Let’s talk torque!
Bearings seem quite basic in design, yet can be complex when you start to dive into them and understand their usages. Terms like axial load, radial load, tapered, roller, ball, vibration, noise, runout, fatigue, heat, and the list goes on….
Let’s face it, we want to spend more time riding our ATV / UTV machines and spend less time fixing them. And we certainly are not building a rocket ship, so there isn’t much need to delve into mechanical physics of a bearing.
What is pretty apparent in mechanics is that proper lubrication keeps things moving, helps reduce wear, and reduces heat. We change engine oil, differential fluid, etc because lubrication is key, right?
Well, there is another component to help keep wheel bearings from taking the journey to the metal scrap yard… it is torque. Torque is a good thing. Torque sets a bearing’s preload. And preload in a bearing has many factors that it performs. Amongst many things, proper bearing preload reduces heat, fatigue, and wear.
Hmm… that sounds similar to lubrication! So greasing is key – but just as critical is setting bearing preload properly. Use a torque wrench and follow manufacturer’s recommendations for tightening your axle nuts. Your bearings will thank you – and so will your wallet.
Thanks for reading. Have fun on the trails and ride safe.