wheel.
really nice i cleaned mine and it drove like an angel. good job.
sk8ter20art3 years ago
it does not matter which way you put the bearings back in, if they are single shielded it would be best to put the un-shielded side inward so you are not cleaning them again so soon. If a bearing is going to fail its going to fail no matter what.
sk8ter20art3 years ago
DO NOT RINSE WITH WATER! It is ok to clean them with paint thinner or gasoline, but once you have cleaned them just set them out on a couple of paper towels or shop rag.

any remaining paint thinner or gasoline will evaporate after a short time.
sk8ter20art3 years ago
there are two types of bearings, oil and grease packed. Usually grease packed bearings are on the low end bearings and do not have a lot of free-spin. If you clean all the grease out and dont re-grease them, they will most likely become very loud and noisy.

Higher quality bearings tend to be oil only and should be kept that way. They typically have a lot of free spin, and are very quiet.
sk8ter20art3 years ago
not all bearings have removable shields, others only have 1 shield. Some shields have a snap ring around the edge that holds the shield in place. basically it is there to keep large debris out of the ball bearings.
buddybran4 years ago
Do you mean take the damp "Sheilds" to the sink?
conceptualstratagem (author)  buddybran4 years ago
It would be better to use a air compressor, If you have one available. Otherwise they need to be rinsed and dryed.
where do you get those wheels.
i made a long board and what i need now are the wheels
in canada? go to switchbacklongboards.com
in the states? go to muirskate.com
both are pretty reasonable and have free shipping
i'm in australia, nsw
you could simply go to the next skate shop
normally those guys have know how and some pre-mounted stuff to try out.
(i.e. 2mm difference in wheel size give a lot of different feeling under your feet)
Hi. The wheels are spitfire bought online fromm ccs. I went with sector9 wheels for my longboard.
i have found the coolest trucks for longboards
cool trucks
.google longboard wheels. I personally love my bustin Tight walls for carving. http://www.bustinboards.com/v/bustin_boards_tightwall_wheels.asp
i need griptape aswell
thanks it is unblocked at school so right now i am haveing a look
rockadio1014 years ago
look at my insructable on how to lube your bearings it works great!!! its called how to lube your skateboard bearings and put risers on a skateboard!!!
sharlston4 years ago
Skateboardigs awesome,nice ible,have you seen element search and win? sign up now and ya can get decks clothing and bearings sign up now http://element.searchpluswin.com/refer/mattyts
sharlston4 years ago
you may want to add that not all shields are nylon some are teflon and ceramic bearings only need 1 drop of lube,great ible
conceptualstratagem (author)  sharlston4 years ago
rockadio1014 years ago
wut wheles are thay and your bolt is soooo rusted
GianniMora5 years ago

sharlston5 years ago
what lubricant are you using?
RandomHero7 years ago
easier and just as effective way is to use rubbing alcohol and to regrease' em
if you really wanna try it heres how, pop off the seals, put them in a closeable glad container and put rubbing alcohol in it, shake for about 10 or 20 seconds, let them sit like 5 minutes. After that take them out and dry them and make sure u get them good before u put grease in them, try a can of compressed air to get the alcohol out, after all of them are dry and ready, get a can of grease (from any local hardware store) put barely any in the bearings, make sure itsd enough to lubricate them but not tooo much to slow them down, pop the seal back on and get the seals a little greased also, then put them in ur wheels and your ready... should i make an instructable on this?
conceptualstratagem (author)  RandomHero7 years ago
Sounds legit to me. I had been using bearing grease out of a tube but I switched to skate lube. In the other instructable on this topic the author uses grease. Apparently this method is more popular, and its rated is higher here. I prefer oil over grease, but grease worked fine too. I've only been using these type bearings for about three sets, with oil the spins are longer and faster. I'd be interested to see another instructable on this to see how else it can be done, especially since your method dosen't involve harsh chemicals.
what oil did you use?
with oil u gotta clean your bearings more often in my opinion, thats why i use grease, and tis easier i geuss, i got this blue grease from my hardware store and i have only used it once, works great
is the blue grease mobil 1?
i dont remember, on second thought, just buy some bones speed cream, you'll be good
is it a white tube with a blue top?
mines all white i think, from bones, the skate company that makes bearings and wheels and all that
yes i have a set of bones reds
sharlston5 years ago
hey i recommend nitrile gloves becuse with latex some oils such as wd40 can acctually rot them same with the bearing shields
LBlinkinbiz5 years ago
Just wondering if there is an alternative to using paint thinner as a cleaner. I have done cleaning on all my bearings before with orange cleaner and I'm about to run a cleaning soon with some dishwashing soap.

