Self aligning bearings help needed

Hi all

So I am trying to find where these bearings need to be to get this to run as smoothly as possible.

whole-axle-diff-gaps-DSCF8092.jpg


This is with the original half shafts and diff in place.

I thought it made sense to buy a length of M17 rod and line all 4 bearings up first and then reassemble as per the picture......
There are a few flaws in that plan !

I found the whole bearing can rotate inside the shell , so I assume that makes them self aligning ?
However as they stand they take considerable force to get them to rotate ?
Is this usual or is this a result of them being stuff under a tarpaulin in a garden for a number of years ?

What is happening is I can get the 2 outer shells bolted up tight and the M17 rod slides easily into them and spins freely.
The moment I try to add one of the 2 inner ones the self aligning won't unless tapped with a drift which is NOT an accurate way of lining them up
So even with the bearing shells just resting on the studs the M17 rod won't come out without being tapped out and does not spin freely.

Should I abandon trying to get all 4 in a line and just line the pairs up and hope the diff can accommodate any out of alignment between
the half shafts ?

Paul
 
It's going to be hard to get more than 2 to align perfectly on the same shaft - Pillow block bearings are only made to deal with some small angular misalignment.
Any sideways or vertical alignment issue with the middle ones, even slight, is going to show up exactly as you describe.

If you could mount them on threaded mounts, so it would be possible to vertically and laterally micro adjust them, it might be possible to get the middle ones in line, but it would still take some tail chasing.
And is the shaft absolutely, 100%, dead-nuts straight? Yet another variable.
Good luck.
 
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Hi Paul. I would think this is a question that Darren would have the most useful input to but if I were faced with that problem I know what I'd do....
Sounds drastic but I'd cut off those two intermediate mountings and make two more out of new straight steel as accurately as you can to match the bearing's ideal positions. Using your rod to align all bearings with the middle two 'floating' on the new mountings I'd then tack the middle two where they are happiest. May mean using shims or even grinding off some steel to let them settle where they want to but get them where they are free and then tack and weld in steps to make sure they continue to feel nice and free.

That cross beam my not be (almost certainly isn't) straight which makes things even more difficult but I know you don't want to replace any more parts than you need to so it's the two welded on mounts that have to make up for lack of straightness. As undertoad says those bearings won't make up for your problems without a bit of help.
I'm enjoying your trials and looking forward to pics of you with the winners trophy!

John
 
Hi Paul. I would think this is a question that Darren would have the most useful input to but if I were faced with that problem I know what I'd do....
Sounds drastic but I'd cut off those two intermediate mountings and make two more out of new straight steel as accurately as you can to match the bearing's ideal positions. Using your rod to align all bearings with the middle two 'floating' on the new mountings I'd then tack the middle two where they are happiest. May mean using shims or even grinding off some steel to let them settle where they want to but get them where they are free and then tack and weld in steps to make sure they continue to feel nice and free.

That cross beam my not be (almost certainly isn't) straight which makes things even more difficult but I know you don't want to replace any more parts than you need to so it's the two welded on mounts that have to make up for lack of straightness. As undertoad says those bearings won't make up for your problems without a bit of help.
I'm enjoying your trials and looking forward to pics of you with the winners trophy!

John
My thoughts too. "New "rear-end for Stormbird". ;-)
 
Thanks for the comments and encouragement.

I generally think of my projects as being a race on flat ground couple laps of the track and past the finishing post , which is always in view.

This SOB however is like running the London marathon where around every bend there is 1 to 5 hurdles set up for you , and instead of
having the finishing post constantly in your sight it is where ? just another bend visible :((n)

I am still looking at having to breaking out the welder to fasten on the missing 3 pieces of the seat mount.

I really think I am not prepared to cut/trim/weld anymore to it , I have other stuff I could be doing that to me is more important ?

Paul
 
If you're still a glutton for punishment, and still want to use those bearings with the original rear frame :eek:, here is something you might try:
It goes along with my suggestion of a threaded mount - Weld some small plates, drilled to fit the bearing base centers, to the FRONT of those two uprights, offset to the outside edges. You need to weld these to the front, in order to have room to work.

