DeWalt DW618 bearing replacement

As I was working on WorkBench TWO, I pushed my router a too hard and burned the main bearing in my Dewalt DW618 router.   This blog will describe in 48 pictures with commentary how to replace this bearing.    I was not able to find any post that directly addressed this problem.

This is the Bearing you will need.

Tools required:

  • Torx screw drivers T20 and T25
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Channel locks are very large crescent wrench
  • Hammer.  I used by 2 lb small sledge
  • Large straight screw driver for pyring
  • Dewalt standard router wrench
  • Some large 1/2″ drive sockets and extensions ( look at the pictures ).

There are some overriding notes to this process.  Read these notes first.

The main bearing to shaft clearance is a heat fit clearance. So you need to heat the inside bearing trace. Then the shaft should slip in with much heavy handed hammering. See notes in blog.I failed a major step in the replacement process.  The shaft of the router connection into the main bearing, inner race is a “heat” fit.   I found this means the main bearing inner race should be heated so it will expand.  This will allow the shaft to slip into the bearing.   My solution was to beat the shaft to push the shaft through the bearing.   My method did work, but I think I damaged the bearing.  The bearing does not seem to turn as smoothly as I think it should.   The fix to this problem is the picture to the right.   Using the light blub ( with a socket and wiring ), the inner race of the bearing would be heated very slowly without damaging the bearing itself.  This idea is attributed to John Lanciani on aka  jlanciani.   Careful !  Using this method means the bearing will be HOT!

I used PB solvent to try to ease the shaft into the bearing, Big hammer and a socket. See blog notes.I have a picture showing the use of PB Blaster.  This is crazy good stuff for bolts and shafts that are stuck.   Good to have around if you do any work with machinery.  I had to use it when I replaced the motor in my Cyclone Dust Collection system.  I do not believe you would need this if the bearing is heated and the shaft cooled. ( Freezer ).

Here are the step by step pictures with commentary on each picture.

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  1. subala says

    This process worked great. I used the heat/freeze method to reinsert the armature shaft into the bearing. Here’s a step-by-step of what worked for me.
    1) using a bulb like the one in the pictures above (sorry but I don’t know the wattage), I soldered wires to the side and bottom of it for the electrical connections. I didn’t have a socket. I then drilled a 1″ dia hole through a block of wood and hot glued the wires exiting the bottom of it to the block itself, to hold the bulb in place.
    2) I wrapped the motor’s armature in paper towels and plastic wrap and placed it in the freezer for 18 hours. It probably didn’t need to stay in this long but I was busy on other projects and couldn’t get to it sooner.
    3) After letting the bulb heat for a few minutes, I placed the new bearing on the bulb and let it heat for 5 minutes. Handling the hot bearing while wearing gloves, I flipped the bearing over and let it heat from the other side for an additional 5 minutes. My idea was to make sure the inside race was heated fully. I didn’t want to over heat the bearing as it seemed to be sealed and I didn’t want the plastic to melt or deform.
    4) after flipping the bearing over, I took the armature out of the freezer and unwrapped it
    5) after 5 minutes (again wearing gloves), I took the bearing and pressed it into the router housing with the palm of my hand. I had to tap it just a little to get it to drop in fully.
    6) I immediately slipped the bearing and housing over the armature’s shaft. It seated fully without any resistance. After a few minutes of everything warming and cooling, the bearing tightened up around the armature shaft.
    7) Unfortunately a lot of condensation formed on the cold armature as it warmed up to room temperature. I dried it off as best I could and let it sit in the housing overnight to make sure it was completely dry before reassembling the router. Again it was probably closer to 18 hours.
    8) I reassembled the router. The bearing gets held tightly in place once you reinstall the bit lock assembly (second picture above), so don’t worry if it feel loose during reassembly.