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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, here goes. I was recently asked to show some pics on replacing idler wheel bearings. I did a quick search here and didn't find much info on this simple, easy maintenance task. This is one of the easier tasks to do on a sled, that will probably save you some coin, since it's lots of labour changing out bearings and dissasembling/reassembling the rear suspension.

Please don't nobody post here until I'm all done with my posts, please and thank you, I'll probably have to go back and edit my ramblings with each picture too.

There's a good link in the FAQs section here showing the exploded views of all ski-doo and other rear suspension parts, so when you forget how something goes together, check out the link.

This is the first time I have replaced bearings and I'm showing how I did it. I'm sure all you pros out there will have a ton of tricks and easier procedures so feel free to add them here.
 

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I'm omitting tearing down the rear suspension since that's an entirely different topic.

Before you take the trouble to remove a bearing from an idler, you should thoroughly (spelling?) inspect it for damage, cracked rubber, etc. to be sure it's worth changing the bearing or if you should toss it and replace.

Required tools:

*needle nose pliers (or inside snap ring pliers if you have them)
*pocket size flat screw driver
*regular size flat screwdriver
*hammer (ballpeen is good, I'm using a claw carpenters hammer cause I'm such a rebel)
*wood blocks
*socket (or other similar shaped steel object sized to the bearing)
*vise or hydraullic press
*chunks of plywood

Here we have all the wheels from my sled, a 2000 Skandic WT LC which has 7 large and 6 small idler wheels. There's also the new NTN formula bearings, the old removed bearings, and the inside snap rings that retain the bearings.

They all use the same bearings 6205
 

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First off is to use the needle nose pliers or snap ring pliers to remove the snap ring that retains the bearing in the wheel. This ring simply sits in a groove in the idler wheel. You need to insert the pliers into the holes and squeeze until the ring is compressed enough to be pulled out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Once you have compressed the snap ring, you may have to use the small flat screwdriver to help pry it out a little. Be very gentle doing this as you can easily bend the ring.

Once the ring is pulled out it will have a tendancy to fly off the pliers handle into a corner of your shop never to be seen again, so hang on to it.
 

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Now that you have the snap ring out, next is to press out the bearing (it comes out the same side the snap ring was on).

If you have an hydraullic press you can use it to press out the bearing. I'm poor so I have to use 2x4 blocks and a hammer.

Set the blocks up side by side like this.

The flange on the right side of the idler wheel in the pic should fit between the blocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Now set the socket on the bearing and tap with the hammer. The bearing should come out nicely after a few blows. Though I didn't show it in the pic, it's nice to hold a block of wood on the socket to avoid damage to hammer or socket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Now we have the idler wheel fully disassembled.
Here's the wheel, snap ring, old bearing and new bearing.

This is a good time to clean out the groove for the snap ring of any accumulated dirt, etc.
 

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The bearings are an interference fit with the idler wheel, meaning the bearings outside diameter is larger than the diameter of the hole in the wheel where it fits. This means that it requires some force to press the bearing into place.

Now we have to press in the new bearing. Again this would be easy with a hydraullic press, which I don't have.

I've been told that you can place the wheel on a bench, place the new bearing on the hole, place the old bearing on top and wood on top of that, then use a hammer to force the bearing into place.

I tried that and it didn't work for me.

I found it much easier to use my vise as a press.

I sandwiched the idler and new bearing between two pieces of ply wood and put the works in my vise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Now slowly apply pressure with the vise while carefully watching to ensure the bearing goes in straight. Continue until the plywood contacts the wheel like so:
 

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Now you've got the bearing partly seated, to fully seat the bearing, get out your trusty socket from before and line it up with the bearing in the vise like so:

Then continue to carefully apply pressure with the vise until the bearing is fully seated. You should feel the vise gets harder to turn at the point when the bearing is fully seated.

Obviously be careful to not apply too much force and crack the wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok, now the bearing is fully seated, all thats left is to re-install the snap ring.

Here is the tip of my needle nose pliers. I have grinded a small concave section near the tip to help hang on to the snap ring.

When compressing the snap ring, I hold on to it opposite the opening with my free hand, so when it pops off the pliers it dosen't fly away.
 

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