How to remove, clean and re-attach machine bearings
Step 1: Clean the machine as it is easier to work on.
Step 2: Lay your machine on its side as it is easier to take it apart.
Step 3: Remove the belt. If this part is too easy and you have a red or green belt, take a link out so that when you go to reassemble the machine, the belt will be tight.
Step 4: Remove the set screws/loosen them on the reel to pull it off. Don’t lose the key stock inside.
Step 5: Loosen the two set screws on the bearing. You do not need to fully remove these, just loosen them.
Step 6: Stand the machine up again so you can pull the motor out.
Step 7: Remove the 4 Allen head bolts holding the electrical switch in place.
Step 8: Remove the 4 large Allen head bolts holding the motor in place. Remove the lower bolts first and then remove the top one. Make sure to put one hand under the motor, or some pieces of wood underneath so it doesn’t fall when you remove the last screw.
Step 9: Rest the motor on your workspace.
Step 10: Turn the machine on its end and apply some WD40 or braking fluid to the bearings. By having the machine in this position, it allows the fluid to seep in and loosen the bearing.
Step 11: Flip the machine over and repeat Step 10 to the bearings on the other side.
Step 12: Put the machine back on its side and remove the other components (adjustment blocks, crossmembers and remove the cheek plates) so that it is easier to press the bearings in. A rubber weighted mallet is perfect to remove the cheek pieces without scarring the finish. Try and stay as close to the reel and bearing as possible. It does not require tapping hard. If you run into a problem where it is stuck, simply call our tech support.
Step 13: Remove the reel. If it is looking a bit rough, we can walk you through how to sharpen them.
Step 14: Repeat Step 12 and remove the cheek plate on the opposite side.
Step 15: Lay the cheek plates flat and spray the bearings once more with WD40 and wipe them down as they are likely still dirty despite pressure washing.
Step 16: Make sure to have a good pair of snap ring pliers with a ratchet style set-up to remove the seal. Hold the rag over the bearings so that they don’t pop out and hit you.
Step 17: Press the bearings out using a small press.
Step 18: When you go to replace the old bearings, make sure to orient the new ones so they are facing the right direction. The cheek plates are bookended, so where the knife and bed bar go are on opposite sides, facing each other. The bearing has to go in specifically – they should be facing 90 degrees to the bed knife so they can be greased later on.
Step 19: There are two holes in each bearing surface in the slot. Ensure that you stick in it, lining it up so it is somewhat in the hole but not very hard. Leave that opening on the snap ring, facing down in the proper direction, which will prevent water splashing into it.
Step 2o: Press the bearings in from the outside race of the bearing. You don’t want to press it in from the center as that could damage the bearing.
Step 21: Once both bearings are pressed in properly, you need to put the snap rings in place. The snap rings needs to go in so the open side allows the hole you will be greasing to be exposed. Use your snap ring pliars to expand the ring and push down on it to seat them in the groove.
Step 22: Check once more that the bearing hole is exposed and you have access to grease the bearings.
Step 23: Repeat Steps 20 and 21 for the other side.
Step 24: If the hole is not centered, you can tap your side ring to rotate it to ensure the bearing hole is where you need it to be.
Step 25: Add some grease to the seals using your grease needle. Ensure that you are applying a high temperature lithium grease. By squeezing grease into the bearings, it will push any moisture or air out of the bearing. As you squeeze, rotate the bearing so you can get grease all the way around. Ensure that every time you wash your machine, you repeat this step immediately after to prevent excess moisture from building up.
Step 26: Run a rag over both bearings to wipe up any excess grease.
Step 27: Put your machine back together.
If you do not have access to a press, there is an alternative method to pushing in your bearings.
Step 1: Ensure your cheek plate is sitting on two pieces of wood, with space below it for the bearing to be pushed through.
Step 2: Place the bearing on the hole and orient it, just as you would if you were using a press.
Step 3: Make sure the opening on the snap ring is facing down and that you have the right cheek plate to the correct bearing, so you do not press them in backwards.
Step 4: Now you need to find something to put over the bearing, such a socket head. Anything that will fit over the bearing and put pressure on the outside versus the center.
Step 5: Place that over the bearing and tap it using your mallet. The trick is to tap it in squarely – if you see it getting cocked to one side, you will need to remove it and re-orientate it. Light taps will work just fine.
Step 6: Re-assemble your machine.