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.
I may have mentioned this before, but it's worth mentioning again. If you've removed a bearing from a shaft or housing, and need to drive the new bearing into place, grab the old bearing, modify it and use it as a bearing race driver.
If you need to drive the outer race of the new bearing into a housing, disassemble the old bearing and use a cut-off wheel in a die grinder or a chop saw to cut a slot complete through one side of that outer race. If you place that sliced outer bearing race against the outer race of the new bearing, you can pound on the old race to drive the new one into position. The new bearing ends up a press fit, while the slot in the old race allows it to "collapse" enough so it can easily be removed.
If you need to drive a bearing onto a shaft, you can slice a slot in the old inner race and use it to drive the new bearing into place without concern that the old inner race will get stuck on the shaft. Just be sure to use a file to round off the inner edges of the cut you make to the old bearing race to prevent those edges from scoring the shaft.
Some mechanics have carefully accumulated a drawer full of split bearing races they use to install bearings of various sizes. It's not an elegant way to install bearings, but it works, and sometimes that's all that matters.
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