On another thread, a poster said "....and the Hyatt wheel bearings, both low quality design elements."
This was in regard to a comparison of roller bearings vs. ball bearings as outer axle bearings. I thought Hyatt roller bearings were a much better choice, spreading the load over a wider area than the point contact a ball bearing makes.
With my limited mechanical abilities (I can change oil with the best of them), I thought I'd ask for your opinions. Below are drawings of each system. The roller bearing system is of the 1907 Ford Model K:
ball bearing diagram:
I realize there may not be just one correct answer. Thank you for any information or comments,
On some cars, you can sustitute the ball-bearing for the Hyatt bearings. A sealed ball bearing can prevent lubricant running out to the brakes and, of course, negate the need for grease. I don't know if this is done on T's, but is common on other old cars.
I have a "stack" of sealed ball bearings in one of the axles of our 13 T. However, it is the same length as a Hyatt bearing, so I believe it spreads the load across the same length of the axle as the Hyatt did.
As a friend mentioned to me today (after reading this) a Hyatt roller bearing also has a little "spring" to it, possibly giving more flex than a ball bearing. If you notice the ball bearing diagram, it seems to me all the weight and shock will be delivered to the width of the race of a somewhat narrow (compared with a Hyatt) bearing. And this is a heavier car than the comparison Model K Ford too.
As it turns out, car maker pictured above made a change to tapered bearing by 1909, so something must have prompted them to do so.
Every automaker changed to ball bearings eventually, and most cars today have sealed ball bearings on the rear axle, with tapered roller bearings used on front wheels. Meanwhile, none use hyatt type bearings.
If hyatt roller bearings were better it would be the dominant bearing today. Ball bearings were much more expensive than hyatt roller bearings in Model K times.
Hyatt the company made all sorts of bearings, not just what we call hyatt roller bearings. The company was purchased by Generic Motors some time in the 1980's I think.
Of course Rob I understand that you will go to any length to try and find something - anything - about a Model K that is better than anything I claim to be better.
Please, continue to research the Hyatt bearings vs ball bearings idea du jour. It is fairly amusing.
How about the use of phosphor bronze main and rod bearings? Any comment about a carmaker sticking with that technology while Ford advanced to babbitt bearings? Might that be the reason so many Model K remain today in proportion to other superior cars?
I thought it interesting the other carmaker switched to a tapered roller bearing in 1909, guess they didn't know staying with ball bearings was the way to go.
And General Motors did buy Hyatt, in 1916.
Ford used a Hyatt roller bearing in the rear hubs through 1948. A ball bearing, I think is easier to seal and less expensive to make. As to my preference, I like the tapered roller bearing, although I regret that Hyatt, and their GM brother, New Departure are no longer in business. Speaking of New Departure, their bicycle coaster brake was the most reliable and trouble free. The brake was a steel multiple disk unit similar to the Model T clutch. However, in cold weather, you had to jack up one wheel so you could pedal your bike.
Phosphor bronze engine bearings were indeed a poor idea on the early Pierces. They tend to capture carbon and then you have to grind the crank a lot during rebuilds to get rid of grooving. They would not have caused early engine failure or a lack of reliability, the big issue is what damage they caused to the crankshaft over time.
Babbitt bearings tend to wear out and not capture debris in the process. Usually that means the crankshaft is in better shape at rebuild time.
I doubt anyone would have noticed a difference in the first 100,000 miles between either type of bearing, given adequate lubrication and oil changes.
Thanks Ted!! Bud.
Footnote to Ted's info about Hyatt & New Departure..."back in the day" (overused phrase at best) New Departure-Hyatt as we knew it, was located 8 miles north of me in Sandusky Ohio. In its heyday, it was the largest employer in Erie county, at over 4,000 workers. Three shifts, non stop, full bore. Then the Asians and the Unions basically ruined it. Now the plant is occupied by what I believe is some Asian outfit, KBI,$12/hr. jobs vs. $26/hr, and of all things, 6 acres of the N.E. corner of the plants property was sold off to...a HONDA dealership! Talk about a slap in the face. And we still musn't forget the huge American Crayon Co. plant half a mile north of New Departure that closed years ago to go to Mexico, the highlight being that this plant produced all the little wooden boxes that make up our coils, since 1914. They are in the process of tearing that plant down as I type, I posted a few pics of it a month ago. Seemed no one was interested. I think it's a crime.
