Nut Torquing and Back-Off to Set Wheel Bearings

Skill Level: Easy to Difficult | Special Tools: None

Adjust Wheel Bearings

To meet correct end play specifications, follow this six-step procedure for nut torquing and back off:

  1. Torque the adjusting nut to 200 lbf-ft while oscillating the wheel. This will fully seat the bearing components.
  2. Back off the adjusting nut one full turn or until it is loose.
  3. Torque the adjusting nut to 50 lbf-ft while rotating the wheel hub assembly to establish end play.
  4. Back off the inner (adjusting) nut the amount indicated in the chart below.
  5. On a single-nut system, install a cotter pin. On a double-nut system, install a jam nut and torque it to the proper specification indicated in the chart below.
  6. Use a dial indicator to verify end play (free movement) of the tire and wheel assembly along the spindle axis.

nut torquing


Failure to observe the following warnings could create a risk of death or serious injury.

Do not attempt to disassemble and reassemble unitized wheel end hubs and bearing assemblies. Improper reassembly could lead to failure.

Proper maintenance and handling practices are critical. Always follow installation instructions and maintain proper lubrication.

Tensile stresses can be very high in tightly fitted bearing components. Attempting to remove such components by cutting the cone (inner race) may result in a sudden shattering of the component causing fragments of metal to be forcefully expelled. Always use properly guarded presses or bearing pullers to remove bearings from shafts, and always use suitable personal protective equipment, including safety glasses.



Failure to follow these cautions may result in property damage.

The products cataloged are application specific. Any use in applications other than those intended could lead to equipment failure or to reduced equipment life.

Use of improper bearing fits may cause damage to equipment.

Do not use damaged bearings. The use of a damaged bearing can result in equipment damage.

TechTips is not intended to substitute for the specific recommendations of your equipment suppliers. Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this writing, but no liability is accepted for errors, omissions or for any other reason.