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Common Signs of Bearing Failure in Final Drives

bobcat final drive travel motor

Even the best Bobcat final drive motors can experience issues. Whether it's due to the passage of time or abnormal wear and tear, nothing gold can stay, and this holds true for final drive motors as well. Regardless of the type of final drive motor you're dealing with, John Deere, Komatsu, Caterpillar, or another brand, the key to keeping the repair manageable is catching the problem early. The most common type of problem in a final drive motor is bearing failure. Here are some common signs of bearing failure in a final drive.



Overheating Due to Friction



While most people understand that final drive gear oil needs to be checked about once a month and changed annually or after every 100 hours of operation, the gears are not the only component that can heat up. A final drive's bearings are constantly experiencing friction, which is exacerbated by the work they perform. A Bobcat final drive travel motor has to put up with the stress from hauling, lifting and pulling for hours on end. The more friction created, the more heat. If you notice your final drive travel motor is hot enough to sizzle water, you need to get it serviced. The bearings may very well be in danger.



Unusual Vibrations



The bearings of a Bobcat final drive travel motor form an intricate mechanism with many moving parts. If any of the balls or casings are damaged, the other components will be affected. The chain reaction will eventually lead to vibration, and any abnormal vibrating of a Bobcat final drive travel motor needs to be taken seriously. Vibrating is an even stronger sign of bearing failure than shaking. Vibrations happen rhythmically, and the spinning of a final drive with a damaged bearing could be due to the abnormal rotation of a component that depends on the bearing system. Don't wait for the problem to persist before you get help. If it isn't treated right away, other parts of your Bobcat can be damaged.



Abnormal Noises



As things rub against each other, it's natural for there to be some noise. But even though you may hear a variety of noises whenever you operate your machine, you shouldn't ignore any noise that seems out of place. Although noises that seem to go in cycles are fairly sure signs of bearing failure in a Bobcat final drive travel motor, other noises could also be symptomatic of this type of issue as well. When bearings fail, everything they help spin, and all elements dependent on those parts end up moving abnormally. So even if you hear a clanking sound coming from the direction of your final drive, it's wise to have the bearings checked. This could be due to a shaft hitting something it would normally not touch because a damaged bearing allows it more travel than usual.



Grinding noises are a sure sign of bearing failure. While it's true that grinding can come from something else, it nearly always is a result of some type of misalignment. If one part is misaligned, everything else is going to be affected. The rotating components are especially susceptible to damage from misalignment. Therefore, even if you think your bearings are not being affected by grinding, it is likely they will soon suffer damage as a result.



Squealing noises are another common symptom of final drive bearing failure. Nearly anything that is loose due to a damaged bearing is going to make a noise, but often, a squealing noise may be coming from within the damaged bearing itself. Squealing is a byproduct of a high frequency vibration, and the tiny balls and slim casings of bearings love to squeal when under stress from damage.



Regardless of your final drive bearing issue, you will need quality service to get you back up and running. Our family at Mini Final Drives has been providing excellent Quality, Value, and Service for over 50 years, and you can continue to count on us for a lifetime of friendly, helpful support for all your final drive and travel motor needs. Call us today at 877-483-2806 or visit our online store at www.minifinaldrives.com to find and order what you need today for Fast and Free delivery to your door."