Bearing Woes

Old 08-06-2004, 04:45 AM
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Default Bearing Woes

I bought the RPM Bearing Blaster at my LHS and have taken all the bearings out of my TC3. I'm trying to make it quieter and smoother at the same time. My friend Allan from spent a good amount of time with me today helping me free up my drivetrain but I thought it was probably time for a complete rebuild since I bought the car used on e-bay.

After removing all the bearings, and using the RPM BBlaster, I found that there were 2 that I simply could not fix. They feel horrible, like the balls aren't spherical anymore.

So, what I'm wondering is:

1) Both of the bearings like this came from front hub bearings. Why?

2) I have the FT TC3 Teflon Bearing kit. What advantages do the ceramic bearings have over mine?

3) If I were to replace a few bearings but not all with better, ceramic ones, which would you chose?

4) Is it possible to buy just 2 bearings without plopping down another 100$ for the FT TC3 bearing kit?

5) Is it bad to take out the Teflon O-ring? It was so easy to take off, I have a hard time believing it does much. I know it keeps sand and dirt out but really --- what's the big deal about them?
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Old 08-06-2004, 05:07 AM
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Default Bearings

The TC3 is a nice car, but from what I've seen and experienced having run one myself is that the main problem with bearings in the TC3 is their small size. Associated use small bearings in the TC3 compared to other sedans and at speed they spin very fast and tend to wear out quickly. The bearings on my Xray are much larger and are not affected the same way.

If you need individual bearings then try Boca Bearings or Team Bluestar.
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Old 08-06-2004, 06:17 AM
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The Teflon Beaings that come with a stock TC3 are the best in my opinon unless you want ceramics. They will last forever and require little maintenance and the sheilds will last for a while if you take care of the car.
1) Hub bearings take the most abuse from drivers hitting the wall or other things. These are always the first to go.
2)Ceramics are much smother and lighter. I have the Acer Ceramics and they seem stronger and require less maintenance.
3)It would probably be more expensive to replace several bearings with Ceramics than if you were to buy the entire kit. Either stick with all teflon or all ceramic. If you mix and match, you are defeating the purpose of using Ceramic bearings in the first place.
4)Your LHS should have any bearing you need. So you can just replace those that are damaged.
5)You can take the seal out but the bearing will require much more maintenance, like after ever night at the track. Unless you are an A main driver, leave them in.
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Old 08-06-2004, 11:16 AM
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Hey Donoman, the reason for the teflon shields is that the race, the frame that holds the balls, has little or no friction, with the shields. Take for instance, rubber shielded bearings, you have to them in b/c there is friction between the rubber shield and the race. As far as the bearings feeling "gritty," the balls suffered from thermal breakdown from friction, wear and tear. You can take off one of the telfon shield clean and relube, but when you place it back in, make sure the teflon side is facing the outside, and not exposing the race. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-07-2004, 03:18 AM
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1. The front hub bearings are more susceptible to grittiness because of their small size (as SteveM said, i think xray are onto something with their larger diameter cvd bones/hub bearings)

2. ceramics are bascially all around better, but probably not worth it until you're an A main driver

3. I wouldn't mix and match

4. Yes... i think the part number is 6906 for teflon sealed or 3977 for rubber sealed (could be wrong though). when i get replacements they come in packs of two

5. Like ceramics, probably not worth leaving it off until you are consistently A main... there is a slight drag decrease but maintenance is also a fair bit higher
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Old 08-07-2004, 08:39 AM
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Hi guys,

When I was talking about taking the shields off, I was talking about taking it out----cleaning---then replacing them.

I'd never run unprotected

But what i really wanted to ask was:
If I take out the shield, have I broken some kind of seal and the bearing is now more susceptible than before? These things are very small and I can't tell if the shield was glued in there before or what. I'm amazed I could put it back in and it stays there! It is so thin and light, feels like rice paper or something!

THanks guys bye!
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Old 08-07-2004, 11:51 AM
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It must be a teflon seal. Be very careful with those.
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Old 08-07-2004, 12:21 PM
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if you are going to change just few bearings to ceramics then change those that are closest to the motor first...
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Old 08-07-2004, 12:22 PM
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I think the bearings that wear fast are hub bearings. I would change those before anything else. Just my opinion.
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Old 08-07-2004, 12:30 PM
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if you change the hub bearings you might as well buy a whole set of bearings for your car

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Old 08-07-2004, 01:43 PM
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Hub bearings are always the first to go because of the shock load they get upon impacts with boards, cars, corner marshals etc. Dont be afraid to mix bearing types... the most important thing is that they are free and smooth. I buy my bearings in bulk from Avid Racing... great pricing!
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Old 08-08-2004, 02:58 PM
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Antoher place to look is They generally have some specials running....
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Old 08-08-2004, 04:54 PM
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You can always run the teflon bearings without one shield. Someone mentioned that you just gotta make sure that the uncovered side is "hidden" in the hub carrier. On carpet, you could actually get away with both shields off, but I wouldn't recommend it if you don't pay much attention to the bearings.

The FT teflon bearing kit is pretty darn expensive, but they are a cut above associated's rubber shielded bearings. I have no opinion on ceramic-type bearings, though. Acer's bearings seem to be a pretty good value.

If you're gonna run teflon bearings with only 1 shield, then simple bearing oil will work well. But, if you're in extremely dusty/dirty conditions you may want to use a light grease instead. Stealth diff lube, maybe?
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Old 08-08-2004, 07:10 PM
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How come people call the teflon-shielded bearings "teflon bearings". Aren't they still steel?

Are the ceramic bearings just "ceramic shielded" or are they truly ceramic? I read somewhere they are Silicon Nitride. Si3N4.

What do the ceramic bearings get shielded with?

One thing really weird, I rebuilt all the bearings and found 2 bad ones. But when I put them back in the car, I can't tell that they're bad anymore. U think they really matter?

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Old 08-08-2004, 08:44 PM
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There's ceramic balls inside the ceramic bearings and either have a rubber or metal shielding.
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