FAQ

  • Q: Do your bearings come with a warranty?

    A:

    Unfortunately, there is never an explicit warranty with bearings. Bearings do eventually wear out and every application, setup and operator is different. It is very difficult to calculate life expectancy without having extremely detailed data about your application. However, Boca Bearings has been in business since 1987 and we stand behind our product 100%. We will always replace or exchange any bearings that we determine to have failed prematurely.

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  • Q: When should I replace my bearings?

    A:

    If you have gone through the cleaning steps outlined above and your bearings begin to feel gritty or notchy to the touch, they should be replaced. When bearings sit idle for a long time they must be protected from any and all moisture. This is a common problem when storing small RC engines. If any moisture has gotten to the bearings, they will need to be replaced before using the engine again.

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  • Q: Do you ship internationally and what shipping methods are available?

    A:

    Yes, we do ship internationally. After placing items in your shopping cart, proceed to the checkout area. Complete the Shipping and Billing information, including selecting your country. If your country is not in our drop-down list, we are unable to ship orders to that country. We ship orders via US Mail, FedEx or UPS. The most reliable way to ship internationally is by UPS and Fedex. There are however, more duties and taxes associated with these carriers when the package arrives in your country. If you are not familiar with the customs laws and fees in your country, please check with your local customs office for more information. US Mail is less expensive but in our experience, not as reliable because they are not the ones bringing the package to your doorstep. 
    Please note that in your destination country you may need to pay additional import fees, taxes, brokerage fees, and handling fees to receive your order.

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  • Q: What is the best water proof seal?

    A:

    There is no true water proof seal for bearings. Bearing seals are primarily designed to retain the lubrication inside the bearing. Most bearing seals are considered water repellant and will keep moisture out of the internal components, but they will not prevent water from entering the bearing if it is submerged. If you require a bearing that can operate submerged in a liquid, we would suggest a ceramic hybrid or full ceramic bearing depending on the operating environment.

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  • Q: Should I remove the shields or seals from my engine bearings?

    A:

    If your front bearing has two rubber seals you should not remove them. These bearings have their own grease and can help stop oil leaks. If your bearing has two shields, we recommend you remove one of them. (For instructions on removing your shields, see the next section) Your rear bearing should be open on both sides to allow as much fuel as possible to pass through and act as a lubricant. You may however want to leave one shield on, in the rear which would help to protect the rest of the engine from any foreign matter getting through. This should not be done with one seal. If you find your engine is stingy in getting fuel to the rear, you should definitely leave the bearing open.

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  • Q: How do I remove my shields or seals?

    A:

    For fixed metal shields you should use an awl. Place the awl on the shield toward the outer race. Punch down lightly until you make a small hole. Then peel the shield back with the awl. Removable metal shields are held in place with a retaining ring. Run a sewing needle along the inside of the outer race to pop out the retainer. Once the retainer is removed the shield should pop out with a light tap. To remove a rubber seal use a pen knife or sharp pointed object. In most cases the rubber cannot be re-used.

     

    Here is an instructional video:
    How to properly remove shields and seals

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  • Q: What is an ABEC Rating?

    A:

    Precision ball bearings are manufactured to standards established by the Annular Bearing Engineers Committee (ABEC) of the American Bearing Manufacturers Association (ABMA). The ABEC and ISO bearing standards are primarily concerned with bearing tolerances. The tolerance is the permissible deviation from a specified value of a structural dimension. The higher the ABEC rating the closer the part is to being dimensionally perfect. For more information about ABEC ratings see info.

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  • Q: What is the best way to maintain my bearings?

    A:

    1) Soak your bearings in mineral spirits or paint thinner to remove any grease or particulates. 2) Blow bearing out with compressed air. 3) Place a light drop of oil on the bearing. 4) Give the bearing a spin, if they still feel rough repeat steps 1-3.

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  • Q: What does Radial Play mean?

    A:

    Radial Play refers to the fit or clearance of the balls in the bearing. The normal range is from C2 to C5. C2 would be the tightest fit and would not have much room allowed for expansion of the balls or misalignment. C5 would be the loosest, where the balls are undersized to allow for some expansion as the bearing heats up or misalignment of the application.

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  • Q: Where can I find technical engineering data about bearings?

    A:

    Any bearing you search for on this site will display technical data including: Bearing Material, Enclosure Type, RPM Data, Load Rating etc. If you need more detailed information about bearing characteristics, bearing design or bearing life please see our Engineering Guide.

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  • Q: How do I calculate the amount of side or thrust load that a bearing can take?

