Loading... Please wait...

Account Navigation

  • Gift Certificates
  • Wish Lists
  • My Account
  • Order Status

SPINDLE WEAR

All About Spindle Wear

IT'S DANGEROUS AND IT MIGHT BE AFFECTING YOUR TRUCK!

NOBODY'S TALKING ABOUT IT, AND WORSE, NOBODY'S CHECKING FOR IT.
THIS IS SERIOUS. IF YOU HAVE AN OLDER TRUCK, THIS IS A MUST READ:

WHAT IT IS:

It is a problem that affects nearly all of the older (700,000+ miles) trucks on the road today. It is caused an unusual wear process called "fretting" which causes wear on the underside of your spindles, and the presence of lubricants does not prevent it from happening.

Over time, as the spindles wear, they are no longer round, but begin to look like the letter "D", with the flat on the bottom. As this progresses, there becomes a point where the load on the bearings distorts the inner race and at that point, things start to get messy in a hurry.

Example Of Spindle Wear
HOW IT HAPPENS:

It is caused by an unusual wear process called "fretting", which is defined as "A special wear process that is caused by the repeated cyclical rubbing between two surfaces over a period of time which will remove material from one or both surfaces in contact. It occurs typically in bearings as well as the components they are attached to"
You would think that this would not happen because they are covered in oil, but that is not the case. That's what makes this problem so common and difficult to eliminate. In fact, we've been told by one manufacturer that a rough rule of thumb is 60% of trucks with 600,000 miles on them, 70% of trucks with 700,000 miles on them and nearly 100% of the trucks with 1,000,000 have this problem. Do we have your attention yet?

This Is
WHAT IT DOES:

Since this affects the bottom of the spindles, it happens slowly and has no telltale signs that tells you how bad it is. That is, until there's a failure. So here's how it works: Over time, as the bottom of the spindles are eroded away, they literally are not round anymore. They are shaped like the capital letter "D", with the flat on the bottom (remember, as you travel down the road, your bearings are constantly "loaded and un-loaded" as your truck goes up and down). At some point, due to the the load on the rollers, the bottom of the inner race is pushed up, making it too resembling the shape of the D". When this happens, the rollers are pinched off at the 4:00 and the 8:00 position and can no longer roll in the races. When that happens, the inner race turns against the rollers, making hard contact. Then at some point, the rollers stop rolling and the entire bearing now rotates on the spindle. And that's when things get serious.

You DO NOT Want This To Happen To You
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT:

Early on, when the inner races start "skidding" against the rollers, it is intermittent, due to the up-and-down movement of your truck. However, every time this happens, more wear happens on the rollers and at some point, they just quit rolling and the entire bearing seizes up completely. And when this happens, most often the bearing turns on the spindle, as the bearing bore is now the bearing. But before long the contact and the extreme pressure causes the spindle to gall and try to weld itself to the bearing. The scary thing is that hub does not give you much feedback about what's happening until the wheel comes off.

This Is What
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR:

ONE: Since this is a slow process (years in some cases). And as the spindles continue to wear, they now allow for an ever increasing amount of wheel play. Which is often mis-diagnosed as loose bearings. And more often than not, when they're "re-adjusted" the now overly tight bearings trigger the seizure on the spindle. So, the next time someone puts a bar under a tire and tells you your bearings are loose, we suggest you find someone that has a little more knowledge about wheel ends.

TWO: This introduces yet another variable in the tire wear/alignment discussion. But we have a condition that allows a considerable amount of wheel movement that affects absolutely EVERYTHING. So we suggest you take that in consideration when you're sorting through the endless amount of "opinions" regarding tire wear, wheel alignment and super-single tire issues. What we cannot figure out, for such a common condition, we have not heard anyone mention this during those discussions (have you?). So do everyone a favor and mention it whenever you can.

THREE: We cannot emphasize enough that before ANY bearing changes are made, that the tech check for wear (you're looking for two wear bands, on the bottom, about four inches apart).

Back To "Hot Topics"

This Happens More Than You Think!
Back to Top