Many types of vehicles on the road today have different types of wheel bearings. A common type is called a Generation 1 wheel bearing. This is typically a double row angular contact ball or taper bearing
Before this bearing is replaced it’s important to take a close look at the wheel flange and other related components. A bent or damaged wheel flange is often the cause of wheel bearing failure. It is often overlooked.
Figure 1 shows a cutaway view of a wheel flange that is cracked at the base of the flange. The damage to this part is severe and should never be reused. Visual inspection is the first step in checking the wheel flange; also note any excessive wear along the shaft. A dial indicator can be used to check the wheel flange for excessive run out. If replacement is needed, SKF offers a variety of hub kits that offer the wheel flange, Gen. 1 bearing and additional components. Figure 2 shows an example of this all-inclusive kit.
When servicing this type of wheel bearings care should also be taken during the installation process. Proper installation will help promote long life for the replacement bearing. A few guidelines include:
1. Adding additional wheel bearing grease-if needed.
2. Correctly press the bearing into the steering knuckle by use of proper tools and then press the bearing on the outer ring.
3. Correctly press the wheel flange using proper tools.
4. Follow recommended axle nut torque specification.