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Packing Tapered Roller Bearing with Grease

tapered roller bearing, bearing grease, TRG grease, pack a bearing
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Published: 09/30/11

Wheel bearings will have a longer life if proper care and maintenance is provided on the vehicle. One way to increase the life of your wheel bearings and hub seals is to re-pack them with grease whenever other maintenance work is done around the wheel bearings. This will ensure that dirt and moisture is kept out of the bearings and that the bearings do not over-heat.  Grease that works great for hub seals and wheel bearings is Timken’s automotive wheel bearing grease.

There are two options for packing wheel bearings and hub seals with grease. The first option is to manually pack the hub seals and wheel bearings by hand.

Manually Packing the Wheel Bearing with Grease:

1. Put on latex gloves
2. Fill your hand with a “golf-ball” sized amount of grease
3. Move the larger-end of the bearing back towards your body in a scraping motion so the grease becomes “packed” inside the bearing
4. Continue to pack the grease into the wheel bearing until the grease is coming through the other side
         a. The bearing should be rotated throughout the packing process to ensure even distribution of the grease inside the bearing.
5. Spread grease along the outside edge of the bearing so it is completely covered with grease

Manually Packing the Hub Seal with Grease:

1. Put on latex gloves
2. Use a spackle to spread grease on the inside of the hub
         a. It is important to cover the race because this is where the new wheel bearing will sit.
         b. Be sure to apply an even coat of grease to the race.
3. Spread grease along the outside edge of the bearing so it is completely covered with grease
         a. Once the new bearing has been greased and placed in the hub you will want to spread grease evenly over the new bearing and race.
         b. Excess grease inside the hub can be used for this final layer of grease.

The second option is to use a mechanical grease packer. It is not absolutely necessary to use a mechanical grease packer because the manual method works just fine. But if you would like to use a mechanical grease packer, the instructions below will walk you through the process of greasing wheel bearings with a mechanical grease packer.

Packing the Wheel Bearing with Grease Using a Mechanical Grease Packer:

1. Place the wheel bearing on the mechanical grease packer
         a. Be sure the bearing is completely clean and dry before putting it on the mechanical grease packer.
         b. The bearing should be placed on the mechanical grease packer with the large end on the bottom and smaller end on top.
2. Spin the top of the mechanical grease packer down to the bearing
3. Grease the wheel bearing
         a. Attach a standard grease gun to the top of the mechanical packer.
         b. Fill the grease gun with wheel bearing grease.
         c. Pump the grease gun until grease comes through the wheel bearing and out of the other end and around each roller.
4. Remove the grease gun from the bearing packer
5. Spread the excess grease around the rollers on the wheel bearing
         a. You can also use the excess grease to coat the bearing race inside the wheel hub.
6. Remove the top of the grease packer and place bearing inside greased wheel hub

With whatever method you choose to use, be sure to apply enough wheel bearing grease to the wheel hub and bearing to ensure longer life and better performance for your wheel bearings.

Please post any automotive care questions you have and we will be sure to respond.

Download this Timken technical tip to view the proper procedure for packing a tapered roller bearing with bearing grease.

Download this TechTip

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  1. jimdempster 2012-04-15 01:39:42
    The right amount of grease

    The download TechTip contains the recommended information: how much grease to add to a bearing housing - 1/3 to as much as 1/2 of the housing volumen. Too much (more than 1/2) grease causes overheating; too little causes lack of lubrication. 1/3 is about right. Be sure to read the downloaded .pdf.

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