How to Change Wheels from a Longboard
Have you ever wondered how to remove wheels from a longboard? Whether you want to replace them, clean the bearings, or perform maintenance, knowing how to remove the wheels is essential. In this article, we will guide you through the process step by step, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience.
Tools Needed to Remove Wheels From a Longboard
Before you begin, it’s important to gather the necessary tools and equipment for removing the wheels from your longboard. Here are the items you’ll need:
- Skate tool or wrench
- Screwdriver (if necessary)
- Clean cloth or paper towels
- Lubricant (optional)
- Bearing cleaner (optional)
- Bearing lubricant (optional)
Step-by-Step Guide on Removing Wheels From a Longboard
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to remove wheels from a longboard:
Step 1: Gather Necessary Tools
Before you start removing the wheels, gather all the tools and equipment mentioned earlier. Having everything within reach will save you time and ensure a more efficient process.
Step 2: Identify Wheel Components
Longboard wheels consist of several components, including the wheel itself, the bearing, bearing spacer, and wheel nut. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these parts before proceeding.
Step 3: Remove Wheel Nuts
Using a skate tool or wrench, loosen the wheel nuts by turning them counterclockwise. Once the nuts are loose, you can remove them completely.
Step 4: Loosen the Wheels
After removing the wheel nuts, gently wiggle the wheel back and forth. This will help loosen it from the truck axle. If the wheel is stubborn, you can tap it lightly with a soft mallet or a block of wood.
Step 5: Remove the Bearings
To remove the bearings, use a skate tool or the edge of a screwdriver to pry them out. Apply gentle pressure, and the bearings should pop out easily. If the bearings are dirty or need maintenance, this is a good time to clean or lubricate them.
Step 6: Clean and Maintain
Once the wheels are removed, take the opportunity to clean them thoroughly. Wipe away any dirt or debris using a clean cloth or paper towels. If desired, you can also clean the bearings using a specialized bearing cleaner. After cleaning, ensure they are completely dry before reassembling.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Removing Longboard Wheels
When removing longboard wheels, it’s important to avoid certain mistakes to ensure a smooth and safe process. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:
Using excessive force:
Avoid applying excessive force when removing the wheels. This can lead to damage to the bearings or the axle. Instead, use moderate force and a proper tool like a skate tool or a socket wrench to loosen the wheel.
Neglecting safety precautions:
Always prioritize safety when working with longboard wheels. Wear gloves and safety glasses to protect your hands and eyes from any potential injuries. Additionally, ensure that the longboard is stable and secure before attempting to remove the wheels.
Failing to use the right tool:
Using the correct tool is crucial for removing longboard wheels without causing damage. A skate tool or a socket wrench with the appropriate size will make the process easier and help prevent stripping the nut or damaging the wheel or axle.
Forgetting to clean the bearings:
While removing the wheels, it’s an excellent opportunity to clean the bearings. Neglecting this step can result in reduced performance and longevity of the bearings. Take the time to remove the bearings, clean them thoroughly, and apply lubrication if needed.
After removing the wheels, it’s essential to reassemble everything correctly. Make sure to align the bearings properly and tighten the nuts securely, but not overly tight. Failing to reassemble the wheels correctly can lead to wobbling or instability while riding.
Overlooking wheel and bearing condition:
Before removing the wheels, take a moment to inspect the condition of the wheels and bearings. If the wheels are worn out or the bearings are damaged, it’s advisable to replace them instead of reinstalling them. This will help maintain optimal performance and safety.
Rushing the process:
Removing longboard wheels should be done patiently and carefully. Rushing the process can increase the chances of making mistakes or causing damage. Take your time, follow the steps correctly, and ensure that everything is done accurately.
Tips For Safely Removing Longboard Wheels
When it comes to safely removing longboard wheels, here are some tips to follow:
Gather the necessary tools:
You’ll need a skate tool or a wrench with the correct size socket to fit the axle nut of your longboard.
Find a stable work area:
Look for a clean, flat surface where you can comfortably work on your longboard. Make sure there’s enough space to maneuver and place the longboard securely.
Secure the longboard:
Place the longboard on the ground or on a stable surface with the wheels facing up. You can use a towel or a non-slip mat to prevent it from sliding around.
Loosen the axle nut:
Use the skate tool or wrench to loosen the axle nut on the wheel you want to remove. Turn the tool counterclockwise to loosen the nut. Be careful not to strip the nut or damage the threads.
Remove the nut and washers:
Once the axle nut is loose enough, you can remove it by hand. Take note of the order of any washers or spacers that were on the axle.
Take off the wheel:
With the nut and washers removed, gently pull the wheel straight off the axle. If the wheel feels stuck, you can wiggle it from side to side while pulling to help loosen it.
Inspect the bearings:
After removing the wheel, take a moment to inspect the bearings. Look for any signs of damage, dirt, or debris. If necessary, clean or replace the bearings before reassembling.
Repeat for other wheels:
Follow the same process for removing the other wheels, one at a time.
When you’re ready to put the wheels back on, make sure to align the bearings properly. Place the wheel onto the axle, ensuring it sits flush against the bearing spacer or truck hanger.
Tighten the axle nut:
Use the skate tool or wrench to tighten the axle nut. Apply enough pressure to secure the wheel but avoid over-tightening, as it can damage the bearings or affect the performance of the wheel.
