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Original Style Wheel Bearings or New Tapered Roller Bearings
#1326083 Fri Sep 13 2019 11:41 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 795
P
Phak1 Offline OP
Jack of all Trades, Master of None
During reassembly of my front end of my 52’ Chevy 1/2 ton, I discovered a single ball bearing in the cage that has a spot that is starting to spall, requiring me to replace the bearings.

So, I am posing the question, should I replace with original or upgrade with new roller bearings.

I was looking at the kit that Classic Chevy offers.

https://www.classicparts.com/1941-57-Roller-Bearing-Upgrade-Kit-1_2-Ton/productinfo/73%2D061K/


Phil

1952 Chevrolet 3100
Project Journals
‘59 235 & hydraulic lifters
“Three on the Tree” & 4:11 torque tube
12v w/ Alternator
Re: Original Style Wheel Bearings or New Tapered Roller Bearings
Phak1 #1326092 Sat Sep 14 2019 12:27 AM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 30,342
ace skiver
I have used original style ball-bearing front wheel bearing assemblies in all my stovebolt trucks.
I have never had a problem,
I check adjustments and grease every year.


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com [1954advance-design.com]
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban [stovebolt.com] - part of the family for 49 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic [1954advance-design.com] - part of the family for 15 years
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engines are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler. [chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com]
Re: Original Style Wheel Bearings or New Tapered Roller Bearings
Phak1 #1326097 Sat Sep 14 2019 12:48 AM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 446
S
Shop Shark
I too have used original ball bearings for years, can't remember the last time I had to change them, even with larger than stock tires that should cause greater bearing stress, never a hint of accelerated wear. I probably installed new ball bearings before the Alaska drive, around 1999 maybe, which is at least 30-40K miles ago. Ball bearings are still good to go!!

HOWEVER, I'd go with roller bearings if I had to change tomorrow, unless it was crazy expensive. Then I'd enjoy my balls and drive happy. grin


2 Chronicles 7:14

1952 Chevy 1/2-ton 3100
Dalton Highway survivor
www.truckwithaheart.com [flickr.com]
Re: Original Style Wheel Bearings or New Tapered Roller Bearings
Phak1 #1326146 Sat Sep 14 2019 03:42 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 795
P
Phak1 Offline OP
Jack of all Trades, Master of None
After checking the prices for original style bearings, I am leaning toward the tapered roller bearings. I can buy the kit which includes the oil seals for $120 from Classic Parts. From the same vendor, the original bearings with the oil seal is $90 for only one side. To me it would be prudent to get both sides as one side has already failed, how long would it be before the other side sees the same fate.

Price always factors into my decision when buying parts but I also know you get what you pay for. I know that more than likely, any bearing purchased from Classic Parts are made in China. Is there an American Made alternative at a reasonable price?


Phil

1952 Chevrolet 3100
Project Journals
‘59 235 & hydraulic lifters
“Three on the Tree” & 4:11 torque tube
12v w/ Alternator
Re: Original Style Wheel Bearings or New Tapered Roller Bearings
Phak1 #1326161 Sat Sep 14 2019 07:41 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 65
R
Van
Better make sure the hubs and or spindles wont have to be changed as well


1959 Apache swb stepside
Atlanta Ga.
Re: Original Style Wheel Bearings or New Tapered Roller Bearings
Phak1 #1326171 Sat Sep 14 2019 09:57 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 469
S
Shop Shark
Try NAPA. I bought my front set about two years ago. I want to say American but not confirmed. They carried both types.
I have 50' 3100.

Re: Original Style Wheel Bearings or New Tapered Roller Bearings
Phak1 #1327444 Mon Sep 23 2019 11:58 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 674
T
Shop Shark
The original ball bearings in my '53 looked like new until a mechanic friend torqued them down with a breaker bar. I didn't know he'd done it until they failed a month later.
I spent the money and purchased new ball bearings. They failed six months later.
I pulled a used set of hubs from a rusting wreck of a '51 in a junk yard for free. They've lasted me years.
I don't know if ball or roller bearings are better, but if they are made in China or of Chinese steel they are all junk.
I have a spare set of free junk yard hubs sitting in my garage just in case I ever need them.

Re: Original Style Wheel Bearings or New Tapered Roller Bearings
Phak1 #1327452 Tue Sep 24 2019 12:48 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 796
D
Shop Shark
The ball bearings have to be installed per the shop manual. Usually that means if you are going to service them, you clean them until spotless, then repack with fresh grease. The best grease to use is what is commonly described as the fiberious grease that was once sold for ball bearings. The grease is more properly described as a high metallic soap grease. I am not aware of anyone who makes or sells that kind of grease any longer but it turns up on eBay once in a while. Very stringy grease.

Once repacked with clean grease, the bearings get installed into their races, with the hub, and then torqued to specification. This seats the balls into the race and puts a bit of preload on the cages. Then the nut gets backed off a specified amount while the wheel is rotated a bit. Following the correct procedure, including the correct torque specification and back off should give you a good long service life.

This is a bit of what I have of the fiber grease. Sticky, stringy, and melts a bit to keep the balls lubricated. Today’s high temperature greases do not do this.

Attached Files

Mike
Re: Original Style Wheel Bearings or New Tapered Roller Bearings
Dragsix #1329005 Sun Oct 06 2019 02:48 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 311
8
Shop Shark
This is the wheel bearing greese I use on my 1948 Loadmaster. It is the closest thing to 'original' as I could find, and I have had no problems with it.
Curt


Curt Warren
Salt Lake City
1948 1.5ton Loadmaster
http://photobucket.com/48loadmaster
Re: Original Style Wheel Bearings or New Tapered Roller Bearings
Phak1 #1329010 Sun Oct 06 2019 03:37 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 82
X
Shop Shark
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1955-59-CHEVY-GMC-TAPERED-ROLLER-BEARING-CONVERSION-BEARINGS-SEALS/281141050900?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

15 mos. ago I bought this set for $59.00, still working well!


Daryl

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