I remove the shields and cage to ensure maximum cleaning and am very careful with stirring and so far this technique has worked fine.

So just wondering if I'll be dealing any damage doing this. I am desparate in finding a safer alternative to cleaning other than well flamey MBrain-damage.
if you can put some nitrile golves on and put the bearing into your desired solvent and spin it it should loosen any debrisin there
sharlston5 years ago
can i make my metal shielded bearings half shielded and put the bare side to the inside to the wheel?
dollardude5 years ago
Hey, i dont have a skateboard but this could work just as well for scooters because they both have the same bearings.

PS: I use and recomend china bones for people needing bearings
sharlston6 years ago
plz reply some one im getting a board with carbon abec 5's do they have removable seals?
conceptualstratagem (author)  sharlston6 years ago
The removable seal is a usually found on skate brand bearings. If the shields are metal chances are it can only take a few cleanings, before it becomes too dented from prying it open.
well are yours abecs?
conceptualstratagem (author)  sharlston5 years ago
The abec5 in the pic is being saved for another set up.
what b rand are they?
its in the argos ctalouge they are carbon
adio6 years ago
i have some swiss and i do full maintenance on it its so good i never had any rust or anything bad happen to them yet by what i mean by full maintenance is by taking the whole bearing apart then putting it back together should i make a instructable since i don't see any of what i do
sharlston adio6 years ago
ohh please my swisses arei n need of clean and you sound just the right person
adio sharlston6 years ago
it takes awhile to clean since it FULL maintenance and my camera needs to be fixed so idk if i can get a instructable on it soon
sharlston adio6 years ago
ok i normally wash mine iwht a pressure washer then dry them immediatly then wash in acetone then grease
adio sharlston6 years ago
well that would work well but ur not geting the full thing cleaned
sharlston adio6 years ago
adio sharlston6 years ago
Full maintenance bearing cleaning is now posted i made it as short as i can which worked so go check it out
sharlston6 years ago
also some other good oils are: lithium grease synthetic oil (mobil 1) really thick veg oil(last resort) the gunk from a bike chain(works perfect if you can get it without dust i made a plastic bearing by replacing the normall bearings with airsoft bb's want to see a pic?
sharlston6 years ago
ive got a cheap skateboard called smoke bomb with cheap bearings they rattle should i replace them or something?
Fat Bagel6 years ago
Why do u put the bearings back into the wheels bearing side up? not the side with the case..? wouldnt u get less grit in with the case side up?
conceptualstratagem (author)  Fat Bagel6 years ago
It prevents the bearing cage from cracking being that its on the inside of the wheel.
how can I keep them cleaner because i am stuck cleaning them every friggin 3 days?
Erm that’s an unusual amount of cleaning, I would let it build up a little more, unless of the skate has just visited a sandy, damp or dusty location. If the shield is removed to often it may not seal right. However there is a bearing cleaning bottle by Powel, it looks promising but I’m devising a way to make my own. Also if you notice the bearing shield is dirty take the wheel off and wipe it with down with a rag.
thank you, they are a hell of a lot cleaner than they were
what r those bearings?
Bones swiss labrynth
Holy Sh*t, ain't them like 50 bucks??? How long do those last??
yeah, these don't run cheap 45$ at the lowest and thats if you order them. I've used this type for my second set in a row. I decided to bite the bullet and buy the expensive bearings, rather than having to constantly replacing cheaper ones or ABECs. I put my older bearings on another deck, they're glitchy but work well enough for a cruising set-up. I'd say that their life span was a year and half before they became flawed. They endured a lot of stress though (primos, grinds, slides and drops), it all depends on your skate style and how often they're being used.
Would they work for a street setup?
I got a pair for $40 at blackholeboards.com I think they're a great investment. They are also really good for street.
when should you clean them?
I do a routine check on the parts by spinning the wheels. If the rotations began to slow down or sound gritty, the set needs to be cleaned.
mushfiqc7 years ago
arent those spirfire reapeater wheels i just got mines in blk and red there really cool :D
conceptualstratagem (author)  mushfiqc7 years ago
Yeah thats them.
nice man what wheels have you got?
These are spitfire 51mm. The bearings are a lot easier to install and remove unlike solid polyurethane wheels.
Nice! I actually have to get new bearings soon, but with this Instructable, nevermind! Great job! +1 rating.
Nice! I actually have to get new bearings soon, but with this Instructable, nevermind! Great job! +1 rating.