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Technical Ball Front Wheel Bearing Adjust

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by blowby, Oct 14, 2021.

  1. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,960

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    My book says tighten the nut to 36fp, then back off, tighten to 12 and stick the key in. Only I'm not sure if that's for ball or needle, the book is 5 years newer than my car. Been years but I ran them looser, like finger tight. What's consensus?
     
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  2. New or used bearings, packed with new grease.

    I cranks the nut down tight and spin them a few times.

    then back off loose spin against few times .

    then go snug , just a bit of resistance on the bearing , then go loose to get the cotter pin in.


    I don’t like any play in the bearing, but I tend to go loose on them also.
     
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  3. 24riverview
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 946

    24riverview
    Member

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  4. MAD MIKE
    Joined: Aug 1, 2009
    Posts: 674

    MAD MIKE
    Member
    from 94577

    I run my bearings on the tight side as is, roller or ball.
    With the roller you can get away with being a bit looser since you have a greater surface area for the weight.
    With a ball bearing there is only one point of contact. The ball will be fine, it's the races that can get damaged or chewed up if it is loose.

    On the '54(ball bearings) IIRC the preload is ~30-35lbft and only adjust the nut less than a 'flat'(60°) to get the cotter pin installed. I do as VANDENPLAS does but I re-torque and try and keep it tighter than 'finger tight' with ball bearings.
     
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  5. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,228

    jaracer
    Member

    Wheel bearing adjustment is a big topic in the heavy truck world. Tapered roller bearings actually like to have a certain amount of pre-load for the longest life. The problem is there is no good way to accurately measure pre-load. Heavy truck bearings are adjusted for 0.001-0.005 end play since that can be easily measured with a dial indicator.
     
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  6. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,859

    squirrel
    Member

    that's what I do, and they work great....

    This is from the 55 Chevy car service manual.

    55csm0303.jpg
     
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  7. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,960

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    Got 'er done per the manual above, but feel free to carry on. :)

    They were loose, could wiggle both wheels. Embarking on a little road trip tomorrow, one less thing to worry about.

    Thanks!
     
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  8. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,813

    greybeard360
    Member

    Think about pinion and carrier bearings.... They use quite a bit of preload. Why would you adjust wheel bearings with little or no load on them?

    Putting preload spreads the load to all of the rollers equally. Cuts down on loading just a couple of rollers when the weight of the vehicle is added. They are designed to be preloaded.
     
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  9. KenC
    Joined: Sep 14, 2006
    Posts: 647

    KenC
    Member

    Squirrel is right again. Ball type Wheel bearings on a vehicle are different than most bearings we encounter. They are angular contact bearings intended to encounter and resist loads in all directions. Most other ball bearing applications do not encounter end loading and do not need preload. Like in an alternator or water pump. In general ball bearings in wheel usage require preload while tapered roller need minute free play. At least in my experience and manuals. a
     
  10. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,859

    squirrel
    Member

    I guess the engineers who designed the cars, and wrote the service manuals, don't understand how they work
     
    VANDENPLAS and winduptoy like this.

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