Michelin tweel Caster bearing replacement (pics)

Dawson

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Valrico, FL
After one year (about 500 hours) the bearings on my tweel castors are shot. These tweels are warranty replacements from Michelin after the first set failed at about the two year mark (the metal hub that the bearings press into began separating from the plastic part of the hub).

The way Michelin designed the hub makes it impossible to punch the bearings out because the spacer that goes through the middle will not move to one side enough for a punch to get any purchase on the inner race of the bearing.
I have a bearing puller and slide hammer set which is what I tried next and there is just enough room between the spacer and the inner bearing race to get the puller locked on to the bearing, but I could not get any of the four bearings to budge with the 2lb slide hammer.

The next thing I tried was cutting the bearing out. I used a small cut off wheel to cut up the inner race until I could get it out which then made it easy to remove the bearing on the other side with a punch and hammer.
I am now left with the outer race of the remaining bearing in it's seat and am not sure how best to go about removing it without damaging the bearing seat?
-Any kind of abrasive cutting wheel is going to be difficult to use without damaging the seat although I may be able to cut through it enough with a dremel to get it out.
-Heat is not an option because the hub is directly attached to the plastic wheel.
-I have a carbide burr that comes to a point I thought about trying but I'm worried the hardened steel bearing race will ruin it before I can grind away enough to break it out.

Anyone have any other ideas how to get this outer race removed without damaging the wheel? or an easier way to remove the first bearing in one piece as opposed to cutting it out?
IMG_20210202_204109.jpg
IMG_20210202_204122.jpg
IMG_20210202_204144.jpg
 

BigFish

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
chesapeake, va
I would use the dremel with a cutoff disc. You'll likely ruin the carbide burr.
 

Johnagain

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Altoona, Florida
Looking at the second picture it looks like you might be able to get a oval bearing race punch in from the other side to get the the outer part of the bearing. That's how we get the races out for Timken bearings.
 
OP
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Dawson

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Valrico, FL
Thanks for the replies. I did try them but no luck that way, the dremel cut off wheel still can't get into it much without cutting into the seat substantially.

A punch just can't come in at enough of an angle to catch the lip of the outer race so that won't work either.

I ended up getting the outer race out with one of the blind hole bearing pullers I had. It was just big enough to get it to grab onto the lip of that outer race and it took about 5 minutes of banging with the slide hammer but it finally broke free and popped out.

For future reference, I also figured out an easy way to get the first bearing out with out cutting it out. With the bearing puller locked in you can actually use a punch to knock it out from the other side. I used a bolt the size of the bearing inner race as a punch and popped it out fairly easily. You could use a smaller punch but I was trying not to damage my bearing puller since they aren't really made to banged on on that side.
Once one bearing is out any old punch will work to get the other side out.
 
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Dawson

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Valrico, FL
Expensive tire cheap bearing?
Nope, they were peer bearings and anywhere I can find to buy them in that size they're charging like 30 and 40 bucks a piece for the things. They were not sealed though which I found odd for a caster wheel with no way to add grease...they had the type of seal you would want on a greaseable hub. The inner part had a gap big enough for dirt to go right on in.
I am replacing them with fully sealed NTN bearings from Zoro.com part# G0459672. The NTN part# is 204BBAR. $12 bucks a piece. I guess I'll post back here if there are any fitment issues but grainger matched them up for me and said they are the same dimensions as the Peer ones.

Hopefully they will hold up better being fully sealed...from what I read NTN is a Japanese company and makes quality bearings.
 

Chip1wa

LawnSite Member
Dawson- Funny you mention replacing them with NTN 204BBAR's. I just looked and we have 4,033 of these thing in stock.

I'm a Factory Rep for NTN down here in Louisiana. You chose wisely to replace those Tier 2 bearings with a Tier 1 manufacturer.

For anyone reading this thread-your best bet is to go to the local friendly bearing house for quality bearings when time comes to change them out. In mower-type applications you always want to replace any shielded bearing with a Tier 1 bearing with two full contact rubber seals. Quality seals help keep the grit and moisture out of the inside of the bearing.

Most all mfg's are going to use the least expensive component to build their widgets. They want their widget to run just long enough to get them out of their warranty period. If that wheel mfg. used shielded bearings rather than a full contact sealed bearing-those things are made to meet a certain price point.
 
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Dawson

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Valrico, FL
Good to hear:drinkup:, based on the prices I was seeing for the peer bearing I would have thought they were a much better bearing than the ntn.
 
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Dawson

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Valrico, FL
So the bearings came in today and are NTN bearings but they don't appear to be sealed like I was expecting.
They are like the oem peer bearings in that the inner part of the shield just comes close to the inner race but has no actual rubber seal making contact with the inner race which would actually seal them?

Zorro advertised these as double sealed but maybe that doesn't mean what I think it means? The picture they had to go along with them on the website (and every other website that was selling this particular bearing I might add) showed a solid black shield that did look like it had a rubber seal or gasket that made contact with the inner race.

Should I contact Zorro and make sure they sent me the right bearing? it seems to me if you're advertising that it's double sealed that means it should be sealed, not just a metal ring that comes close to the inner race which is still going to let water and dirt get inside the bearing.

here's a picture of what I got:

IMG_20210209_142307.jpg
 


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