Ball Thrust Bearing Installation Guide (Steps & Cautions)

Ball thrust bearing is a kind of rolling bearing for axial load, its nominal contact angle is greater than 45°. There are 3 parts composed of the ball thrust bearing, they are shaft washer (upper washer), housing washer (lower washer) and bearing cage with steel balls. Usually, the shaft washer is a little bit smaller than the housing washer in diameter, and the cage is the same diameter with the shaft washer one. This article will walk you through the knowledge of ball thrust bearing installation.

Ball Thrust Bearing Installation Steps

Usually, the ball thrust bearing installation steps are: install the lower washer, and then the cage and bearing steel balls, at the last one is upper washer. The upper washer can fix the axis and rotate with it. Here are the steps in details with pictures demonstration.

Step 1: Prepare one set of ball thrust bearing parts, including lower washer, upper washer and cage with steel balll assembly.

thrust ball bearing parts

Step 2: Place the lower washer / shaft washer (in practical application, this part is close to the stationary part) as shown in the following picture.

shaft washer installation of thrust ball bearing

Step 3: Install the cage with steel ball assembly above the lower washer (shaft washer).

thrust ball bearing installation cage

Step 4: Install the upper washer (housing washer) as shown in the following picture.

housing washer installation of thrust ball bearing
Step 5: A simple ball thrust bearing was installed completely as shown in the following picture.
installation completed ball thrust bearing
The fitting of thrust bearings with axis in general is for transition, and fitting of the ring with the bearing bore is clearance fit. Therefore, this kind of bearings is easier to install. Bi-directional thrust bearings shaft spring should be fixed on the axis to prevent relative rotation to the axis.

Ball Thrust BearingInstallation Tactics

In generally, it is the circumstance that the axis rotates. So, the fitting of inner ring and axis is interference fit, and the fitting of outer ring and bearing housing is clearance fit.

Common Errors During Ball Thrust Bearing Installation

The ball thrust bearing mainly bears the axial load in the operation. There are still errors occur in actual repair even though the installation is relatively simple. The most common error is the incorrect installation location of the locking ring and the loose ring, and such leads to the useless of the bearing and causes the faster weary of the wear-out of the bearing journal.

Cautions When Installing the Ball Thrust Bearing

1. Distinguish between the bearing locking ring and loose ring (Judging in accordance of the bearing inner diameter, their diameters differ 0.1 to 0.5mm).

2. Distinguish of the stationary part of the mechanical parts (that is the no movement part).

3. In no circumstance, the bearing loose ring should be always close to the face of the stationary part.


You have walked through the whole guide of the ball thrust bearing installation. If you still have any question regarding the ball thrust bearing installation, just contact us, our engineers will help you to solve the problem.

Fitrun Bearing is a professional manufacturer of miniature thrust ball bearing with 20 years bearing manufacturing experience. We have huge stock for some of the most used miniature thrust bearings, and they can be shipped within a very short time. We can also customize the bearing to fit your special applications. Please contact us get a free and quick quotation for your custom thrust ball bearings.