How to properly pack a wheel bearing.

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Today we are demonstrating how to clean and repack bearings.

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But first a word on grease.

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It’s easy to think that grease is grease.

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That you can use the same product everywhere.

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This is incorrect.

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Greases are highly specialised lubricants with different thickness, wear properties and chemical factors designed for specific areas of your aircraft.

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Using the wrong grease can cause premature wear, ruin seals or impair the performance of a moving part.

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So consult your maintenance manual to ensure your grease meets the correct specifications.

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Now to the bearings.

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If you’re using new bearings, check the date of manufacture.

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If the bearings are more than three years old, you or a qualified mechanic, will need to clean and repack them.

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You may want to do this anyway as the grease the bearings were packaged in could be wrong for your application.

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The next step for both new and used bearings is to remove all excess grease with a clean shop towel.

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Then gently wash the bearing in a suitable solvent like mineral spirits

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Next, air dry it, be careful to keep the bearing from spinning which can cause scoring.

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Now, carefully inspect the bearing for damage, corrosion or pitting.

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Ok, if it’s ok, wash it in alcohol like this IPA to remove fingerprints and film left by the mineral spirits.

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Now we are ready to pack the bearing.

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You can use a wheel-bearing packer or the hand method.

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If you can do it by hand, wear the right rubber gloves full protection and keep finger prints off.

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Also check your manual to check you’re using the right grease.

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For most wheel bearings you’ll use a MIL-G-3545 grease like AeroShell 5.

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Put a small amount of grease onto your palm and work it into the bearing all the way around.

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Turn the bearing to make sure it’s smooth and that grease covers all rollers.

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Now it’s ready for installation.

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Remember when you think of maintenance, don’t forget the grease.

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I’m Ben Visser. Good flying