Clean Abec 5 Greaseballs (soaking)

Introduction: Clean Abec 5 Greaseballs (soaking)

Sector 9 greaseballs have different ways to clean them:

  1. Soaking


  1. Destructively remove 1 shield (either leave open permanently or replace shield with other brand)

I'll only be addressing the one I know best; soaking.

Step 1: Required Equipment

  1. Cola (or any other cheap soda with phosphoric acid, preferably diet)
  2. Goof-Off (or acetone alone)
  3. high % rubbing alcohol (90+% recommended)
  4. Small pill medication bottle .. or another tight sealable small container for bearing soaking
  5. rags
  6. rubber gloves
  7. canned air or air compressor
  8. Silicone spray... or your choice of liquid lubricant
  9. ... Time, appx 8 hours mostly unattended soaking.

Step 2: De-rust-ola Cola

Phosphoric acid in cola and other brown sodas can break down rust excellently. If you want to use a real derusting solution feel free, but they cost alot more and cola works great. Diet soda depending on the brand can have less viscous, sticky-when-dried properties.. but that's just my perspective.

  1. If you managed not to destroy the shields just getting the bearings out of your wheels... then put them in your pill bottle and add cola until they're fully submerged.
  2. Let the cola seep into the bearings for a few seconds to make sure you added enough cola so they're fully submerged.

These steps will be the same for the other 3 stages of soaking:

  1. Don't fill the pill bottle to the rim, you're just asking to make a mess that way.
  2. Shake gently and let soak for an hour or more.
  3. Remove each bearing and give it a few spins.
  4. Drain out the pill bottle.
  5. Repeat steps 1 + 2.

Step 3: Goof-Off (or Acetone or Other Highly Toxic De-greaser)

Goof-Off may not be the best choice for you, I get it really cheap in large quantity through my job so it worked for me. You really need something that'll break down all the grease and stuff in your bearings so don't half-ass it and just skip to alcohol. An alternative: Acetone is not too expensive and it's a main ingredient in Goof-Off.

Sector 9 greaseballs are all metal so you don't have to worry about destroying the plastic based crowns/cages inside like other bearings.

Warning: Goof-Off fumes are not a joke, do this in a well ventilated area and follow the safety precautions on the label.

  1. Drain your cola from the pill bottle and remove your bearings.
  2. Return the bearings to the pill bottle and fill with Goof-Off until submerged.

Repeated steps:

  1. Don't fill the pill bottle to the rim, you're just asking to make a mess that way.
  2. Shake gently for a few minutes and let soak (sealed) for an hour or more.

Goof-Off is not cheap for most people so I wouldn't recommend draining for a second soak, and it's not really needed since you can dissolve everything out with one batch.

  1. Put your gloves on, you DO NOT want this stuff on you.
  2. Dig the bearings out of the solution without spilling it and getting super powers.
  3. Give the bearings a few spins.
  4. Return the bearings to the bottle and solution.
  5. Shake the bottle gently for at least 5 minutes straight OR every so often while waiting another hour or more.

Your solution should get pretty black over time.

Step 4: Alcohol Cleansing

Remove your bearings and drain the de-greaser solution. Your bearings will need a couple spins and a good wipe down. Spinning will still feel rough (if your old + mistreated etc) but smoother for certain. If your de-greaser solution didn't get too cloudy and black from grease then you didn't use a strong enough solution or didn't leave them long enough.

  1. Return the bearings to the pill bottle and fill with alcohol until submerged.
  2. Don't fill the pill bottle to the rim, you're just asking to make a mess that way.
  3. Shake gently for a few minutes and let soak for 30min to an hour.
  4. Remove each bearing and give it a few spins.
    1. You should notice a difference in the feel and sound from spinning now, metal on metal.
  5. Drain out the pill bottle and refill.
  6. Shake gently for a few minutes and let soak for an hour or more.

Step 5: Drying

When you drain your alcohol a second time and give the bearings a spin you should notice a huge difference (if you didn't the first time you drained). There should basically just be metal on metal inside the bearing now.

  1. Use the compressed air (I recommend a real compressor) and press the nozzle right against the shields. You want the air to pass through the gap between the shield and the center hub.
  2. Repeat for opposite side shield.
  3. Give the bearing a spin and repeat steps 1 + 2.

You should really be able to feel the metal on metal spin now. Let them air dry for a few minutes or use a hair dryer briefly on them.

Step 6: Lubrication

I would suggest using a legitimate liquid bearing lube to soak past the shields into the bearing. Give them a spin, maybe another drop or two of lube after, and top them off with a spray of silicone spray....

BUT!!! I couldn't find my Rush brand lube last time I did this and just let them soak in some silicone spray for awhile... worked fine!

Some lube will drain when spinning or riding and that leads to the question; is there enough lubrication inside since we couldn't replace the original grease through the shields? Hard to say, but you don't have a lot of options. There are a few forums out there showing the destructive method of cleaning these, if you wanna go that route.

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    7 years ago

    Do you have any more photos to go along with your written directions? Maybe a before and after photo?


    Reply 7 years ago

    Sorry no other photos, I didn't think I'd be making this guide last time I did this.