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Thread: Wheel Bearing Preload - Sidecars

  1. #1

    Wheel Bearing Preload - Sidecars

    If anyone sets their bearing preload by the measured spec. and not by the shake and feel method, what values are you using?

    I am using the Robert Fleischer "Bearing Preload" article as a reference point, but don't see the actual bearing preload values for a sidecar rig. Need those...

    I have a thread about this in the Garage/Airhead section:

    Michael Stoic
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    Last edited by bostonmish; 08-22-2010 at 05:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Port Angeles WA
    IMHO tapered roller wheel bearings (as in old airheads) don't require any additional preload for sidecar use. It is important to ensure that there is no play. If you do feel any slop in the wheel bearings, best track it down. If it's a matter of bearing preload, reshim, then regrease, and make sure the seals are good. If there is some mystery slop that's not a shim problem, check the fit of the bearing race in the hub. Sidecar use can pound the race loose in the hub. I have repaired one with a high quality epoxy filler.

    Tapered roller steering head bearings should have slightly greater preload. My technique is to raise the front end off the ground, and allow the front end to pivot from straight ahead to either side. It should rotate smoothly but just slow enough to not instantly slam down against the stop. Note that steering head bearings take a lot more abuse pulling a hack, so they should be replaced periodically; immediately if any notching is felt.

    Swing arm bearings also take some abuse, but there isn't any easy way to check. Just snug up the pivot pin hand tight before securing the locknut. Leading links are succeptible to bearing wear (and/or corrosion) and loose bearings will make steering wobbly. If there is any question about the LL pivot bearings, remove and check carefully. They should have some preload unless they are ball bearings.


  3. #3
    John D'oh
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Close to Fort Worth Texas

    Use this link to access past threads / posts on -

    I've tried the link above several times and it worked but that doesn't mean it will again. It contains a search expression that finds discussions about wheels, wheel bearings in relationship to sidecar handeling and other issues. Its on the United Sidecar Association site. Or, go to the link below and perform your own search...enjoy~!

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