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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to clean and lubricate the bearings in my SLOSH reel. I read quite a few posts and they all say to remove the bearing shield but this means damaging the shiled and it can't be replaced.

Is it necessary to remove the bearing shield? I always thought you just took them out of the reel, soaked them in petrol overnight, dried them, oiled them and then put them back into the reel. Surely leaving a bearing without its shield leaves it vulnerable to sand etc getting in?

Do you remove just one shield or both shields?
 

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To be honest mate, I don't think its necessary to remove the shields, I never have and my reels are mint, but I do flush them in lighter fluid, dry and re oil them a few times a year. Works for me.
 

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If the bearings are really gunky, you can remove the shield from one side, then when you re-fit the bearing make sure the now open side goes in the less exposed way round (hope that makes sense).
 

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If you try cleaning the bearings with the sheilds on then you aren't cleaning the bearings properly.
You can remove the sheilds without damaging them and replace the sheilds as we'll without damaging

The whole point of removing the sheilds is to give the bearings a good clean, then once clean spin up the bearings if they are quiet then they are clean. If noisy then they are still dirty!!
 

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If you try cleaning the bearings with the sheilds on then you aren't cleaning the bearings properly.
You can remove the sheilds without damaging them and replace the sheilds as we'll without damaging

The whole point of removing the sheilds is to give the bearings a good clean, then once clean spin up the bearings if they are quiet then they are clean. If noisy then they are still dirty!!
Tosh .... brake cleaner or acetone etc blow straight through a shielded bearing without trying and if the bearings are so dirty that you need to remove a shield to get the dirt out then they are fit for the bin anyway.

Bearings without a sheild do have a tendancy to blow the oil out a bit quicker, not surprising given how thin the oils often are and the speed the bearings go round.
 

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Tosh .... brake cleaner or acetone etc blow straight through a shielded bearing without trying and if the bearings are so dirty that you need to remove a shield to get the dirt out then they are fit for the bin anyway.

Bearings without a sheild do have a tendancy to blow the oil out a bit quicker, not surprising given how thin the oils often are and the speed the bearings go round.
Erm really Russ ? How can brake cleaner get through a sheild which covers the bearings. The sheild is a plate that covers the bearings, then you have a fine wire clip that keeps the sheild on the bearings this clip also covers the gap.

I've tried different ways to clean the bearings and the best and most effective way is to remove the clip and sheilds both sides of bearing. I can't see brake cleaner blowing out tiny fragments of metal when their ain't any holes for it to blow out of!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How do I remove the shields without destroying them? according to everything I've read you have to use a sharp object to pierce the shield and force it off. They then go on to say the shield is ruined and should be thrown away. They then replace the bearing without the shield - i.e. ball bearings now visible and exposed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Tosh .... brake cleaner or acetone etc blow straight through a shielded bearing without trying and if the bearings are so dirty that you need to remove a shield to get the dirt out then they are fit for the bin anyway.

Bearings without a sheild do have a tendancy to blow the oil out a bit quicker, not surprising given how thin the oils often are and the speed the bearings go round.
Blakdog - Am I right in thinking you just soak the bearing, complete with shields still intact, in acetone (I was thinking of using petrol) - if so how long for?
 

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If you try cleaning the bearings with the sheilds on then you aren't cleaning the bearings properly.
You can remove the sheilds without damaging them and replace the sheilds as we'll without damaging

The whole point of removing the sheilds is to give the bearings a good clean, then once clean spin up the bearings if they are quiet then they are clean. If noisy then they are still dirty!!

I agree. Removing the shields will expose the bearings innards which only seems logical to me that if something is more exposed, it would make for a easier/better clean and be less time consuming. I can't see any other way to check the spool bearings unless I can 'see' what they spin like once clean and dry.

My routine for checking said bearings is to place the bearing onto the tip of a pencil and give the outer race a spin. For stainless steel bearings I want to see if it can spin in excess of 10 seconds (what I believe is thoroughly cleaned). If it doesn't, I'll hit it with brake cleaner again and recheck. Their worth tossing in the bin if they 'both' can't spin free for 10 seconds - or near to. A bearings job is to spin (captain obvious) so, IMO, you can't expect to properly check one with it's shields in place.

