Common Hydraulic Bearing Installation Mistakes You Can Avoid

When it comes to hydraulic equipment, hydraulic bearings are among the most critical of components. That’s why proper hydraulic bearing installation is so essential. Not surprisingly, over a quarter of all bearing failures can be attributed to installation or mounting errors, second only to lubrication problems.

With the right amount of training and a strict adherence to proper installation protocol, as well as selection of products with the right design features, you can have confidence your bearings will be compatible with the operating conditions of your unique applications. When it comes to hydraulic bearing installation, here are some errors that will hinder your success.

Not taking your time

Perhaps the most important part of hydraulic bearing installation is taking your time to do it right. Bearing installation isn’t a situation where you can simply drop it in and go. In addition to selecting the right components, with the help of your hydraulic service professionals, you also need to be sure you understand the instructions for installation. Always take your time with installation for best results.

Improperly tightening bearings

Whenever you’re installing a hydraulic bearing, you must make sure it’s correctly forced into the tapered adapter sleeve. If you haven’t properly tightened the bearings and adapter assemblies, you run the risk of slipping or turning on the shaft. Overtightening is an issue, too, as it reduces a bearing’s internal clearance and causing it to run hot, which is never a good idea. It’s best to choose specially made bearings that actually indicate when they’re properly tightened. That way, you’re not leaving anything up to guesswork.

Working with incorrect shaft diameters

Most hydraulic systems feature commercially available shafting—it’s more cost-effective, but it’s also not the most efficient. Commercially available options usually have a wide range of under-nominal diameters that can actually fret or even fracture bearings if the shaft is undersized. Before selecting bearings, inspect shafts and measure with micrometers to avoid any service issues that may occur due to improper mounting.

Misaligning the shaft and bearing housing

Working with an imprecise mounting frame, shaft or housing support can lead to misalignment of the shaft with the bearing housing. If misalignment extends past a bearing’s limits, the end result may be damage to the internal components and the seals of your equipment.

Make sure installation is as accurate as possible and measure the ends of the shaft from common reference points for vertical and horizontal alignment. If you notice the bearing vibrating excessively, running hot or making a strange noise, it’s a clear indication that the bearing is out of alignment. You can compensate for misalignment by dynamically aligning the rolling element bearings.

Taking your time to ensure proper hydraulic bearing installation procedures are followed goes a long way toward extending bearing life, and it can even save you from dealing with downtime and possible damage to other equipment. Learn more about selecting the right bearings and about correct installation by reaching out to Hydraulic Power Sales Inc. We’re here to help you make sure your operations are never affected by any unforced errors.