Do you guys use torque wrench on wheel bearing locknuts?

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  #1  
Old 05-21-17, 06:46 PM
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Do you guys use torque wrench on wheel bearing locknuts?

I notice my manual says torque the wheel bearing locknut to a certain amount of ft/lbs. Do you use a torque wrench or just estimate the number of turns?

And what kind of solvent do you use to wash off the old bearing grease?
 
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Old 05-21-17, 06:57 PM
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Most tire shops use a torque wrench, not so much for the torque as to be sure the wheel is on tight. One of the biggest problems tire dealers have is wheel off. I always use a torque wrench on my wheels, and I was a mechanic for almost 30 years. I use it for safety. Any good parts cleaner will clean bearings just don't spin bearings when blowing them off. A spinning bearing jams it will take your finger off..
 
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Old 05-22-17, 06:08 AM
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I believe the OP is asking about a wheel bearing nut and not a tire rim nut. Most wheel bearing nuts accommodate a cotter pin so if the pin hole isn't aligned with the nut slots at torque, you have to under/over torque the nut to get cotter pin alignment.
While car manufacturers have a torque value for tire rim nuts, most tire rim nut wrenches supplied by the car manufacturers won't loosen the nuts(at manufacturer's torque) when powered by an average human. Carry a large cross rim nut wrench or call for service when you get a flat while on the road.
 
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Old 05-22-17, 07:45 AM
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As Bob said, you have the cotter pin to contend with, and I don't know what the odds are, probably slim, so you're probably not going to reach a specific torque at the point where you can insert the pin. That said though, I think that I recall seeing similar specs, but also think that torquing the nut was for the purpose of seating the bearings, and that you would then either back it off to the point where you can insert the pin or back it off completely and then hand tighten the nut as typical. Seems though that the bearings are going to be tighter than you want if you're going to put any amount of measurable torque on the nuts, so I would definitely research the procedure specific to your vehicle. As for cleaning the bearings, I have always wiped off as much grease as I could and tossed them into my parts cleaner to soak. But that can get expensive and muddy's the cleaner pretty quick, so I have heard of guys using Kerosene followed by break cleaner, and that is what I am going to try this time around. Can't tell you yet, but just happens that I am replacing the tires on one of my trailers, so got the old ones off the rims and the hubs and brakes off over the weekend, so will try to remember to let you know later in the week how the kerosene and brake cleaner works on the bearings. (The doctor stuck me with a heart monitor the middle of last week, which is slowing down my movements a little bit, but I'm not letting it stop me completely!)
 
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Old 05-22-17, 09:18 AM
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Way I have always done wheel bearings is to tighten nut till tight, back off till loose than turn in until hole lines up. Bearing should be slightly snug but not tight. I guess I have seen a torque for them but have never used it.
 
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Old 05-22-17, 10:00 AM
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Correct. I was asking about the wheel bearing nut. I'm converting from auto locking 4WD hubs to Mile Marker #428 manual locking hubs when I do the bearing repack. So this will eliminate the cam assembly and keyway setup. Mine will not requite cotter pin.

I copied the Mile Marker procedure below. I guess I could see about renting a torque wrench for the bearing adjustment. I'd rather skip it if possible?

(Pedro. Hope you're not feeling too much under the weather. Best wishes for improved health. Don't stop exercising if ok with doctor?


http://milemarker.com/wp-content/upl...structions.pdf
 
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Old 05-22-17, 10:47 AM
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Thank you bluesbreaker, but I feel fine. Only mentioned because I can't move as freely with the monitor around my neck and patches and wires all over my chest, so not sure how quickly I'm going to get the trailer wrapped up. I apparently blacked out for a few seconds a couple weekends back, and not much longer than a few seconds, but long enough that it made sense to see a doctor. 2 EKG's, an ultrasound, and blood tests show no problems, but he wants me to wear this thing for a few weeks to make sure everything is stable. So far not a major inconvenience I guess, except that I managed to pull a couple of wires loose a few times the first two nights, and just have to be a bit more careful as I go through the day. Anyway, aga, thank you, and, as I said, will try to remember to let you know how the kerosene works out.
 
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Old 05-22-17, 11:57 AM
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I'm curious as to why you are wanting to change to manual locking hubs. Auto locking hubs are one of the best improvements made to 4X4's. I have/had both and if you use manual hubs alot they tend to be a real pain where the auto hubs are just as good/strong and alot easier to use.
 
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Old 05-22-17, 12:10 PM
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On my make/model auto locking hub is a poor design. It has caused repair issues with my truck three times.
 
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Old 05-22-17, 12:15 PM
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Sent you message Pedro.........
 
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Old 05-22-17, 05:53 PM
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When you have a locknut you would likely have a torque setting since that's referring to a jam nut. You would typically set the bearing play then turn the jam nut to hold the inner nut.

