Proper adjustment of truck wheel bearings

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Knowing the correct bearing setting is important to reduce premature bearing failure. For optimum bearing life, you want to have an ideal bearing end-play setting between 0.001 inch and 0.005 inch in heavy duty wheel end applications.

To take the guesswork out, the TMC RP618 was designed for adjusting heavy duty wheel bearings and allows for slight end play. End play should be measured with a dial gauge and checked by a technician at the time of installation. The technician should also record this end play measurement on the work order for future reference.

The goal is to have a tight wheel bearing setting, but not too tight. If overtightened, it could create excessive preload and the bearing will heat up, compromising lubrication and possibly leading to spalling at the wide end of the rollers. [Feel free to make a disgusted face here.]

If it’s too loose, it creates excessive play and vibration in the system, which can lead to a host of issues such as wheel wobble, seal leaks, breakage issues and more. These problems can even cause the wheel to come off.

Always refer to TMC procedures “RP618 – Wheel Bearing Adjustment” and “RP622 – Wheel Bearing and Seal Removal, Installation, and Service” when servicing wheel bearings, and you’ll be riding with the power of Bower!

This Tech Tip was sponsored by Bower Heavy Duty Bearings by NTN.

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