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Thread: Cool trick to remove frozen outer bearing races

  1. #1

    Cool trick to remove frozen outer bearing races

    I was taking apart the transmission on my 1940 Indian Junior Scout last month, and hit a roadblock. The bearing that supports the drive sprocket main shaft came apart during disassembly. The inner race and bearings with retainer just fell out. Unfortunately, the outer race, which is pressed into the cast iron trans housing was stuck fast. This is a factory press fit. See pic below for the bearing location:

    I tried heating the case to 400 degrees F in my gas grill and pushing the race out with an "L" shaped drift. If anyone has ever taken apart a Junior trans, they know that there is a seal lip just on the other side of the bearing race that is part of the casting. The lip prevents you form being able to push out the bearing straight out with a drift. There is not enough meat to use bearing puller against the race either. Also, the coefficient of thermal expansion of the cast iron is close to the steel, so the race just grew along with the case. See pic below of the back side of the case.

    I didn't want to grind out the bearing either, because I was afraid to damage the trans case.

    I decided to read on-line on the Intertube about solutions.

    One of the first that came up during my on-line search was using a welder to weld a bead onto the race surface. In theory, the race OD becomes smaller as the weld cools and constricts the ring. I thought it was worth a shot.

    I stacked washers between the race and the case to protect the case from weld spatter. These I sandwiched in place around the case lip with a 1/4"-20 bolt and washer.

    Well, you can see the results below. My welder ran about 7-8 quick MIG beads on the race at a few spots around the circumference. He then walked away, and came back 5 minutes later.

    The race just fell out. No damage to the irreplaceable trans case either.

    Hope this tip helps someone else out there! Now I'm close to putting the trans back together.



    P.S. Here's a picture of the project I started with...

    Last edited by milosmith; 09-09-2013 at 07:38 PM.

  2. #2

    Re: Cool trick to remove frozen outer bearing races

    It is a cool trick and works well on frame neck bearing races as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Adelaide, Australia

    Re: Cool trick to remove frozen outer bearing races

    Recently used the same method to get the wheel bearing cups out of my 42 Sport Scout.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Re: Cool trick to remove frozen outer bearing races

    Thats and old Injum trick...:-)

  5. #5

    Re: Cool trick to remove frozen outer bearing races

    Actually, I learned that many years ago from an old John Deere mechanic.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Beautiful Northern NM

    Re: Cool trick to remove frozen outer bearing races

    Pretty much been around for a long time, Old guys I knew when I was a kid were doing it. I've been doing it myself for over 40 years. Did it a lot in the stealership back in the day on wheel bearings and such. Beats using a blind hole puller. Have buzz box will travel..

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