As you probably already know there is a lot to swapping out your swing bearing. The bearing, or slew ring as they're often called, is one of the most important and costly parts on excavators and cranes. Any part needs special attention to make sure it is installed correctly and the swing bearing is no exception. Here are some tips to make sure you are not missing any important steps as you prepare to install this crucial part on your machine.
Check for distortion on the mounting surface. Problems here can jeopardize the mounting process. Something simple like a tiny piece of debris between the bearing and mounting surface can cause distortion and that leads to problems down the road.
Also, a mounting surface that is no longer flat will cause problems. Be sure the surface is machined to achieve optimal flatness for perfect compatibility with the bearing face.
Be sure to check welder riser pads to make sure the pads are thick enough to resist distortion during welding the flush against the base to avoid a gap under the bearing seat. Distortion can cause a bad reading during bolt tensioning and generate a spring action when the bearing is in service, leading to bolt fatigue and failure.
It is very important to keep debris and corrosion out to prevent excessive wear and too much stress which can cause the bearing to fail.
When in doubt, lubricate! Bearings are usually packed with enough grease when they are assembled and should have fittings for grease applications but you should lubricate new bearings anyway.
"Inject grease into all grease nipples one after the other while rotating the swing bearing until a bead of grease forms on at least one sealing lip," says Todd Resser, owner of SEP.
ConEquip Parts has new replacement Dyco swing bearings in stock from SEP for most makes and models at a fraction of the cost of what they cost at the dealer.
You should pump grease about every 100 hours of use on a slow rotating machine. For excavators and cranes doing a lot of quick turning, greasing should be done every day. Check your operator's manual if you have questions.
If your swing bearing has been sitting for a few months, before installing the part be sure to lubricate it again. Make sure the surface the bearing is on is clean and clear of debris.
Improper installation can negate all the care you take in choosing and acquiring a bearing. Here are three things to tell the installer to reduce the chances of future bearing problems.
When it is time to install the bearing, be sure to following these tips:
Position the bearing's loading plugs and the hardness gap in the minimum load zone. A plug in the heavy load zone will probably cause the bearing to fail sooner than later.
With Dyco swing bearings, the soft spot of a swing bearing should be marked with an "S" on the inner ring. The soft spot is to be placed over the track frame which is 90 degrees to the maximum load zone. There should be white paint and a stamped "R" on the inner ring gear that designates where the swing pinion is to first come into contact where the swing gearbox is installed.
Check the bearing races after the bolts are tight to be sure they are round and true.
Remember to check gear backlash and final bearing torque after the bearing is installed. If torque isn't right, check for mounting problems.
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