View Full Version : How to remove this bearing?

09-18-2011, 11:06 PM
Looking for a suggestion for two about removing a bearing on the rear plate of this old solar telescope a friend of mine owns. You can see in the photos that there is no way to pull the bearing, because the hole in the rear plate is identical in size to the I.D. of the bearing, so there's not enough of the face of the bearing to punch out or grab. How do you remove a seated bearing like this?




09-18-2011, 11:12 PM
See if you can rent or buy a blind bearing tool.


09-18-2011, 11:25 PM
I'd stick a bolt or something in the ID and tack weld it to the inner race, then press/tap it out from the other side.

09-18-2011, 11:29 PM
Either make or buy a cheap expanding arbor. Insert arbor from "top", tighten expanding bolt on bearing, hammer from "top" on arbor. http://www.mcmaster.com/#expanding-mandrels/=e4gt9i Like that. Harbor Fr..... is fine. No need to spend more than $20. There are specialized "sets" like dp mentions that are made for specific bearings if you are doing this all the time. For onesy twosey don't spend the money, IME. The expanding mandrels work fine.

09-18-2011, 11:31 PM
I think I might try sizing a rod to a close tolerance fit and locktite it or superglue it to the inner race of the bearing. Might give you just enough grip to remove it. And it won't damage the hole if it doesn't work.

You might also try drilling and tapping the end of a slightly oversize rod and then cut two slots in the end resembling a "+" sign so the rod expands when a set-screw is driven into the tapped hole. Then you will have something to pull on or drive against.

You might also consider drilling the rear hole a bit larger and then press a sleeve into the hole once the bearing is removed.

I'm sure there are other ideas, but those are the ones I thought of.

A.K. Boomer
09-18-2011, 11:32 PM
Are u replacing it?

if so then dis-assemble the cage and extract the inner race and balls - then maybe you have enough angle to get a drift punch in there and work the outer race on out...

09-18-2011, 11:33 PM
It may even be possible to use a shower head goose neck remover. It is an expanding mandrel that fits inside a broken shower head goose neck pipe and allows you to unscrew it.

A.K. Boomer
09-18-2011, 11:38 PM
that's a good idea - double check the back hole and even if it's a couple thou larger youv got it kicked - build a shaft to just fit into the bearing race but then have a couple thou step in it - then pound it out from the backside.

09-19-2011, 12:00 AM
If the housing is cast ally just put it in the oven with the bearing facing down, it will fall out. Otherwise ass suggested above but countersink/bore the seat before replacing it so that it can be pulled easily next time.

09-19-2011, 12:14 AM
I just use a slide hammer with a blind bearing puller. I have on occasion drilled two or three small holes from the rear so they intersect with the outer rim, then pushed or punched them out. A dab of JB weld seals the holes after if required.

Another way is to grind (die grinder) a couple of pockets in the bearing inner race, then expand a split post puller into it. In your case, you can likely get it out by slitting a bolt for an inch with hacksaw, insert into the bearing and drive in a wedge from the back. The expanding threads will grab.

Mike Burdick
09-19-2011, 12:16 AM
If the casting is cast iron then an oxy-acetylene cutting torch will cut the bearing out. If the casting is aluminum, then use a die grinder to cut two or three groves in the bearing, almost to the base metal... then break out with a punch.

If you don't have a die grinder, you'll now have a good excuse to get one. They are very handy!


09-19-2011, 05:27 AM
I had to replace a bearing for a friend not so long ago. It was the gearbox output bearing on an Italian motorcycle and I wanted to avoid splitting the cases. There was of course a shaft through the middle that couldn't be removed.

I used one of these..


Draper small insert bearing puller (Amazon carry them).

Break up the cage, then insert the appropriate size tip (a ball with two flats) and twist to lock.

I wound it up as tight as I dared, then left the cases with a hot air gun blowing on them. After about half and hour there was a loud bang as the bearing finally released it's grip.

09-19-2011, 07:44 AM
Depending on how tight the bearing is in there you might be able to use a test plug in the inner race and then pound the bearing out. Or similar a round piece of wood the same size as the bearing and then drive a screw down the middle while it is in the bearing which will expand the wood and grab the bearing.


Black Forest
09-19-2011, 08:03 AM
Put a rod in from the side with the outer race that just fits in the inner race and level with the inner race. Turn it over and stake the edges of the rod with a punch. Then heat the casting and use a punch to drive out the bearing.

09-19-2011, 11:04 AM
Like Boomer said remove the cage and balls. Then use your welder (MIG, TIG or stick) to run a bead about 1/4 the ID of the race. The race will fall right out. Works like a charm and won't heat or damage the casting at all - as long as you can weld in a straight line!


09-19-2011, 11:08 AM
Removing the cage can be difficult if it's steel and rivited. It's hard to tell from the pic, but it might be rivited. Each rivit will need to be ground flush and punched. Even then, not all bearings allow the balls can be removed by removing the cage; the outer race may have been heated for insertion. If you use a bearing puller that locks into the outer grove, just pushing the balls to one side can work.

If it's a pressed steel cage it's less difficult. Plastic is easy.

The easist way in this case is just slightly expand the existing rear hole and press it out.

09-19-2011, 11:25 AM
You didn't mention the size of the bearing, it looks to be pretty small.
But you might see if you can find a stud type concrete anchor that would fit.
Insert it into the bore of the bearing and tighten the nut to expand the end of the anchor, a dab of glue between the race and anchor probably wouldn't hurt either, but may not be needed.


09-19-2011, 11:44 AM
Take a look at how they pull cylinder sleeves from a diesel engine.
It is the same application.
I just did it on a dozer engine this morning.

Get a pipe with id.larger than od. of bearing race,some allthread rod and two washers.
one larger than the pipe. one against the bearing.
Tighten up until it pulls the bearing into the pipe.

Oops! I should have read the whole post. My idea won't work.

Can you drill some of the housing away so you can get a bite on the back of the bearing?
Should not need more than a sixteenth oversize.

09-19-2011, 10:35 PM
I was posting this for a friend. He was very appreciative for all of the ideas and suggestions and asked me to say thanks!


09-19-2011, 11:14 PM

I see that you are in AZ - so am I.

I have a couple of blind hole pullers, one real simple to make.

If we can get together I'm offerring to help out.


09-20-2011, 01:08 AM
If the housing is cast ally just put it in the oven with the bearing facing down, it will fall out. Otherwise ass suggested above but countersink/bore the seat before replacing it so that it can be pulled easily next time.

If it was Aluminum that's what I would do. Not sure about ally tho:D

09-20-2011, 02:38 AM
If you are going to destroy the bearing anyway, just go at it from the back side and just catch the inner race with a good punch with a crisp edge. Should be able to work around and knock it out. Looks like there should be enough of an edge to catch.