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My cup and cone bottom bracket bearings are always getting smashed. Any theories?
#1
My cup and cone bottom bracket bearings are always getting smashed. Any theories?

See Album here, description and story under each picture: http://imgur.com/a/8CXlz

You can ignore the last 5 shots. I accidentally uploaded some pictures twice.

I bought a pair of brand new bearings. Before I put them in though, what do you suspect is causing the bearings to deform so badly under only a 10 mile ride?
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#2
The bearing cage was put in backwards. Thus instead of the force going from the cone through the balls to the outer race, it was going from the cone through the cage to the outer race.

On my bikes with cup and cone bottom brackets, I use loose balls - one more ball than in the cage, so I never have worry about messing up; and stiffer and stronger.

More full proof and simpler, though more expensive solution is a sealed BB, like a Shimano UN54
Nigel
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#3
I wouldn't bother with cup and cone bottom brackets these days, they're a pain to adjust, there's no seals, so they get dirt and water in them and don't seem to last.

Like Nigel says, get a Shimano UN54, they aren't expensive, they're easy to fit, they last for ages and need absolutely no maintenance.
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#4
Yep 10-4 to getting a UN54 sealed BB.

As per your set up you can try and just use plain bearings without the cage, you can get more bearings in that way.
Never Give Up!!!
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#5
Something else I wanted to throw in is that the spindle is NOT even!!! One side is longer then the other. It shows in one of Alex's videos that one of side of the spindle is longer from the bearing race to the end on the drive side (side with the chain)! Best way to tell this is to measure from the bearing race out to the end on both sides.
If this is case then your almost assured to smash the cage on the bearings on both sides.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#6
(07-24-2012, 03:56 AM)mikecngan Wrote:  My cup and cone bottom bracket bearings are always getting smashed. Any theories?

See Album here, description and story under each picture: http://imgur.com/a/8CXlz

You can ignore the last 5 shots. I accidentally uploaded some pictures twice.

I bought a pair of brand new bearings. Before I put them in though, what do you suspect is causing the bearings to deform so badly under only a 10 mile ride?

My bottom bracket requires a ball bearing race with 9 quarter inch balls. When I fit loose balls in the cup it takes 11 balls to fill the cup. Does this seem right. 10 balls would be too loose. One poster said he only required one more ball.
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#7
(07-26-2012, 03:53 AM)Bill Wrote:  Something else I wanted to throw in is that the spindle is NOT even!!! One side is longer then the other. It shows in one of Alex's videos that one of side of the spindle is longer from the bearing race to the end on the drive side (side with the chain)! Best way to tell this is to measure from the bearing race out to the end on both sides.
If this is case then your almost assured to smash the cage on the bearings on both sides.

My spindle has one end that is about .08 inch longer from the race. How does installation of spindle wth short end on drive side apply force to the bearings?
I can't remove movement of the spindle with ball bearings in a cage because there seems to be movement of the balls in the cage. When I fit loose balls in the race it takes 11 balls instead of 9 and this elimnates most of the movement of the spindle.
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#8
(07-26-2012, 03:53 AM)Bill Wrote:  Something else I wanted to throw in is that the spindle is NOT even!!! One side is longer then the other. It shows in one of Alex's videos that one of side of the spindle is longer from the bearing race to the end on the drive side (side with the chain)! Best way to tell this is to measure from the bearing race out to the end on both sides.
If this is case then your almost assured to smash the cage on the bearings on both sides.
You know, I think both of my last two overhauls revealed that one of side of the spindle is longer from the bearing race to the end than the other. Nigel & RobAR would probably know a lot more about it.
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#9
(01-26-2013, 10:40 AM)1FJEF Wrote:  ......
You know, I think both of my last two overhauls revealed that one of side of the spindle is longer from the bearing race to the end than the other. Nigel & RobAR would probably know a lot more about it.
Every loose ball BB that I have worked with has had different lengths on each side of the axle. From a bearing stand point; it does not matter. In fact on my SR Sierra; I have the BB axle in "backwards" because that gave me the FD to chain ring alignment and chain line that worked best for me.

The are designed to have the longer end on the chain ring side, for chain ring to frame clearance and chain line. But when you swap crank sets, a different length is needed.

There is no way that putting the axle in backwards can have any effect on the bearings.
(07-26-2012, 03:53 AM)Bill Wrote:  Something else I wanted to throw in is that the spindle is NOT even!!! One side is longer then the other. It shows in one of Alex's videos that one of side of the spindle is longer from the bearing race to the end on the drive side (side with the chain)! Best way to tell this is to measure from the bearing race out to the end on both sides.
If this is case then your almost assured to smash the cage on the bearings on both sides.

Bill; no. The length of the spindle ends has not effect on the bearings.
(01-25-2013, 11:33 PM)ed4 Wrote:  ......
I can't remove movement of the spindle with ball bearings in a cage because there seems to be movement of the balls in the cage. ......

Sounds like you have the cages installed backwards; and the movement you feel is the cages being deformed because they are in contact with the cup and cone, and the balls are not.
Nigel
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#10
Told ya Nigel would know.
By the way, I tried his no cage 10 ball set up with a one piece (ashtabula) crank set on an old cruiser & it was sturdy feeling but had an eerie feel to it & I could hear the balls fall down across the gap between them at 3 & 9 o'clock on the pedals, it kinda freaked me out so I went back to the caged. On the other style of cranks I've tossed the caged & gone loose no problem.
Easy way to remember the orientation with caged bearings is "yer balls go in the cup", cage goes to the cone!
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#11
(01-25-2013, 11:33 PM)ed4 Wrote:  When I fit loose balls in the race it takes 11 balls instead of 9 and this elimnates most of the movement of the spindle.