If I understand Royce's reasoning, he's stating that either bronze or babbitt would deliver the same, or similar, service life but, in the case of bronze bearings, the crankshaft might be "toast", whereas the babbitt bearings would be worn out but the crank would live to turn another day, (so to speak).
If this is the case, I suspect it would not have been cheap, or easy, given the lack of spare crankshafts after the demise of Pierce Arrow, to rebuild a P.A. engine. While, on the other hand, rebuilding a K engine would be relatively easy and cheap, with K parts available from Ford.
Perhaps this is why there seem to be more K's surviving than P.A.'s?
(The eventual lack of other P.A. parts would have also added to poor survivorship as well.)
Generally speaking, ball bearings handle less radial load but can turn at higher speeds.
Tapered roller bearings handle higher radial and axial loads than ball bearings.
Bronze bushings are generally for slower applications.
These attributes may explain the engineering decisions by automakers.
In my 25 years of buying, selling and designing power transmission products for end users and manufacturers, bronze has rarely been a consideration when long life is needed.
Again, these are generalities. The application is the final determining authority on all things engineered - grin.
As for New Departure/Hyatt bearings (or any other obsolete/unavailable brand) - if anyone out there has a need for them, send me the part number (actual brg number not the Ford Model T part number).
I can often source very hard to find, new old stock bearings for very reasonable prices - almost always cheaper than can be had at the bearing houses.
Pierce was making six cylinder engines long after the Model K was discontinued by Ford. In fact, there was a six cylinder Pierce ( typically a new one every 4 years) in the White House fleet for presidential transportation.
There would have been no problem buying replacement parts for a Pierce through at least 1938. I doubt anyone would have been driving a 1908 or earlier Pierce by then, except in parades.
"There would have been no problem buying replacement parts for a Pierce through at least 1938."
Yes, I believe you're correct there. My apologies, for some reason I was typing Pierce while thinking of Thomas. That's why I tend to stick with Fords, easy to remember. Carry on...
Jerry and Royce,
I agree, the reason for some marquees not surviving may have been a shortage of replacement parts due to the brand not surviving. That is one of the reasons I chose Pierce Arrow for my comparison (the company did survive long after the tenure of the Model K).
There must be a good reason for the disparity in surviving numbers (or a few specific reasons).
If you noticed on one of my other threads, I posted comments by forum posters, and a common theme was the assumption that more Pierce Arrows survived than Model K. Of course, as we now know, the opposite is true.
"most cars today have sealed ball bearings on the rear axle, with tapered roller bearings used on front wheels."
A coupla years ago, for grins, I disassembled a front hub from a front wheel drive Chev mini van. It bearings were basically 2 ball bearing units separated by a built in spacer.
Most of the current Pierce buyers can probably afford to have a new crankshaft made.
For years Continental W-670 aircraft engine pistons were made of unobtainium. I think that some pot maker bought up all of the surplus pistons after the war and melted them down.
A stock broker in Seattle need a set for his Waco biplane and paid a lot of money to get a batch of PMA pistons made. The are now available because of him.
It would be interesting if a reason for so few cars remain due to using material (phosphor bronze, Parson's bronze, etc) now recognized as too hard lost crankshafts and became obsolete before babbitt bearing cars. I suspect the answer isn't that simple, but may be one of several reasons.
Other things I noticed that were different included Ford's liberal use of steel alloys, and one piece hardened steel valves, while Pierce and I'm sure others used two piece cast iron head, steel stem valves?
I'm not mechanically inclined, so don't have an educated opinion, just looking at differences between Ford and competitors.
Rob bases his number of surviving Pierce automobiles on a book printed in 1980. It is tedious to say the least Rob. Tell you what, if you want to play that game, why not limit your Model K research to printed matter dated before that same date. Then you could at least be honest and forthright instead of biased and misleading.
From a Pierce Arrow researcher who was kind enough to help me find numbers. I also bought the book. As I've acknowledged, there may be a few more Pierce Arrows existing than documented numbers indicate. The same may be said about Model K Fords. Bottom line, the survival rate is no where near what it is for Ford Model K. Instead of challenging my honesty and integrity, how about putting up and producing more, or dropping it? Better yet, explain the disparity in numbers existing of each car maker.
As I recall, you were paraphrasing Floyd Clymer comments from books written well over fifty years ago, yet criticize an accredited research piece written in the 1980's. Seems like a bit of hypocrisy to me, of course I'm biased and misleading.