6 Common Mistakes of Hydraulic Bearing Installation (and how to avoid them)

You've been thinking about installing a hydraulic release bearing in your vehicle. This is a great choice for gaining valuable space in your engine compartment and simplifying the clutch release system. Before you pop the hood, let's go over some common mistakes (with real examples) to avoid for your installation. 

1. Not Taking Your Time with the Install

A hydraulic bearing install is not a simple drop-in Carefully read the instructions and make sure you understand how to install the bearing will save you countless hours of frustration. Read the instructions.  Re-read the instructions. Then watch our tutorial that walks you through the complete process

2. Not Precisely Measuring the Setup

It's critical to have the correct measurements. We provide very detailed instructions and video to help you through the setup of the bearing. A setup sheet gives you the exact measurements you need to successfully install the bearing. You'll need a quality set of dial calipers for your measurements. Take your time and check to make sure your numbers are accurate . If you email for tech support, we will ask you for these measurement numbers! 

3. Not Using Teflon Tape on the Fittings

The inlet fittings to the hydraulic bearing must be installed using Teflon tape. You may think you have a super sealing liquid or other miracle product; don’t fall for it. Trust us, we have personally made this mistake. 

4. Improperly Diagnosing Leaks

Nearly every call we receive involving a leak with the hydraulic bearing can be attributed to the fittings or hose connections. The best way to diagnose the origin of a leak is to hang the bearing under the car with the lines connected and have someone operate the pedal. Pinpoint the cause of the leak precisely using this method BEFORE you contact us. This will save you lots of time that would be lost if you sent us the part without locating the leak. 

5. Improper Orientation of the Bearing/position of the Bleed Fitting

For easiest bleeding of the bearing, the fittings should be angled between the 9 and 3 o'clock positions. Do not point the fittings down. The top fitting should be connected to the bleed line. When you perform the bleed the fluid is forced up and through the bearing, reducing the chance of air bubbles.

6. Setting Too Little or Too Much Bearing Clearance

Let's be frank. Both of these are bad. If you do not set up the minimum clearance of .150”, you are not leaving enough room for the clutch to wear and it could fail prematurely.  Setting up too much gap will cause the bearing to bottom out on the snap ring. This results in non release of the clutch, or potentially blowing the bearing off the piston. Keep in mind – the RAM bearing is a constant contact bearing and once you cycle the pedal, the bearing only returns as far as the clutch fingers push it back. It is always starting right at the fingers.

We have created a specific E-tech form just for hydraulic bearing questions or issues. This starts the conversation so we can help if you have questions or issues. Avoid these traps and you will enjoy your hydraulic bearing installation for years to come!