I have a 53 Chevy 3600. I am having a heck of a time trying to find the front wheel bearing upgrade for the 3600 3/4 ton trucks.
Can anyone help me out?
Why "upgrade" a design that has worked well for over 75 years? The myth that tapered roller bearings are somehow better than ball bearings doesn't have much proof behind the fantasy. If you simply must make a change just for the sake of following the crowd, find one of the progressive size charts that all bearing manufacturers publish and do some measuring of the original bearings. If you can find an outer bearing race("cup")that will fit the bore of the hub, a good machinist can make an adapter sleeve to make the "cone" fit the spindle. You'll also need to find a grease seal that can be fitted to the hub, and have a sleeve made for the seal lip to ride on, since the original equipment ball bearing has the seal surface built into it.
I upgraded my 49 150’s wheel bearings by packing them with new grease from the latest century. 72 years old and look absolutely perfect 👌. I regularly cruise at 70mph for hours with zero issues.
If what I have in my truck is the way to go, I will just keep what I have. If it ain't broke, I'm not gonna change anything. It's always good to know what's good or bad. And I thank you both for the information.
I looked into that as well on my '53 3600 with no success my bearings an races were in great shape so that's what is going back in.
If I have to replace a bad set of ball bearings, I buy roller bearings as replacements The new ball bearings are priced a bit high.
The last two trucks I changed out, I went ahead and bought the hub/bearing/seal kit. They are nice, and all you need to do is pack the bearings and install the hubs.
No hammering out old races required.
Hotrod Fully agree with your take on bearings,need to leave em alone mine are over 70 yrs. old now . run good !!
Two years ago had to do some work on an Audi, the owner wanted the wheel bearings changed. Perfect ball bearings and it was a newer auto. The Allied Forces found late in WWII that if we concentrated on the ball bearing factories in Germany we could bring them to their knees. My 1940 Plymouth truck has perfect ball bearings that I don't believe were ever changed according to the original owner. Nuff said. Doc.
Roller bearings must be cheaper to produce than ball bearings. I have to think chopping a long rod into pieces is easier than making a perfect sphere. I've always thought that's the reason behind the shift to rollers.
All the bearing information we need to know is available in books, on the Internet and in classrooms in engineering schools.
The different type bearings are engineered for a purpose (or application). It requires the effort to study.
Be skeptical about the media hype, magazines and the "hot new" stuff you read about.
You can get sidetracked into buying something you don't need or worse installing something inferior.
I've always been just a bit suspicious of anyone who proposes to solve all my problems by selling me something. There might be a possibility he has an ulterior motive, like transferring my money to his pocket, for instance!
A lot of big truck “hub assemblies” that are replaced as a unit are still ball bearings. Front of my passat is ball bearings and i have replaced them once or mabey one side twice but its got 400k miles on them. My 49 is still on its originals but it did have low mileage when i bought it. I dont think a lot of those old trucks really drove all that many miles before being replaced or parked indefinitely.
I think that the only real difference between the bearings is that ball bearings are noisier as they get older.