    A:

    Typically a radial bearing can take 5% of its Radial Load in a Thrust Load capacity.

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  • Q: Are greased bearings lubed for the life of the bearing?

    A:

    No, traditional steel bearings always need lubrication to have a long life and lubrication will always be reduced over time as it will dissipate with use. How fast the lubrication dissipates varies greatly depending on RPM, operating temperature, operating environment and set up. If you have a particularly high temp application we would need to know the operating temperature to suggest suitable lubrication.

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  • Q: What kind of maintenance do sealed bearings require?

    A:

    All of our sealed bearings are considered maintenance free and lubed for the life of the bearing. This is because they are packed with a heavy duty, lithium based grease. When the lube fully dissipates it is generally time to replace the bearing. However this does not mean that you cannot extend the life of the bearing. When they start to feel gritty you can remove the seals and soak the bearings in our Clean Touch overnight. Then you can re-lube them with your lube of choice. Just keep in mind that the thinner the lube is, such as oil vs. grease, the quicker it will dissipate and need to be reapplied.

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  • Q: How much maintenance do bearings require?

    A:

    Maintenance depends on the type of enclosures and lubricants your bearings have. Rubber sealed or Ultra sealed bearings require no maintenance and the lube is good for the life of the bearing. Metal shielded bearings that use either grease or oil should be constantly maintained and frequency level with vary depending on your application. Oil dissipates faster than grease, so typically shielded bearings using oil as lubrication will require constant care. Developing a regular maintenance schedule will substantially add to the life of your bearing.

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  • Q: What kind of performance enhancement should I expect from ceramic bearings?

    A:

    Unfortunately every operator, setup and operating environment is very different so it is difficult to quantify an exact improvement in performance. But in general ceramic bearings are lighter, stronger and faster. Typically you will see about 2-3 times the life out of a ceramic bearing as compared to a standard bearing. This is because ceramic is harder than steel in ball form; it is 3-4 times the Rockwell hardness of a steel ball. As far as performance is concerned, a ceramic bearing is capable of producing 50% more RPM than a standard bearing. This is due to the fact that the ceramic ball is virtually frictionless because it is non-porous, unlike steel which has pores and generates both heat and friction. Ceramic bearings will also not micro-weld due to insufficient lube or arcing. All of these characteristics add up to a better performing vehicle that can accelerate faster and requires less energy to achieve peak RPM.

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  • Q: Do full ceramic bearings need lubrication?

    A:

    No, full ceramic bearings can be run completely dry. They do not need lubrication to run. Ceramic is non-porous, unlike steel, as a result it is virtually frictionless. Ceramic also dissipates heat very quickly, which is the same reason they use it on the underside of the space shuttle. Because there is no heat buildup and virtually no friction, full ceramic bearings can be run completely dry. They can be cleaned out with regular tap water or any cleaner, they are impervious to corrosion and can operate in a vacuum environment.

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  • Q: How long does it take to break in a bearing?

    A:

    Unfortunately, it is not an exact science. Most bearings are packed in thick, viscous grease or with a light weight oil. As a result the bearing generally will not free spin to the touch. Over time as the lube thins out, and warms up during each use, the bearing will become much freer. So all you need to do is to use the bearing normally and it will break in naturally. The more you use the bearing the more broken in it becomes until eventually it is so broken in that it is time to replace it.

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  • Q: How is axial load calculated for a radial deep groove bearing?

    A:

    A radial deep groove bearing is capable of handling an axial (thrust) load that is 5% of the radial load. 

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  • Q: How does the radial load compare between steel, ceramic hybrid and full ceramic bearings?

    A:

    The ceramic hybrids can handle the same loads as a steel bearing and full ceramics can handle 10-15% less than steel. The full ceramics are not as tolerant as steel to shock loads or excessive vibration.

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  • Q: How should the Orange Seal bearings be handled before being used?

    A:

    All Orange Seal bearings with an LD (lube dry) in the part number are supplied dry, without grease or oil. AF2 in the part number means light oil and NB2 in the part number means a heavy duty grease. If your bearings are already dry they will not require any further handling. They can be run completely dry or you can add a light drop of oil to the outside seal and work the oil into the bearing. Dry bearings can be more noisy but a light drop of oil will quiet them right down. If your bearings came packed in grease or oil land you would like to clean out your bearings, you can remove the seals and soak the bearings in our Clean Touch over night. Blow the bearings dry the next day or let them air dry.

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  • Q: Are Orange Seal Bearings maintenance free?

