Leading up to the release of the CLYW Yeti, I read a lot of complaints and information related to the YYF spacers being used. After receiving my Yeti along with a YYF Protostar, I had agree with what I had read, the only way to release the bearing would be to resort to extreme measures. I like my bearing to run quiet, so a yoyo with a bearing that could not be removed, cleaned and oiled, was not an option for me. After reading everything I could find on the forums I came up with this set of instructions for permanently “Fixing” YYF spacers.
- very small flat head screw driver
- 1/4 drill bit
- cordless drill
- sanding block with 220 grit sandpaper
- sanding block with 400 grit sandpaper (Optional)
- 2 scotch bright pads - grey and white (Optional)
The first step is to separate one spacer from the bearing. When the yoyo is unscrewed, the bearing along with both spacer will remain in one side or the other. If it happens to stay in the same side as the axle (50/50 chance), it will need to be removed. I found the axle on both my Yeti and my Protostar very easy to unscrew from the half it remained in.
At this point take a screwdriver and slide it in the gap between the spacer on top and the bearing. The screwdriver needs to be small enough to fit in the gap without any force. I used a screwdriver designed for computer repair. Many forum posts recommend a push pin. I found a pin too hard to control. Once you have the screw driver inserted into the gap, lever the screw driver up and down gently. You just want the space to open slightly, then move a quarter turn and do the same thing. Keep going around in circles until the spacer pops free. I’ve found using this technique results in no damage to the bearing and almost no damage to the spacer. The head of the screwdriver will create a few small scratches, but nothing that will impact the function of the spacer.
Now that the spacer is free, we need to make the bearing seat smaller. Chuck the spacer in a cordless drill by setting the non bearing seat side in the chuck and slowly tightening. Do this carefully, the drill chuck will destroy the spacer if you tighten too much. You only have to tighten enough that the spacer stays in place against gentle pressure. Take the 220 grit sanding block and hold it flat against the bearing seat trying to make sure that it is touching both the top and the bottom so as to remove equal amounts of material. Slowly pull the trigger on the drill with the sanding held tight to the bearing seat. Gradually increase to a speed you are comfortable with. This part take some trial and error. It takes about 3-5 minutes per spacer. Sand for a few seconds, then test against the bearing. Keep going until the bearing reaches your preferred tightness. 220 grit sand paper is very fine and takes very little material so you don’t have to worry too much about missing the desired fitting.
This next part is optional. 220 grit is fine enough that no further sanding is needed, but I prefer to give it a little more fit and finish. Once I get to my desired fit, I do a few passes with a 400 grit sanding block, then a few passes with the grey then the white scotch brite pads. These give a perfectly smooth shiny final finish.
The last thing I do, also optional, is use the same 400 grit, grey/white scotch brite method on the outer rim of the spacer. This is the surface that was slightly scratched during removal. Make sure not to sand the raised surface the bearing sits on. This final sanding will remove any high spots the screwdriver may have left. It is important to note that any high spots would be so slight that they would in no way affect performance. This step is strictly cosmetic.
The final step is to perform the same operation on the other spacer, the only problem being that it’s stuck between the bearing and half of the yoyo. First, take non drill end of a 1/4 drill bit and stick it in the bearing gentle move it side to side. The bearing/spacer combination should gradually wiggle free of the yoyo half. Next, with the drill bit still in the bearing, use the screwdriver as described above to release the second spacer. It should only take a few seconds. Once the spacer is free perform the steps listed above to reach the desired fit.
Once the spacers have been adjusted, you should be able to press fit them back into their mounts within the yoyo halves. If done correctly, the bearing can now be removed without the spacers being pulled from either half allowing for easy removal and maintenance going forward.
I’m sure the first question you’re going to ask is “will this introduce vibe!”. The answer is maybe… But that’s basically the answer to every operation that involves unscrewing a yoyo. The reality is it probably won’t create any more vibe than putting up with a dirty bearing or struggling to pry the spacers off each and every time you need to clean it. I’ve performed this operation on both my Yeti and my Protostar and they both perform as well they did when I first took them out of the box. One of the biggest upsides to YYF spacers is that if you wreck them, it only costs five dollars to buy a new set.
I hope this helps everyone out there “living” with YYF spacers.