Monster Bearing Race and Seal Driver MST1108A Review
The Monster driver is quite clever and well-built, but it has some limitations when the bearing, seal, or race needs to be deep-seated. And with hub bearings more common nowadays, you might find yourself wanting to use this driver more than you actually can. Still, there are many applications where it will come in quite handy!
It’s been said about many trades that half the job is working and the other half is looking for the tool you need. Even if you’re organized, you’ll inevitably misplace that one wrench size or realize you’re missing an important piece of some toolset – probably because you lent it to someone (sometimes without even knowing it!)
Every once in a while, a tool comes along that spans a broad range of sizes which saves time, space, and doesn’t have component parts to lose. The Monster Bearing Race and Seal Driver is just such a tool, and I’m ready to permanently misplace the nine or ten pieces of my traditional set if it works well.
This clever race and seal driver doesn’t come with much documentation, but it’s not too hard to figure out. It uses a dial to expand and contract three hardened jaws that effectively form three concentric circles. The mechanism forms a range from 18.5- to 89mm, or 0.72- to 3.5-inches. This covers most races, bearings, and seals you’ll encounter.
By finger-tightening the hex head set screw on the shaft, you’ll feel several detents. You adjust the jaws to the appropriate size for the race, bearing, or seal and then fully tighten the screw with the included Allen wrench. Otherwise, it’s designed much like any other driver of it’s kind, with a steel striker on the end of the handle to accomplish the drive. Let’s get some work done.
I think most of us are skeptical of “universal” claims when it comes to tools, but the Monster Bearing Race and Seal Driver really does fit every size – in its range, of course, which is the vast majority of the sizes you’d need. I found the best way to use it was to place the race on the driver, twist the dial to expand the jaws, and then tighten the set screw. You could also use the detents if you know what size you need. Then you’re, well, off to the races.
The driver feels solid and gives you a lot of confidence in its durability. Even after hammering on the steel striker, there was barely a mark. In addition, the rest of the tool seemed similarly tough. I did slightly scar one of the aluminum concentric rings by not tightening the set screw enough once, but that was user error. But keep it in mind: after a career of using race drivers where you don’t have to do that, it’s easy to forget.
I used the driver for rotors and several other tasks around the shop during the review. The Monster MST1108A is undoubtedly well-designed and tough, but it does have some limitations. For convenient, irregular use, it’s an improvement over the traditional set. Although I love the idea of an all-in-one tool, the all-in-one nature creates a “shoulder” that sticks out further than a single driver, preventing the drive from being anything but shallow and the race from being anything but flush with the hub.
Don’t Be So Shallow
If you’ve got a race, bearing, or seal that needs to be set deep, you’re out of luck with the Monster. I also couldn’t use it to install a converter hub seal or many axle seals unless I had just the right set up. Primarily this is bearing race driver – that’s where it really shines. Unfortunately, most vehicles now have hub bearings. Having a bearing race with grease that you have to repack is older stuff. It doesn’t mean the Monster MST1108A isn’t useful, but it might mean that it’s usefulness will wane as time goes on.
So it’s not going to totally replace a traditional set in the Pro shop. At the same time, it will still get some use. It would probably be a great tool for a home mechanic. It all depends on the application, of course, and what kind of work you do most commonly. I like having it around my shop, but I’ll have to keep my regular set for those races, seals, and bearings that need to be set deeper than flush with the hub.
The Monster Bearing Race and Seal Driver is a smartly designed, universal race, seal, and bearing driver that uses a dial to expand and contract three hardened jaws to encompass all sizes from 18.5- to 89mm, or 0.72- to 3.5-inches. But slightly tightening the set screw, you’ll feel detents in the range and by fully tightening the set screw with the included Allen wrench, you’ll secure the size to make the drive.
This driver is quite useful for bearings, races, and seals that fit flush with the edge of the hub. Unfortunately, the design creates a shoulder that becomes a hard stop if the race needs to go any deeper. It really shines as a bearing race driver but there’s a bit of a problem. Most vehicles now have hub bearings, obviating the need for repacking and reinstalling since you just replace the whole assembly. That certainly doesn’t mean the Monster MST1108A isn’t useful. However, Pros likely won’t be able to give up their traditional race driver sets and use it exclusively. If its limitations won’t get in the way of your work, it’s a great tool to have handy.
Monster MST1108A Bearing Race and Seal Driver Features
- Self-contained precision driver
- Easy dial in of the 3 hardened jaws to seat races, bearings, and seals
- No more individual discs to sort through
- Durable, sturdy construction with steel capped striker
- Broad range coverage
Monster Bearing Race and Seal Driver Specifications
- Model Number: MST1108A
- Three step jaw covers a range of OD / ID from 18.5- to 89mm (0.72- to 3.5-inch)
For more information on how to purchase the Monster Bearing Race and Seal Driver, click here.