Try to get them as close as parallel to the shaft as you can, but don't rend your garments if they're a 1/2 mm off.
Make up some all thread studs / bolts (preferably fine thread), to face rearward from, and be lock nutted through, the plates.
They should be long enough thread to pass through, and be able to take nuts / washers to lock on both sides of the bearing base.
You can then use the nuts to minutely adjust the bearings sideways and vertically, as the bases already have slotted holes for lateral adjustment.

For sure, not a 100% rock solid mounting, but it's just you pedaling, not a 850cc 4 cam engine :)

My wacko-idea for the day ......... YMMV, etc., etc.
 
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Oh my my I'm disappointed. There speaks the man who spent more time getting a python swivel to work than most spend on a complete build!!
Got to say I agree with Danny. There comes a stage where repairing a hopeless case becomes just too much hassle. Surely the overall design, dimensions and look of that car can be preserved while the steelwork is replaced with a more workmanlike build. Once that bodywork is mounted it would look just as it was first created but stronger. faster, better than it was before. The six million dollar racer. (Think I got carried away a bit there).
Maybe you just need some time away from it and a bit of summer weather to get you enthusiastic again. If I had to work outside in British winter weather I'd never get anything done.

John
 
Hi all

I understand backwards is the new forwards , that is comforting 😕

I have found that while these bearings are self aligning they require considerable force to move in the housing , and sitting outside under a cover
has also taken it's toll , this means they have ' frozen ' in their last used position ?
bearing-as-removed-DSCF8133.jpg


So this is how one of them was mounted on the car ! surely alarm bells were ringing as to whether this was ' right ' or not ?
Also the rust is on the Samagaga half shaft a part that looked to be treated to some sort of black finish , needless to say they do NOT slide through the
bearings.

new-grease-DSCF8149.jpg


Next up I needed the diff back together so I slopped some oily/grease in there and lock tighted the bolts back in.

left-half-shaft-DSCF8145.jpg
right-half-shaft-DSCF8144.jpg


Camera is lying a little however this piece of plywood spans the gap the diff needs to fit in.
Notice on left wood touches half shaft the whole distance from the inner bearing to the start of the splines
Notice on right it does NOT , well over 3mm out out at inner bearing.

Obviously I cannot just move the right hand outer bearing up to correct this as the splined portion will just go down out of align.
So I think the left side needs the bearing housing slotting to allow it to move down a couple of mill whilst the right needs the outer down a touch ?

Undertoad I think I have done what you suggest already ?

down-the-length-DSCF8126.jpg


I brought the bolts threw from the front to the back , it makes it hard to assemble as I have to juggle all 4 bearings on without loosing the spacers.
Above you can see a straight edge lying on the lower 3 bolts , in touches them all ....
Except there are 4 bearings and so 4 bolts , welcome to pedal car hell...
right-side-error-DSCF8127.jpg


That straight edge should be resting on the stud not half a nut above it , which makes this bearing out of line with the rest
and the slope seen in picture 4.

At times it seems like the car would rather be rusting in someones garden that out on the street again in the sun.

Paul
 
Ahh, the spark axe !
Seriously, humans get replacement parts to improve mobility, all the time - Titanium knees, etc.
So maybe a rear end transplant would help this elderly construction get down the road with a little more efficiency.
It would not be defeat and retreat, if it can't be fixed as is, but only a strategic withdrawal to a better position.

I even think Sun Tzu may have mentioned something about this, in his famous book on quad racer restoration ........:unsure:
 
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I think the only way to get the bearings in line is by using your straight bar. The diff will have too much play in those half shafts. Maybe oiling and 'working' the bearings in the carriers will loosen them up so they self align without needing forceful intervention. Once your bar is running freely with the bearings fixed in position the diff can go in and MUST then line up.
I still think you'd be able to make a way better job by cutting that crossmember out and replacing it with a straight piece. You could then do all the lining up and fixing bearings etc inside with the unit on a bench where it's easy to get to and in the warm and dry??

PS is popshot ok? I haven't noticed him on the site for some time now.

