How to Maintain YOW Meraki Surfskate Trucks and Stop Squeaks, Clicks, and Rattles

by | Jan 6, 2022 | Surfskate Maintenance, YOW Surfskates

The YOW Meraki is one of the best, most versatile surfskate trucks on the market. However, it can be a bit complicated to maintain. Learn how to take apart and maintain your YOW Meraki without breaking it.

Watch Me Maintain the YOW Meraki Surfskate Truck on YouTube

Of the 28 surfskate trucks I’ve tried so far, the YOW Meraki is one of my top favorites.

While it’s well-built and performs amazingly well, some customers report that their YOW Meraki squeaks right out of the box, before they’ve even ridden it. Other customers report hearing clicks or rattles coming out of their YOW Meraki.

I’ve even heard reports of customers opening up their YOW Meraki before riding it and seeing that there is no grease inside.

Or if you’ve been riding your YOW Meraki for a while, it may be time for some maintenance.

Let me walk you through how to disassemble your YOW Meraki, maintain it, and then reassemble it without breaking it. This means making sure everything is in place, replacing anything that is broken, and making sure your surfskate truck is clean and well-lubricated.

If you’re in the market for another surfskate, check out my Ultimate Surfskate Selector to see which surfskates are best for you.

YOW Meraki Surfskate Maintenance Topics

  • Tools You Need to Maintain Your YOW Meraki
  • How to Take Apart the YOW Meraki Surfskate Truck
  • Maintaining the YOW Meraki Surfskate Truck
  • Lubricating Your YOW Meraki Surfskate Truck
  • Reassembling the YOW Meraki Surfskate Truck
  • What Causes Squeaking in the YOW Meraki, & How to Stop It
  • What Causes Clicking in the YOW Meraki, & How to Stop It
  • What Causes Rattling in the YOW Meraki, & How to Stop It

Tools You Need for YOW Meraki Surfskate Truck Maintenance

To maintain a YOW Meraki surfskate truck, here are the tools and materials you’ll need:

  • Skate tool
  • 9/16” socket wrench
  • Machine oil or Bones Speed Cream
  • Parrafin wax
  • Utility knife
  • Marine grease or white lithium grease
  • Isopropyl alcohol (91% minimum)
  • Q-tips
  • Paper towels or cleaning rags
  • Hair dryer

How to Take Apart the YOW Meraki Surfskate Truck

COMPONENTS: 1. YOW Meraki kingpin 2. YOW base (lower part) 3. YOW spring 4. Bronze self-lubricating bushing. 5. YOW base (upper part). 6. System bearings 7. YOW Kingpin locknut 8. YOW standard skate truck 9. Speed rings 10. Axel nuts 11. Front flat head Allen bolts (x4) 12. YOW standard skate truck kingpin 13. Pivot cup 14. Barrel washer 15. Bushings 16. Kingpin nut 17. Lock nuts (x4) 18. YOW riser-as 19. Rear flat head Allen bolts (x4)

Step 1: Remove the kingpin nut and hanger.

Once you have your tools assembled, now it’s time to take your YOW Meraki apart.

Start by removing the nut from the kingpin bolt using your skate tool. With the nut removed, you can lift off the truck hanger, which reveals the pivot cup.

One of the most common sources of squeaking in any surfskate, skateboard, or longboard truck is the pivot cup. This is the point at which the truck rotates and it has a lot of pressure on it. If that plastic pivot cup is dry, it creates a squeak every time you move the truck.

When you put the YOW Meraki back together, you’ll add wax shavings to prevent squeaking from the pivot cup. But for now, continue taking apart the YOW Meraki surfskate truck.

Step 2: Remove the truck locknut.

The next step is to remove the main locknut holding the truck housing together.

Since this locknut is secured very tightly, the easiest way to do this is to use a 9/16” socket wrench.

Crank the locknut off counterclockwise. You will have to exert a lot of force at the beginning.

Step 3: Carefully remove all the truck parts.

With the locknut removed, now you want to very carefully pull the truck apart, taking note of where all the pieces fit.

Between the locknut and the truck housing you will find a small washer and bearing set, with two channel washers sandwiching the bearings.
Inside the YOW Meraki surfskate truck, you will find a coiled spring.
In the center of the coiled spring you will find a small bronze cylindrical piece (YOW calls this the “bronze self-lubricating bushing”). Under that piece is another, larger channel washer and bearing set.
When you put the YOW Meraki back together, remember that the larger washer and bearing set goes inside the spring, while the smaller set goes on the outside of the truck.

Inside the YOW Meraki truck housing, on either side you will see grooves into which the ends of the spring locks.

Maintaining the YOW Meraki Surfskate Truck

With your YOW surfskate truck taken apart, now it’s time to maintain it, which comes down to four things:

1. Replacing broken bearings and/or spring.
2. Cleaning the bearings and other internal parts.
3. Lubricating the bearings and spring channels.
4. Making sure everything is in its proper place when you put it back together.

Replace Broken Bearings or Spring as Necessary

If you find broken bearings or a broken spring, don’t worry. YOW sells replacement parts on their website, and these are easily replaceable.

Check with your retailer to see if your YOW surfskate is under warranty for these replacement parts.

