Finite element analysis and corresponding experimental comparisons of temperature were performed to investigate the thermal behaviour of spherical plain bearings with self-lubricating fabric liner. Based on the theory of heat transfer, tribology and composite material mechanics, a sequentially coupled, 3D, thermo-mechanical finite element analysis model of the bearing system was built up, in which the steady-state temperature distribution from the thermal analysis was applied as a body load to the structural model. As a result, the maximum steady-state temperature of 78.1°C, von Mises stress of 299MPa, displacement of 0.0806mm along Z axis of the bearing are presented, together with the maximum contact pressure of 324MPa which are significant in the structural design and optimization of these bearings. The effect of temperature rise on the contact pressure distribution is discussed. The agreement of the temperature computation results with the experimental data indicates that this method could be used to analyze virtually any such bearing.