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Post by ScaleModeler1974 » Thu May 27, 2010 2:48 pm

Hi All,

Recently I had a bad experience with bearings going bad on my "Crate Motor" which also caused premature wear on my axles.

Lucky for me I have a friend that made new axles and modified my journals for a larger diameter bearing.

I have seen on the ENCO website a cheap ball bearing rated for electric motors......( $2.34 ) I have also seen bearings going for more than $65.00 and higher.

I have seen every topic imaginable here except for bearings.

Any thoughts??

Bearing types, make, model #, price, and your personal experience with bearings feel free to post.
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Re: Bearings

Post by Oilcan » Thu May 27, 2010 4:54 pm

Most of the axle applications I've run into on the outdoor railroad do not require ultra-high precision bearings. If your axle loading falls within the bearing load rating and expected environment (e.g. dust seals or waterproof), you should expect reasonable service life, even from a cheapie. At $2.34 versus $65, you should be able to change out the cheapies about thirty times. So, if you plan to change out the bearings every springtime, you're good for three decades. Since you've had a problem with the bearings, you'll probably be looking at them every spring anyway... so, change'em out.

Those comments go out the window if you're talking about bearings on a gear train or the like. There you'll want to go with a quality bearing in an effort to keep the downtime to a minimum.

I do have several wheelsets that have the axle ends worn down by stuck bearings. The plan is to replace the bearings with ones that fit in the wheel instead of the side frame. It'll allow for larger bearing races which should help with the load ratings and subsequent bearing life. And, the arrangement allows the wheels to turn independent of each other, which should help in the curves. We'll see if that really happens.

Good luck with your rebuild!

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Re: Bearings

Post by tburzio » Fri May 28, 2010 7:17 am

The bearing load ratings in the catalog are for bearings with two surfaces held firmly. When one is not supported, such as when used as an axle bearing, the weight the bearing can handle is derated significantly. These values are available, but you have to get the numbers directly from the manufacturer.

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Re: Bearings

Post by steamin10 » Fri May 28, 2010 1:39 pm

I have some oilite sleeve bearings on some non-riding cars. As long as they get a drop of oil theyare fine. several cars have lawnmower type freebearings, that are tin, flanged and very cheep, down to $.50 each on fleabay. Others I use I buy in bulk wraps of ten or tubes of ten, with shields or seals. and they are fairly cheap too. Watch the amount for count, as I have been shown a tube of ten for $5 and been shipped 2 bearings on a $10 order. Each, is each bearing, or each tube?

Bearings run into class, that is for speed, tolerance and other factors. Look at a bearing book, and you will see charts about fit and finish for bearings. When you get out of pocket sized bearings up into machine bearings, like for a mill head or lathe, you can get one for about $30, and a high precision over $300 for the same thing.

I go cheep, failures are few, and cost is upfront. Just work out the sizes you need. I use cheepy elctric motor rated bearings most often 1/2 bore by 1 1/4 or 1 3/8 OD that fit in my sideframes. They are better in floating axleboxes, as they dont flex much on the axle end, and that must be built in.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
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