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Having Loose Bearing Race? Here Is How to Deal With It

When you replace a bearing, the rule of the thumb is to also replace the race it rides. The main reason for this is to ensure that the bearing lasts longer because the wearing will be slow as it runs in the mated surface provided by the matching race.

The bearing races are engineered to have a friction fit inside the housing. Tolerance between the sides and housing opening is tight enough so that the races are held firmly in place as the bearing runs freely.

When wearing occurs between the race and the bearing, you need to remove the old race and replace it with a new one for high efficiency. Ordinarily, a hummer and punch would be all that one needs to remove the old race and install the new one.

                                                

However, there are instances when the bearing race does not fit snuggly in the housing. If the race is too lose and friction to hold it is too tight, forcing it could eventually damage the housing requiring an expensive repair. But there is a simpler way to get it right.

Special trick on how to seat a loose bearing race

Here, you will need a center punch, a hammer, and Loctite 660.

  • Start by removing the current bearing race to create the space for the new one
  • With the old race out, take a center-punch, and strike the inner surface of the housing (the point where the side of race meets too).
  • Repeat the above procedure on the circumference of the opening. The process displaces some metal by pushing it above the current surface resulting so some bumps. The effect is reduction of the diameter of the housing opening and restoration of the friction fit. But that is just the first part. 
  • To ensure that your race remains in place, apply a film of Loctite 660. The film can help to lock two components together in places where there is a gap of 0.020 inches.
  • Now that the Loctite is applied, carefully use a driver to seat the race in the usual method. You also need to allow ample time for the compound to bond. The combination of the two types of treatments should be adequate to leave the race secure and ready for optimal performance.

Remember that if you are unsure of how to go about the whole process, it is better to work with a professional. An expert will also tell you whether it is time to replace the entire system.