Tech tip: How to remove a bearing for repair

The Timken Company

Before a bearing is sent out for service, it first must be removed from its shaft housing. It is important to use great care during the removal process to ensure that the bearing, shaft and housing are not damaged.


Bearing removal is best accomplished by using a bearing puller for standard outer and inner rings, which is available through many manufacturers, including Timken. When removing bearings that have a backing shoulder that extends beyond the cone large rib, a puller that pulls through the rollers should be used.


Hydraulic pressure is another available method to remove bearings. Pullers or wedges may be used to remove the bearing after the hydraulic pressure has expanded the race. Hot oil or heat may be used along with the pullers or wedges.


Note: Always use extreme caution when working with hot oil or steam. Contact with hot oil or other heat sources can result in serious bodily harm. Protective clothing and safety glasses should be worn at all times.


When the puller has been placed on the bearing and pressure is applied, the bearing race should expand and be easily removed.


There are a number of valid methods you may use to remove a bearing from its shaft. No matter which method is used, be careful not to expose any surface of the bearing to the flame of a torch. Any torch-heat damage renders the bearing as scrap. A bearing’s hardness and metallurgical structure is dramatically altered by torch heat. When it is necessary to drive out inner or outer rings, extreme care should be taken to prevent bearing seat damage, backing shoulder damage or burrs on any surface. Damage to these surfaces will prevent proper seating of the bearing and its new components when reassembled in the application.

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