Once the shields are off, the best place I put them is in the bin. I've been running my mates and my own reels with the spool bearings open for a few years now, not had a single problem from doing so. I personally think there's more benefits to them being removed than not.

All non-spool bearings (don't directly affect free spool) have the shields removed, fully packed with marine grease and shields replaced, if possible.


Removed with a de-barbed varivas 4/0 (not held liable for pricked fingers). :D


 

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Erm really Russ ? How can brake cleaner get through a sheild which covers the bearings. The sheild is a plate that covers the bearings, then you have a fine wire clip that keeps the sheild on the bearings this clip also covers the gap.
Don't be daft Leigh .... they are far from tight ..... stand a bearing on kitchen paper .... stick a few drops of oil in the top and two minutes later the oil will be right through the bearing and into the kitchen paper ... :doh:

There must be something about today .... my email has been just as daft.

How many complaints have you heard of me sending back a reel with ****e bearings? Well I don't remove shields off spool bearings because its a waste of time (and one that the customer is paying for) .... if you are charging someone to service their reel and you can't tell that a bearing is well past it by spinning the reel on the bench then you are taking money under false pretenses. I suspect most casters would ditch a bearing long before it actually got to the point that they were having to question the spin time.
 

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Blakdog - Am I right in thinking you just soak the bearing, complete with shields still intact, in acetone (I was thinking of using petrol) - if so how long for?
So long as you are sure they are metal caged .... not good to soak cheap ones as they often have plastic cages. You can soak .... you can blow them through with a can of brake cleaner ..... roll em around a pot of whatever to get the balls moving. Then stick em on kitchen or newspaper to evaporate - acetone will be gone in a minute ... couple of drops of oil on the edge of the seal and your done. If you spin the bearing on something you can watch the oil going down in the sheild .... contrary to what has been said ..... they are called a shield rather than a seal for a reason.
 

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Blakdog is correct if you think about it how does a bearing get dirty ? through the gap between the shield and the inner race. I have cleaned loads of bearings without taking the shields out what I use is a funnel with the spout cut short and reamed out so a bearing is a push fit into it, a turned down stainless rod to fit the inner race is used to turn the bearing. lighter fuel, acetone or you favourite cleaner is poured into the funnel the twizzle stick turns the bearing and out comes the crap while the cleaner flows through the bearing. The cleaner collected in a glass jar will show you what has come out of the bearing.
 

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What have you guys been diong with these bearings, offroading, lol if there are big enough chunks of metal in there to not get past the shied the bearing is buggered anyway..For fishing I am with blakdog on this one why waste your time
 

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Why I remove spool bearing shields and install them 'open':

Have greater access by exposing the bearings balls, cage and inner race ways (hardware) which helps greatly to achieve a thorough clean.

Able to visually check how well the bearing spins once clean and done dry.

Better longevity because air is able to circulate through the bearing which eliminates moisture/dispels water that might of intruded.

Next bearing service is sped up.

Can lubricate directly onto the inner hardware.

Better free spool.

Helps determine if the bearing is either stainless steel/ceramic hybrid (latter might not state so on the outer race), also determining if the cage that houses the balls is either plastic or metal.



Here's why I don't like the shields in place:

Traps moisture/intrusive water long after it's intrusion, increasing the rate/amount of corrosion.

Not being able to achieve a thorough clean if the shield is covering what I want thoroughly cleaned.

Can't check bearing spin times to see if both bearings are thoroughly clean and if the performances match up to one another (mismatched bearings will cause the spool to vibrate - unbalanced spools vibrate - impossible to bench test).

Can't identify if the bearing has a metal/nylon cage to determine the strength of solvent needed.

Doesn't keep dirt out/retains more dirt (remnants left inside your bearing baths is proof).



