Hit the Center Bearing that's Perfect for Your Car
Indeed, a bearing is just a simple, round object that's attached to most of the modern equipment we enjoy today. What's mostly forgotten about it is the stability it provides to almost everything. This portion will focus on your car's center bearing?its function, types, and important details you should know if already you need to replace that part.
Where exactly is the center bearing located and how does it work?
The center bearing is located underneath your car, and fitted around the drive shaft. If you still can't determine where the drive shaft is, it's that long, rotating tube right in the middle. Since the drive shaft rotates frequently, the center bearing supports it and keeps it in its axis. Just imagine what would happen if the drive shaft spins out of control, it's dangerous, right? That's how important the center bearing is, especially to long vehicles.
What are the types of bearings?
There are so many types of bearings in available today. Most of them are designed specifically to the type of load, or the speed of the shaft. The items below are the types of bearings that you'll find in your car, and in some daily equipment.
- Ball Thrust BearingThe ball thrust bearing is designed for minimum for slow-moving and light radial loads.
- Roller BearingThis type of bearing is used for heavy radial loads like conveyor belt rollers. The roller bearing is designed with little cylinders inside instead of balls.
- Roller Thrust BearingApplicable for heavy thrust loads, roller thrust bearing supports gear sets in a car's transmission system, and rotating shafts.
- Tapered Roller BearingThe tapered roller bearing has the ability to support large loads mostly for car hubs to handle load in different directions.
How would I know if a center bearing is the right one for my car?
Before you step out and search for a new center bearing, determine the shape of the bearing's bracket first. This part mostly varies by design, but you can easily ask by telling the model and the year of your car.
Are center bearings costly to replace?
If your budget is around $30-$50, then you can already find a good one. Although center bearings can go below $20, the premium quality peaks at $290. Since the prices obviously vary, always look for the trusted names in the market, so you can re-assure the product's quality.
Replace Your Center Bearing Correctly
The center bearing works to support the drive shaft as it spins underneath your car. It will be extremely difficult if you drive without a center bearing because the drive shaft might spin off and out of control. You can determine a bearing in poor condition if the rubber in it is worn out, or the bearing itself is already chipped or cracked.
This step-by-step guide will help you how to remove the center bearing properly and some techniques to ensure that a replacement is correctly installed. Please be aware that this procedure begins after you have already removed the drive shaft from your vehicle.
Difficulty Level: High
Tools you'll need:
- Standard vice
- Bearing pliers
- Hollow driver
- New center bearing
Safety Advice: You must first put-on an eye wear before you start.
Step 1: With the bearing still attached, Secure the drive shaft to the vice.
Step 2: Remove the bracket and the rubber cushion of the bearing. You can slowly pull-out the rubber cushion using your hands, or you use any elongated tool like a screwdriver to pop itout.
Step 3: Use the bearing pliers and remove the center bearing. Set the fingers of the bearing pliers on the center bearing and tighten the screw to secure. If a bearing pliers is unavailable, aim the hollow driver on the bearing and strike the driver with the hammer. The center bearing should slide down. Make sure you do this carefully and do not hit the drive shaft.
Step 4: Take your new center bearing and apply grease in the middle.
Step 5: Secure the drive shaft back onto the vice and secure it.
Step 6: Fit the new center bearing around the drive shaft and secure it by aiming the hollow driver once again and driving the hammer onto the driver.
The entire process takes 30 minutes to complete or even faster for those car DIYers.