tripple gear bushings conversion to needle bearings

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SurfCityGene
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tripple gear bushings conversion to needle bearings

Post by SurfCityGene » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:03 am

Just to keep the beat going on... I have been very interested in reading each and every post with great interest. Thanks to each. I was also happy to see that nobody was getting beat over their posting!

Jeff. I'm not totally sold on those needle bearings as being better than the original bushings. I trust Dan's expert work and advice but have seen those very tiny bearings not survive what the bushing would endure. YMMV
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Dan McEachern
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Re: tripple gear bushings

Post by Dan McEachern » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:41 am

I'm outa popcorn, BUT- Gene if you or anyone else knows of a case of my needle bearing conversion failing, I would sure like to know about it. The needle bearings have never failed as far as I know, and the reason is they are a 100% engineered solution to an ongoing problem that will never go away regardless of the amount of clearance one gives or does not give to those bushings. This subject eventually drifts toward the metallurgy of the bushing material, Z bronze etc, but never really addresses the fact that a bushing that size cannot develop and maintain a proper oil film to prevent metal to metal contact given the loads involved. I've done the calculations and the numbers don't lie - that's why I developed the needle bearing conversion over 20 years ago, and the original protoptype is still running in a regularly driven car with no issues what so ever. Thanks, Dan

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Re: tripple gear bushings conversion to needle bearings

Post by AdminJeff » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:31 am

I split this topic as there has been so much interest in this conversion it's worth a discussion. I've heard privately from no fewer than 5 folks who swear by it and have been running it their cars for 20 some odd years with great results. The mechanical theory is sound, the triple gear design screams for it, and it just makes sense. Needle bearings have been used for decades in many high-stress applications and especially racing transmissions - ie Formula One (my wife has a Fernando Alanzo transmission needle bearing neckless that cost me $250 in Paris), and this application should be no different. Certainly better than the current bronze bushing that causes so much grief for so many.

And in this case it doesn't subscribe to the "if it aint broke don't fix it" adage - this is broken. It's obviously a bad design from the outset. Witnesses the countless folks who have clearly suffered from this issue, and it's conjecture at best to ascribe all of the the failures to incorrect fitment clearances. Mine included. I was there, live and in person, when we set it up.

Purists can disagree and come to my place and climb my hill in their T every day in low Ruckstell and then see how they feel. Perhaps my application is extreme. So be it. I'm putting Dan's needle bearings in my triple gears so I never need to worry about climbing my hill again.

Jeff
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Re: tripple gear bushings conversion to needle bearings

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:40 am

This post is for new owners of Model T's, so that they may go forward in their ownership of restoration or improvement with perspective of the machinery they are now the caretakers of.

If you want to call a design that was made over 15,000,000 times and survives in extrordinary numbers to this day a "bad design", I think you're being a bit harsh, don't you think? I could say that a wood-hub on a steel axle, which had to be greased every 25 miles, or so, was a bad design, too. And yet that was the state of the art when the Conestogas were crossing America, so was it really a bad design, too?

We tend to forget that we have a 100 year old design, going 2x faster than designed, and traveling 4-5 times more total miles in their reincarnated life than designed. I would submit that the exhausted relics pulled out of barns in the '50's were often totally worn out at 12,000 or fewer miles. Considering their duty as designed was to get from the farm to town. With no highways, only the extrordinarily adventurous went any distance, and when they did, it made the newspapers!

I think Dan's bearings are neat and obviously have a good track record. If bushings were the Root Cause for Jeff's failure, then he's going to be in fine shape. Was that the Root Cause?

I won't work the calculations and will accept Dan's conclusion that the bronze sometimes goes metal to metal (and by golly, that's why it's bronze/steel). Needle bearings may in fact be the "ultimate" in design for this application and maybe the way we should ALL go, but I won't bet on that. Our generation is unusually shortsighted and exhibit unusual and unwarranted superiority over all past generations when we apply today's engineering and norms and look backwards and declare something in the past to be "bad". Sometimes it was simply the best they could do. Wood and steel conquered America, and steel and bronze conquered the open road.

And now we have the technology to improve both. If they need it.
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Re: tripple gear bushings conversion to needle bearings

Post by Henry K. Lee » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:47 am

Needle bearings are far superior than a bushing due to its constant rotation in cylindrical lubrication and changing area of pressure. Some early car manufacturers knew this as well as outboard engine guys.

Just my $0.03 in the game! LOL!

Hank

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Re: tripple gear bushings conversion to needle bearings

Post by Ruxstel24 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:52 am

I believe that these needle bearings will be the trouble free way to go.
This type of bearing is used in many applications now, pilot bearings, internal transmission bearings etc...turning much higher rpm and less lubrication.


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Re: tripple gear bushings conversion to needle bearings

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:20 am

Hank/Dave

If they run on a properly hardened pin that has a proper surface finish and roundness, I agree with you. They are very unforgiving to being run on soft or out of round races (pins). A search of the forum will show that all manner of really bad pins have been foisted on the public over the years, and even now, I understand that of the two suppliers of pins, one tends to be recommended and one rejected by those who understand such things.

I suspect these will be adopted with great success in shops which ensure the above, but will be met with less than stellar life in the hands of unskilled tradesmen.
Scott Conger

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Re: tripple gear bushings conversion to needle bearings

Post by AdminJeff » Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:49 am

Scott_Conger wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:40 am

If you want to call a design that was made over 15,000,000 times and survives in extrordinary numbers to this day a "bad design", I think you're being a bit harsh, don't you think? I could say that a wood-hub on a steel axle, which had to be greased every 25 miles, or so, was a bad design, too. And yet that was the state of the art when the Conestogas were crossing America, so was it really a bad design, too?.
Ok, I should have clarified. Bad design for my application, which may be similar for others. Truly groundbreaking at the time, of course, no disagreement there. And no, not harsh when we all have the luxury of 100+ years of hindsight and want to actually use these 100+ year old machines every day.

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Re: tripple gear bushings conversion to needle bearings

Post by Ruxstel24 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:58 am

A little OT, but I have to say...
Other posts have talked about SCAT cranks and one mentioned 4000 rpm from a T engine being possible. I believe it's true, but I have great hesitation about spinning the 100 year old tech of the Ford planetary transmission at those speeds !!

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Re: tripple gear bushings conversion to needle bearings

Post by AdminJeff » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:20 am

Ruxstel24 wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:58 am
A little OT, but I have to say...
Other posts have talked about SCAT cranks and one mentioned 4000 rpm from a T engine being possible. I believe it's true, but I have great hesitation about spinning the 100 year old tech of the Ford planetary transmission at those speeds !!
I've ridden in Robert Weitzel's T and it threw my head back. I guess anything is possible, it just depends on how often you want to fix it!
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Henry K. Lee
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Re: tripple gear bushings conversion to needle bearings

Post by Henry K. Lee » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:03 pm

Like Robert and Erik, high RPM’s my friend too. Not uncommon 4,000-5,000 RPM’s!

Nothing failing yet!

Hank


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Re: tripple gear bushings conversion to needle bearings

Post by modernbeat » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:15 pm

AdminJeff wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:20 am
I've ridden in Robert Weitzel's T and it threw my head back. I guess anything is possible, it just depends on how often you want to fix it!
And that "T" has a newer (C4 I believe) transmission in it.

Having seen what high revs do to engines every day, and what it takes to build an engine (vintage or modern) to survive high revs, I'm building mine to provide more mid-range grunt. I'll never have the power that the high revving engines do. But I also won't have the headaches.
Jason McDaniel

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