When you set the bearing play you should fully pack the bearings, assemble it and tighten the adjustment nut reasonably tight, spin the wheel/hub to distribute the grease a few times, then back off the adjustment to specs (usually about 1/4 to 1/2 turn), then set the locknut.

After you do this make sure you have some play in the wheel at top/bottom. The biggest mistake is over tightening the bearings and overheating them.
 
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Old 05-23-17, 03:54 PM
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Ok. Thanks for your input about the bearing play and over tightening
 
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Old 05-23-17, 04:09 PM
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Is there any advantage in using a bearing packing tool.

Or do you guys prefer packing grease into bearings by hand or using plastic bag?
 
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Old 05-23-17, 04:28 PM
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If you are doing a lot of bearings a packing tool is nice but not necessary.
 
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Old 05-23-17, 04:34 PM
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Not a technician, but have repacked dozens of wheel bearing over the years, never pulled any of my own apart and found a problem, and have never used a bearing packer. Got smart at some point and started using gloves instead of my bare hands, but get a good gob of grease in one palm, then squanch and rotate the bearing into it with the other hand, work it around, turn the bearing a bit, press it into the cup, rotate it a bit, squanch and rotate it a second time, and, in my opinion, it's ready to go. A bearing packer might be a bit less messy, but you look at them hanging on the wall even in a professional shop and there is an accumulation of dust and dirt on the packer, so unless you ave a dedicated space to keep it clean I don't see a real advantage. The next step then is to preload the bearing or whatever it is called, using the torque wrench that you mentioned earlier.
 
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Old 05-23-17, 04:58 PM
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Excellent. Thanks gentlemen
 
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Old 05-26-17, 04:39 AM
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Just to finish what I mentioned the other day, the kerosene is working great at cleaning the old grease out of the bearings. And I imagine diesel would work the same. Got one side done between last night and this morning, and will get the other side this evening. I mentioned gloves before, and don't know what everyone else uses, but I use those disposable translucent ones that you can buy at the hardware store or big box for something like $10-15 for a box of 50. I have regular chemical gloves for tough jobs, and these lighter ones may not be recommended for petroleum products, etc., but I don't recall ever having any of these cheap ones break down for relatively mild and short-term projects like this. If you don't have one, you can buy one of those stiff parts cleaning brushes at your local auto parts stores, maybe even big boxes, and they make cleaning things like this a whole lot easier. Good luck with that!
 
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Old 06-07-17, 05:57 PM
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Sorry I didn't reply earlier Pedro and friends. Would you believe I packed my bearings with bare hands? Next time I'll try the dish washing gloves. That's good to know about the kerosene.
 
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Old 06-08-17, 04:05 AM
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Not saying it's right, but I've always packed bearings with ungloved hands .... hard to teach an old dog new tricks
 
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Old 06-08-17, 05:15 AM
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When I lived in AZ my hands dried up so bad I thought I would have to quit wrench turning. Started wearing gloves and hands cleared up. Found that I sweated in the gloves and moisturized my hands. Been wearing gloves for work ever since.
 
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Old 06-08-17, 06:14 AM
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I have to credit my wife with getting me started with the gloves. Maybe 10 years ago she walked out to the shop as I was removing an oil filter from something, of course had dirty oil all over my hands, and she said that I should be wearing gloves, so I explained to her that it would soak right through my brown jerseys. The next day she picked up a pair of large Playtex or whatever kitchen gloves, suggested I try them, and I have been using them for things like that ever since. After that I was doing something one day that was to intricate for kitchen gloves, and she went to our paint supplies and got me a pair of those thin latex gloves. So now I keep a pair heavy vinyl gloves that I use for mixing weed killers, etc., a couple pair of kitchen gloves for oil changes, etc., and the cheap disposables for parts cleaning and whatnot. I'm not a wus, but it sure makes clean up easier, and the times that I appreciate them most is in the winter when my hands get dry anyway and parts cleaning fluid and like that just adds to it.
 
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Old 06-08-17, 10:41 AM
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I have a pair of unused kitchen gloves at home. I might as well give it a try next time I work on my truck.

I'm thinking mechanics also wear them to protect their hands from hot engine and exhaust parts.
 
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Old 06-08-17, 11:23 AM
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We work in a variety of vehicle service facilities, and I have seen quite a few guys, mainly in smaller shops, using what appear to be basic latex gloves like I use. In the larger shops, I mostly have seen gloves that appear similar in fit and thickness, except that they are black, so my guess is maybe nitrile or something like that to hold better against brake fluids and whatnot. I typically do my work and let them do theirs, but obviously chat sometimes, and I remember one guy telling me the black gloves he used were "quite expensive". Gloves for hot exhaust systems and like that are going to be too thick, hence restrictive, to be practical for most other tasks. The few times that I have had to get that close to something hot I have used my welding gloves.
 
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Old 06-08-17, 11:57 AM
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Maybe they will come out with a heat resistant glove that isn't thick
 
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