How to use a bearing separator

Written by dan ferrell
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How to use a bearing separator
A bearing separator can help you repair your alternator and other components that need new pulleys, bearings and gears. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

A bearing separator comes in handy when replacing the steering pump, rebuilding your alternator or performing any other similar repair job in your car or any other piece of equipment. A bearing separator is very effective in removing bearings, pulleys, gears and bushes fitted too close to the housing or other components, leaving regular jaw pullers no chance to do their job. Save on repair costs and finish your repair job in your garage using a few tools along with a bearing separator.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Bearing separator kit
  • Wrench
  • Three-jaw puller, if necessary

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    Use Your Separator

  1. 1

    Unscrew the two large bolts on each side of the bearing separator -- holding the separator split plate together -- just enough so the part you want to remove fits right in the middle of the separator plate. Use a wrench, if necessary.

  2. 2

    Place the bearing separator over and behind the bearing, gear or pulley you want to remove, with each half of the separator plate on each side. If the separator plate does not fit right behind the part you want to pull because the space is too tight, line the centre, tapered edge of the split plate as close to the bottom of the part as possible.

  3. 3

    Tighten the two bearing-separator bolts with a wrench so the separator plates fit tight behind, or close to the bottom of, the part you want to remove. You want the plates to be tight enough around the part to get a good grip, but not too tight to prevent damage to any component.

  4. 4

    Screw the twin, steel beam over the bearing separator using a wrench. The twin beam comes with your bearing separator kit and has two large bolts on each side and another large bolt on the centre of the beam. You want to screw the two side bolts on the beam to the two threaded holes provided on the separator plate.

  5. 5

    Begin to screw the beam's centre screw by hand until the race on the tip of this screw rests on the shaft where the bearing, gear or pulley you want to remove is mounted on.

  6. 6

    Start to tighten the beam's centre screw with a wrench, making sure the bearing separator plates are holding tight on the part you want to remove. As you tighten the beam's centre screw, the bearing separator plates will begin to pull on the part you want to remove.

  7. 7

    Keep tightening the beam's centre screw until you release the bearing, gear or pulley off the mounting centre shaft. Or, if you prefer, you can remove the bearing separator once there is enough room behind the part you want to remove for the puller legs of a jaw puller to finish removing the part.

Tips and warnings

  • You can borrow a bearing separator and jaw puller from a local auto parts outlet for almost any repair or overhaul job project.

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