Jump to content

Hand Packing vs Packing Tool for Bearings


Kevin H

Recommended Posts

It's time to repack the bearings on my rig. This is the first time I've done this. Is it better to hand pack or should I get one of those packing tools that force the grease through the bearing?

 

Also, what grease do you use? I have a list from Dexter but want to hear if anything better is recommended.

 

I have Dexter 7000# axles. I will replace the seals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know if one way is technically superior or not. But I always liked to hand pack them. I thought I got a better job when I did it that way. Maybe the tool I used was not the greatest. I also like to closely examine things and hand packing guarantees that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic will never be resolved. You have people that believe firmly in both methods. Its a case of what you prefer. One thing though that I read on the internet that was written by an engineer who knows.....dont wash out bearings so that they get dry such as gasoline or brake clean..it contributes to premature failure. Diesel fuel or a solvent that leaves an oily film is ok but not anything that would dry them out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic will never be resolved. You have people that believe firmly in both methods. Its a case of what you prefer. One thing though that I read on the internet that was written by an engineer who knows.....dont wash out bearings so that they get dry such as gasoline or brake clean..it contributes to premature failure. Diesel fuel or a solvent that leaves an oily film is ok but not anything that would dry them out.

Jim, I clean mine in a solvent based parts washer but I air blow them dry and then toss into a cup of engine oil while I clean the others. Once they are all clean, they are pulled out and greased. That way you have some lubricant everywhere within a bearing when it is installed. Once they have been run for a mile or so, the grease will distribute itself around the bearings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Georgia,

 

I understand your process, sounds good. BUT. Be careful. If the oil is not allowed to almost completely drain before being repackaged, it will thin out the final grease charge. Allow them to drain on a newspaper sheet on a tilt until the excess is gone and then grease.

 

I used to hand pack as you can pack and "feel" the bearing for damage/hard spots etc. Good time to find that. Of course clean the axle, wipe on fresh grease, and use new seals. I would also invest in a seal press-in-tool to be sure the bearing seal is not damaged. Get the correct preload info for your axle, guessing not allowed. Air drying is perfect BUT do NOT spin the bearing, if dry, it will be damaged.

 

Good time to check the brakes.

 

Keep the shiny side up and the greasy side down. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have hand packed wheel bearing for 50 years with NEVER a problem but I take the time to do a good job HOWEVER I have also used the pressure tool to do it also never a problem. THAT BEING SAID AND HAVING DONE IT BOTH WAYS, ITS MY EXPERIENCED OPINION THE TOOL AND PRESSURE METHOD IS FAR SUPERIOR.

 

If you observe the pressure tool method you see how well it forces out old dirt/grease and forces new clean grease throughout each and every crook and cranny and fills all the cavities IT OBVIOUSLY IN MY MIND DOES A BETTER JOB.

 

Now before anyone has a calf YES hand packing works fine I never had a problem and if anyone chooses that method that's fine and dandy. Im ONLY saying pressure method forces grease through each and every crook and cranny which you can see and observe if done properly with a proper tool. YES I thoroughly clean and dry and inspect the bearings and races first WHICH I BELIEVE IS A MUST REGARDLESS HOW YOU RE PACK. NOTE once I have cleaned and dried and pressure packed I still top off with some hand finish and packing just for good measure.

 

Equally and actually more important is proper and correct tightening and load adjusting of the nut when finished. Too tight could yield overheating while too loose can cause damage I usually replace

the grease seal also.

 

SUMMARY sure you can hand pack but pressure packing also works well (better in my opinion and experience) so its your choice, we report now you decide, its your money and your vehicle, pack as you please.

 

John T

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mike, I just blow thru the bearing to dry them. To get rid of the excess oil, I spin them with an air hose....

 

Started working as a mechanic in dad's garage back in the early 70's.....After the first thousand or so bearings, it becomes second nature... :)

Both are good. It is spinning clean DRY bearings that does the damage. that will spall the bearings and it is not repairable.

 

I worked my way through 2 years of high school and 4 of college in garages (late '60s). Got 2 sets of bearings gratis once by watching a "mechanic" wash my wheel bearings and then spinning them dry before he started to repack them. reported to the owner and he handed the "mechanic" new bearings to continue.

 

I would blow through the bearings to dry and then lube. It is the engineer in me but I still do it that way.

 

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic will never be resolved. You have people that believe firmly in both methods. Its a case of what you prefer. One thing though that I read on the internet that was written by an engineer who knows.....dont wash out bearings so that they get dry such as gasoline or brake clean..it contributes to premature failure. Diesel fuel or a solvent that leaves an oily film is ok but not anything that would dry them out.

Hmmm, curious, I was taught just the opposite. Anything that leaves a film on the bearing surface can keep the new grease from adhering to the bearing and can cause early bearing failure. Consequently for my many years of auto service I always did a final spray of brake clean on the bearings to clean off any residual film before repacking. Never noticed any consequent bearing failure. As to which is the better method of repacking, I agree that either method works but if you are doing it for a living a packer is quicker and less messy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...