I tell you what, bigcyprinus, why not register a new account here: Fishing Reel Repair by Alan Tani - Index This is the only designated reel maintenance/repair forum available (sub forums like this one don't count), then ask the very same question you have in this thread on their boards? You will quickly be enlightened! The Alan Tani forum is supplied and participated by the very best reel technicians across the world and where better to seek advice than from those who have made a reel (pun intended) difference to what we're seeing in our reels of today because the contributors there are true innovators.

The reels I've removed the shields from have been fished from rocks, beaches and boats, not a 'single' issue has arouse. How anyone can condemn removing bearings shields, unless they have personal findings/experience from doing so, are only going to be clutching at straws.
 

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Great site ...bookmarked it... sorted a problem I have with a tld5 in two mins.... still won't be taking shields off though lol
 
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Very interesting thread.
I have cleaned many bearings in my time and never removed a shield.
One question to those who advocate removing them.
If they are uneccessary why do manufacturers go to the expense of fitting them in the first place?
 

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C.T.A.C
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Very interesting thread.
I have cleaned many bearings in my time and never removed a shield.
One question to those who advocate removing them.
If they are uneccessary why do manufacturers go to the expense of fitting them in the first place?
You wont have any issues if you're regularly servicing the spool bearings. Issues only arise from those who don't/can't/too scared to open up their reels.

The manufacturers job is to assemble, not to give the reel the best chance of any longevity that, I'm afraid is up to you. Shimano Trinidad's & Torium's had 'open' spool bearings as stock, did anyone ever see a problematic thread created because they were 'open'? Worth a read: frustrated - everybody please read this


To annoy Nosey and his American grease gurus :)
Doesn't annoy me at all. I like seeing the bearings insides shine from a good cleaning, that way I know I've done a good job ;)


Here's a couple of pictures from a SL20:



Cleaned and blow dried ready for lubricating.


Installed open (shock horror!)
 

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Not knowing much about reel tuning, just keeping them running (for 38 years three of my reels!) I can't offer any thoughts on bearing shields, but I an think of a question surrounding them.

My reels run on phosphor bronze bushes. i couldn't afford the C versions with bearings in! BUT I have soe now and maybe I should do more than re-oil them reading this. So, if the shields are left in place, do they help reduce the amount of oil that gets flung out as the wheels go round? With the shields off,does the oil get flung out, or do they retain just enough to keep everything coated in a thin film? On my boat reels I have actually used a slobber of grease OVER the shields to try and keep water from goin gin and to try and keep the oil in. I think they have clogged up with the grease though as they have gone a bit stiff.:oops:

I would be interested to know how to prevent saltwater ingress when reels are submerged (quite often fully) and then to keep them from corroding unless you coat the insides with ACF50 and grease as a barrier. The bushing reels are a 6000 (1976) and 2x 9000s (1976 and 1979) - they have never had any parts replaced and are still working perfectly for wrecking and congers off the kayak, so my approach has worked fr them - I am not a lugworm at 100mph for 100 yards type of angler - sometimes a 50mph and 50 yards though!
 

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Not knowing much about reel tuning, just keeping them running (for 38 years three of my reels!) I can't offer any thoughts on bearing shields, but I an think of a question surrounding them.

My reels run on phosphor bronze bushes. i couldn't afford the C versions with bearings in! BUT I have soe now and maybe I should do more than re-oil them reading this. So, if the shields are left in place, do they help reduce the amount of oil that gets flung out as the wheels go round? With the shields off,does the oil get flung out, or do they retain just enough to keep everything coated in a thin film? On my boat reels I have actually used a slobber of grease OVER the shields to try and keep water from goin gin and to try and keep the oil in. I think they have clogged up with the grease though as they have gone a bit stiff.:oops:

I would be interested to know how to prevent saltwater ingress when reels are submerged (quite often fully) and then to keep them from corroding unless you coat the insides with ACF50 and grease as a barrier. The bushing reels are a 6000 (1976) and 2x 9000s (1976 and 1979) - they have never had any parts replaced and are still working perfectly for wrecking and congers off the kayak, so my approach has worked fr them - I am not a lugworm at 100mph for 100 yards type of angler - sometimes a 50mph and 50 yards though!
Don't mention ACF50 ... best kept secret in sea fishing lol
 
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