    A:

    Not really, because most fishing enthusiasts use oil as lubrication it is very difficult to retain it in the bearing even with seals. The seals will prolong the use of the bearing before re-oiling however. It is advisable to regularly maintain your bearings, by doing so you will extend the life and the performance of the bearings.

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  • Q: If I leave my ceramic hybrids dry will they wear faster?

    A:

    Yes, while ceramic hybrid bearings do not need any lubrication to operate the steel races will have a longer life if they have a slight amount of lube on a regular basis.

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  • Q: How do I properly spin test my fishing reel bearings before installation?

    A:

    We always suggest testing ceramic bearings by putting them under load. Fishing reel bearings are relatively small and ceramic is much lighter than steel so there is just not enough mass to see a prolonged free spin without a load attached to the bearing. The flick test seems to result in a perception that a ceramic bearing does not spin as long as a steel bearing, but as soon as you put both bearings under load the difference is noticeable. New bearings will require a short break in period, so comparing new bearings to old worn in bearings is not an apples-apples comparison.  We typically just attach an awl to a bearing and give it a spin like shown in this spin test video.

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  • Q: Do full ceramic bearings need lubrication?

    A:

    No, full ceramic bearings can be run completely dry. They do not need lubrication to run. Ceramic is non-porous, unlike steel, as a result it is virtually frictionless. Ceramic also dissipates heat very quickly, which is the same reason they use it on the underside of the space shuttle. Because there is no heat buildup and virtually no friction, full ceramic bearings can be run completely dry. They can be cleaned out with regular tap water or any cleaner, they are impervious to corrosion and can operate in a vacuum environment.

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  • Q: Can the seals be removed from lightning ceramic bearings for maintenance?

    A:

    Depending on the bearing size and our current inventory this will vary from bearing to bearing. The best thing to do is contact us and let us know the make and model of your reel and we will let you know if the shields are removable for the specific bearing for your reel. You can take a look at this page on our website to see how to remove the shields. http://www.bocabearings.com/bearing-info/fishing-reel-bearing-maintenance-installation-guide

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  • Q: Are the seals fixed or held in place by c-clips?

    A:

    On the removable shields there are c-clips to hold them in place.

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  • Q: Also, can the greased bearings be used out the box, or should they be treated before use?

    A:

    Yes, the stocked greased bearings can be used as is and will give you great performance.

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  • Q: How do your different RC bearing lines compare to the stock bearings that came pre-installed. How much longer will they last?

    A:

    Unfortunately there is never an explicit warranty with bearings. Bearings do eventually wear out and every application, setup and operator is different. It is very difficult to calculate life expectancy without having extremely detailed data about your application. But Boca Bearings has been in business since 1987 and we stand behind our product 100%. We will always replace or exchange any bearings that we determine to have failed prematurely. As a rule of thumb we would say:

     

    Our Econo Power shielded bearings are comparable to what comes stock with your vehicle, so you should expect the same life as those that you get right out of the box with your car. Because these are shielded bearings they will require maintenance to get a long life. You will want to clean and re-lube them regularly to extend the life or you will have to replace them often.

     

    Our Green Seal & Ultra Seal bearings however are considered maintenance free and lubed for the life of the bearing. You do not have to ever clean or re-lube these bearings at all and they should last at least twice as long as your stock bearings.

     

    And finally our Ceramic Lightning Yellow Seal & Ultra Seal bearings are also considered maintenance free and lubed for the life of the bearing. But because the ceramic ball is so much harder than steel you should expect about 3-4 times the life of your stock bearings.

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  • Q: I am going through a lot of clutch bell bearings, what can you recommend to get longer life?

    A:

    The clutch bell is a constant source of problems due to excessive heat buildup. The heat levels cause the steel balls to expand and subjects the retainer to a tremendous amount of stress, as a result the bearings fail prematurely. The best solution is to use a bearing with a ball that will not expand and to do away with the retainer altogether. We offer 4 different RC Car & Truck Clutch Bell Bearing Kits.

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  • Q: How do I remove the bearings from my RC engine?

    A:

    Place your engine housing in an oven at 325°-350° for 5 to 10 minutes. When you remove it from the oven your old bearings should fall right out, if not heat the engine a little longer. We also suggest you place your bearings inside a ziploc bag and keep them in the freezer overnight. Then slip the bearings into the engine while it is still slightly warm. These instructional videos show how to remove and install RC Nitro Engine Bearings Part 1, how to remove and install RC Nitro Engine Bearings part 2.

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  • Q: The bearings I received have a green shield on one side and a black shield on the other. Should either of these be removed on the back bearing? What about the front? Are these colored differently to indicate direction or does this matter?

