South Bend brass cage bearings (SB 16 Lucile)
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  1. #1
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    Default South Bend brass cage bearings (SB 16 Lucile)

    Iím ready to put the apron back together on my 16 inch 1959 SB and Iíve come across an issue that Iíd like to get some help with.
    There are two brass bearings with 6 balls in each bearing that are part of the clutch assembly. One of the bearings- the front one nearest the clutch lever has a few balls that are worn flat (insert pun here). And as you can see from this photo, they are all out of the cage.



    I remember reading something along the way that these bearings were made to spec for SB and are very hard to get. (Ted?)
    Anyway, I was going to try to replace the balls with 5/32 (0.15625) standard balls, they might be a tiny bit smaller than the stock ones - 0.1565 from my measurement of the worn ones I have. My thinking is to mill some kind of custom die for the hydraulic press to squeeze the new balls in place in the soft brass cage.
    Is this folly? If so, what have you guys done when faced with this?
    Lucile is fighting for the last few steps- itís as if she doesnít want to go back to work🤣


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    Give me the ID,OD and total thickness, if they can be found I will find them.

    I am assuming this is a 3 piece ball thrust bearing?? Or is it only a cage and the clutch parts themselves are the races?

    If only the cage then just need the OD and ID.

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    Is this a lever clutch machine? I donít recall seeing this in my star knob apron.

    Glad to see you and Lucile survived Hurricane Florence, BTW!

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    In this case, there are two hardened washers and the brass ball cage
    The hardened washers are 0.095 thick, 0.630 ID, 1.120 OD and the brass ball cage is nominally the same ID and OD but 0.14 thick.
    I appreciate you taking the time looking for something equivalent.



    Barry


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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasutley View Post
    Is this a lever clutch machine? I donít recall seeing this in my star knob apron.

    Glad to see you and Lucile survived Hurricane Florence, BTW!
    Thanks Tom, like you said, I couldíve strapped myself to Lucile. Turned out to be just a lot of rain where I am. The coast got pummeled though.


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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasutley View Post
    Is this a lever clutch machine? I donít recall seeing this in my star knob apron.

    Glad to see you and Lucile survived Hurricane Florence, BTW!
    Oh and yes, it is the lever clutch.


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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by barryw View Post

    I remember reading something along the way that these bearings were made to spec for SB and are very hard to get. (Ted?)
    You rang ??
    Send me an email.
    Ted
    [email protected]

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    Well there ya go!

    Out of curiosity what is the actual shaft diameter they go on?

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    My thinking is to mill some kind of custom die for the hydraulic press to squeeze the new balls in place in the soft brass cage.
    Its a ball thrust! Balls naturally have to be FREE to rotate in cage. Is that the way it will turn out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnoder View Post
    Its a ball thrust! Balls naturally have to be FREE to rotate in cage. Is that the way it will turn out?
    I guess so, but the originals are held captive in the brass cage alone, otherwise there would be balls all over the floor. I guess if you are careful making the sandwich then it probably doesnít matter until the next guy takes it apart in another 59 years🤣
    At that point Iíll be long gone.



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    The cage does ease assembly but it's primary purpose is to keep the balls evenly spaced rather than clumping up in one area.

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    I found a few options depending on the minimum possible bore size(shaft dia)
    And the max possible outside diameter.

    Both of those are cheap and there is one more that isn't.

    can you get away with 1.125" OD?

    If so the easy solution is a needle thrust with the thick washers...see here-

    TRD-118 | Rainbow Precision Products

    Other than the very slight diff in OD the rest works out...the stack comes to .324" thick.

    Moot point perhaps since Ted is on the case.

    BTW- if your races are good and you just want to replace the balls,as long as the balls are a close fit in the holes you can use a small pointed punch to upset the metal around the periphery of the holes to capture the balls and still allow free movement...man, that just sounds bad....but I used to do it all the time at work...man, that sounds even worse!

    But really, works great to kick up a little burr enough to capture them.

    And those are possibly 4mm balls...

    EDIT- well, this pretty much nails it! And really cheap!
    Amazon.com: Buying Choices: TORQUE TRANSMISSION 218 THRUST BEARING TB-62 .625 in. ID, 1.125 in. OD, .342 in. Stack Height, Hardened Carbon Steel Washer, Nylon 6/6 Cage, Ball Quantity 6

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    Wow, Good hunting, thank you. I have ordered a couple of those to see if they will work. Only issue I can see is that the assembly is inside a bore that looks like it might be tight on the 1.125 OD
    Iíve also ordered the loose balls as a back up.




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    it's so close...hopefully it fits, but if it won't go in the bore at least it's easy to take a few thou off the OD.

    Post how it works out,others will appreciate it when they run into the same issue.

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    pondering a bit more...this may be an option also...15x28x9....obviously 15mm is too small BUT normally these things have one race with a loose ID diameter...so given how cheap they are perhaps if you got two and used the "big" races it may slip right on, or there may even be enough meat to chuck them up in a in-situ pot collet and grind the ID to size.

    eBay - Page Not Found

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    Thanks again for that other option. I have already ordered the amazon ones and if they fit in the bore and the stack up looks reasonable, Iíll go with that, if not Iíll try the new balls in the original cage, failing that, Ted has a nos option available.
    Iím trying to keep the cost creep under control. Especially since I now have to start looking into tooling and chucks for the old girl. Thatís why I didnít go for the nos option right off the bat.



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    Quick update on this topic guys, the new loose balls came and were a great success. The old balls popped out with almost no resistance to a tap from a small punch and the new ones went in and stayed in without fuss. I have decided to go with this option since it keeps the old girl closer to stock.
    I wish I had done this to the same style of bearings in the cross slide and taper attachment assembly, oh well, maybe one day. Now I have 90 balls left on my shelf.
    This image shows the new balls installed.






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