Not only will it save time and money, but it will make the repair more predictable. Sponsored by The Group Training Academy.
Damaged parts or improper torquing can cause premature hub failure and issues with overall vehicle performance.
Replacing wheel bearings on a vehicle with a live rear axle may not be one of the most frequent jobs you do, but it can be one of the most profitable. While the basics have not changed in more than 60 years, new seal materials and differential designs have added new wrinkles to the process.
On a typical passenger vehicle weighing around 3,400 pounds, each pair of front-wheel bearings, as well as the rear-wheel or axle bearings, support around 850 pounds depending on the weight distribution and driveline configuration. If it’s a 6,000 pound SUV, each bearing might carry about 1,500 pounds.
A sealed hub assembly or bearing cartridge typically contains two sets of bearings: an inner set and an outer set. They may be ball bearings or tapered roller bearings. Tapered bearings have cylindrical rollers between the inner and outer race.
For an engineer, wheel bearing design and selection can be a balancing act between durability, cost and fuel economy. A large bearing might be great for potholes and heavy loads. But, there is only so much room in the hub and knuckle. Also, the larger bearing might have increased rolling resistance due to a larger sealing surface.