I am installing the new style pinon bearing on my drive shaft and see where some like the new style bearing and some dont. Should I use the bronze bearing or the new needle type for the upper drive shaft. Thanks - Shane
Bronze,no advantage to the needle there.
It's just like buying87 octane gasoline.
get the one that is cheaper to buy.
Now if you are going to be making long trips at over 60 MPH then I'd go for the needle bearing.
Or else run an oil line to the bushing.
I don't care how fast you drive, the needle bearing is a bad idea. If you look at the back end of the drive shaft, Ford installed a hardened sleeve on the shaft and then the roller Hyatt bearing runs on that sleeve and not directly on the shaft. That is because the shaft is not made from hard brittle steel but from a milder softer steel. It is NEVER good engineering to run a hard bearing against a soft shaft since at the very least you want the bearing to wear out and be the replaceable item and not the shaft but a hard bearing running on a soft shaft will score the shaft and scoring a shaft is the first step toward having it break off. There is very little load at the upper end of the drive shaft so the needle bearings don't do anything that a bushing won't do better and quieter. Bearings are in fact noisier than bushings so if your interest is quiet running the bushing wins on that one too. I make the pinion bearing kit that Lang and others sell and I do not recommend the upper bushing to be replaced by needle bearing since it is of no value and has the potential for mischief. Last ones I saw, somebody had taken the needle bearing housing to a grinding wheel and ground a crude groove in its outer housing. I guess that is to promote lubrication but it sure looks like it would be easy for the thing to have knicked one of the needles and since those bearing are purchased already greased, how do I know for sure where the metal shavings went when the notch was ground into the housing. OK I have said my piece - others may differ and your mileage may vary.
I vote with John.
At the shop we often replaced needle bearings with bronze bushings if a means of lubrication was available.
Bronze is remarkably resilient and we often gained more bearing surface as well.
John R explained it very well, and he is one person of whom I trust his judgement.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
John is totally correct. You never run a hardened bearing on a soft surface.
John,I'm sure glad you agree with me.
Like John said.
original style bronze bush for sure, no question. Listen to John Regan! Like so many other parts on a T that have survived and worked well for 100 years. If it aint broke, don't fix it!!!
Alan in Western Australia
In retrospect., there was once a universal joint available made by a man who used needle bearings in the unit........... a total failure, I know first hand, I had one in the '26 that bound-up from the needle bearings digging in the softer Ford steel.
I had one of those too, Bob. The drivetrain got to shaking so bad I had to replace the Ujont.
I've been using original babbit front bushings in my cars for over 50 years, and haven't had a problem yet.