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