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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Seized Bottom Bracket Help!

    After one of the muddiest race this past weekend, I found that my FSA Mega Exo none-drive side ceramic bearing have seized up. So I opened up the bearing cover to discover that a combination of mud and water have contaminated the inside.

    Is there anyway to save myself from purchasing a new expensive bearing by somehow flushing all the gunk out and re-pack it with grease? Any help would be greatly appreciate it!

  2. #2
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    'Sticky' at the top of the page: Outboard Bearing Bottom Bracket Service Guide. With Pics.

    If they are really bad, it might be easier to pull them from the frame for ease of cleaning. Use wd40, alcohol, mineral spirits or some other heavier petroleum distilate (volaitile solvents like acetone or toluene might kill the seals) to clean the gunk out, and dry completely before greasing.

  3. #3
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    Doh! Should have checked the sticky first. I've taken the bb off the frame and opened it up. Can I also try to submerge the opened bearing in Simple Green and try to flush it out that way?

  4. #4
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    Definitely flush it out with either mineral solvent, or water/detergent, whichever you prefer. Then dry it thoroughly. Most solvents will evaporate dry on their own, or you can speed things a bit by leaving the bearings on a sunny windowsill.

    My favorite way to completely dry metal parts I've water washed is to shake them as dry as possible, then rinse methanol (fuel alcohol). Water is highly soluble in alcohol, which carries the last of it away it away as it evaporates.

    Once cleaned, do a physical exam for any obvious damage, and if they look OK, lube them and give it a shot. Worst case scenario you might have to replace them anyway, but at least you gave it your best shot first.
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  5. #5
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    I had the same problem with ceramic bb's
    Do not use Simple green...it's water based and water is part of your problem in the first place.
    Your bearing races will probably be toast...mine were.
    A good spray with WD or contact cleaner will clean it out.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynamic213
    After one of the muddiest race this past weekend, I found that my FSA Mega Exo none-drive side ceramic bearing have seized up. So I opened up the bearing cover to discover that a combination of mud and water have contaminated the inside.

    Is there anyway to save myself from purchasing a new expensive bearing by somehow flushing all the gunk out and re-pack it with grease? Any help would be greatly appreciate it!

    Order a new one, even if you clean it up the expected remaining life is maybe three long rides, then clean up and try again.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor
    Do not use Simple green...it's water based and water is part of your problem in the first place.
    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY
    Definitely flush it out with either mineral solvent, or water/detergent, whichever you prefer.
    The conflicting replies is confusing me. So can I use water based solvents or no?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynamic213
    The conflicting replies is confusing me. So can I use water based solvents or no?
    Yes, water based cleaners are fine, but need to be dried out thoroughly. I usually bake chains in an oven at 200 for 10-20 minutes to be sure. For the BB bearing assembly, I'd avoid the oven which is why I suggested leaving it on a windowsill in the sun. If you live in a warm area, a solar oven -- your car, with the windows cracked and parked in the sun -- is a great way to bake stuff dry.

    The few minutes steel parts are in contact with water during cleaning aren't enough for any consequences, but don't forget it in the bath overnight. Also the PH (acidity) of the water is important. Most detergents raise the PH and actually prevent rust, but some cleaners including citrus/water mix are slightly acidic and can cause corosion if not rinsed or neutralized properly.

    In summary, water is fine, but requires a bit more thought than solvents like mineral spirits or naphtha. OTOH, it's cheaper, doesn't flame, and easier to dispose of. A good case could be made either way.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynamic213
    The conflicting replies is confusing me. So can I use water based solvents or no?
    It's a free country...do what you want.
    But you should use a solvent...not water.
    If you're really insisting on using water...you have to dry the parts.
    In the end...either way...you will be replacing the bearing.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor
    In the end...either way...you will be replacing the bearing.
    Possibly, but you never know. He might as well clean them up and see where he stands. Given the price of ceramic bearings, it's worth a shot.
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  11. #11
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    Thanks guys. I just got a bottle of mineral sprite and will try to flush the bearing out with it tonight.

  12. #12
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    Use an old coffee can and either shake like crazy, or use a stick through the bearing to swish it around very aggressively. Use the minimum amount of liquid to get the job done, and change it once or twice until it stays clean. You don't want to be pulling a "clean" part out of dirty solvent.

    Don't flush the solvent down the drain. If you don't have a way to dispose of it, put the dirty solvent in a closed jar to settle, then pour off the best of it into a new jar, for use as a first wash later on, and leave the really dirty stuff in the jar outside to evaporate, then discard/recycle the dirty jar.
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