Which Way To Lock A Lock Collar?

Published on: 21:44PM Dec 06, 2013

 Every so often even the most experienced mechanic has to pause and think for a minute to remember which way to rotate a lock collar to lock it to a bearing.

If you think about it long enough and try to understand centrifugual forces acting on the bearing, you can convince yourself it needs to lock in a clockwise direction. If you think a bit longer and harder, you can convince yourself that counterclockwise is the correct direction.

Rather than have to think and use logic every time I want to lock a lock collar, I've just memorized that I need to lock a collar in the same diretion the shaft it's being locked to will turn. Another way to look at it is, lock the collar in the direction the lock collar itself will be turning. 

Lock collars will lock in either direction, but will be more secure if locked as explained above. Some guys have a personal rule to always lock collars in a  clockwise or counterclockwise direction, but...if you use that strategy on bearings on opposite ends of a shaft, one of them will be locked in the "wrong" direction.

There IS an exception to the rule. If a shaft will stay stationary while the bearing/housing rotates around it, the lock collar should be locked in the OPPOSITE direction the bearing/housing will rotate.

But let's keep it simple. Bottom line: if a bearing is installed on a rotating shaft, the lock collar should be locked in the same direction the shaft (and hence the lock collar itself) will rotate.