Bearing Replacement with dry ice ? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 04-07-2014, 08:54 AM   #1
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Name: Jack L
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Bearing Replacement with dry ice ?

I was getting ready for a long trip (Utah rally Moab ) and thought I would repack the wheel bearings. Good thing I did because one of the outer bearings was not good.

I'll probably replace all bearings and races in both wheels. A good friend with lots of mechanical experience was telling me how he replaced races in hubs with liquid propane. Just freeze the race with liquid propane and it will shrink enough to just fall into the hub. Now I've read that heating the hub to expand it and putting the race in the freezer for 2 hours make it smaller will make installation easier so I might try that but I was thinking of getting a small block of dry ice and freezing the races to aid in installation. If anyone has any experience with replacing bearing races I would like some advise. I've watched a few videos and it looks pretty simple but I would hate to damage a new bearing race.

I'm sure glad I found this problem when I had the trailer in the driveway instead of the highway.


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Old 04-07-2014, 09:00 AM   #2
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I use the freezer method when needed, but I also wrap the race in a wet rag and freeze that as well, usually overnight. That way I don't have to be in a hurry when installing.

Dealing with dry ice sounds like to much extra work.

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Old 04-07-2014, 09:16 AM   #3
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It's called sledging. I have frozen a socket to get a stuck spark plug out. Get the engine hot and use the cold socket to get the plug out. The head is hot and expanded and the frozen socket transfers enough cold to the plug to shrink it enough for it to break
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:54 AM   #4
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I used to work in a motorcycle shop and to replace valve guides the guides went between blocks of dry ice and the head went into a counter top toaster oven.

Take each guide off the ice as ready to install. But then we had a store with dry ice a couple of blocks away.

Like bearing race the guides have to go in true and with the head warmed a guides coming off dry ice they went in slicker than snot off a glass door knob.

As a side note we have used dry ice to pack frozen meat for camping, meat gets own cooler. Extra insulation provided by news paper. Less mess, lasts about 4 days. Used when we had larger family group to take all the chicken, or ribs or... dang I'm making myself hungry for grilling.
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:08 AM   #5
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Omaha Steaks ship their product in very thick styrofoam coolers with dry ice.
Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide so be careful what you put it in and if you have it in a sealed tight egg. 160 Degrees below 0
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:08 PM   #6
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Use liquid nitrogen at work on a regular basis for shrinking large bushings, works very well. Usually do the math to know that there is going to be enough "shrink" to work.
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Old 04-08-2014, 06:46 AM   #7
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Works like a charm. My experience: 1/2 of BMW bike engine block in oven at 200F (wife was away) and bearing race in freezer. Previously too big to fit; dropped right in. Careful with liquid propane or nitrogen, I'd stick with the freezer.
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:41 AM   #8
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Bearing Replacement with dry ice ?

I've done the freezer trick before, but never for wheel bearing cups. They've always pressed in or went right in with a driver.

It's also quite rare that they need changed.

It's getting picky, but the whole thing is the cup, the race is the surface the rollers run on.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:07 AM   #9
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Well, I got the job done. It was pretty easy after I solved the initial problem. What happened was that I ordered a kit online when I bought new tires about a year ago. The kit contained new races that were .030 larger than the old ones. The old and new bearings were the same part number so I'm thinking the kit had the wrong races. A trip to the local auto parts store for the correct size and it was easy from there.

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