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Tech tip: Proper truck wheel bearing adjustment

Sponsored by Bower Heavy Duty Bearings by NTN


It’s important to know what the proper bearing adjustment is to reduce premature bearing failure. For optimal bearing life, you want to have an ideal bearing end-play setting between 0.001 inches and 0.005 inches in heavy-duty wheel-end applications.

To eliminate the guesswork, the TMC RP618 was designed for heavy duty wheel bearing adjustment and allows for a slight amount of end-play. The end play should be measured with a dial indicator and verified 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 wheel bearing adjustment that’s tight, but not too tight. If it’s too tight, this could create excess preload and the bearing will run hot, compromising the lubrication and eventually lead to flaking at the large end of the rollers. [Feel free to make a disgusted face here.]

If it’s too loose, it creates excess play and vibration in the system, which can lead to a multitude of issues such as wheel wobble, seal leakage, breaking problems and more. These issues can even lead to the wheel coming off.

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

This technical tip was sponsored by Bower Heavy Duty Bearings by NTN.


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