Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:04 pm
It is time for another episode of Shade Tree Tool Time. I expect we have all heard the phrase "Packing the wheel bearings". But what does it really mean? Well, tapered roller bearings, like those in the front hubs of the Cub, may seem like they are solid steel. But there is a lot of air between the rollers. Air that does not make a very good lubricant. The objective is to pack grease into those spaces so the rollers are surrounded by grease and not air.
To do this you have to displace the air with grease. How? Well... You could put a great gob of grease on the palm of your hand, put the bearing on top of the grease and spend 5 or 10 minutes squeezing the grease into the bearing.
Or you can buy a grease packer. Imagine a large syringe, put the bearing in, drop in a glob of grease, and push the plunger until all the air has escaped. If you were packing bearings everyday, this is not a bad option.
For most of us, we will pack 4 bearings, at most, once a year. Instead of the handful of grease or the commercial packer, get a box of quart size ziplock freezer bags. Or whatever size will hold your bearing. I use some 3"x4" baggies that I also use to store little parts in.
Put the bearing in a bag, put some grease in the bag, seal ALMOST shut, and start squeezing. A few minutes of this and you have packed the bearing. The best part is that you don't have grease all over your hands, AND you can store the packed bearing in the bag. Grab another bearing and bag and repeat until you have them all done.
If you are really into neat, write on the bag with a magic marker. Something like "INNER CONE Packed 12-JUL-2007 w/ Bear Grease".
Just a thought
Rick (The Shade Tree Tool Maker) Dulas