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Tips, Practices, and More

Do’s and don’t of cam follower installation

If you have cam follower bearings installed in your facility, then maintaining a great performance from those bearings will be something you are interested in. You can help obtain great bearing performance if you keep some particulars in mind during installation.


1.     Do install the oil hole plug in applications where the bearing will not be re-lubricated. Because it’s an optional part of the installation, in applications where re-lubrication will be performed, the user may be inclined to discard the oil hole plug. Installing the plug helps protect the bearing from contaminant entry, such as fine grit, metal dust, or liquids, promoting longer life. Longer life means less down time and fewer bearing replacements.

2.     Using a press fit on the stud helps to create proper support of the stud in application; it can be used when installing stud-type cam followers. Press fitting is when you have an interference fit requiring you to apply pressure on the stud end face of the bearing. Be sure to apply the pressure through the stud end face, preferably using an arbor press.

3.     Specifically, for the yoke type bearings: please do back up the bearing’s end plates. Yoke type bearings require a housing to support the end plates. Do not shirk on keeping the end plates supported. Keeping those end plates supported maintains the bearing’s proper assembly in operation, and helps avoid premature application breakdown and possible injury due to disassembly. It will also prevent unnecessary bearing replacement and unnecessary cost.

4.     You may know the stud type cam followers require a certain amount of torque applied to the locking nuts, in order to adequately lock the stud in place. Overtorque can cause bearing damage and undertorque can allow bearing disassembly. Excessive torque can result in stud elongation or fracture. Inadequate torque can allow the cam follower to become disassembled from the housing. Keeping the proper torque as shown in the bearing’s chart will maintain clamping pressure adequate to lock the stud in place, keeping the bearing in its intended position.

5.     Some applications need little maintenance, such as those involving slower speeds, fairly clean environments and ambient temperatures. However, re-lubrication becomes more crucial as application speed, temperature, or contamination levels increase. Do regularly inspect and as necessary re-lubricate your bearings. Keeping your bearings in top condition maximizes their operational performance and life. Regular check-ins are also a good opportunity to inspect the state of their installation and working environment.


1.     During installation, do not hammer directly on the bearing! Doing this can cause damage to your bearing or injury to those involved.

2.    Don’t neglect your bearings. I don’t need to tell you that negligence can result in permanent damage and shorten operating life. In short, you’re wasting money.

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Original article can be found in the February issue of Bearing-News Magazine