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Thread: 94 cent caster bearing installation tool

  1. #1

    94 cent caster bearing installation tool

    Just wondered if anyone else has a hard time pushing new bearings into caster wheels. I'm new to using aluminum casters and it is even more difficult. Here's my cheap solution:

    Parts: (see pic)

    5/16" hex bolt 2.5" length (give or take)
    5/16" fender washers x 2
    5/15" flat washer x 2 (probably unnecessary, but I had them around anyway)
    5/16" nut

    and two 1/2" wrenches

    I tried to number the steps with pics, but the numbers are kind of hard to see (and cheap cell phone pics)...sorry.

    Push one bearing into wheel (notice in pic 2 they will still stick out a little), place two washers on bolt and slide bolt through first bearing (pic 1). On the other side place spacer and 2nd bearing onto bolt and push in a little (pic 2). Add remaining two washers and nut to the end of the bolt and tighten with wrenches (pic 3). Once bearings are set just reverse the nut, remove the bolt, and voila! (pic 4).

    Good luck.

    Bearing removal coming up...

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Ottawa, Cdn.....eh
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    Yha, used that way for rollerblade wheels.

    Simple, effective, and keeps the bearing straight.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
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    7,177
    Nice!

  4. #4

    Removal

    Again, new to aluminum caster wheels...Removing bearing is MUCH easier with plastic casters or roller blade wheels. You can just pry them out.

    Aluminum is not so flexible. My removal process is much less graceful than installation. (If there's an easier way...please help me)

    Tools:

    Hammer
    Torx screwdriver (because it was close by)
    1/2" Bolt (again, close by)

    The hard part is removing the first bearing. Stick the driver (or some tool that will fit) through the top bearing at an angle so it hits the inside of the bottom bearing and hammer it out. You will probably need to rotate a few times so the bearing comes out straight.

    The second bearing is easier because the top bearing will have been removed (the pic is misleasding, but I had just put it back together). Use the bolt, or any large object and hammer out the bottom bearing.

    p.s. If you're going to do this on a wood floor put a book or something underneath.

    better yet...go outside (my wife was not home)
    Last edited by JoeyMearig; 08-27-2008 at 06:16 PM.

  5. #5
    I just realized my hammering removal technique will only work with 1.5" wide caster wheels. On 1" casters the bearing is flush with the caster so there is nowhere for it to go when hammered. Guess you'll have to put the caster wheel on a surface with a hole for the bearing to fall into?

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Ottawa, Cdn.....eh
    Posts
    3,268
    Yha... Easier is to get a 2x4 with a hole drilled out. Save your floors too.

    A modified way is to mount a bolt threw the boad, then put the caster down onto the bolt and hit down onto the wheel itself.
    If you use a bolt just long enough, you don't have the worry of spearing yourself with the screwdriver.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyMearig
    I just realized my hammering removal technique will only work with 1.5" wide caster wheels. On 1" casters the bearing is flush with the caster so there is nowhere for it to go when hammered. Guess you'll have to put the caster wheel on a surface with a hole for the bearing to fall into?
    You can use a socket [from ratchet set] that just fits the outer diameter
    of the caster but doesn't touch the bearing, then you can punch/hammer
    the bearing thru using a smaller socket that just hits the bearing on its
    outside diameter

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyMearig
    I just realized my hammering removal technique will only work with 1.5" wide caster wheels. On 1" casters the bearing is flush with the caster so there is nowhere for it to go when hammered. Guess you'll have to put the caster wheel on a surface with a hole for the bearing to fall into?
    Laying the caster across a vice with the jaws spaced about 1" apart will work, but be prepared to chase down the bearing and inner spacer if they pop out and hit the floor. Make sure to inspect the inner spacer for any nicks which may have occurred and sand them out before you insert the new bearings.

  9. #9
    If you don't have a vice you can put a slideboard on 2 books and use the handhole cutout.

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