URGENT!!: Bad Bearing Help

Okay, so I need to know how you tell a bad bearing when you have one. I know from a reliable source that you can flick a bearing and tell if it is a bad one or not. The thing is, I have no clue what to look for when I do.

The reason I ask is because of my YoyoJam Surge. I currently have the bearing that came with it, on it. It is a 10 ball and I don’t know the specific type other than that. Recently, it became responsive. I tried cleaning it with Nail Polish Remover (because I had no Mineral Spirits at the time). Then, when that did not work, I got some Mineral Spirits and tried cleaning it again. Following the cleaning, I lubed it (yes, I did use Thin Lube and I am 100% positive that I did) and dried it completely and put it back on the yoyo. It is still responsive.

I would like to learn the “Flick Bearing” trick or any other way to tell if it is a bad bearing. If you can tell me from my adventure, great, if not, tell me how to check. I would like to know either way actually.

If you have any recommendations for me, please reply or PM me as soon as you can. This is urgent. The Surge is one of my favorite throws and I would love to have it in working order again.

Thanks in advance.

You probably put too much lube, clean it again and don’t lube it, it should be unresponsive.

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Yoyo is probably right… Even one full drop of thin lube will make it responsive… Clean it again and don’t lube it, run it dry and see if that helps.

Thank you for these posts. This helped. Unfortunately, not all the way. I will just work it in and see what happens.

The Surge comes with a YYJ Speed Bearing.

Did you remove the shields before cleaning the bearing? You better say “yes, I did” or else you didn’t clean the bearing out properly.

How did you lube? Lube will slow down a bearing, but if you use the tiniest bit, the slow-down is negligible and it just helps maintain bearing life. Adding too much lube can decrease spin times all the way to making the bearing responsive depending on how much.

I clean using acetone. That’s my solvent of choice. Mineral spirits are fine though, I just prefer acetone.

When I am done cleaning a bearing, I try to get at least 20 seconds of spin on a flick. If you can get 10 or more, you’re fine. If you’re getting less than 5, clean the bearing again or replace it, or just play the heck out of it and hope it’s still needing to break in.

If you can find my phone number, you can call me for help. Text might work better as my phone won’t ring for numbers I haven’t saved and assigned into my phone.

You realize there’s more than just acetone in nail polish? Also if you add to much lube the bearing will lock up.

Nail polish remover.

Was it unresponsive in the beginning? Is it thin? if the bearing is thin, then it is a responsive bearing. Also, is there black o rings in it? those can make it responsive.

I’m getting 3-5 seconds max on a terrapin x ceramic. Have tried cleaning it twice and have used my air hose on it with no luck. Am guessing I just got a bad bearing from YYE as its never performed like 10+ seconds on a flick for sure. I just read today about the 10 second test or would have returned it when bought it.

Abby probably meant nail polish remover and just accidentally dropped a word. There’s a bunch of moisturizers and conditioners in nail polish remover, in addition to acetone. I wouldn’t use it to clean a bearing, myself.

Yes, never. I have heard about people ruining bearings and pros recommending not to do it.

Unless Abby, you have had success with it? They are all different so who knows…

A small bottle of lighter fluid, acetone, or mineral spirits won’t break the bank.

My parents “used” to have 3 containers of spirits… ::slight_smile:

Care to explain that?

You and your detective work ;D.

But wait, your shift is over… Hmmm…

Lube is liquid.

That’s like saying if you put to much water in a wheel it’s going to stop vs slide.

If you are having a problem with a Terrapin X S/C ceramic 10 ball after spinning it in acetone
I will repair or replace it.
Just let me know. You should get way over 25 seconds on a flick.
… John

It was unresponsive to start with.

Describe your bearing cleaning details.


  1. Removed bearing shields
  2. Filled glass container with Mineral Spirits
  3. Put bearing in Mineral Spirits
  4. Shook Mineral Spirits and bearing around for about 3-5 minutes.
  5. I removed the bearing and spun on a paint brush to dry.
  6. When completely dry, I stopped and (first time only) lubed it.
  7. Put bearing shields back on
  8. Put back on yoyo.

It is still responsive. Less than before, but still responsive.

How did I do?

I would do it again but use compressed air to dry it and don’t lube it.

I don’t really get lubing bearings, the only time I do it is when a bearing starts making a horrific screeching noise and then it is 1 drop. I can count on one hand the amount of bearings that I have had die on me since 1998 that could potentially have been saved by lubing now and then

Thank you.

The only problem is, I don’t have any compressed air.

How much lube did you add? Anything more than the bead that would form after dipping a pin or needle in the lube would be far too much. Other than that, it sounds like you did good.

Compressed air helps not only dry the bearing out faster, but to forcibly BLOW OUT solid contaminants as well. It’s not always needed but it is a recommended step if you can do it.

If you lived near me, I’d say swing by and I’ll clean the bearing out for you and Dry Play treat it if you want.