How to Stop Urethane Bushings From Squeaking

Written by brandon getty
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How to Stop Urethane Bushings From Squeaking
Urethane bushings allow a skateboard or longboard to turn smoothly. (the underside of a red coloured skateboard on a blue background image by Stephen Gibson from Fotolia.com)

Small urethane bushings are installed between a skateboard or longboard's turning axle and base plate to allow for smooth, controlled turns. The axle is mounted to the base plate, using a third urethane piece called a pivot cup, where most of the turning movement occurs. Although urethane bushings sometimes squeak under high stress or in cold weather, the most audible noise comes from the urethane pivot cup. With a socket wrench and a few household products, you can silence the squeak in no time.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • 9/16-inch wrench
  • Old rag
  • Bar soap shavings
  • Graphite powder (optional)
  • Pencil shavings (optional)
  • Oil-based lubricant (optional)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Flip your skateboard or longboard upside down to access the trucks. These are the metal devices on the bottom of the board that allow it to turn, and they consist of a mounted base plate and an axle. Remove the nuts from the top of the kingpin bolt, which protrudes from the centre of the base plate, using a socket wrench and 9/16-inch socket.

  2. 2

    Take off the washers, top bushings and axles. Also remove the bottom bushings. The bushings are small rubber spacers. The top bushing is tapered while the bottom one is uniform in size, like a hockey puck. Clean the bushings with warm water and an old rag if they are dirty.

  3. 3

    Locate the urethane pivot cups on the base plates, which are small metal plates affixed to the board with four mounting bolts. The pivot cups are usually made of black urethane and recessed into the base plate. Pack bar soap shavings into the cups until they are halfway full.

  4. 4

    Replace the bottom bushings, axles, top bushings and washers. Thread the axle nuts onto the kingpin bolt and turn them to your desired tightness. Avoid over-tightening the nuts to preserve turning ability.

Tips and warnings

  • Instead of bar soap shavings, you can use graphite powder, pencil shavings or an oil-based lubricant.
  • Make sure your axle nuts are threaded all the way on to the kingpin bolt before taking a test ride. Failure to do so may result in serious injury.

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