I'm considering using the newer sealed type of outer axle bearing (pictured below) on my 25 Tudor rear axle rebuild. Has anyone used this setup, and if so, what do you think. I know they are expensive and all that, but my question concerns durability and ease of installation.
I have used several sets of these over the years, Charles, and just installed another pair in a 1911 Ford axle this afternoon. I LOVE them. Problem is, you need to have the axle apart, because you need to polish the outer couple inches of the axle shafts in a lathe to 1.061" in order for them to slide on properly. Sometimes originals are worn more than that, as they started out at 1.0625" , but don't use those if so. These are precision ground bearings, and need to be fitted properly. If not, you will be pounding on them when trying to install, and will ruin them. I use both the outer and inner ones, and make my own Timken bearing adjustable pinion setup, like the Model A has. The ol' T will roll easier, have more power, and gain an additional 10MPH with all the above installed. Best of all, its completely invisible from the outside. Best, Jeff
You can't beat a good used Hyatt for price or performance.
My question is why. Hyatt bearings work just fine and are much cheaper. Plus they can flex as the axle shafts bend.
Hi Jeff, In my admittedly limited experience, the potential problems with using these bearings come from the fact that most rear axle housings are a bit bent. A good friend has made a fixture to mount housings in his lathe to spin them and check them for run-out at the bearing end of the housings. At least 80%, maybe more, need some straightening. The Hyatt bearings have a fair amount of "slop" in them that will allow for this. These bearings do not. I helped another friend who had trouble with a noise in his rear axle. It had been rebuilt using this type of cartridge bearing for both the inner and outer bearings. Not only that, but new axles, new drive shaft, new ring and pinion gears, and adjustable pinion bearing were used. Turned out the noise was from a broken ring gear! It was hard as heck to get the axle assembly apart due to bent axle housings. which bound everything up! The misalignment had caused the problem. In no way do I mean to disparage these bearings. I'm sure the quality is first rate. Just be careful if you do. On a personal experience note, I've driven at least 30,000 miles on the Hyatt bearings in my '22 touring without one problem. And, if one were to think about it, with 15 million Ts built there have been billions of trouble free miles driven on Hyatt bearings.
Don't forget Ford used Hyatt type bearings at the rear hub till the late 40's in cars.
I think one of the issues Charles may be running into is that good original Hyatt bearings are getting increasingly tough to find. Most of the ones I've found at swap meets are on the bottom end of marginal. Good new correctly hardened sleeves help to take up some of the slack, but that only works for so long. Unless some magical supply of good Hyatts shows up or new ones are correctly manufactured, I may be looking at some sort of alternative down the road for the outer axle bearings.
To find good usable bearings, or anything else, you have to be aggressive, and never stop trying to find what you are looking for, axle bearings, or anything else. They are going to come to you!
Or just place a free wanted ad in the classified section.
This is another T part that would sell if someone would reproduce them like the original Hyatts.
Maybe its because it would be the cost of tooling up to make them at reasonable prices that would be an issue.
Original Hyatts still show up on Ebay from time to time. That's one source.
I bought several that was in a greasy pile at Chickasha 3 years ago. They were still tight and had minor wear. They are where you find them I guess.
Thanks for everyone for the input so far. Guys, my goal is to gather information so I can make decisions concerning parts options. My goal is to make the differential and drive line as "bullet proof" as is reasonable. I feel that if I'm going to take the time to do the job then I want to go the best route that I can. Cost is not my main concern on this project, what is, is doing the best job mechanically, that to me means using the best bearing setups, the Fun Projects pinion bearing, lined brake shoes etc.etc.
In my mind the modern wheel bearing pictured above appears to be a better setup, cost aside, then what was used stock. Is it, or,isn't it and why? That is the information I'm trying to glean from this discussion.
Charles, Why use those instead of the floating hubs?