I just removed the front wheel bearings on my '27 T to inspect and repack them for the first time since I have owned it. How tight should they be? I have never dealt with a roller bearing with a threaded inner race before. These bearings were really tight.
I put mine on tight enough that there is some drag then back the bearing out maybe a 1/8 to 1/4 turn. Spin the wheel, if it wants to keep spinning and does not feel like there is any side play in the bearing put the washer/nut/cotter pin in and call it good.
If you mean how close do you adjust them, I usually run the threaded race all the way in, then back off maybe a quarter turn or so. I like a little bit of play in them. Remember this however, no matter how you've got the bearing adjusted, it will always get tighter when you snug up the lock nut so, take that into account and recheck after tightening the lock nut.
Thanks for the response, guys. What I take away from this is that they should be set pretty much the same way as any other tapered roller bearing.
This (to me) is a rather odd design. Why did Ford go to the trouble of threading the inner race? As far as I can see, all that it (the threaded race) does is make the bearing more expensive. This is counter to Ford's normal philosophy about cost.
BTW: The bearings were set so tight that I had to use a 1/2" ratchet and a socket to loosen them.
John, If you are referring to the lock nut it should be tight. Aligning the cotter pin will somewhat dictate how tight is tight.
The design of the Ford outer bearing with threaded race is to allow the 'loading' you are doing, adjusting the cone with a wrench 'til the wheel revolves smoothly. Normally after you are done, and have fitted and tested, you can grasp that front wheel, and spin it slowly, and the wheel will stop at the same place each time. Kinda like a balance check, that way you have the bearing set right on.
The threaded inner race will stay put in the adjustment, locked there with the keyed washer and the nut with it's cotter.
You want to adjust the greased bearing until the wheel feels a slight drag, not much, but surely no wobble or super fast free spinning. Just right is a trial and error method, using the wrench to hold the race as you set the cone. Then fasten the washer and nut.
Without the threaded race, its real hard to get adjustment of the cone in a Model T front hub.
Model A front bearings have no threaded insert, and shouldn't be used over the T threaded spindle, as there is slop.
The A design front bearing uses a different method, as the A spindle has a machined area for the 'slip fit' of the inner race of the A front bearing.
Model A front bearing fits to its machined Model A spindle. Different than the T bearing.
Some may, (or may not), misunderstand my meaning when I say, "...it will always get tighter when you snug up the lock nut so, take that into account and recheck after tightening the lock nut."
I know the keyed washer prevents the lock nut from turning the cone when it's snugged up. What causes the bearing to get tighter when the lock nut is tightened is that the clearance in the threads, between the cone & spindle, is taken up in one direction when tightening the cone, then pushed in the other direction when tightening the lock nut. The difference, while slight, can cause a nicely adjusted bearing to then become a bit too tight.
You can do a million miles with a slightly loose bearing but only a few miles if slightly to tight!
Right you are Frank.
Ditto what Jerry V said.