You actually don't want the bearings packed in too tightly. There should be a little bit of space between each one. Stick with 10. This will not make the spindle loose. The space between the cup and cone is what controls the looseness/tightness, not the number of bearings.
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#12
10-4 to what Dave said there should be a space about the width of one ball.

1FJef did you put lots of grease in when you reassembled your BB? The grease should hold the balls from rattling around freely. Lots of marine grade waterproof grease is what I use. Bel Ray is good, I use it in my motorcycles too.
Never Give Up!!!
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#13
(01-27-2013, 05:42 AM)GeorgeET Wrote:  1FJef did you put lots of grease in when you reassembled your BB? The grease should hold the balls from rattling around freely. Lots of marine grade waterproof grease is what I use. Bel Ray is good, I use it in my motorcycles too.
Yeah, I wondered about that. I used tons of Park lube. I tried twice. Park is nowhere near as thick as some Marine grease.
The "rattle" I heard clearly sounded like the click of a BB falling down across the gap between the balls. The one piece crank used 5/16" balls.
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#14
(01-27-2013, 04:08 PM)1FJEF Wrote:  .......
The "rattle" I heard clearly sounded like the click of a BB falling down across the gap between the balls. The one piece crank used 5/16" balls.

As Dave said the cup - cone clearance should prevent ball rattling. I would guess that something bottomed out, and prevented the bearings from being properly preloaded. Another possibility is waviness in the cup and/or cone. A third is non-uniform ball sizes - doubtful if you got all the balls on each side from the same package - okay to use a different package on each side. NOTE: the grade of the balls is a tolerance range within the lot, not lot to lot.
Nigel
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#15
Good point Nigel. Bearings should not roll around freely or there would be play. They need to be preloaded. As per size difference between lots , hmmm, never had problems with that but possible headache.
Never Give Up!!!
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#16
I buy bearings in bulk from McMaster-Carr.
I believe then that it would be a wear issue as there is different play with the pedals vertical (less) versus horizontal (more). Good call guys.
It is a used bike.
Every high mileage one piece crankset I've checked has had more play with the pedals at 3 & 9 o'clock.
I suspect that as they wear, they are not adjusted often enough resulting in even more severe wear.
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#17
(01-26-2013, 05:23 PM)nfmisso Wrote:  
(01-26-2013, 10:40 AM)1FJEF Wrote:  ......
You know, I think both of my last two overhauls revealed that one of side of the spindle is longer from the bearing race to the end than the other. Nigel & RobAR would probably know a lot more about it.
Every loose ball BB that I have worked with has had different lengths on each side of the axle. From a bearing stand point; it does not matter. In fact on my SR Sierra; I have the BB axle in "backwards" because that gave me the FD to chain ring alignment and chain line that worked best for me.

The are designed to have the longer end on the chain ring side, for chain ring to frame clearance and chain line. But when you swap crank sets, a different length is needed.

There is no way that putting the axle in backwards can have any effect on the bearings.
(07-26-2012, 03:53 AM)Bill Wrote:  Something else I wanted to throw in is that the spindle is NOT even!!! One side is longer then the other. It shows in one of Alex's videos that one of side of the spindle is longer from the bearing race to the end on the drive side (side with the chain)! Best way to tell this is to measure from the bearing race out to the end on both sides.
If this is case then your almost assured to smash the cage on the bearings on both sides.

Bill; no. The length of the spindle ends has not effect on the bearings.
(01-25-2013, 11:33 PM)ed4 Wrote:  ......
I can't remove movement of the spindle with ball bearings in a cage because there seems to be movement of the balls in the cage. ......

Sounds like you have the cages installed backwards; and the movement you feel is the cages being deformed because they are in contact with the cup and cone, and the balls are not.

I had the bearings in correctly because after about 50 miles I took the bearings out and they were okay. But they were still making a slight noise with pressure on the pedal. I had retightened the cup slightly every 12 miles up to 36 miles to remove play and then rode to the 50 miles. I have replaced them and there is no play but I will check again after 12 miles to see if play develops.
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#18
The readjustment of the BB I was referring to was involving very old worn primitive one piece cranksets.
So the cage ring is toward the cone (spindle) & the exposed balls are outwards towards the cups, right?
What kind of noise, surely not a crackling popping?
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#19
(01-28-2013, 10:22 PM)1FJEF Wrote:  The readjustment of the BB I was referring to was involving very old worn primitive one piece cranksets.
So the cage ring is toward the cone (spindle) & the exposed balls are outwards towards the cups, right?
What kind of noise, surely not a crackling popping?

I am using a threepiece set(a,spindle,two cups,and the bearings).The exposed balls go outward to the cup race. The complete Idiots Guide on page 137 seems to show the balls outward on the adjustable cup and balls inward toward the spindle at the fixed cup. This diagram is courtesy of Campagnolo they say.
After riding 24 miles more the noise seems to be gone. The first set of bearings on this bike lasted about 2000 miles when the bearing cage on the left side failed. I may try loose balls to see how long they last.
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