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Thread: Can you change the for bearing on a Tilite?

  1. #1
    Senior Member grommet's Avatar
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    Can you change the for bearing on a Tilite?

    I know this has been discussed but a search didn't turn up a thread for me.

    I want to know if it is possible to change the fork bearing (not caster) on my Tilite TR. I had heard that it was press-fit in to the frame so the chair needed to be sent to the company to have it replaced. Eek!

    Can I just drop the fork and find the bearing above the stem and swap it out?

    The reason for wanting to change out the bearing is an increasing nochyness in the rotation. I can hear and feel it.

    Advice?

  2. #2
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    Is it the single sided fork? I not know your answer, but I may be able to check. Is the wheel and axle clean? Does it get dirty for you and do you clean it. I have single-sided. I need to clean then continually or there will be so much buildup, it will be a mess.

  3. #3
    When my standard Tilite fork bearings needed changing, my auto mechanic did it for me.
    Chas
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
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  4. #4
    Senior Member grommet's Avatar
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    I'm glad that worked for you. I wonder what he did to get the bearings out. The shop hour rate would be too much for me right now. I just took the fork off and it is one of the bearings that is nochy. I couldn't get the bearing out and really didn't want to damage it so I too the seal off (very carefully) and put a lot of lube in there, wiped off whatever came out. It's better. I still want to fix it permanently by changing out the bearings. It seems like there might be a way to do it at home but I don't have a backup chair so I can't risk putting my chair off-road with damage. Another reason I want a new chair - so I have a backup.

    As it is, maybe I can ride it out for a long time. Thanks for the info Chas.

  5. #5
    I just did mine recently on my Ti Lite X which are probably a similar setup. I used a flat head screw driver and a hammer and just caught the inside part of the bearing with the screwdriver turned sideways and whacked it hard with the hammer and moved from side to side of the bearing and it slowly came out, then there was a C clip that held in the upper bearing, I removed the C clip and then whacked out the upper bearing in the same way. I then used a spark plug large socket to drive in the new upper bearing and put back in the c clip and then tapped in the lower bearing, then put the fork back on. I still have end play though as that was the reason I wanted to change the bearings in that side. I think the upper bearing had been bad for so long it wore the metal out in the hole through the fork where the caster stud goes into. Still the same and the wheel wobbles when I go faster in the chair. So trying to order a new fork now, that should correct my issue. With your issue, definitely sounds like you just need bearings.
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    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Can the balls inside the bearing be replaced? Since you could remove the seal, maybe you could do a complete cleaning of the bearing without removing it. I know Chas has posted links on bearing cleaning in the past and can help you out there. And then if there is still an issue, I wonder if the balls could be replaced as another step before having to pay someone to do the work of completely replacing it.
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  7. #7
    Replacing it really is not that big a deal and no the balls alone cannot be replaced. I guess you could spray some WD 40 in there to clean it out and then pack some grease in there and replace the seal which sounds like pretty much what you have done.
    "Life is about how you
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  8. #8
    Senior Member grommet's Avatar
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    Curt, thank you so much. That's great to hear that you can do it at home. I did try the screwdriver/hammer tap technique but I wasn't making progress right away and I was really nervous about damaging the bearings in place and not being able to get them out so I stopped. But you have encouraged me to give it a try again. Not today, I am worn out from the work I just did.

    I do have one question though, what did you rest the fork on when you tapped out the bearings? I had trouble figuring that out. That top bearing sits flush so I definitely couldn't figure out how I was going to do that. Fortunately that bearing feels fine anyway but I'd like to know all I can. What did you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Leatherbee View Post
    I just did mine recently on my Ti Lite X which are probably a similar setup. I used a flat head screw driver and a hammer and just caught the inside part of the bearing with the screwdriver turned sideways and whacked it hard with the hammer and moved from side to side of the bearing and it slowly came out, then there was a C clip that held in the upper bearing, I removed the C clip and then whacked out the upper bearing in the same way. I then used a spark plug large socket to drive in the new upper bearing and put back in the c clip and then tapped in the lower bearing, then put the fork back on. I still have end play though as that was the reason I wanted to change the bearings in that side. I think the upper bearing had been bad for so long it wore the metal out in the hole through the fork where the caster stud goes into. Still the same and the wheel wobbles when I go faster in the chair. So trying to order a new fork now, that should correct my issue. With your issue, definitely sounds like you just need bearings.

  9. #9
    Senior Member grommet's Avatar
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    I thought about that too. I thought I could take the new balls out of a good bearing and swap them. I wasn't getting anywhere with that idea so I didn't push it. I do think it may be possible but I don't actually know. Curt's instructions on how to knock out the bearings seems the way to go. When I can, I will give that a try. I wish there was a took designed for removing bearings. Using the edge of a screwdriver with a hammer is what I've done for years but it would be nice if a proper tool for the job existed.

    Quote Originally Posted by ~Lin View Post
    Can the balls inside the bearing be replaced? Since you could remove the seal, maybe you could do a complete cleaning of the bearing without removing it. I know Chas has posted links on bearing cleaning in the past and can help you out there. And then if there is still an issue, I wonder if the balls could be replaced as another step before having to pay someone to do the work of completely replacing it.

  10. #10
    I just rested the fork on the side of my leg while sitting on the couch and slammed away being careful not to put the screw driver into my leg, lol. You have to hit it pretty hard and go from one side to the other and it will slowly come out. You pretty much have to have no concern for destroying the bearing that is in there as it will probably get messed up doing it this way but does not matter as you are putting a new bearing in. If it it's just he lower bearing that is gritty, just replace that one as for the upper bearing you will need a special c clip needle nose tool to get that clip out and back in again. The c clip holds in the upper bearing. There is enough space between the upper and lower bearing though to catch the inside edge of the lower bearing with the screw driver without damaging the upper bearing. It should slowly work its way out. Be careful putting the new bearing in and come to think of it I think the socket I had was even bigger than a spark socket to fit around the edges of the new bearing, you don't want to hit the new bearing from the inside as it will be damaged, just find the right socket that fits around the outside and gently line it up and tap it in. It really is not that hard a job as long as you just go in it figuring you are gonna destroy the old bearing and get aggressive. Even if it did break apart you will still get it out and be able to install the new one.
    "Life is about how you
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    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
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    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

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