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  • That water-cleaning controversy...........

    I picked up the book 1 of the New Departure bearing books, which I had been looking for.

    Interestingly, in the maintenance section, they RECOMMEND use of a water-diluted cleaner to clean precision ball bearings, in cases where solvents do not clean the hardened crud out..... They actually recommended boiling the bearings in the solution.

    Since the N-D folks knew more than most about bearings, having invented preloading, etc, I don't think this is some shade-tree remedy......

    They do say to follow that with a solvent wash/light oil wash and to coat the bearings with oil or grease preservative afterward...... but clearly the hot water was not expected to damage them.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  • #2
    Originally posted by J Tiers
    ....but clearly the hot water was not expected to damage them.
    Why should it? Am I missing something?
    Provided they are dried completely and then lubed properly there shouldn't be a problem. I've done this to hundreds of bearings over the years without any problems
    Water shouldn't damage them except if they are left wet and corrosion starts.

    bollie7

    Comment


    • #3
      New Departure

      Thanks JT.

      I agree with Bollie7 as regards method but I've not even come close to having done that many - way behind.

      I thought the name seemed familiar from a long time ago - and no wonder:
      http://wiki.gmnext.com/wiki/index.ph...turing_Company

      http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=e...=new+departure

      Comment


      • #4
        Who said hot water would cause damage?

        It is a perfectly acceptable method of cleaning provided that it can be done conveniently and appropriate precautions are taken to protect the part following the cleaning by ensuring all residual water is removed and the part is protected by a rust preventive lubricant.
        Jim H.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by JCHannum
          Who said hot water would cause damage?
          I don't follow either JT. Common SOP is to heat a bearing to 150 - 250° to install, hence the old timers trick of sitting a bearing on the lightbulb to install it. As long as you dry-off all the water so you don't rust the races...

          Personally I like Trichlorethylene (i.e. Red CRC Brake cleaner): it dissolves all the crud and doesn't leave a residue.
          "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

          Comment


          • #6
            They're not talking about plain water anyway, are they? Some metals begin to corrode or oxidize almost immediatly upon contact with water, the hotter it is, the faster it happens. But there are lots of water-born cleaners used for paint prep, etc which include oxidation inhibitors. This is what I think the New Departure people are referring to.
            Southwest Utah

            Comment


            • #7
              I too have been doing this for years, didn't realize it was a controversial subject.
              Think steam cleaning, no better or faster way to clean a 1,500 lb. transmission case (bearings included) than good old hot water. Blow it out with air and give it a good coat of your favorite rust preventative and it's done.

              Works good at home too, for small jobs just boil the parts on the stove.

              Oh, now I now why it's controversial...I didn't get an official okeedoekee from swmbo.
              Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
              Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

              Location: British Columbia

              Comment


              • #8
                There was a thread a bit ago where all sorts of dire consequences were predicted for water cleaning, when someone suggested boiling an assembly to free it up.

                Personally, I use water-diluted cleaners a LOT for machinery parts, and they cause ME no problems. I have not had to boil any, but would not hesitate to do so.

                Some folks seemed to be thinking it was OK for non-critical parts, but not for any 'precision" stuff...... I thought the endorsement by a bearing company was interesting in light of the comments made in that otehr thread.

                Even those who were Ok with it suggested disassembly. But the disassembly possible with a ball bearing is obviously minimal or non-existent in most cases.

                As for the materials, they didn't specify a cleaner, aside from a generic reference to "water-diluted emulsion" cleaners. That covers a goodly amount of ground.
                1601

                Keep eye on ball.
                Hashim Khan

                Comment


                • #9
                  Abec 93 1/2

                  Originally posted by J Tiers
                  There was a thread a bit ago where all sorts of dire consequences were predicted for water cleaning, when someone suggested boiling an assembly to free it up.

                  Personally, I use water-diluted cleaners a LOT for machinery parts, and they cause ME no problems. I have not had to boil any, but would not hesitate to do so.

                  Some folks seemed to be thinking it was OK for non-critical parts, but not for any 'precision" stuff...... I thought the endorsement by a bearing company was interesting in light of the comments made in that otehr thread.

                  Even those who were Ok with it suggested disassembly. But the disassembly possible with a ball bearing is obviously minimal or non-existent in most cases.

                  As for the materials, they didn't specify a cleaner, aside from a generic reference to "water-diluted emulsion" cleaners. That covers a goodly amount of ground.
                  Thanks JT.

                  That should sort the Evangelists and Purists out - but you will be on their Heretic list. Perhaps they need a cold shower with "a ...... generic ......... water-diluted emulsion" cleaner - which should "ABEC 93 1/2 compatible" (for their "delicate ball-bearing parts").

