View Full Version : how do you remove the pilot bearing?

12-28-2008, 10:05 PM
i have a 1990 2.3 4 cylinder 2wd 5 speed, now i tried getting the pilot bearing out. i took off the flywheel. i took a screwdriver and a hammer and tried to beat it out, i probably shouldnt have done that. i broke out the little bearings, but the ring part of the pilot bearing wont come out so hoe do i get it out, i have a new one to put in

12-29-2008, 01:20 AM
try and find a bolt that fits inside the pilot bearing very snug, fill the hole will grease and then drive the bolt in with a hammer, should pop it out for you. Doesn't hurt to put a rag over it as you are doing it so you don't get a grease in the face.

12-29-2008, 10:31 AM
yep, thats the method ive always used. i actually have a spare input shaft that i use, but its the same concept. it sounds like from your post you already have the inner race and the bearings out and now youre stuck with a stubborn outer race thats not wanting to come out of the flywheel. you can use a cold chisel and try to cut the race by beating it with a big hammer, or you can use a die grinder with a small bit and cut the side of it so that you can pry it out. hope that helps you out.

12-30-2008, 11:05 PM
Ok, here's how you can get it out... grab your MIG welder or ARC welder, crank that thing up and weld a bead around the entire face of the race. flip it over and smack it with a hammer. It might sound a little crazy but it works every time... The heat of the bead pulls the entire race inward and will actually shrink the race and will come right out.

12-31-2008, 01:24 AM
How about find a socket or something that's just barely smaller in diameter than the bearing and just tap it out from the backside of the flywheel? Should be real easy since it's already off the engine.

12-31-2008, 09:49 AM
Junkie's method is FAR easier than all the Rube Goldberg suggestions....

Put the flywheel on two wood blocks and tap the bearing out with a socket and a light hammer (no bigger than a standard claw hammer). Very easy, very quick, and doesn't require ruining your flywheel with a stick welder (it ain't gonna be flat after that....). Use the largest size that is smaller than the bearing 's outer diameter.

The grease method works if the bearing is in the crank and works a whole lot better for pilot bushings because they are airtight. If you try this on a flywheel, you'll just squirt grease all over the ground.

01-02-2009, 11:36 AM
I guess what we need to know is whether or not the pilot bearing is in the end of the crank or if it is in the flywheel? IIRC my 90' 2.3l had the bearing in the end of the crank and so does my 94' 3.0l. if that is the case then you cant hit it out form the back side cause you cant get anything in there.

Mutant Pony
01-02-2009, 12:15 PM
This is NOT a cologne engine guys. The 2.3 pilot bearing is in the crank. Most of you that replied should know that. ONLY cologne engines have the pilot in the flywheel.
The first time I encountered a failed roller pilot I tried everything I could think of to get it out. I ended up using a diegrinder. That is how I've done it ever since.
There is a pilot bearing removal tool that fits on the end of a slide hammer. If you can borrow or rent one, it may work for you.

01-02-2009, 12:31 PM
It sure sounds like he's trying to beat the pilot bearing out of something a screwdriver might be useful for....

FWIW, you can get a pilot bearing puller from Harbor Freight for $10 (or rent/borrow one). The business end is the same as those slide hammer ones, except it's a whole lot easier to control a screw puller than a slide hammer.


01-04-2009, 11:24 AM
Last time I had to remove a pilot Bushing (not a Bearing) with out having a puller handy. I used a tap (which was handy) just screwed it in until it bottomed out in the hole and kept turning until the bushing popped out. The bearing race is a lot harder and I'm not sure the tap will actually cut threads in it, but if you get one that just barely cuts threads in it it might work.

01-04-2009, 12:17 PM
IF that works, that's great.

If you break the tap, you're screwed (so to speak).

01-12-2009, 10:02 AM
Anybody have pics of the remove tranny showing the pilot bearing?

06-09-2011, 12:15 AM
Yes, Pilot Bearing. 91 Ford ranger 2.3 2wd 5sp manual transmission. Just removed the transmission to install a new slave cylinder (which is mounted with 2 bolts inside the bellhousing) and a new clutch. I also removed the Flywheel and sent it out to be resurfaced. The Pilot Bearing. (a small needle bearing/roller bearing pressed in the back of the crankshaft. NOT THE FLYWHEEL. You have to purchase or rent a Pilot bearing removal tool from most part stores, Autozone, O'riley's. It is a slide hammer with an attachment with little arms that you attach to the end. You stick the little arms all the way in the hole and grab the backside of the bearing. Slide the hammer and pull it out.

