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  • Pressing in bearings

    I got all my new bearings in for my older drill press, and wondering about the best way to install them.

    Besides pressing in by force, I've read that you can heat the bearing for installing on a shaft, or heating the part for installing the bearing in a bore.

    Good idea? What temp should I be considering so that the bearing and/or grease isn't damaged?
    Last edited by T.Hoffman; 09-30-2010, 09:21 AM.

  • #2
    Before heating you need to verify there are no seals and or nylon cages and such,

    Depends on the application but I rarely heat bearings and many times don't even use a press, The trick is not loading the bearing running surfaces themselves while either pressing or tapping them in,


    most times I tap bearings into their boss, a small ball peen hammer and a brass drift does the trick - if its a shaft then use the brass drift on the inner race - if its a bore then use it on the outer, I alternate 180 degrees apart or sometimes 120 depending how tight the bearing.

    Concerned about galling? use some anti-seize compound on both surfaces...

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    • #3
      Double sheilded bearings.

      They are pressfit in the bore and on the shaft at the same time... I was thinking about heating the outer housing in the oven and freezing the shaft for installation all at once.

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      • #4
        I usually make an arbor for pressing bearings.
        Arbors are usually made on a lathe from Al, but I have even made them of wood.
        Pilot and OD of arbor are usually .005 to .010 undersize.
        Clear away material from the arbor so the non loaded dia of the bearing is not pressed.
        If you are installing a bearing so the OD is the press, clear around the inner race so it is not loaded during the assembly. Vice versa applies also.
        Use grease or anti-sieze.
        Worst case use a socket to install bearing.
        Inspect the bore of the hole before pressing. Make sure there are no slivers on the edge of the bore. I use a small round stone to make sure the bearing is going into a clean chamfer on the bore.
        Inspect the chamfer on the bearing also for similiar condition.
        Check for the thrust faces on the bearing before assembly. Make sure bearings are installed in the proper realtionship to thrust loads.
        (Ball thrust bearings)
        K Lively

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        • #5
          I use a 200 f degree temperature indicating crayon.Others I`ve worked with wet their fingertips with water to test.When the bearing sizzles to the touch it is ready.Wear gloves.Need to carefully line it up and slide the bearing on quick or it will shrink before seated.

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          • #6
            Ditto the other posts: I use 200°F. The Old Timer's trick was to put the bearing on a light bulb -- that's pretty close to the right temperature.

            One thing to note: hold the bearing in place until it cools down. Ask me how I learned that lesson
            "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by T.Hoffman
              Double sheilded bearings.

              So how can you see the cage material?

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              • #8
                One point. Never, ever use brass on bearings. brass is much more likely to chip than other materials. If a punch must be used, the best material is either a plastic sleeve that is sized to the outer and inner diameters (especially if you are going into a bore and the shaft at the same time) or is it is on just one a mild steel sleeve or punch. The reason you will hear that you should not use steel punches on bearings is because people will grab a hardened punch and that you never want to do
                Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.

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                • #9
                  Bearing heater

                  I got started using an old electric iron to degrade locktite and epoxy when taking barrels and glued in actions apart on guns that I was working on. You use the linen setting and set the iron on the action wrench and leave it for a while. That led to using the Iron to heat bearings and the IR thermometer to monitor the temperature.
                  Byron Boucher
                  Burnet, TX

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                  • #10
                    Totally disagree Spin, brass drifts are just fine - and in fact its one of the main reasons they build them,
                    all material will chip if not maintained - even lead, It just common sense that you want a nice little chamfer on both the hammer end AND the driving end of the drift and you will avoid chipping --- that goes for any drift - hardened metal - soft metal - brass - aluminum or even copper.

                    Brass transmits shock loads very well without having the ability to bumfuque the surface.
                    It's for this reason that brass is ideal for situations like bearing installations.
                    Last edited by A.K. Boomer; 09-30-2010, 11:26 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Spin Doctor
                      One point. Never, ever use brass on bearings. brass is much more likely to chip than other materials. If a punch must be used, the best material is either a plastic sleeve that is sized to the outer and inner diameters (especially if you are going into a bore and the shaft at the same time) or is it is on just one a mild steel sleeve or punch. The reason you will hear that you should not use steel punches on bearings is because people will grab a hardened punch and that you never want to do
                      SD, I always operate on the principle that you're fine so long as you're not loading the roller elements; ie make a sleeve out of pipe or such to fit the inner race when pressing on a shaft......but how to do you install something that that's a press on both bore and shaft as OP says is the situation here? just assume the races are the same height or that there's enough play and use a flat faced tool against both? thanks
                      in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                      • #12
                        Bearing installation bushings

                        I have used 1/2" drive sockets for a bushings to push on the bearing or the race for pushing it into position. They often fit. When they don’t I make a bushing from 7075-T6 which is surprisingly tough and works good in this application. I got started using 7075 when I lucked into some cheap at the salvage place. It worked so well that I now stock it in several convenient sizes.
                        Byron Boucher
                        Burnet, TX

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                        • #13
                          I looked up the manufacturer specs, and they do mention heating the bearings as an installation option, but not above 170* F.

                          There is a plastic spacer that goes between the two bearings on the shaft, so I'm hesitant to start using great pressure to install them on the shaft or in the bore without distorting that plastic spacer.

                          Is freezing the bearings harmful in any way? I wouldn't think so, but just asking.... I was thinking I could install the bearings on the shaft first by freezing the shaft and slightly warming the bearings. Then, freeze the entire shaft with bearings installed, and heat the outer bore housing for final installation. Sound like a plan?

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                          • #14
                            A question not an answer

                            It is my understanding that either the inner race or the outer race should be a tight slip fit to allow for shaft length changes due to temperature. The load on the bearing is controlled by spring washers or other methods to keep load constant as the shaft gets warmer or cooler. Am I making a mountain out of a molehill or is it an issue?

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                            • #15
                              Bearing Heat

                              I use an old electric clothes iron to heat a bearing at installation. I hold the iron in my vise with the plate level and add a couple drops of lube oil to the surface the improve contact with the iron. I heat the bearing to about 150 deg F and it will slide on to the shaft very easy.

                              JRW

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