Micro Sprint Bearing Maintenance
Bearings are critical to a racecar, especially if you want to go fast. You can’t just throw some red tacky grease on the bearings and then forget about them. Over time, that is going to hurt the bearings and cause them to seize up and create a failure. That is the last thing you want when racing. So, I’ve learned how to take proper care of my bearings, and I've added the process into my weekly maintenance. As weird as it sounds, I actually enjoy doing my bearings; It is so rewarding and satisfying to me. My front bearings are smaller, so I try to re-grease them every two races. As for my rear bearings, I usually re-grease them every three races. I always want to make sure they are fresh.
Different bearings require a specific grease or a certain technique when applying it to the bearings. I use a different type of bearings then the regular off the shelf bearings. These types of bearings are Pro-glide; Speedway Motors offers Micro Sprint Rear Bearings, Inner Sealed Micro Sprint Front Hub Bearings, and Outer No Seal Micro Sprint Front Hub Bearings. The difference with this type of bearings is that they have a special coating around the bearing that causes less friction, allowing the bearing to spin more freely. Basically, the easiest and cheapest horsepower gain you could get for your racecar. Since they are different, they require a different type of grease mixture and a little more attention then your usual type of bearings.
This process of maintenance can be done on basic bearings; I use the same mixture with the basic bearings and my special bearings. To begin, I don’t use regular red and tacky grease. I mix up a special mixture that some of my other racing buddies taught me. I use a full synthetic oil with little to no weight, so it’s like a 5W-30. Then, I use white lithium grease as well; I use this grease throughout the rest of the car. Using a little plastic container that I use for only my bearing mixture, I pour about one cup of oils and a scoop of white lithium grease into the container. I mix the oil and grease until I have the consistency of Cool Whip but just a little thinner. This is the grease that I use for the front and rear bearings.
For the front bearings, I use my finger covered in grease to apply a nice coat around the bearing, making sure it’s spread evenly. I do this a couple of times to make sure I get every part of the bearing that I can with my finger; It doesn’t need a thick coat. To clean the front bearings, I use a clean shop towel and a little WD-40 spray. It doesn’t take a lot to clean them, since most of the grease is on the outside of the bearing.
For the rear bearings, I do it a little differently since they are in the birdcages, and I can’t get to both sides of the bearings. I take the snap-ring off, pop the seal off with a thin pointed screwdriver, and then fill the inside of the bearing with Marble Mystery oil. When I fill the bearing with that oil, I make sure to spin the bearing to get all of the Marble Mystery oil into the bearing. I let it the bearing sit upside down, so the old grease has away to get out. After doing that process for a couple of times, you will feel a difference from when you first started compared to after the Marble Mystery oil was run through the bearing.
Once I felt like the bearing cleaned fairly enough, I grab my baby food syringe and fill it up with the special grease that I mentioned above. The syringe allowss you to get the bearing grease deep inside the bearing, and hopefully, it gets through the bearing. I make sure to go around the bearing with the syringe to get the grease deep inside once I have a good layer on top of the bearing. I give it a couple of good solid spins to get the grease into the bearing. I do this process a few times, and make sure I can feel if the bearing grease was able to get into the bearing. Once I have successfully done that, I pop back on the seal and snap-ring.
The rear bearings take a little more time than the front bearings, but it’s just what it takes to make sure you have free bearings every time you hit the track. Once you have done the front and rear bearing maintenance a couple of times, you will be able to tell that the bearing is freer and the car is able to roll more freely, hopefully gaining horsepower in the end.