[Healeys] Existential Question on Bearings

Peter & Veronica greylinn at ozemail.com.au
Fri Aug 11 03:07:06 MDT 2017

...something else to be careful of with front wheel bearings on BN1s which 
have ball rather than roller bearings: They are a special type of ball 
bearing - angular thrust bearings - which are able to deal with the forces 
induced by cornering. They have a bigger cage lip on one side and are marked 
"thrust" on one face - these faces have to go towards the cone shaped spacer 
between the bearings. At least one supplier here in Oz who should know 
better sells regular ball bearings as wheel bearings (the ones I got were in 
packages labelled "Triumph TR6 overdrive annulus" Norman Nock wrote one of 
his tech tips on this subject.

Peter Linn

-----Original Message----- 
From: Bob Spidell
Sent: Friday, August 11, 2017 3:24 AM
To: Healeys
Subject: [Healeys] Existential Question on Bearings

We've all probably lost a few of ours due to the state of the world, but
I'm referring to the important ones; i.e. wheel bearings, hub bearings,
gearbox bearings, etc.   I'm fixing to clean, inspect and repack my
front wheel bearings in the coming days, and I'll likely be faced with a
decision.  I don't recall exactly when I last checked them, but it
probably was 50K miles or (much) more.   The 'existential question?'
Well, should I replace the bearings on principle--even if mine have
given many years and miles of faithful service, and will probably appear
pristine--on the presumption that they have a limited lifespan and are
getting closer to that limit?

Years ago, this would be a 'no-brainer,' as the younguns say: Given the
time and effort required to remove brake calipers/drums and pull the
dust cover, cotter key and big nut, I would have probably replaced
bearings and races, especially if they had 100K miles or more on them
(even with the hassle of getting end float correct).  Now, I don't think
that's a given since the quality of parts is more suspect than ever.
Last time I replaced my rear wheel bearings--a no-brainer as one was
obviously toast--the new ones from Moss came labeled 'Made in Italy.'
That was scary enough--although the Italians are known for some pretty
cool engineering and design--but I suspect anything I can buy now will
possibly (probably) be labeled 'Made in China.'   I'm sure, someday,
China will produce quality products--they may even come up with some of
their own, instead of buying/stealing IP from the US and Europe--but I
don't think that day is here (lest you think I'm just being my normal
bigoted self, I once had an airplane partner who was in charge of QA for
iPhones being built in China--suffice it to say you wouldn't want to
expose small children to his stories--and I happened to be working a
contract for Space Systems Loral when they got busted for, uh, 'lending'
missile guidance technology to the Chinese*).   I don't know for a fact,
but I suspect even once-trustworthy name brands like Timken are
'offshoring'--a nicer-sounding word for sending local jobs
overseas--some if not all of their production.

So, when I remove and clean the bearings, and closely inspect them and
their races, do I replace them 'on principle,' or put the old ones back
in after thorough cleaning, inspection and repacking?



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