Friday, May 8, 2015

Installing New Idler Bearings

<This post is part of the 'Winter Project 2014/15 - (Gearbox Refurb)' project>

Now that the transfer case and clutch cover are back from the soda-blasters and looking all clean and new, the last thing to do to them before they can be fitted is to install new idler bearings. Seems fairly straight forward and it probably would be if I had a bearing press, but as I don't have one, I'll have to find another way.

Looking nice!
Earlier in the week I had a trip over to Mini Spares North to pick up some new idler bearings for the job. As it's always a pleasant drive into Harrogate, I prefer do go in person rather than have them delivered.

The bearings they had in stock were made by a company called Koyo, which I hadn't heard of before. A quick check on the internet though soon put my mind at rest as they're one of the biggest bearing manufacturers in the world and produce high quality bearings rather than cheap tat..

The Transfer Housing
As the transfer housing seemed the easiest, I thought I would start with it. Not having a bearing press, I thought that my best option was to use a leather faced mallet and tap the bearing into place. As it' quite a tight interference fit, I didn't want to hit it too hard and run the risk of breaking the housing.

As the underside of the housing is hollow, I placed a block of wood underneath to provide support while it was being hit.

Now it's just a case of tapping the new bearing into place. Well, I started out tapping, but ended up having to hit it pretty hard to make it move. Eventually though after a few good hits, it was flush with the housing.

Now it just needs to go in a little further, so I used an old bearing placed on top and hit that.

I didn't want to tap it in too far, so I compared it to the 'before' photo and tried to get it in the same place.

Although that was pretty straight forward, I was still revealed that it went without a problem, so happy with the progress so far, I moved onto the gearbox.

The gearbox side looked a little more tricky as it seemed more vulnerable to breaking if struck with a hammer. I thought about trying to support the inside of the box while driving the bearing in, but soon realised that the gears were in the way.

Difficult Method!
Initially I tried a method of driving the bearing in with a G-Clamp an although it worked it was a right faff on and not the easiest of things to do. The main problem was that the bearing wouldn't go in straight and needed some 'assistance' from a hammer to get it straightened up. Not recommended, but here's the video of me messing about with this method.

Better Method
After I had gone to the effort of pressing the bearing into my best gearbox with a G-Clamp and potentially breaking both, it struck me that why the heck didn't I just use the cone compression tool. It was the obvious choice that somehow I failed to see. I did a sterling job of pulling the bearing out, it stands to reason that it should do an equally good job at putting than back in.

So I got everything I needed and headed down to the cellar where the spare gearbox housing was and tried it out.

As you can see from the video, it was a much easier method and was also a much safer one, and for those reasons, this will be my preferred method in the future. If only I had thought of it before, I could have saved myself a lot of problems with the G-Clamp, but it all turned out well in the end.

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