I'm making a 1 seater vehicle. The rear axle is split into two drive axles both of which are supported on a set of a couple ball bearings mounted to the frame with housings like the following:

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I probably should have gotten roller bearings designed for axial loads but I hadn't thought of it at the time and now is a little bit too late for changes.

I've done a couple of test drives and things seem to be going well but it keeps bugging me - would it be possible for the bearings to pop out of the housings in the case of an extreme axial load? I can't really imagine what would cause it, but let's assume theoretically.. I'm mainly concerned because the bearings were quite easy to rotate (axially?) in their sockets prior to mounting them, I hadn't been able to take them out but having them rotate in there so easily is not very reassuring.

Some details that might help approximate the probability of the above occurring:

Vehicle maximum weight (+ driver): 200kg
Drive axle length: 0.45m
Drive axle diameter: 20mm
Top speed: 40km/h


2 Answers 2


No they won’t just “pop” out.

The bearing surface is curved as is the housing inner surface so the bearing can adjust its alignment.

One side usually has two slots to allow the bearing to rotate and then be able to be removed but that won’t happen when a shaft is in the bearing.

If you had researched how hub bearings are designed you may have considered taper roller bearings as better able to support axial loads but the ones you have may be ok however, the wear rate may mean you replace them more often.


Here are a few designs of ball bearings FYI. All balls are well secured and aligned securely.

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