How to Install a Pillow Block Bearing

Time: 2018-11-02
Summary: 1) Check and Clean the Shaft; 2) Position the Bearings on the Shaft; 3) Lightly Bolt the Housing to the Mounting Structure; 4) Establish the Final Mounting Position; 5) Securely Bolt the Housing to the Mounting Structure;

1) Check and Clean the Shaft

First, check your shafting to ensure it is clean, round, straight, free of burrs and nicks and is not undersized or oversized, per the manufacturers specification. Use fine sandpaper or scotch bright to clean the shaft of any rust. Then use a light coat of oil to remove any debris. 

2) Position the Bearings on the Shaft

When placing the bearing on the shaft, if it is necessary to tap the bearing into place, use a mallet and a hardwood block or soft steel tube against the inner ring. DO NOT strike or exert pressure on the housing or seals.

3) Lightly Bolt the Housing to the Mounting Structure

Locate the shaft in position by lightly bolting the housing to the mounting structure. Bridge over the housing mounting bolt slots with heavy washers, or heavy spring lock washers. This may help prevent loosening.

4) Establish the Final Mounting Position

Prior to securing the bolts, establish your final mounting position by aligning the bearing units by hand or a rubber mallet. 

5) Securely Bolt the Housing to the Mounting Structure

Once the bearing is properly aligned, securely bolt both units to the mounting structure.

6) Ensure the Shaft can Move Axially

Ensure that the shaft can move axially through the bearing bores to confirm proper alignment. If this cannot be done, loosen the housings and realign the shaft. 

7) Tighten Both Collar Set Screws

Tighten both collar set screws, and then rotate the shaft and alternately tighten to the manufacturer recommended torque values. If a torque wrench is not available, tighten the set screws until a permanent twist is established with an allen wrench. 

If you are using an expansion unit, always lock the fixed bearing first. Move the expansion bearing axially to center in the housing. Once centered, alternately tighten the set screws on the expansion unit as you did on the fixed unit. 

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