Axle bearing maintenance

(Chris Kutscher) #1

With traditional axle bearings that don’t have seals/covers how do you handle maintenance for the best bearing performance and life?

I was told/taught to lube the bearings with tri-flow before each run which I think is pretty universally agreed on. What I’m less sure is between-event maintenance. I was told that after a race weekend to spray/flush out the bearings with brake cleaner, let them dry, then Re-lube with tri-flow to prepare for next event.

Lately I’ve wondered if the brake cleaner is the appropriate thing to do? I will say it flushes a lot of dirt and nasty stuff out but also seems like it’d potentially take more protection out than would be ideal. Would it be better to try to flush with air alone or potentially blast with WD40 and/or aerosol tri-flow?

I’d appreciate any feedback from the experts.

(Bryan Williams ) #2

I like to use wd-40 and an air nozzle on a compressor. Spin the axle and shoot wd in while blowing air. You will see grime come out. Keep doing until it starts to run clear. Finish off the same way with tri-flo

(Noah Koenig) #3

Be careful with brake cleaner. Although it is an amazing cleaner, it is extremely dry and can wreck bearings if they aren’t lubricated enough. Bryan is right on with using WD-40 on the bearings. Not too much Tri-Flow or your bearings will pick up every piece of grit and grime. Cheers.

(James McMahon) #4

WD40 is barely a lubricant. But on the other hand I’m not sure it really makes a difference what you use in there, within reason. Don’t even start me on spinning the wheels to “test” it :joy:

When I first started I used 3in1 oil.
Now I use lithium spray grease.
I think I’ve even used motor oil at some point :astonished:

(Tony Zambos) #5

Another reason to be careful with brake cleaner is that it will take the paint of the chassis.

(rrs10) #6

We remove the rear axle and front hubs from the kart. Clean them out with brake cleaner then compressed air. Then I spray them with tri flow unless it’s going to be more than a week before we race again. Then I throughly spray them with wd40. Then the Thursday or Friday night before we race I spray them with Tri flow.

(Nicholas Bushnell) #7

WD-40 is not a full on lubricant. It was primarily made as a water displacement thus the term WD. Works good as a flushing agent but should not be used as a lubricant without something else before going on the track. We used strictly WD when i was a kid, it sure made those bearings spin smooth for a bit but would wear out the bearings very quickly.

(Bryan Williams ) #8

Exactly. Like I said how I use it to clean out the grime with an air nozzle then finish with tri-flo or an oil that isn’t solvent based.