RC Ball Bearing Maintenance

RC Ball Bearing Maintenance


Ball bearings play a crucial role in RC vehicles. However, a lack of maintenance makes it much more difficult for you to control these vehicles. A seized bearing can cause an RC car to pull in one direction and make it much more challenging to race. Keeping your ball bearings well-maintained is essential to allowing the axles to rotate while also enabling you to steer your vehicle efficiently.


Here are a few maintenance tips to further maximize the performance of your RC car. 


Don't Apply Too Much Pressure

You will need a properly sized wrench to remove a bearing from your RC vehicle. However, it's important to avoid applying too much pressure, or you can cause permanent damage. Gently pressing on all sides of the bearing until it comes out is the best way to remove it safely. It's also important to avoid using any water-based cleaner on a bearing, as it will eventually cause it to rust and reduce its lifespan.


Inspection and Cleaning Process

You will need to inspect each bearing for any signs of damage, such as a missing or even a dented seal. Replacing damaged bearings with new ones is important in the performance of your RC car. Once the inspection is complete, it's time to thoroughly clean the bearings with motor spray and use a rag to clean the exterior. We recommend using Lightning Lube - Clean Touch, but Acetone is always an affordable cleaning solution that's available at any hardware store.


How to Maintain Rubber Sealed Bearings

Rubber sealed bearings are a great way to prevent the buildup of dirt and debris while also being easy to clean and maintain. You can use a hobby knife to remove the seal, as it's important to avoid using the sharp side of the knife. Slowly applying pressure will allow you to remove the seal and expose the inner components. The next step is to spray the bearing with motor spray while using your fingers to spin it and feel for any signs of roughness. If it still seems rough or unclean, you will need to repeat the spraying process. Once complete, the bearing should spin easily, but it will be louder because of no lubricant.


How to Maintain Metal-Shielded Bearings

Metal-shielded bearings are slightly more challenging to clean. Using a motor spray isn't always enough, and the shields aren't replaceable. However, remaining patient while using any solvent can help you get the task done. One way to clean metal-shielded bearings is to put them in a small plastic container mixed with acetone. Placing a lid on the container and shaking it quickly a few times allows the solvent to clean the bearings. Once the solvent becomes dirty, you can replace it with fresh cleaner and repeat the process until the metal-shielded bearings are clean.


Best RC Bearing Tools and Oils

Using the proper tools and oils is essential for maintaining your wheel bearings on an RC car. Cleaning a bearing gets rid of the dirt, but it also removes the oil, as it's essential to add a couple of drops of oil to keep your bearings well-lubricated and spinning freely. You can use nearly any thin-bearing oil for lubricating your bearings, such as Lightning Lube - Road Power. However, it's not recommended to use grease, as dirt will quickly stick to the grease and cause problems. You will only need to add a few drops directly on the inners for rubber sealed bearings before you put the seal back in place. 


Using a small applicator tool is also helpful in applying oil to the bearings without causing a big mess. One of the easiest ways to apply oil on a metal-shielded bearing is to place it on its axle while spinning the bearing as you drip the oil in place. The oil will often seep past the shield quicker while spinning instead of letting it sit. Once your bearings are oiled, they should be able to spin freely while also being much quieter. However, you may need to contact a professional if you notice that your bearings are still slow or gritty after cleaning and oiling them.


Closing Thoughts

Taking the time to maintain your bearings on an RC car is always well worth the effort. Well-maintained bearings will improve the performance of your RC car while also maximizing its lifespan. Keeping your bearings clean is especially important if you often get your RC car in the dirt and mud. 


Reaching out to Boca Bearings is always a great option if you need to replace your bearings. You can always select from various tools and lubricants to ensure your RC car is always running at an optimal level. Staying proactive by keeping your vehicle well-maintained will ensure you can enjoy your RC car for many years!