So, you want to know how to take your skateboard wheels off. There are three reasons you would want to remove your skateboard wheels. One is to replace the bearings, washers, or spacers, the second is to give it a good clean if you’ve been skating rough ground and the third reason is to replace old worn out wheels.
This how-to guide works for all three scenarios and will give you a really simple run-down on how to replace your skateboard wheels.
Before you can remove your skateboard wheels, you’re going to need a skateboard tool.
This is a “T” shaped device that has three built-in socket wrenches that will adjust every part of the skateboard. This includes the bushings and screws that secure the skateboard’s wheels. A skateboard tool also includes a modified Allen wrench that has a Phillips head screwdriver on one end.
You can pick up a decent skateboard tool on Amazon for under £4. It’s worth having a few, I keep one in the car, in my bag, and another spare one at home.
How to remove your skateboard wheel
Use your skateboard tool to turn your wheel nut anti-clockwise to loosen it. Take off the nut and the wheel will come off easily.
Look out for washers, there will be two. One on the truck side and one on the wheel nut side, so make sure they both come off and keep them safe, you’ll need them later unless you have new ones.
Changing your bearings
If you’re taking your wheel off to replace your bearings, while your wheel is off, give it a good clean including the trucks, and axle to get rid of any dirt or grit that could be affecting your flow.
Each skateboard wheel will have two bearings, one on each side of the wheel and there may be a bearing spacer that sits in the center of the wheel.
To change your bearings you’ll need to remove the wheel from the axle completely, in the same way as if you were changing your wheel.
Make sure you hang on to your bearing spacer and washers (unless you’re replacing those too) for when you’re ready to fit the wheel back on.
A good trick to getting your bearings out is to use your axle to pry them out. Just place your wheel over the very tip of the axle and use a gentle downward-angled push to pop the bearing out.
I would avoid using a screwdriver to prize out the bearings as it can damage the wheel and the bearing making them harder to remove.
You can then add your new bearings to your empty wheel. Remember to pop your bearing spacer in the center of the wheel.
To make sure your bearings are in the right position, push each side down onto the axle until you feel it click into place.
Now you can fit the wheel back onto your board.
Replacing your skateboard wheels
If you’re replacing your wheel, make sure you take your bearings and spacers out of your wheels. If they’re still in good condition you can use them on your new wheels.
The process is the same as above, but instead of putting new bearings in your old wheel, you put your bearings into a new wheel. Easy.
Putting the wheel back on the axel
The order the wheel elements need to go back onto the axle:
Step 1 – Slip the first washer over the axle
Step 2 – Now add your wheel (ensuring the bearings are fixed in place)
Step 3 – Pop the second washer on top of the wheel
Step 5 – Finally add your wheel nut to the top to secure it all
When you’re tightening up your nut, make sure you over-tighten as it will reduce your speed. You’re looking for a bit of play between the washer and the nut to give your wheel maximum movement.