If your bearings and springs still look good, the next step is to clean them.

Clean the Bearings and Other Internal Parts

To clean your bearings, washers, and the little cylindrical bronze piece, place them all in a small container and fill the container with enough isopropyl alcohol to cover them.

When those parts are soaking in alcohol, now use paper towels or cleaning rags and Q-Tips to clean out the interior truck housing, including the channel grooves where the spring ends sit.

If your YOW surfskate truck hasn’t been cleaned in a while, all that grease in there will look black from the dirt it has collected.

Now, go back to your parts soaking in alcohol. Remove them from the alcohol and use a paper towel or rag to clean them off thoroughly, including rolling the bearings around.
When your washers and bearings are clean, now use your hair dryer to thoroughly dry out the bearings. If any moisture is left on the bearings, they will rust and you will have to replace them.
Now your YOW surfskate truck is all clean and ready for lubricating and reassembly.

Lubricating Your YOW Meraki Surfskate Truck

Before you put your YOW Meraki back together, you first need to lubricate it.

The first thing to lubricate is the bearings. For that, you want to use machine oil or Bones Speed Cream.

*NOTE: Do NOT use WD-40 to lubricate your bearings. WD-40 both attracts more dirt and dries out over time.

Place the channel washers with the channel facing up and put a couple drops of lubricant into each channel washer.

Next, put 2-3 drops of lubricant into each bearing, spacing each drop out between bearings.
That’s it for your bearings.

Now time to lubricate your spring. For this, you’ll use either Marine grease or white lithium grease.

You don’t need to lubricate the whole spring, but just the parts that sit inside the channels on either side of the truck housing.

What I like to do is use a Q-Tip to apply the grease into the channels of the truck.

Then I apply enough grease to cover the ends of each spring, only the parts of the spring that sit into the channels and will have metal-on-metal contact. Don’t use excess grease, as the more grease you use, the more dirt you will attract.

Reassembling Your YOW Meraki Surfskate Truck

With your broken parts replaced and everything cleaned and lubricated, now it’s time to put your YOW Meraki back together.

The first and hardest step of the process is to get the larger washer and bearing set to sit properly inside the spring.

You can’t just put the washers and bearings over the bolt and then place the spring over the top of them. Reason being, the squared end of the spring that sits into the channel will hit them and the spring won’t be able to go over the top of them.

The only way to do this is to first put the spring on, and then hold it up just enough to be able to angle the washers and bearings inside the spring.

Start with the first channel washer, placing it with the channel up so that the bearings will fit inside the channel:

Then add the bearings:
Lastly, add the remaining large channel washer, with the channel facing down to go over the bearings:
Then, once you have the washers and bearings inside the spring, you can let them all fall into place.

Apply as much force as you can to the spring to make sure it locks into the groove. If it doesn’t, you’ll hear a clicking sound when you pump.

I like to use a screwdriver to push it down.
Next, place the cylindrical bronze piece over the top of the larger washer set, in the middle of the spring.
Now, place the other side of the truck housing over the top of the coiled spring so that the end of the spring fits into the channel.
Place the smaller washer and bearing set over the bolt so that it’s resting on the truck housing, with the bolt sticking out.
Now place the locknut on the bolt and use your 9/16” socket wrench to tighten it down.
It’s critical that you get just the right adjustment on the locknut.

If you tighten it too much, your bearings will get compressed and your truck won’t be as smooth and fluid. You can even damage your bearings.

If you don’t tighten it down enough, you’ll have play in the truck, which will create issues when you ride and could damage your YOW Meraki over time.

I tighten it just until I can’t tighten any more. Then I test it by moving the truck back and forth to ensure that the movement is smooth and fluid, and doesn’t feel locked up.

The final step is to put the truck hanger back on. But before you do that, you first want to put wax in the pivot to prevent squeaking.

Take a piece of household paraffin wax and use a utility knife to get some wax shavings.

Place the wax shavings into the pivot cup.
Now, put the truck hanger back on, with the bushings and washers.

What Causes Squeaking in the YOW Meraki, and How to Stop It

Squeaking in the YOW Meraki truck can be caused by two things.

The first is a dry pivot cup. In this case, remove the hanger and put wax shavings in the pivot cup.

The second reason your YOW Meraki could be squeaking is because it doesn’t have enough grease in the grooves on either side of the truck housing where the spring sits. This means the spring is squeaking as it rubs against the grooves when you pump.

To stop your YOW Meraki spring from squeaking, all you have to do is place marine grease or lithium grease into both of those channels.

What Causes a Clicking Sound in the YOW Meraki, and How to Stop It

If you hear a clicking sound coming from your YOW Meraki, it’s because one or both of your spring ends isn’t locked tightly into the channel.

This means you’re getting some play in the spring, and it’s bouncing around in there as you pump.

To fix a clicking sound in your YOW Meraki, make sure your spring is locked tightly into both grooves on either side of the interior truck housing.

What Causes a Rattling Sound in the YOW Meraki, and How to Stop It

If you hear a rattling noise coming from your YOW Meraki, that little bronze cylindrical piece is out of place.

To fix it, you’ll have to take the truck apart and reassemble it, making sure that everything is in proper order.