06-09-2011, 08:15 AM

This is what you need.

06-10-2011, 05:39 PM
yup, thats the tool. I went to Harbor Frieght and bought a 15 piece slide hammer kit for 20.00. Looks quite simular to the one you posted, Snoranger. At first i didnt think those 2, little arms would fit into that small bearing, so i removed the arms and wiggled, finessed them in and reattached the slide and after a few whacks, presto! the bearing was removed.

hope these posts helps someone.

06-28-2011, 08:16 PM
What captanron said... The cheapie Harbor freight slide hammer. Part of the kit is an holder with locking pins and two different sizes of "fingers". I used the longer of the fingers, slid those inside the bearing one at a time, attached them to the holder, and with about three or four whacks the bearing came out. This setup looks exactly like the photo a couple of posts up.

07-13-2011, 12:42 PM
I know this is an old post but I had the same problem.

I have a 93 2.3l with the bearing in the crankshaft.

I tried to rent a pilot bearing puller at O'Reilleys/Kragens like shown but it was too large to fit into the 2.3 bearing.

I tried the grease and bolt and it didn't work and I tried to colapse the outer shell and all I did was break off the outer flange and scar up the crank.

I went online and harbor freight had a puller set for 50.00 Slide Hammer and Bearing Puller Set Item #95987 http://www.harborfreight.com/blind-hole-bearing-puller-95987.html and I was going to have to order it online when I happened to go to my local Autozone and they had the samething for rent only there it was called OEM/Blind Hole Puller Set http://www.autozone.com/autozone/accessories/OEM-Blind-Hole-Puller-Set/_/N-2647?counter=0&filterByKeyWord=blind+hole+puller&fromString=search&itemIdentifier=391362_0_0_

It was 171.00 deposit to get it (you get it all back- no cost to rent the tool) and even as messed up as mine was I was able to use the second size and put it all the way through the bearing expand it all the way, 2 slides of the hammer and it was out.

I worked on that thing for 4 hrs yesterday and today with the right tool it took me 5 min.

Like they always say it all comes down to the right tool for the job.

Hope this helps the next person down the line.

02-02-2013, 03:02 AM
Yes, I'll testify confirming midknightman's statement above.

If your Ranger has the needle bearing, as opposed to the simpler (better?) bushing for a pilot, and it has weathered a few winters like my '96 and his '93, there is no point in trying any of the other clever tricks. I have personally succeeded on a few other vehicles, including several massive 9L/18spd Freightliner diesel tractors, using the greazy squeezy gag mentioned a couple of times earlier in the thread.
Not so much here, though. The outer race of our Rangers' little pilot bearing is made of metal too similar to the crank in which it sits. Given a decade or so alone in there to find out how much they have in common, they've inevitably fallen in love and eloped to Seize-ville.
Save yourself a nightmare and a half by getting your hands on one of those cheap slide hammers before you even put your ride on the jack stands. I certainly wish I had done it that way.

02-02-2013, 09:32 AM
Yeah, best rental ever is renting one of those after messing around the other ways... it makes you want to punch yourself in the face fir not just going out and buying/renting one to begin with.

02-05-2013, 08:21 PM
Believe it or not loaf bread works better then grease. No joke and I used grease and the tap method before

02-05-2013, 08:24 PM
You do the same thing as the grease and a smaller bolt then the hole in the bushing but use bread. For doubterslook it up on YouTube

02-05-2013, 08:25 PM
I generally use TNT, 1/8 stick.

Postin' from teh Galaxy

02-05-2013, 08:27 PM
Believe it or not loaf bread works better then grease. No joke and I used grease and the tap method before

F' that... I'm not wasting my lunch to get a pilot bearing out. :thefinger:

02-05-2013, 10:24 PM
Lol I know a colonial bread rep so I get all the stale bread I want

02-05-2013, 10:26 PM
Heck ima fat boy so I'd have to be hard up to use my actual sandwich

02-06-2013, 05:56 AM