Auto Service World
Feature   May 1, 2005   by Jim Anderton

Singles Players

Hub bearings have made individual race service less common. Careful handling is still vital.

Not too long ago, all cars and light trucks, including front wheel drive, required wheel bearing service as separate greaseable and replaceable items. Hub bearing units have changed much of that service, but individual bearings remain in light trucks and SUV’s as well as the rear of many passenger cars. Basic service procedures regarding lubrication and adjustment haven’t changed substantially in years, and wheel bearing service has traditionally been one of the first service tasks performed by new apprentices. What is different today, however, is the size of spindles and hubs, generally smaller, and the precision of modern bearings. They’re smaller and lighter too with reduced friction, requiring careful installaton to avoid damage to bearing, spindle or hub. The same caution applies to grease seals, which can still be damaged by rough handling or improper installation. What tools does your team use when servicing wheel bearings? Here are some things to think about when performing this service.

There’s little about conventional wheel bearing service that would surprise a mechanic of the 1920’s.

Compared to the Model T era, however, tolerances are closer and the need for cleanliness and a gentle touch are more important than ever to perform this simple service quickly and safely.

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