I want to do a spring perch roller conversion. I've searched several distributors and finally found one that can supply a needle bearing with an inner hardened race that will fit into the stock perches' existing tube and use the existing shaft -- 1 3/8" O.D. for the bearing, 7/8" I.D. on the inner race (I think those are the correct dimensions of the perch, can anyone confirm that for me? Thanks!) The bearings would be press fit onto the shaft and into the tube.
The bearings are 1" wide with an 11,100 pound static, and 5,800 pound dynamic load rating. They also make .75" and .5" bearings with somewhat lower ratings.
These cost a fair bit more than the ball bearings (the inner races are what get pricey) but they would spread the load over a vastly larger bearing surface - almost a full inch on at least two rollers per each bearing (2 bearings per perch, so at least four rollers). Also of course there would be no need to cut the perch and weld in a new pipe.
One downside is that needle bearings (at least these) are not sealed, they would need to be greased on an ongoing basis.
Just wondering what you guy's (and gal's) opinions are of using a needle bearing instead of a ball bearing?
Thanks, that is good information to know. Since the cars use needle "type" bearings for the spindles I thought they would good for the perches, but your comments suggest that they may not be a good choice. What do you think of regular ball bearings in this application? Or are bronze bushings better to deal with the repetitive shock load?
A better comparison would be the use of needle bearings as rear axle bearings on some products, notably vintage GM products IME. This bearing arrangement is one of the first things changed when converting the axles to racing use, and those needle bearings are much larger in diameter than what I believe you are proposing.
Angular contact (or tapered) needle roller bearings, as used on automobile spindles, are quite strong. You'll note a substantial difference in the diameter and diameter vs length in such bearings, combined with a different load characteristic. I have very little trouble with such bearings.
Personally, I'd use a greaseable sintered bronze bearing arrangment, if a non-OEM solution is desired.
There are composite solutions, but I'd have to investigate further to make a recommendation.
Perhaps some VMF'ers will chime in with their experience. I'm only familiar with such uses in racing environments, so perhaps that's a bit extreme.
A Ford bushing I have is 1.135", for the inside of the sleeve, the aftermarket perch I have is 1.240".
I looked at a set of needle bearings when I got started making roller perches. The bearing shop I went to had the bronze bushing, the needel bearings and the sealed bearings. Not having to grease them and keeping road grime out of there was a plus for the sealed bearing. The rating was a bit higher too at around 15,000lbs each, though it is a lot more work to put the sealed bearing in there.
Anything to free up the spring perch will be a big help. The cars drive much better without a solid rubber bushing spring perch.
well u-joints use needle bearings and i imagine they take a lot more abuse that the spring perch would although in a differnet manner. i personally would like to try the needle bearings myself since i don't have a welder to John's mod with the sealed bearing nor do i have the cash to buy a set. if you have part #'s could you please post them? thanks
69 GT coupe 351-4v restomod in progress
I would not believe so. The purpose of the needle bearings in a U-joint is to allow motion in a manner that relieves the force relating to the angle between the two units. It does not get a shock like full front loads finding an especially deep pot hole. That kind of strike to a U-joint would result in sudden death or severly shortened lifespan. Basically needles in a U-joint just "get out of the way" of the force instead of dealing with the brunt of the load. The cast center of the U-joint does that part.
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67 conv. 289 4spd(mine), 67 coupe 289 Export(swmbo's)
The BNDSCE-1816 looks like a possibility. HOWEVER - it appears the repo and the original perches are different sizes, so before trying to order these you'll want to measure whatever perches you plan on using.
This website does not list an inner race for this bearing. However, when I called a local bearing place (after calling multiple distributors) I finally got a quote for a bearing that matches this one's description, that had a matching inner race of the correct size. I did not get the part numbers with that quote though.
The bearings are fairly low cost (around $10 for the 1", less for the smaller ones). The inner races are fairly expensive, almost twice the bearing cost! So it would not be a cheap conversion if you went with the 1" bearings.
Based on Pat's comments I'm leaning towards the bronze bushing approach.
I have needle bearing perches on my 67.
My car is a garage turd. Opentracker has taken his roller bearing setup to the track a flogged it repeatedly. And he has checked on his perches so he knows they hold up pretty well. my setup is as yet untested, and I wouldn't really recommend someone copying mine until I had put a signifigant amount of miles (or race time) on them and inspected them.
I didn't find any such bearings that would fit both inside the perch and also on the shaft. I ordered the closest I could get that fit inside the housing from McMaster-Carr. But the shaft I had to turn down on the lathe. I ordered the hardened inserts too but I felt if I used them I'd be turning down the shaft enough that it's strength would be compromised. Instead I did my best imitation of a "ground" finish on the shaft (I don't quite have the tools to do real finish grinding) and then heat treated the shaft.
I posted pics of all this maybe six months or a year ago (CRS). They're untested, unproven, and so I can't recommend them to anybody. I had fun making them though and they came out really nice. Doing stuff like that is why I own my Mustang. If they don't work out, then I'll make a set like Opentracker's. No doubt I will enjoy doing tha too.
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