The front wheel spokes and felloe were creaking and loose. I decided to have Noah Stutzman perform his magic. When I took off the wheels I noticed that the passenger side wheel had roller bearings in both the inner and outside. However, the drivers side had roller bearings on the outside, but the inner bearing was a ball bearing. I read some previous posts that removing the bearing cup was very difficult. Does it make sense to bite the bullet and replace the ball bearing (it appears to be in good shape), or should I just leave it alone?
I would leave it alone as long as it's in good condition.
Like Jerry, I wouldn't mess with it if there's nothing wrong with it. However, if you decide you want to, they're really not that hard to remove if you have a welder. Weld a bead part way around the race where the ball rolls. When it cools, it will shrink the race and will probably fall out with no additional encouragement.
What Jerry said. I assume this is for your 1913. Actually, the roller bearing cups are easy to remove, if the need should ever arise. It's removing the Timken cups that's a problem with the early hubs, which have no removal notch. Presumably a Timken cup would be removed because it needs to be replaced, so welding a bead around its inside to loosen it is no problem.
When I had Stutzman wheels made for my 1915 I cheated and used 1917-1918 hubs because they have the speedometer flange and holes, but are beefier than the earlier hubs. That allowed me to add cup-removal notches with a grinder. Only a real Model T expert would notice that my front wheels have the "wrong" hubs.
If you do ever have to replace the ball bearings, Timkens may be your only choice, as some of the ball bearing parts are now made of unobtainium.
Ball bearing cups are easily reached with a drift to knock them out. No welding needed.
They're huge compared to Timken cups. An easy target.
I stand corrected. It's been a while since I had to do that. Must have been a Timken I did that on. I do still have ball bearings on one side of her Touring. Thanks for the correction, Steve.
I learned something new today. :-)
I saw Steve's post and toddled out to the shed to check. Sure as grass is green! Speedo flanges and holes on the hubs.
How on Earth have the correct hubs stayed with my '18?
I gotta go out in the woods and look at my junk now.
Thanks for your guidance.
I am confused. I have heard about women with "junk in their trunk", but I have never heard about a guy going off to the woods to look at his junk...
Err, umm, ahh, my Model T junk? I did not see that coming at all... Should've. :-) Open mouth, insert pervy foot. :-)
Eh Hem. I still didn't find the one speedometer drive gear I have and I don't think it'd fit the hub on the '18.
Some of the folks here do claim many thousands of miles on the ball bearings in the front wheels.
Timken bearings are fare superior but if the ball bears will work just fine
Like other said if it works and works well leave them as is
Bearing races will come out very easily if heated red hot for a short distance and let cool. Works the same way as welding on them. That may be a bit easier for a novice that isn't real sure about his welding skills. Dave