Rear hub bearings

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Windy1
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Rear hub bearings

Post by Windy1 » Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:19 pm

It strikes me there must be some better bearings available for the back axle. The current ones on mine are single taper bearings with the preload set with a shim between the backplate and axle casing. It has a grease nipple point to grease the bearing and there is mess everywhere including inside the drums. I have some classic fords which just use a sealed ball bearing and no need for a shim. Are these available for the 4ha does anyone know?

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Post by David Tew » Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:04 am

Sounds like a good idea but I don't think you could use single ball bearings as they wouldn't take the extremely high lateral loading.

Don't forget that the preload is set across both half-shafts so the bearings share the lateral load. You couldn't easily do this with sealed bearings, taper or otherwise.

If you have grease or oil inside the drum then you have a seal gone, someone has been overzealous with the grease gun or the relief hole is blocked.

A bearing expert might pop along soon and tell me the above is wrong. However, personally I like to see the grease pop out of the relief hole when you grease the bearings. It gives peace of mind. :D


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Post by scimjim » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:38 am

Exactly as David says - the 4HA is pretty robust if setup and maintained properly. Like most axles (including the Ford 9" and English axles) it uses taper bearings for lateral location (I think they are sealed on the Ford axles).


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Rear hub bearings

Post by Windy1 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:52 pm

David Tew wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:04 am
Sounds like a good idea but I don't think you could use single ball bearings as they wouldn't take the extremely high lateral loading.

Don't forget that the preload is set across both half-shafts so the bearings share the lateral load. You couldn't easily do this with sealed bearings, taper or otherwise.

If you have grease or oil inside the drum then you have a seal gone, someone has been overzealous with the grease gun or the relief hole is blocked.

A bearing expert might pop along soon and tell me the above is wrong. However, personally I like to see the grease pop out of the relief hole when you grease the bearings. It gives peace of mind. :D
You mean the shafts touch each Other?



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Rear hub bearings

Post by Windy1 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:54 pm

scimjim wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:38 am
Exactly as David says - the 4HA is pretty robust if setup and maintained properly. Like most axles (including the Ford 9" and English axles) it uses taper bearings for lateral location (I think they are sealed on the Ford axles).
English has ball bearings with seals and no need for preload, hence reason for asking why the 4ha doesn’t have these types



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Rear hub bearings

Post by gtcse8 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:15 am

Windy1 wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:52 pm
ou mean the shafts touch each Other?
Not exactly, there is a semi floating spacer inside the centre carrier that the shafts abut against and the housing holds the internal taper bearings thereby supporting the half shafts at that end, then the outer taper bearing supports the outer end of the shaft and gives allowance for heat expansion when running.
I think you will find the outer bearing for the English is a Very Heavy Duty Deep Groove Race, not just a normal ball race, and the axle probably does not need taper bearings due to its manufacturing design /tolerances. :w
Last edited by gtcse8 on Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Post by scimjim » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:34 am

gtcse8 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:15 am
I think you will find the outer bearing for the English is a Very Heavy Duty Deep Groove Race, not just a normal ball race, and probably does not need taper bearings due to its manufacturing tolerances.
I thought it was a sealed double taper but a deep groove ball type would work as they were designed for fairly light applications - I’m surprised they survive so well in competition with ball bearings though?


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Rear hub bearings

Post by David Tew » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:21 am

Windy1 wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:52 pm
You mean the shafts touch Other?
I'm a bit late here - the Oracles have already spoken! 😄


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Rear hub bearings

Post by Windy1 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:06 am

I’d prefer to get a sealed bearing that means I don’t have to faff about with shims behind the backplate and preload. Does anyone know of a supplier? I’m sure someone must have done a similar mod before?



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Rear hub bearings

Post by Windy1 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:10 am

scimjim wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:34 am
gtcse8 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:15 am
I think you will find the outer bearing for the English is a Very Heavy Duty Deep Groove Race, not just a normal ball race, and probably does not need taper bearings due to its manufacturing tolerances.
I thought it was a sealed double taper but a deep groove ball type would work as they were designed for fairly light applications - I’m surprised they survive so well in competition with ball bearings though?
Standard English is a narrow bearing and it’s a ball type. No one uses English successfully in competition, they just fit an atlas with fully floating setup, unbreakable.

There’s no need for tapered bearings on a road car, especially on a scimitar



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Rear hub bearings

Post by gtcse8 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:38 am

Windy1 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:10 am
There’s no need for tapered bearings on a road car, especially on a scimitar
:w Bold statement.
I can feel a "Here we go again " moment.
I am ducking out of this thread :roll:


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Rear hub bearings

Post by derekoss » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:12 am

I don't know what the problem is.
New bearings on the halfshafts and a few hours (certainly no more that four!) will set that axle up for 100k miles and more.
A shot of a good quality (not synthetic or high temp) once a year is all that's required.
It's my experience industry wise that sealed bearings eventually run with metalic "grinding paste" or "dry grease" as a result of wear which of course quickens because of lack of cleaning and relubricating ability.
That's quite apart from the axial and radial load capacity that tapers offer.

Derek



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Rear hub bearings

Post by Windy1 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 7:39 am

People have suggested there is a requirement to butt the ends of the shafts to the diff and set up a clearance at the ends of the shafts. I have studied the owners manual instructions and there is no mention of this. The thrust of the side gears looks to be taken up through the thrust washers which I can’t see being limited by movement from the half shafts.
So in summary the side gears are free to move in a sliding splined joint at the end of the shafts, well that’s what it looks like to me.

Can anyone who has taken the diff apart confirm this please?

The only clearance setting to be done, which is mentioned in the manual I have, is at the wheel bearing end and this is to make sure the taper bearings at the end of the axle tubes do not have any slop in them.

If you were to fit a sealed deep groove ball bearing in place of the taper bearing and shim it exactly so that the outer race is held firmly in the axle tube as I see it would solve the faff of lubricating the old style bearing through the grease nipple. It would be a fit-and-forget setup just like an English or Atlas axle in a Ford.

I’m going to see if some identical sized bearings exist next then go from there.

If these aren’t available then I’ll just have to buy the original taper bearings and seals and fit these.



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Rear hub bearings

Post by David Tew » Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:23 am

:bh An excerpt from the official Salisbury manual and my last post on this topic!
Salisbury axle.JPG
Salisbury axle.JPG (53.72 KiB) Viewed 107 times


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Rear hub bearings

Post by rebel alliance » Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:36 am

I think on balance i would really rather spend about about 5mins every year sticking a bit of grease in then takeing the axle apart to fit non standard bearings in a proven high quality axle 😀



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