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by J Tiers
                    There was a thread a bit ago where all sorts of dire consequences were predicted for water cleaning, when someone suggested boiling an assembly to free it up.
                    Don't remember that thread -- you sure it was here? That sounds like a PM thread.

                    I have to say, I haven't had good luck removing, cleaning, and re-installing precision bearings. They never seem to run correctly after they've been removed and cleaned.

                    I have had good luck cleaning them in-situ, and repacking.
                    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This one:
                      http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=34301


                      Originally posted by J Tiers
                      Even those who were Ok with it suggested disassembly. But the disassembly possible with a ball bearing is obviously minimal or non-existent in most cases.
                      Seemed to me that the problem was being 100% positive the water had all evaporated from a complex assembly full of nooks and crannies. A single open bearing would pose no such concern and wouldn't require disassembly to be assured that no water was trapped.
                      Location: North Central Texas

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A wonderful story---

                        Once upon a time there was a farmer in whose house there was an ancient grandfather clock. The clock stopped one day and his wife requested repairs, the farmer, on looking at the clock figured it needed oiling, so he got the oil can from the threshing machine kit because it was the thinnest oil he had , thinner than that for his traction engine,and gave it a good oiling. Well the old clock struggled back to life. The process was repeated occasionally over the next twenty years or so, but eventually the old clock wouldnt go any more. So the farmers wife took the " Works" to the local clockmaker on market day. The clockmaker took one look at the oily, chaff encrusted mess and exclaimed, " Woman take it away and boil it" So being the frugal soul she was she took it home and next wash day, after washing was done,she put the clock in the tub and let it sit an hour or two. The suds removed the dirt, alas they also removed the numbers on the face of the clock . The farmer found some thinner oil ( The years had moved on, he now had a car and a better workshop as well)and oiled the clock with that.If you ever get the priviledge to visit an ancient farmhouse in deepest Devon, where there is a traction engine and threshing machine sleeping in the barn, look carefully at the grandfather clock in the hall, if you see it has a very nicely lettered paper face you will know the story is true. Regards David Powell.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Joel
                          Seemed to me that the problem was being 100% positive the water had all evaporated from a complex assembly full of nooks and crannies. A single open bearing would pose no such concern and wouldn't require disassembly to be assured that no water was trapped.
                          That is the thread, and the problem with trying to clean that particular piece by boiling, not to mention the logistics involved with boiling and drying a piece of that physical size and weight.
                          Jim H.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Perhaps not easily nor in all cases

                            The OP mentioned "precision ball bearings":

                            Originally posted by J Tiers
                            I picked up the book 1 of the New Departure bearing books, which I had been looking for.

                            Interestingly, in the maintenance section, they RECOMMEND use of a water-diluted cleaner to clean precision ball bearings, in cases where solvents do not clean the hardened crud out..... They actually recommended boiling the bearings in the solution.

                            Since the N-D folks knew more than most about bearings, having invented preloading, etc, I don't think this is some shade-tree remedy......

                            They do say to follow that with a solvent wash/light oil wash and to coat the bearings with oil or grease preservative afterward...... but clearly the hot water was not expected to damage them.
                            (My emphasis)

                            I can see it being feasible or perhaps necessary in some circumstances but it would need a very skilled operator to do the job and be sure it was done right under very good conditions - if the balls were accessible.

                            I must confess to being a little bemused here.

                            Just how can you be sure that all "gunk" is removed from the cage if the bearing is not disassembled? You can't see it if it is and so it must be a "trust to luck" exercise.

                            If you do dismantle it, how can you be sure that after re-assembly the cage is not distorted and rubbing excessively on the balls?

                            Next, what if the bearing has one or two seals on it? How do you clean it - and be able to see that its cleaned - without removing or damaging the seal/s?

                            If you don't dismantle it, how can you be sure that none of the races or balls has any "failures" or "brinelling"?

                            Next, given the minimal cost of bearings in many cases and the cost of a failure and/or having to re-do the job, why risk it with old bearings?

                            Its not a matter of whether you can afford to replace the bearings, but more a matter of can you afford not to?

                            http://www.goenglish.com/PennyWisePoundFoolish.asp

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Perfectly acceptable method of cleaning. Especially if using an ultra sonic machine which is the best way to clean precision bearings.

                              The most important thing is to get them thoroughly dry afterwards. Blow with dry air (don't spin) and heat in oven at 200 for an hour. Placing on top of a 75 watt bulb works great too.

                              Proper lube method is the next hurdle in the equation.

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