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#4638209 - 01/17/18 08:39 PM Axle Nut Torque on Ground or in Air
thescreensavers Offline


Registered: 12/21/09
Posts: 412
Loc: Jupiter, FL
I have always installed my wheel bearings axle nut in the air but, I was just reading that you should do it with the cars/trucks weight on it.

Which way do you guys/gals do it? I looked at my Jeeps FSM and it doesn't state to put the car on the ground.
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#4638212 - 01/17/18 08:41 PM Re: Axle Nut Torque on Ground or in Air [Re: thescreensavers]
cjcride Offline


Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 1814
Loc: Ontario Canada
On the ground.

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#4638256 - 01/17/18 09:40 PM Re: Axle Nut Torque on Ground or in Air [Re: thescreensavers]
maverickfhs Offline


Registered: 12/28/16
Posts: 1975
Loc: VA
I have torqued it on the ground.
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#4638297 - 01/17/18 10:27 PM Re: Axle Nut Torque on Ground or in Air [Re: thescreensavers]
barkingspider Offline


Registered: 12/22/13
Posts: 2041
Loc: socal
On the ground for me too
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#4638367 - 01/18/18 01:03 AM Re: Axle Nut Torque on Ground or in Air [Re: thescreensavers]
WyrTwister Offline


Registered: 01/13/13
Posts: 1505
Loc: Texas
FWD ?

RWD ?
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#4638398 - 01/18/18 03:46 AM Re: Axle Nut Torque on Ground or in Air [Re: WyrTwister]
sxg6 Offline


Registered: 05/23/04
Posts: 2471
Loc: ME
With Subaru's I've always heard loosen and tighten in the air so you don't damage the bearing, so that's what I do.

I know you have a Jeep, but subies are what I'm most familiar with.

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#4638424 - 01/18/18 05:55 AM Re: Axle Nut Torque on Ground or in Air [Re: thescreensavers]
das_peikko Offline


Registered: 01/01/18
Posts: 501
Loc: San Antonio, TX
On the ground -- same with lug nuts and control arms.

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#4638445 - 01/18/18 06:58 AM Re: Axle Nut Torque on Ground or in Air [Re: thescreensavers]
pb Offline


Registered: 01/14/06
Posts: 142
Loc: stl
i believe my instructions for the windstar stressed making the final tighten in one continuous motion; could not sweep the torque wench counter clockwise.

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#4638580 - 01/18/18 09:25 AM Re: Axle Nut Torque on Ground or in Air [Re: thescreensavers]
Astro14 Offline


Registered: 10/10/10
Posts: 8533
Loc: Virginia Beach
The bearing should be done in the air. No preload from the car's weight to screw up your preload adjustment.

Lug nuts are simply easier on the ground
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#4638621 - 01/18/18 10:02 AM Re: Axle Nut Torque on Ground or in Air [Re: Astro14]
CT8 Offline


Registered: 10/09/14
Posts: 10938
Loc: Idaho
Originally Posted By: Astro14
The bearing should be done in the air. No preload from the car's weight to screw up your preload adjustment.

Lug nuts are simply easier on the ground
+1
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#4638653 - 01/18/18 10:33 AM Re: Axle Nut Torque on Ground or in Air [Re: thescreensavers]
zzyzzx Offline


Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 4362
Loc: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
I also do this with the car on the ground.

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#4638659 - 01/18/18 10:43 AM Re: Axle Nut Torque on Ground or in Air [Re: thescreensavers]
bullwinkle Online   confused


Registered: 10/09/04
Posts: 7664
Loc: Cincinnati, OH, USA
Originally Posted By: thescreensavers
I have always installed my wheel bearings axle nut in the air but, I was just reading that you should do it with the cars/trucks weight on it.

Which way do you guys/gals do it? I looked at my Jeeps FSM and it doesn't state to put the car on the ground.
Your '97 is the same as my '98-it has an integral hub & bearing assembly, the axle nut can be tightened either way-but I did mine on the ground to stop the wheel from spinning as I did it.
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#4638665 - 01/18/18 10:53 AM Re: Axle Nut Torque on Ground or in Air [Re: thescreensavers]
Silverado12 Offline


Registered: 02/26/13
Posts: 3112
Loc: Central Virginia
I would think it would make very little difference whether on the ground or not.
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#4638705 - 01/18/18 11:33 AM Re: Axle Nut Torque on Ground or in Air [Re: Silverado12]
Astro14 Offline


Registered: 10/10/10
Posts: 8533
Loc: Virginia Beach
Originally Posted By: Silverado12
I would think it would make very little difference whether on the ground or not.


It makes a huge difference if your axle nut is preloading bearings or not. Generally, those kinds of set-ups have you torque to some very modest (15 in-lbs) amount to remove play in the bearing, then back off and go finger tight, or back to some other modest torque to get the proper bearing pre-load. If you do that with the wheel on the ground, you'll never get the pre-load correct, and you'll destroy those bearings in short order.

Now, if you're talking about a hub, in which you bolt the axle into the hub, well, yeah, who cares.

But the axle nut sets bearing pre-load on a lot of cars and on those, you absolutely must do it in the air.
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#4638708 - 01/18/18 11:34 AM Re: Axle Nut Torque on Ground or in Air [Re: thescreensavers]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
FWD axles?
I don't think it matters.

2WD/RWD:
NEVER on the ground. No airplane in the world torques wheel bearings on the ground, and NEVER should your car wheel bearings be torqued on the ground as well.

ALWAYS IN THE AIR!

You are SUPPOSED to rotate the wheel while torquing any tapered roller bearing - also impossible to do on the ground.
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