I’ve seen a lot of threads about stuck bearings lately and it got me thinking. After some time, I came up with another method for removing them that seems to work well. I mentioned this on another thread, but I now have pictures and a diagram that explains how it works and why it’s better than the pliers method as a last resort.
First, what is needed? A pair of strong pliers, a 6mm spring pin (see pics), and a stuck bearing (obviously.)
The key difference between this method and others is that the gripping force on the bearing is applied from INSIDE the bearing. This offers a few advantages. First, there is no way the outside of the bearing will get damaged even the smallest bit; so, assuming the bearing survives, there will still be a pristine surface for the string. Second, the griping force pushes outward which actually helps the situation somewhat. Finally, if it came down to this or pliers, this keeps those steel jaws far from your yoyo reducing the chances that you’ll slip and ruin your finish.
This first pic should clarify the idea…
As you can see, the round shape of the spring pin provides another benefit. It applies it’s force in a uniform way on the inside of the bearing. This helps to prevent taking it out-of-round, or making it egg shaped as can happen if force is applied at two points.
The next few pics show the actual process. This wasn’t staged; I have a YYJ speed bearing that gets stuck hard on my shutter EVERY TIME I install it. I learned quickly not to install it, but for this I did it purposely. Also, notice that the pin is hollow (it wouldn’t work otherwise! haha.) There is enough room inside the pin to let it slip over the axle. So, if it happened to be the axle side that was stuck, you wouldn’t have to remove it first as in the 1/4" drill bit method.
Just compress the pin and insert it into the bearing… then release the pin
After a little wiggling and circle motions… POP! off it comes! No pulling strings, freezing yoyos, or using pliers dangerously close to your throw!
Afterward, I installed the bearing back in my DM2 where it fits normally. It played the same as expected. It occurred to me later that if the pin isn’t gripping the bearing strongly enough, there’s a couple things you could try. Using some sandpaper on the end of the pin that goes into the bearing to make it more rough could increase friction during extraction. Also, the pin could be forced open wider after it is inserted into the bearing with the same result.
I’m not sure that this method would work in every case, but I am certain that its worth trying before putting the pliers directly to the bearing. If nothing else, I believe this to be a really good second-to-last resort. If anyone puts this method to use I’d like to hear your story…
Thanks for reading