DIY Auto Bearing Cleaner


I know some people spend the money on sonic cleaners, but I thought I’d have a go at building my own rudimentary version. I had a stubborn bearing that just wouldn’t come good, and got sick of standing and shaking the container… So I got a little creative, MacGuyver would be proud :wink:

what you’ll need:

-a speaker you can destroy
(a small Sub would probably work best but I made do with a small satellite)
-A spare amp
-A small container to clean your bearing in
-some speaker wire
-a tone generator
(you can do this from a computer, there’s plenty of web based tools)
-hot melt glue
-disposable rag

along with some disassembly tools which will vary depending on your speaker, and some solder if you want to do it right.

it’s probably pretty obvious at this point how most of it goes together so I’ll they to keep it brief, with pics to come.

  1. Dismantle Speaker
  2. Salvage main driver
  3. De-Solder the internal connections (you can use the tip oh the glue gun if you must)
  4. Attach speaker wire, you’ll probably be able to loop it through the connector, add solder
  5. Mount the speaker to something, I just mounted it inside out in it’s original housing
  6. Use hot melt glue to attach a piece of your disposable rag around the neck of your container to catch any solvent that may leak out the lid as it’s shaken (otherwise your main glue will come unstuck)
  7. Use an extremely liberal amount of hot melt glue to attach the bearing container
  8. Connect to Amp
  9. Feed a sine wave into your amp from your tone generator to check that everything works (I found about 25Hz works best with my setup)
  10. Place solvent in container, add bearing, put on the lid, ensure lid is secure, double check lid… NOW CRANK THE VOLUME
  11. Go practice your tricks while your bearing get’s cleaned WITHOUT you having to sit and shake it

Pics soon :smiley:


Update: Pic :smiley:

unfortunately I finished the build before I even made the thread so I don’t have pics of step by step.


This seems like a lot of work to clean your bearings.


What can I say, I like to tinker. and now that it’s built when I want to clean a bearing I can just set and forget for 10min or so while the bearing gets a nice deep clean, all built with spare stuff I had around the house


I can put the bearing in a small glass container, shake it for a minute, let it soak for 15, and I’ve wasted a lot less time, effort and energy.

Now, go out and go build a better mousetrap.

(Also, high frequency works better for penetrating and breaking down, preferably ultrasonic)


i think that’s awsome!


the issue with the higher frequencies is I can’t achieve sufficient amplitude, I’ll give it a try but the 25Hz range seems to move the bearing around similar to a light shaking. Also this way instead of letting it rest, it can keep being agitated which is helpful if you have anything stuck in the bearing. I will give higher frequencies a try but I don’t know how well the speaker or tone generator will manage, but none of it will manage ultrasonic, But at least it’s cheaper than a proper sonic cleaner.


Your biggest concern should be impedence. With that configuration, your dampening is squashed and the amp is trying to control it and there’s nothing to control.

If you have anything stuck in the bearing after a minute of agitation, the odds of it coming out without additional assistance are slim to none.

Higher frequencies need less amplification, but you won’t notice the shaking. Plus, since what you truly want is utlra-sonic(well above the human range of hearing, as well as that of dogs, cats, mice, bats, birds and insects), it works differently and you won’t be using a speaker/amplifier combination, but it will still be some sort of motor assembly. If your tone generator won’t work, use ProTools or some other program(Audacity is free) to generate the tones you want, at least up to 20Khz as most top out right there. Then the issue might be “well, then I can burn it to a CD or DVD or bluray” but those media won’t accept stuff at ultrasonic frequencies.

As an audio professional, I’m gonna keep cleaning bearings my way. You stay away from my speakers and amplifiers!! I might gang up my subwoofers into a cluster and then pulverize my bearings. 1600 watts times 6, plus two more subs at 800 watts each… yeah, that should do some damage… I’m gonna have some unhappy neighbors!


I have Audio credentials myself (Diploma of music industry: technical production, from SAE Institute (incidentally where I got the tone generator 'cause they were throwing it out)), so I was worried about impedance, but if I decided to try anyway, though I didn’t consider the damping factor.

Anyway the speaker I was happy to destroy (I have 3 more and a centre with 2 dynamic drivers so I could try again :stuck_out_tongue: ) and the HDMI ports on the Amp are dead so it’s been replaced in it’s main duties, so I figured the worst that could happen is it all blows up and I have no reason to horde them any more :stuck_out_tongue:

All in all I’m happy with what I’ve built, it was never really intended to do the deep cleaning job of a sonic cleaner, just save me the effort of shaking by hand, especially since I have a bearing that once I clean it, goes responsive again the same day.


If that’s the case, the odds are you have a bad bearing anyways.


yeh, but it does seem to come good for a while so I’m going to clean it again tomorrow, and if it’s a problem again then get ahold of fjh 'cause it’s a Terrapin X bearing. Because it was amazing when I first got it.


I good, audio folks. I need to replace my old amp, since I got it way before hdmi was even thought of; I’m looking for something not in the rediculous audiophile price range, that produces decent/good results, which has hdmi a few hdmi ports… Which I assume everything does now… Any recommendations?


Onkyo is pretty good on a budget, but I do absolutely LOVE my Marantz. how many channels do you need 5.1, 7.1, 11.1 :stuck_out_tongue:

or if you want the whole kit and caboodle for cheap, the Sony MU-TE-KI is possibly the best value around, it can be had for under a grand and it’s a full 7.2 system speakers and all.


How is it working for you now…
did you spin it in acetone…


haven’t got around to trying again since I noticed paint coming off the lid of my cleaning jar, I’ll give it another go sometime soon. I also got a recommendation to try cleaning any stubborn bearing with toothpaste, and then obviously clean that out with acetone, thoughts?


I would pass on the toothpaste with the S/C ceramic 10 ball bearing…