    A:

    Firstly the different colored seals do indicate which the open side on the bearing is. The green seal is the one to remove to expose the open side. However, on the front bearing there is no need to remove either seal. Keeping both seals on offers better protection for the bearing. These bearings are lubed with grease and the seals will keep the grease in for the life of the bearing so there is no need to worry about lubrication. With regard the rear bearing both seals can be removed if needed and is probably advisable.

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  • Q: Do ceramic bearings offer significant weight savings over traditional steel bearings?

    A:

    Ceramic hybrids that have steel races and ceramic balls do not offer a significant weight savings as only the balls are ceramic. Full ceramic bearings however do offer a significant weight savings by about 2/3 the weight of traditional steel bearings. Unfortunately full ceramic bearings are not appropriate for many RC applications.

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  • Q: What is the performance difference between the following three types of bearings: Ceramic Metal Shield, Ceramic Yellow Seal and Ceramic Ultra Seal?

    A:

    Ceramic Metal Shield bearings are metal shielded and offer the least resistance of the three. These bearings need frequent cleaning but will give you the best performance. Not recommended for dirty or wet environments, Ceramic Yellow Seal are rubber sealed bearings and offer the best protection against dirty and wet conditions. The bearings are maintenance free and are recommended for extreme conditions. Because they are contact rubber seals there is a certain amount of friction, which will lessen the more they are used and Ceramic Ultra Seal have a PTFE seal that sits under a metal shield and are maintenance free and offer lower friction than the rubber seals. They require a small amount of break in time and are recommended for on-road or indoor use only. They should not be run on water or muddy conditions as the seals are not as waterproof as the rubber seals.

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  • Q: I prefer to buy a bearing kit that is maintenance free as possible. Which bearing kit is the least maintenance intensive?

    A:

    Rubber sealed bearings will always offer the most protection and be the most maintenance free.

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  • Q: How often should I clean and lube them and what lube should I use?

    A:

    The only bearings that need to be lubed occasionally are the metal shielded bearings, and they need to be cleaned every 4 - 5 races depending on the length of each race.

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  • Q: I noticed that your Green Seal RC Car & Truck Bearings are "maintenance free and lubed for the life of the bearing." Would these bearings still be maintenance free if run in wet conditions, or even submerged in water?

    A:

    Our green seal bearings are water resistant, not waterproof. They are the best bearings available for off-road racing, through mud, water and dirt. However if submerged for a length of time it could result in corrosion and subsequent failure. As long as the seals are kept intact they will last you a long time without maintenance. If you require bearings that are going to be submerged in water please contact us directly to discuss specialty bearings.

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  • Q: Do full ceramic bearings need lubrication?

    A:

    No, full ceramic bearings can be run completely dry. They do not need lubrication to run. Ceramic is non-porous, unlike steel, as a result it is virtually frictionless. Ceramic also dissipates heat very quickly, which is the same reason they use it on the underside of the space shuttle. Because there is no heat buildup and virtually no friction, full ceramic bearings can be run completely dry. They can be cleaned out with regular tap water or any cleaner, they are impervious to corrosion and can operate in a vacuum environment.

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  • Q: How does the radial load compare between steel, ceramic hybrid and full ceramic bearings?

    A:

    The ceramic hybrids can handle the same loads as a steel bearing and full ceramics can handle 10-15% less than steel. The full ceramics are not as tolerant as steel to shock loads or excessive vibration.

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  • Q: What kind of performance enhancement should I expect from ceramic bearings?

    A:

    Unfortunately every operator, setup and operating environment is very different so it is difficult to quantify an exact improvement in performance. But in general ceramic bearings are lighter, stronger and faster. Typically you will see about 2-3 times the life out of a ceramic bearing as compared to a standard bearing. This is because ceramic is harder than steel in ball form; it is 3-4 times the Rockwell hardness of a steel ball. As far as performance is concerned, a ceramic bearing is capable of producing 50% more RPM than a standard bearing. This is due to the fact that the ceramic ball is virtually frictionless because it is non-porous, unlike steel which has pores and generates both heat and friction. Ceramic bearings will also not micro-weld due to insufficient lube or arcing. All of these characteristics add up to a better performing vehicle that can accelerate faster and requires less energy to achieve peak RPM.

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  • Q: What temperatures can ceramic bearings operate in?

    A:

    The termperature that a bearing can opperate in is determined by all of its components. If the races and rolling elements can withstand 200 degreec Celsius, but the retainer can only operate in 150 degrees, then the bearing can only operate in 150 degrees. 

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