1994 – 2001 Yamaha YZ125 – Wheels – Rear Wheel Bearing Change

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How To Change The Rear Wheel Bearings on Your 1994-2001 Yamaha YZ125

1994 - 2001 Yamaha YZ125 - Wheels - Rear Wheel Bearing Change - FeaturedBefore you start this service, throw your bearing kit in the freezer for a few hours. Removing the rear wheel bearings does require fire, so arrange your workspace accordingly!

The Tools You Will Need

  • Propane Torch
  • Socket To Match The Outer Bearing Race
  • Socket To Match The Inner Bearing Race
  • Long Drift
  • Hammer
  • Tire Spoon
  • Shop Towels
  • Safety Glasses
  • Snap Ring Pliers

The Parts You Will Need

The parts you will need to service the rear wheel bearings on your 1994 – 2001 Yamaha YZ125 are a rear wheel bearing and seal kit and general purpose grease.

If you don’t have parts yet, you can get all the parts you need HERE!

Make Sure To Change Your Front Wheel Bearings Too!

Rear Wheel Bearing Removal

  • Start with the brake side of the wheel facing up.
  • Pry out the old deals with a tire spoon.
  • Clean the hub and old bearings as much as you can.
  • From 1999 to 2001 models, Remove the bearing retainer spring clip from the hub with a pair of snap ring pliers.
    • Your clip might be hard to remove, so keep an extra pair of pliers handy.
  • Set your wheel upright, and Insert your drift from the brake side, up to, but not touching the sprocket side bearing.
  • Push the top of your wheel away while pushing the end of your drift down.
    • This will move the distance collar up on the sprocket side, giving you access to the inner bearing race.
  • Place your wheel sprocket side up on your 2x4s.
  • Heat the hub, not the bearing, directly for 60 seconds.
    • This makes the aluminum hub expand slightly, which relieves the pressure on the steel bearing.
  • Flip your wheel over, and tap the inner bearing race with a long screwdriver or pry bar.
    • You may need to pry the collar around the hub to remove the bearing evenly.
  • Do not strike the bearing race too hard, or you run the risk of breaking it, then you have to chip the outer bearing race out of the hub.
    • Not only is this irritating, but you could also damage the hub.
  • Repeat the heat and beat process for the other side, except this time; you can use a socket.
1 - Pry Out The Old Bearing Seals
Pry out the old deals with a tire spoon.
2 - Remove The Spring Clip On 1999-2001 Models
From 1999 to 2001 models, Remove the bearing retainer spring clip from the hub with a pair of snap ring pliers.
3 - You May Need To Use Another Set Of Pliers
Your clip might be hard to remove, so keep an extra pair of pliers handy.
4 - Insert Your Drift Into The Hub
Set your wheel upright, and Insert your drift from the brake side, up to, but not touching the sprocket side bearing.
5 - Heat The Hub For 30 Seconds
Heat the hub, not the bearing, directly for 60 seconds.
6 - Tap Out The Old Rear Wheel Bearing
Flip your wheel over, and tap the inner bearing race with a long screwdriver or pry bar.

Clean & Inspect

  • Clean and inspect the hub, distance collar, and axle for any signs of wear or damage.
  • File off any burrs or chips, and gently sand off any corrosion.
    • Do not remove any material when smoothing the ends of the distance collar.
    • The distance collar needs to be an exact length to work properly.
    • If the ends are damaged, they need to be replaced.
  • One side of my collar looked pretty gross, but it was the build-up, not corrosion.
  • Smooth your axle with some 320 grit sandpaper, then follow that with some steel wool.
    • If you use my method to clean your axle, you can quickly tell if it’s bent.
  • Once everything is cleaned and smoothed, test fit your new bearings.
  • They are a driven fit, so they should not slip into the bore.
    • If your bearings do slip into the bore, you will need to replace your hub.
7 - Clean And Inspect The Hub And Components
Clean and inspect the hub, distance collar, and axle for any signs of wear or damage.
8 - My Distance Collar Looked Groose
One side of my collar looked pretty gross, but it was the build-up, not corrosion.
9 - Clean The Axle With 320 Sandpaper
Smooth your axle with some 320 grit sandpaper, then follow that with some steel wool.

New Rear Wheel Bearing Parts

  • I am installing a Pivot Works Rear Wheel Bearing Kit.
  • I’ve been using pivot works wheel bearings for a while with good results, and you can get this same kit through the link below.
10 - Get New Parts!
I’ve been using pivot works wheel bearings for a while with good results, and you can get this same kit through the link below.

Rear Wheel Bearing Installation

  • Start with the brake side bearing.
  • Set your wheel on your 2x4s, so only the hub is supported.
  • Start by lightly heating the hub. 
  • A warm hub and frozen bearings will make installation much more manageable.
  • Align your new bearing square with the bore.
  • Align your socket to the OUTER bearing race, and start tapping the bearing into the bore.
  • As you go, you can make slight corrections as needed.
  • For the sprocket side bearing, insert the axle into the hub from the brake side and add more 2x4s, so it sits slightly above the hub.
    • The axle will now be the guide to align the distance collar with the sprocket side bearing.
  • Install the distance collar, and repeat the bearing installation process.
  • From 1999 to 2001 models, Install the bearing retainer spring clip on the brake side.
  • Apply an obnoxious amount of grease to the bearing seals, and drive them into the bore.
11 - Heat The Hub For Install
A warm hub and frozen bearings will make installation much more manageable.
12 - Align And Drive The New Rear Wheel Bearing Into The Hub
Align your socket to the OUTER bearing race, and start tapping the bearing into the bore.
13 - Install The Axle From The Brake Side
For the sprocket side bearing, insert the axle into the hub from the brake side and add more 2x4s, so it sits slightly above the hub.
14 - Install The Distance Collar
Install the distance collar, and repeat the bearing installation process.
15 - Install The Spring Clip
From 1999 to 2001 models, Install the bearing retainer spring clip on the brake side.
17 - Grease And Install The Bearing Seals
Apply an obnoxious amount of grease to the bearing seals, and drive them into the bore.

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