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Pilot Bearing Removal
Without a Slide Hammer

Mark Hershoren

Don't own a slide hammer? Stores are closed? When the old guy gave me this trick 25 years ago, I thought he was having fun at my expense. It took great persuasion on his part to convince me that he wasn't kidding.

This can be done with a bowl of water, a roll of toilet paper, a hammer, and a solid object such a wooden dowel or something else which can fit through the center of the bearing. The dowel should be at least 3/4 the size of the hole, but not a tight fit.

Here's how you do it:

Tear off a sheet or two (maybe more if this seems not enough) of toilet paper and get it wet in the bowl of water. Wad or roll it up and poke it through the center of the bearing. Repeat the process a until the bearing is fully packed. Place the dowel in the center and tap a few times with a hammer. Now add more wet TP to refill the packed hole, and tamp again with the dowel and hammer. After a few more repeats of the filling and tapping process, reposition the dowel in the bearing and give it a couple firm blows with the hammer. With each strike (usually three or four) you'll see the bearing move out of the end of the crank. Viola! Replace with a new bearing and resume whatever else you were doing that made you tackle this in the first place.

No! Really! No kidding! It works!