Technology Breakthrough Achieves Objectives for SAE Preload Targets in Heavy Duty Wheel Ends 2009-01-2887
Patents granted recently to Mr. Rode have changed the industry capability to adjust and verify wheel-end bearings on trucks. Until now it was believed1 that there was nothing available to confirm or verify the most desirable settings of preload on these bearings. The new, breakthrough invention is a tool and spindle-locking nut that permit quick and accurate wheel bearing adjustment by utilizing direct reading force measurement. Bearings can be set to either SAE recommended preloads or specific endplay settings. The author has been working on bearing adjustment methods for industrial applications for over forty years, and considers these inventions to be his most important breakthrough for solving this elusive bearing adjustment problem. Consistent wheel bearing preload adjustment was not possible before, even though it was widely known to achieve the best wheel performance as noted in SAE specification J2535 and re-affirmed in 2006 by the SAE Truck and Bus Wheel Subcommittee. Initial commercialization of the new technology with a field ready tool has been accomplished. The associated lock nut is a premium product with a special relief on the back face that permits direct preload force application onto the wheel bearings. This nut is in current production.