Best Practice When Replacing Bearings and Races

When it comes to replacing bearings and races, NTN has a couple of recommendations we make to installers to ensure that our products meet their maximum life expectancy. When replacing the bearing and race, NTN encourages installers to:

    1) Replace both components as a set

    2) Ensure both components come from the same manufacturer


Replace the Bearing and Race as a Set

When bearings have reached the end of their life expectancy and need replacement, NTN cannot stress enough the importance of using both a new bearing and a new race. In fact, we only sell our products in sets to ensure that you have both components on hand. While you may encounter difficulty removing the old race during replacement, you should never match it with a new bearing. Doing so creates mismatched raceway wear patterns and can lead to early failure.

Never Mix Manufacturers

In addition to replacing your bearing and race as a set, we must stress how important it is that you never mix and match bearings and races from different manufacturers. The primary reason for this is the differences in internal geometries and surface finishes. Pairing components with mismatched internal profiles and surface finish variations can lead to reductions in expected life. This is due to the components being seated incorrectly and failing to fully engage.

Another reason for the never mixing and matching components is that not all manufacturers case harden the parts. If a case-hardened part is mated with one that is not, it may not see its full life potential. This is because the component that is not case-carburized can’t handle the same levels of loads as the case-carburized component. This can potentially lead to bearing failure and unscheduled downtime.

Common Problems Caused by Mixing Bearings and Races

Incompatible internal bearing profile

Overall bearing width inconsistencies due to tolerance differences

Bearing load rating differences

Surface finish variations due to different manufacturing processes

Steel quality & cleanliness variations due to variances in bearing manufacturing quality

Why Choose Bower Bearing Sets?

When you choose a Bower bearing set for your replacement, you avoid the above pitfalls. All Bower sets are manufactured together in one of our US-based plants, ensuring that their internal geometries, surface finishes, tolerances and load ratings are all matched. Additionally, all Bower bearing sets are case hardened for optimal performance.