I've been through an awful time recently and haven't been able to get myself outside to do any garage work but do visit the site of an evening just to see what's going on. If I can get myself together I hope to be building this summer. Thinking of a quad using the mobike wheels I bought last year. At least that's what I have in mind at the moment but we'll see.

Don't give up Paul.

John
 
I think the only way to get the bearings in line is by using your straight bar. The diff will have too much play in those half shafts. Maybe oiling and 'working' the bearings in the carriers will loosen them up so they self align without needing forceful intervention. Once your bar is running freely with the bearings fixed in position the diff can go in and MUST then line up.
I still think you'd be able to make a way better job by cutting that crossmember out and replacing it with a straight piece. You could then do all the lining up and fixing bearings etc inside with the unit on a bench where it's easy to get to and in the warm and dry??
John great to hear from you , I am in a garage and it is tolerable , yes I am going back to the bar and have a plan.
Just need the time to get back to it.

PS is popshot ok? I haven't noticed him on the site for some time now.
Unsure DannyC and I have been awaiting his appearance , we are sure he has more experience of these problems/bearings than we do ;)

I've been through an awful time recently and haven't been able to get myself outside to do any garage work but do visit the site of an evening just to see what's going on. If I can get myself together I hope to be building this summer. Thinking of a quad using the mobike wheels I bought last year. At least that's what I have in mind at the moment but we'll see.

Yes Quads seem to be all the rage at the moment , even Danny ' I've got no room ' Clarke has parts built for one !

Don't give up Paul.
If I could get it in a box I would have posted it to DannyC before Xmas :D just to get rid of it for a bit (y):sneaky:
 
PS is popshot ok? I haven't noticed him on the site for some time now.

The rumours of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.

I too would use a straight bar with the bearings on and them then bolted to new uprights which then get welded to the existing chassis. Check regularly for rotation whilst welding the uprights on and adjust with a hammer if needed. Weld only a little before moving to another upright. You can move an upright by welding too. As weld cools it shrinks and thus pulls the joint. Working with existing uprights is not an approach I'd use.
 
Popshot great to hear from you , we [ the collective;)] hope you are well.
I had a specific question about ' self aligning bearings ' ? is the outer shell very free to rotate inside their housings ?
These are so stiff I cannot move then except with either lots of leverage or tapping with a wooden drift , despite rotating them @ almost 90' to the housing running some oil in and giving them a good wiggle.
Paul
 
Any of these bearings that I've used are pretty stiff - None have been able to swivel around with just finger pressure.
I think that's just their nature - You set them up initially with a shaft, and then they just become stationary bearings after mounting, compensating a little for slight misalignment.
They're not to be confused with rod-end bearings, which look kind of like a similar design, but are made with a looser fit, to deal with constant angular movement.

Your bearing housings look to be aluminum (aluminium), and the ones I'm familiar with were cast iron, but I can't believe that should make any real difference.
 
Tom

Great just what I want to hear. Saved me buying some new ones to see if they were any more free.

Not tried the housing with a magnet , they are hard to file.

Paul
 
Paul I could well be wrong and I'm not about to go out to my shop to check, but I have a feeling the inner ballraces are actually removable!! If I remember you can rotate the races 90 degrees and they slide out (maybe have to slide out using a hammer?). If I'm right, and it doesn't happen very often, you could take them out and clean up the surfaces for a better fit maybe.
I'll check tomorrow and come back for a slice of humble pie.
PS Good to see popshot chipping in.
John
 
Paul I could well be wrong and I'm not about to go out to my shop to check, but I have a feeling the inner ballraces are actually removable!! If I remember you can rotate the races 90 degrees and they slide out (maybe have to slide out using a hammer?). If I'm right, and it doesn't happen very often, you could take them out and clean up the surfaces for a better fit maybe.
I'll check tomorrow and come back for a slice of humble pie.
PS Good to see popshot chipping in.
John

Thanks for the offer , however i have taken a sharp swerve and am now hurtling towards a different solution......

Lets just hope it is not another dead end , the car if full of them.

progress [ or lack off ] will be posted shortly

Anyone would think it does not want to be used any more !

Paul
 
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