There are a number of ways to press a bearing race onto a wheel and all get the job done in the end, but with drag racers often working with high-dollar, one-piece forged wheels, the quick-and-dirty method of driving them in with a hammer isn’t exactly the best case scenario if a better option exists. And the team at Jerry Bickel Race Cars, citing a need for and demand from the market for such a tool, developed a simple at-home Wheel Bearing Race Installer Tool that works with any standard garage bench vice.
“Instead of driving the races in, we decided we would use a tool that would do more than just press them in, but rather to draw them into the wheel,” explains JBRC’s Steve Klosterhoff.
The Wheel Bearing Race Installer Tool utilizes an aluminum block that rests between the vice jaws and is mated to a vertically-oriented, threaded center mandrel that serves as the spindle for the wheel during the press procedure. To do so, the rear bearing race installer and the rear race as positioned on the mandrel, followed by the wheel itself. The front bearing race and race installer are then positioned above the wheel, and a lock nut is threaded down onto the full assembly. From there, one can utilize a standard box or open end wrench and tighten down the lock nut, thereby pressing the races into the wheel.
Jerry Bickel Race Cars will be selling the press tool as a complete kit in a very professionally-packaged carry-around toolbox, complete with race installers for standard tapered bearings and ceramic bearings, complete with the mandrel and all the tools needed to set up the press in your own garage.
In addition, JBRC is showing off a number of new and existing products, including their new Duetsch Sealed Connector kit to join their popular Weathertight Sealed Connector Kit, along with a new drag racing push-bar assembly. With the more common push bar setup in use by many drag racing teams these days, JBRC created an all-on-one parachute mount that can be installed on new car builds or purchased and installed to the chassis by the end-user with a built-in push bar pin connector. The package is then completed with a telescoping push bar that extends from 52 to 84 inches for easy storage.