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Sealed Ceramic Bearings

Sealed Ceramic Bearings

Old 04-15-2004, 07:18 PM
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Default Sealed Ceramic Bearings

Thought this e-mail could generate some discussion about sealed ceramic bearings. It is from Bill Riggins who sold me separate ceramic balls for the diffs on my XXX-S. Here goes...

Bill D

the original group of racers (who pooled funds to buy the unsealed ceramic ball bearings in bulk) have checked into the sealed ceramic. I posted basically what the group found about them on the Starting Grid (copied below). In short, without paying for bearings certified by an ITL (independent test lab) you could get great bearings or you could get crap. Since high quality standard sealed are only $1 each we’ve decided to stick with them for the time being.

Bill R

#1225 of 2156 by Bill R (zoomadic) on Thu Feb 26 02:41:28 2004:

What we've found with the non-sealed ceramic ball bearings is that there are -vast- differences in quality even among the highest grade bearings. The durability differences are caused by different binder (the material in the bearing that is not silicon nitride) and/or a different manufacturing process.

We've only tested grade three balls (the best available) and only two manufacturers (of eleven tested so far) have held up really well. The one we have been ordering from in bulk for the past three years has a zero failure rate and is much much more durable than carbide. The thrust bearings need to be replaced occasionally but some regular racers have been using the same diff balls for years. I know that is hard to believe for those using carbide but some ceramic bearings really are that durable. But then, it bears mention that none of the samples from US manufacturers tested well, and more than one racer had the grade three bearings from Salem and Hoover (both large US makers) actually powderize (disintegrate)
during use.

Jim a couple of the racers that bulk order the ball bearings have tested ceramic sealed bearings in clutches and wheels but not engine bearings yet. One of the things we found when looking into sealed ceramic bearings is that a lot of the sealed bearings being sold as "ceramic" actually only use 1/2 ceramic balls (every other ball). This technique is used since the bearings last almost as long as a bearing with all ceramic balls and it obviously cuts the cost. I have also been told by the manufacturer we purchase balls from that ceramics work best in the smaller sealed bearings (like we use) in a high ABEC "deep groove" format. This would be where they ride in a tight tolerance grooved race instead of on a flat race. There were more that I don't remember, but the two primary reasons given are that ceramic balls don't expand like carbide balls do and the ceramic balls are more durable. We just haven't had that much of a problem with standard sealed bearings so haven't ordered any of the ceramic sealed in bulk.

Bill R
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: "Bill Deras"
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2004 18:37:01 -0700
To: "Bill Riggins" <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: Ceramic Bearing Set question

Bill R,

Do you have any recommendations for a complete set of sealed ceramic bearing (19 or 23) for my XXX-S?

And thanks again.

Bill D
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Old 04-15-2004, 10:01 PM
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OK. So, I will also throw out there a question.

Who has had good or bad experiences with sealed ceramic bearing sets from the various suppliers?
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Old 04-16-2004, 12:10 AM
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I have had 2 seals of Acer bearings come off in my XXX-S. But both bearings are OK and are still in use. In close inspection of 2 bearing the outer edge of outer race has broken where seal is capatured. Causing seal to come off. Outer edge of bearing has broken because of some bad crashes. These bearings are a over year old. My XXX-S fully Acer Cermanic equipped. Diff & Thrust balls are well over year old. And were installed before bearings were. Diff & Thrust balls still run very smooth.
My converted 12L3 (Quad 12) is cermanic fully equipped now too. I had one bearing, non cermanic fail in diff assembly. And one cermanic bearing felt a little rough during the same time non cermanic bearing failed. I oiled it and it now runs smooth. Those bearing are 3 months old. And haven't been in any bad crashes. So now I I'm going to monitor those bearings closer. Specially in diff assembly..

Last edited by akrcracer; 04-16-2004 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 04-16-2004, 09:14 AM
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I have been racing the Acer Ceramic Bearing with the red seals for over 1 1/2 years know in my TC3. I have only had to replace one in that time and it was 100% my fault. These bearings are the smoothest I have seen. They require very, very little maintenance. Since I have had them, I have only cleaned and relubed them twice.
Acer Ceramic bearnings are know the first modification that I do to all my cars.
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Old 04-16-2004, 11:37 AM
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To add to my post Quad 12 diff assembly, I found problem why non cermanic bearing failed in diff. IRS diff half on axle has a pinning hole.There was some unwanted material there. Which caused the diff ring run untrue. So bearings had a unwanted side load applied to them. I have just fixed that. I to will gave Acer Cermanics a thumbs up. Even through Acer skimmed on leaving out every other ball in bearings. Next time I clean bearings in XXX-S, I'll look at bearings without one shield to see if outer race has deep groove in it...
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Old 04-16-2004, 08:23 PM
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Thanks akrcracer and koabich,

I have had the next level down of the Acer Polyamide bearings in one of my XXX-S cars for about 4 months. Their red seals do tend to fall out pretty easily on the 4 big outdrive bearings so I was wondering if that carried over to the ceramic units.

Per Bill R, I do understand that some suppliers are alternating the ceramic balls with steel balls in their ball bearings. Don't understand that Acer would omit every other ball. It may be worthwhile for me to send an e-mail to Acer to get the straight story.

Thanks again.
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