Ken-Tool’s Pilot Sleeve Ranks Highest in Third-Party Testing

March 27, 2019

Ken-Tool Corp.’s new Pilot Sleeve polyamide sleeves surpassed competitive Articles in an independent test of wheel centering devices for commercial trucks.

Braun Intertec Corp., a Minneapolis-based provider of testing services, evaluated the Pilot Sleeve.

The test replicated 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 Article improve the clamping forces produced by the OEM-style nut alone, but we outperformed all tested competitive Articles,” said Ben Graham, national sales manager of Ken-Tool.

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 Article, and three times for the Pilot Sleeve Article.  All data was then averaged for consistency.

Ken-Tool’s Pilot Sleeve wheel centering 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. Ken-Tool says 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 (pn 30630). 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.

Pilot Sleeve centering inserts are available in a six-piece package and in bulk pails which includes the installation tool.

Ken-Tool Articles are available through tire industry supply distributors worldwide. For more information visit