How to Loosen Tight Longboard Wheels For Removal
To loosen tight longboard wheels for removal, you can follow these steps:
Prepare the necessary tools:
You’ll need a skate tool or a wrench that fits the size of the axle nuts on your longboard.
Flip your longboard over:
Turn your longboard upside down, so the wheels are facing upwards. This will make it easier to access the axle nuts.
Locate the axle nuts:
Each wheel will have an axle nut on either side. They are typically located at the center of the wheel, where the axle protrudes.
Use the skate tool or wrench:
Take your skate tool or wrench and place it on the flat side of the axle nut. Make sure it fits securely.
Apply pressure to the tool or wrench and turn it counterclockwise. This will loosen the axle nut. Repeat this step for each wheel.
Remove the wheels:
Once the axle nuts are sufficiently loosened, you can use your hands to unscrew them the rest of the way. Take off the nuts and set them aside.
Remove the wheels:
With the axle nuts removed, you can now slide the wheels off the axles. If the wheels are still tight, you can gently tap them on the side with your palm to loosen them further. Alternatively, you can use a rubber mallet to lightly tap the inside edge of the wheel until it comes loose.
Repeat for other wheels:
Repeat the same process for all the wheels you want to remove.
Replacing Longboard Wheels: step-by-step Instructions
Replacing longboard wheels is a fairly straightforward process. Here are step-by-step instructions to guide you through the process:
- Gather the necessary tools and materials: You will need a skate tool or a wrench (typically 9/16″), replacement wheels, and new bearings (if you want to replace them as well).
- Find a suitable workspace: Choose a flat and stable surface to work on. It’s best to have enough space to comfortably move around and access your longboard.
- Flip your longboard over: Turn your longboard upside down so that the deck is facing the ground. This will allow you to easily access the wheels.
- Remove the nuts or bolts: Use a skate tool or a wrench to loosen and remove the nuts or bolts holding the current wheels in place. Typically, longboards have four nuts or bolts per wheel.
- Take off the old wheels: Once the nuts or bolts are removed, gently pull the old wheels off the axles. If the wheels are stuck, you can lightly tap them with a rubber mallet or use a skate tool as leverage to pry them off.
- Replace the bearings (optional): If you want to replace the bearings as well, remove them from the old wheels. You can use a bearing press or a skate tool to pop them out. Clean the bearing seat on the new wheels and press the new bearings into place. Ensure they are seated properly.
- Install the new wheels: Take your new wheels and align them with the axles. Slide them onto the axles until they fit snugly against the bearings. Make sure the wheels are aligned straight and parallel to the deck.
- Secure the wheels: Place the nuts or bolts back onto the axles and tighten them. Use your skate tool or wrench to ensure they are securely fastened. Be careful not to overtighten, as this can cause excessive friction in the wheels.
- Test the wheels: Flip your longboard back over and give the wheels a spin. Make sure they rotate smoothly without any wobbling or resistance. If needed, adjust the tightness of the nuts or bolts until the wheels spin freely.
- Repeat for all wheels: Follow the same steps to replace all the wheels on your longboard. Take your time to ensure each wheel is properly installed and tightened.
Q1: How often should I remove and clean the wheels of my longboard?
It is recommended to clean the wheels and bearings of your longboard every 2-3 months, or more frequently if you ride in wet or dirty conditions.
Q2: Can I reuse the old bearings after cleaning them?
Yes, you can reuse the old bearings after cleaning them. However, if the bearings are damaged or worn out, it’s best to replace them with new ones for optimal performance.
Q3: Can I use any lubricant for the bearings?
It is recommended to use a lubricant specifically designed for skateboard or longboard bearings. These lubricants are formulated to withstand the rigors of skating and provide optimal performance.
Q4: Should I clean the wheels before removing them?
It’s not necessary to clean the wheels before removing them, but it’s a good practice to do so. Cleaning the wheels beforehand ensures that no dirt or debris gets transferred to other parts during the removal process.
Q5: How tight should the wheel nuts be when reassembling?
When reassembling the wheels, tighten the wheel nuts snugly but avoid overtightening. The wheels should be able to spin freely without wobbling. Over-tightening can lead to increased friction and decreased performance.
Q6: Can I remove the wheels without a skate tool?
While a skate tool makes the process easier, you can use a wrench or an adjustable wrench as an alternative. Just ensure that the tool fits the size of the wheel nuts securely.
Q7: Can I remove the wheels without removing the trucks?
No, in order to remove the wheels from a longboard, you need to remove the wheel nuts, which requires access to the axle. This necessitates removing the trucks from the board.
Q8: Is it necessary to remove the bearings for regular maintenance?
Removing the bearings for regular maintenance is not necessary. However, if the bearings are dirty, making noise, or not spinning smoothly, it’s advisable to remove and clean them to ensure optimal performance.
Q9: Can I reuse the wheel nuts?
Yes, you can reuse the wheel nuts as long as they are in good condition and can securely fasten the wheels onto the trucks.
Q10: Should I wear gloves when removing the wheels?
Wearing gloves is a personal preference. While it’s not mandatory, gloves can protect your hands from any sharp edges or potential injuries during the removal process.
Removing the wheels from a longboard may seem daunting at first, but with the right tools and a clear understanding of the process, it becomes a straightforward task. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily remove the wheels, clean the bearings, or perform necessary maintenance on your longboard. Remember to take your time, be gentle, and enjoy the process of caring for your beloved board.