Remove rusted steel bearing from aluminum housing?

Bonnewagon

Geezer
Sep 18, 2009
8,446
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Queens, NY
I have come across this many times. Right now I have some rusted roller bearings in an aluminum outboard motor gearcase. But I also had aluminum transmissions with stuck steel bearings. Obviously water got in and caused the galvanic corrosion. I try heat, oil, force, nothing really works some times. I once was working on an aluminum bicycle rim with stuck bearings. Heating worked as the steel and aluminum expanded at different rates. At one point the bearing just popped out from that. But usually the aluminum part is big and acts as a huge heat sink. Any tricks I should know about?
 

CopperNick

Royal Smart Person
Feb 20, 2018
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Canada
If a taper bearing and you are trying to extract the cup, then weld it out. You wrap a cold wet rag around the outer case or carrier and just leave the race face exposed. Or tape everything to be protected off with duct tape or McGyver tape or even multiple layers of masking tape.

Then you warm up your MIG welder or stick welder and make a single pass in the middle of the race face all around the face. The heat from the weld causes the bearing race to shrink as it cools and the shell becomes loose and pops out. Done this a few time before with aluminum wheels and it works fine. Just keep the pass on the steel and keep the aluminum protected and covered. Once you pop the race out let the housing or casting cool naturally; no water or air blow dry.

Had the brother of a old friend use his stick machine to make the passes on an aluminum bike wheel and he had never seen this done before and thought we were nuts! Worked as advertised and boy was he amazed.


Changing wheel bearings in aluminum hub - welding method - Bing video






Nick
 
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Clone TIE Pilot

Comic Book Super Hero
Aug 14, 2011
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Electrolyte bath.
 

Bonnewagon

Geezer
Thread starter
Sep 18, 2009
8,446
113
Queens, NY
Nick- nice video. Similar to how I extracted the bike wheel bearing. But this is a caged roller bearing that is very thin and rusted and deep inside a blind hole. Clone- electrolyte like battery acid? I do have a big jug of that.
 

CopperNick

Royal Smart Person
Feb 20, 2018
1,620
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Canada
Then can you get behind the shell with a pair of hooks from a slide puller kit. A couple of times I had to grab blind driven bearings I was able to take a pair of puller hooks and thin them down in the hook shape to let it get behind the shell. After that i just cranked the tensioner down tight and had at it with the slide weight. you get about one chance per set of hooks after you wail on them that way but if it works.

The other way is something the engine guys use to yard out the flywheel bushing from the crank on a car. Old School way was to take a grease gun and pump in grease to force the bushing out. May work for your bearing too, dunno for sure.

If the gear case is off the motor then why can't you jam it into a 10 gal steel pail or vat, fill that full of water and put the whole business on a fire or use a tiger torch to bring the water up to full boil and get the case housing as hot as possible? That might relax the housing enough to let you get one of those screw on end hooks attached to a slide puller down the throat of the bearing and see if it will come out to play. BE Careful, by hot here I am talking boiling hot with steam type of hot.




Nick
 
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Clone TIE Pilot

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Aug 14, 2011
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I would try something more mild at first like soda wash. You can carefully use a battey charger to setup a electrolysis cell. Only thing is I am not sure about using this method on two dissimilar metals in the same bath. Perhaps using a bar of zinc as a sacificial anode.

Strong acids will dissolve aluminum. You could try heavily diluted acid with an eye dropper on the aluminum oxide. Have vinegar and plenty of water to rinse it.

Hopefully the bearing journal isn't badly pitted from the galvanic reactions. With the aluminum sacificing itself to protect the steel race.

Did you use a single fuel torch or a oxy / fuel torch? The trick is to heat the steel race enough so the aluminum oxide around it turns to sand and falls out.
 
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Bonnewagon

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Sep 18, 2009
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Queens, NY
Electrolysis is not for non-ferrous metals. Or stainless steel. I checked. Actually I was hoping to find a place that "hot tanks" things. I remember taking iron castings to the local machinist and they had a tank of hot caustic that would scour every bit of crud off. I don't know if aluminum would survive that. I guess the boiling thing would help but it is below freezing out here. What I had done prior was to soak the entire gearcse in #2 oil over the Summer to loosen it up. It came out spotless, but still stuck. If I could get a torch down inside the gearcase I would just roast the bearings right out. But the design is such that they are in blind holes. The torch would blast right back at itself. I need to get behind the bearings and pull them out. But they are seated on a ledge that locates them. Somehow the factory tool does get behind them but I haven't figured out how. Yet.
 

Clone TIE Pilot

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Aug 14, 2011
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Sounds pretty tricky then. If there is some ledge or lip for the special tool to grab, it may be covered over with aluminum oxide. Unlike iron oxide, aluminum oxide is hard and strong like concrete which is why its used as an abrasive. You would think the factory would have used some coating to prevent this. Heard sometimes people put aluminum casings in metal shop ovens to heat stuck races out. While aluminum has a lower melting point, it has a higher heat transfer rate than steel.
 

CopperNick

Royal Smart Person
Feb 20, 2018
1,620
113
Canada
1641330577619.png


OTC 6541 Slide puller attachment from one angle




1641330626832.png



Same OTC 6541 slide puller attachment, slightly different angle. These seem to be listed by E-Bay and Grainger as well as OTC. The picture offers no measurements but the amount of shank shown in the picture ought to get you fairly deep into the casting once you have the slide shaft and weight attached to it.

On the subject of hot tanks, the shops that I used to visit actually had two tanks, one for ferrous or steel items and a second for non-ferrous, brass, copper zinc aluminum etc. Not sure what they used. Also wondering here if you couldn't use a sonic tank to do the cleaning? Or even soda blast at low pressure.




Nick
 

Bonnewagon

Geezer
Thread starter
Sep 18, 2009
8,446
113
Queens, NY
I called my only auto parts place with a machinist and hot tank. They only do ferrous metal. Even though they do Marine parts service there was little call for a non-ferrous tank. I saw those tools too and there are special ones that work with the OMC puller kit. On another gearcase I wrapped a small link chain around the internal crossbars and used a big gear puller to try removing the propellor shaft seal/bearing housing. It won't budge either. But check this out: I found a website where the guy spent enormous time compiling service tools and parts for older OMC motors. http://www.everythingoutboards.com/ He listed all the tools I need to take apart this gearcase. Once I knew the part number I actually found the bearing removal/installation tool for sale and I ordered it. I "think" the flat is folded over and slipped past the bearings. Then it flips up and grabs the bearing cage from behind. No idea if it is strong enough to remove it without oil and heat but I am at my wit's end here. We shall see if I spent the money well or wasted some more again.:mrgreen:
1641335351121.png
 
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