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Thread: Bearing Failure

  1. #1
    Weirsdale George is offline Stainless
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    What causes the metal cage of a ball bearing to break up into pieces? Had a sealed rear axle bearing go out on my Kawasaki Mule. The balls and races look good with no apparent galling or pitting. The cage itself is in probably three big pieces and ten small ones.

  2. #2
    Larry Evans is offline Plastic
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    George, we have been experiencing this problem in Chev pickups in the rear ends. The bearings on either side of the crown gear have the same problem. I took one of these apart earlier this summer and found that whoever supplies these rear differentials seem to be using offshore bearings- no number, no company name. They even look cheap. The same day I took the unit in for repair, the diff shop had 3 more with the same problem. The chap there told me that once this happens, the cone spins on the carrier and renders it a piece of junk. It is not thick enough to repair (this is the area where the bearing is pressed on). Funny thing though, they had Timken bearings on the pinion shaft! This truck was relatively new-just far enough off warranty. What I'd like to know, is where in the hell is the quality control people? Seems that they are exchanging quality for quantity! This is not a cheap fix either, $687.00 at the diff shop, and $1700.00 at the dealer.

  3. #3
    Schulze is offline Senior Member
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    Larry does that cause a low speed 7 MPH to 20 MPH bounce in the rear end? My mechanic brother said it may be a bearing. Your thoughts? It is a 95 GMC 1500 3.75 gears if that means anything

    Edit. It does not come through the steering wheel at all

    [This message has been edited by Schulze (edited 12-23-2003).]

  4. #4
    swellwelder is offline Hot Rolled
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    I can't recall bouncing as a symptom of bearing problems. I always think of a howling sound, or maybe a clicking noise, or one side of the unit warmer than the other, but I don't see how a bearing that was still in one piece(so to speak) could make a vehicle bounce.

  5. #5
    Rich Carlstedt is offline Stainless
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    Well I can tell you one thing..if there is no name on it, it is garbage !

    my buddy asked me to help change bearings in his trailer. He picked them up at a xxxxx national chain auto store..
    What crap..I showed him that they didn't even grind the radius (about .312 !) on the inner race shoulder where it goes against the spindle boss that has a .187 radius.
    Thats Incredible..and no name or stamp, only "made in China" on the box...I sent him back and the clerk said all were like that when they looked...????
    he finally went to NAPA and got some Bower bearings...I just can't believe that anyone would sell incompletely machined bearings..
    Heads Up guys !

  6. #6
    Xc
    Xc is offline Member
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    A little o/t:
    Schulze, I heard a shifted belt. Have you carefully visually inspected your tires? This seems to happen alot in the south.?.
    What a topic: I can't believe the crap that goes on the market with only "Made in China" to be found somewhere. They produce alot, but obviously don't give a passing thought to reputation, sheesh!
    Xc

  7. #7
    Larry Evans is offline Plastic
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    Schulze, sorry for the delay, but Xmas has me busy. The rearend bounce does sound like a bad radial tire problem just as xc has said. These tires on pickup trucks don't win any praise from me. I have an older truck with bias ply tires on it and I find that I can run the tread off before the tire fails. I was once running a truck that had Michelin tires on it and the belt in the tire let go and I instantly changed lanes. Lucky for me that there was nothing coming or I wouldn't be here today.
    Rich, these bearings in the rear end that I worked on didn't have the radii ground either- very rough looking. I'm surprised that GM lets this shit out considering what you have to pay for a new truck these days. The old clunker that I have must have close to a million miles on it and I have never had problems like these trucks today. It is a 1969 GMC one ton and it is just like a Sherman tank, but she is starting to show her age. Another 5 months and I will have had her 30 years. She gets used, abused and never lets me down. I do keep things up mechanically, thought.

  8. #8
    Doug is online now Diamond
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    Rich C wrote: "What crap..I showed him that they didn't even grind the radius (about .312 !) on the inner race shoulder where it goes against the spindle boss that has a .187 radius."

    I just checked the corner radius on a high precision Barden bearing. They didn't grind the corner radius. I don't think anyone does, do they?

  9. #9
    Rich Carlstedt is offline Stainless
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    Doug
    you said
    I just checked the corner radius on a high precision Barden bearing. They didn't grind the corner radius. I don't think anyone does, do they?

    Two things, if it isn't "ground" then it must be "turned" before heat treatment. You can tell by the finish. This radius is critical in some applications, like a axle shaft,as the axle has a smaller radius to prevent fatigue of the axle. This was the case with my buddy's axles.
    "Barden" makes the finest bearings in the world IHMO. all their bearings are for precision application and would not normally be used in automotive work because of cost and the lack of need for precision ( sorry hot rodders ! all your auto bearings are bottom of the barrel)
    Second, if they didn't grind the corner, then it was turned, but they still have something of a radius.
    This radius has the most liberal tolerances on a bearing, but the Chinese bearing had a square corner !

    hope I answered this right ?

  10. #10
    Doug is online now Diamond
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    Rich,

    Yes, we're talking about the same thing. My Barden has a turned radius.

    I misunderstood what you were saying.

  11. #11
    Cass Guest

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    One reason ball bearings break up is due to preload being too high or too low. If the races and balls have no spalling and the bearing was adequately lubricated then I would suspect that the bearing got loose in its mounting due to the preloading nut or other device backing off or not being tight enough when manufactured. Rolling element bearings are usually designed to have both races fixed to something with only one race(inner or outer) turning. If something gets loose you get axial motion that tears up the cage.

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