041919 30631-group-WCS-hi.jpg Photo: Ken-Tool

Pilot Sleeve inserts outperform in independent test

The centering sleeves for commercial trucks are available in a six-piece package and in bulk pails which includes the installation tool.

Pilot Sleeve polyamide wheel centering sleeves from Ken-Tool surpassed competitive products in a recent, independent test of wheel centering devices for commercial trucks. 

The test was performed to replicate the clamping force generated on hub-piloted commercial vehicle wheel/hub assemblies. The test compared the clamping force generated by the OEM-style flange nuts and various wheel centering devices.

“Not only did our product improve the clamping forces produced by the OEM-style nut alone, but we outperformed all tested competitive products,” said Ben Graham, national sales manager of Ken Tool. 

The test was performed by Braun Intertec, an independent testing facility. It compared Ken-Tool’s Pilot Sleeve polyamide wheel centering sleeves to some popular competitive products. 

Specifically, a calibrated 500 ft/lbs. of torque was applied to a 22mm stud embedded with a strain gauge, simulating clamping forces securing a truck wheel to the hub. This was done three times for an OEM-style flanged nut, three times for each competitive product, and three times using our product. All data was then averaged for consistency. 

The sleeves are manufactured to be used with steel or aluminum commercial truck steer wheels, drive wheels and inside/outside dual wheels that use two-piece flange nuts. Made from a highly durable, non-corrosive mil-spec grade polyamide, the sleeves are used to correct off-center wheel stud alignment on wheel mounting holes, which if uncorrected, can lead to out-of-tolerance radial wheel runout. The self-sizing sleeves take up the gap between the 22mm wheel studs and the 26mm wheel mount holes regardless of wheel condition. 

Because the pilots on the hubs of drive and steering axle bearings may become damaged, or lose the OEM specification tolerances over time, the wheel mounting holes may lose the proper position on the mounting stud. This can lead to the out-of-tolerance radial wheel runout, resulting in increased uneven tire wear, reduced fuel economy, driver fatigue, wheel clocking and even loosening of the lug nuts. It may also elongate the wheel mounting holes, which can ruin the wheel. 

The Ken-Tool Pilot Sleeve inserts quickly mount into the wheel mounting holes, using the Pilot Sleeve installation tool. With the wheel and tire jacked up off the ground, and all flange nuts removed, Pilot Sleeve inserts are ratcheted onto the studs and into the wheel hole. Flange nuts are then reinstalled on the studs to the proper torque. When it becomes time to remove the wheel, the sleeves can be quickly removed using the removal end of the installation tool.

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