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Old 08-18-2012, 10:35 PM   #1
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Wheel bearing temperatures

Does anyone know what temperature range wheel bearings should be at during use after maybe 100 miles or so at 70 to 85 degree ambient temp? I will be measuring with an infrared heat detector at the exterior hub.

I'm looking for a range that is acceptable and temps that, above which, I should be concerned.

Frank, Martha & Ryan

2006 Cougar 289 EFS
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:47 PM   #2
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What I do when I check my temperatures is look for abnormality between front and rear wheels on the same side, such as tires, brakes, and bearings. I use an IF heat gun to measure the temps and look for temperatures that are abnormally high, 3 to 4 degrees of a delta T is OK in my opinion but 10 degrees would tell me something is wrong. I would than investigate to see what it is.

This is what I posted in the Keystone forum where you asked the same question.

Jim W

Jim & Jill
Sold: 2010 318SAB Cougar:New: 2016 Cedar Creek 34RL. 2008 Dodge 6.7LCummins the original 6.7L engine, w/68RFE Auto
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:59 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jimcumminsw View Post
I use an IF heat gun to measure the temps and look for temperatures

Do you mean an infra-red (IR) thermometer, shaped a little like a gun, that may have a laser pointer built-in?

Not sure what an "IF heat gun" is.


I wouldn't think in terms of absolutes here. When something goes awry, it starts to fall out of the norm, and that's what you want to detect. As Jim mentioned above, look at them all, and look for abnormal departures from the usual.

1999 Flagstaff 21FB, 2000 F-350 Lariat LB/CC 7.3L SRW 3:73
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:11 PM   #4
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I use an IR gun to check my hubs, brake rotors and tires after long drives. As Jim and Pop say, there is no absolute. Sun and recent breaking action all change the temps. Just compare and you'll get a feel for what's OK. I've seen the sun increase temps on one side by more than 10 degrees.
Tom and Amy from Northern Virginia.
2000 Allegro 454/Workhorse P32/TST/Crossfire
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:32 PM   #5
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One other thing I "shoot" is my rear differential cover. I find that it seems to normally run under 160*, and I would get kinda' nervous if it got a lot hotter than that.

The only reason I use that number is that I usually see something like 150* on a hot day, hauling moderately.

1999 Flagstaff 21FB, 2000 F-350 Lariat LB/CC 7.3L SRW 3:73
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:47 PM   #6
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Thumbs up A rule of thumb

A good lubricant like Timken Automotive Wheel Bearing Grease has an operating temperature range of -40 F to +300 F (-40 C to +149 C), however the bearing seals may start to degrade at the higher temps. My rule of thumb was always if you couldn't put your hand on the hub and leave it there (Temp = ~170*), that it was too hot. That rule has served me well over the years.

Dave & Marilyn - Southern Wisconsin
1985 33' Pace Arrow "Titanic", 454+.040", Thorley Tri-Y
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