The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
As a farm machinery mechanic and writer, Dan brings a hands-on approach that only a pro can muster. Along with his In the Shop blog, Dan writes a column by the same name as well as the Shop Series for Farm Journal magazine. Always providing practical information, he is a master at tackling technical topics and making them easy for all of our readers to understand. He and his wife, Becky, live near Bouton, Iowa.
'Tis the season to replace bearings in gearcases and housings, and that often includes replacing a rubber-lipped seal on the bearing's shaft. Many shafts have half-moon keyways or slotted keyways machined into them. The edges of those keyways are often sharp enough to slice the spring-loaded rubber lip of seals as they are slid onto the shaft, creaking an immediate lubricant leak from the brand new seal.
One way to minimize the chance of cutting a seal's lip during installation is to carefully wrap the shaft with electrician's tape before installing the seal. Just one layer of tape will protect the seal's rubber lip from the sharp edges.
Apply only one layer and minimize tape overlap as much as possible to avoid increasing the outside diameter of the shaft. Lubricate the taped shaft with oil or grease, then slide the seal onto the shaft and into place.
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