Gradient finger grinding problems

Just use a sewing needle and be careful, and there’s very little chance you’ll damage the bearing. You’re more likely to stab your fingers than damage the bearing. Your bearing is likely more responsive because not all of whatever you cleaned with got out of the bearing, due to the shields still being on. Taking the shields off allows for more thorough cleaning, and also make drying them properly much easier.

Deshielding is easy to do. I think I found a YouTube video when I first did it. I am able to clean my bearings with canned air if the shield is gone. It also helps get excess lube out. It’s not a 100% method for cleaning but there are many times where I can’t mess with solvents and its a quick fix.

I always de shield mine and clean with acetone. Another thing I do is use a Dremel tool to spin the bearing dry. You will notice that usually you have to do this several times until the bearing is actually clean. Removing the shield also makes it much easier to get just the right amount of lube right where you want it, if you like to use lube. I prefer the lightest lube I can find. Currently OD V4M.

Yeah… sounds like you probably still have lighter fluid in there and that’s why its responsive. You want it to completely evaporate after you clean it.