I'm about to replace the clutch in my '79 F250 (NP435). The new LUK unit came with a pilot bushing. I see NAPA sells a pilot bearing for $10 and I can't decide which one would be better. Bearings almost always run better but in this case grime and lack of lube may be a factor in the long run that wouldn't affect a bushing. Any experiences one way or the other?
You really have to consider it's purpose. It is a guide/support for the input shaft
of the transmission. It only acts as a bearing when the clutch is disengaged, and it has to be fricton free enough to let the transmission input shaft become stopped at a standstill and slowed when the clutch is depressed to shift. I have seen many of both types and to be honest I feel the bushing is perhaps the lesser of a problem. The oillite material the bushings are made of takes care of the lube, and if when a clutch is replaced it recieves a bit of grease it will absorb enought to remain quite until the next one.
A clutch job isn't rocket science and I've done too many of them and know the routine, what grease goes where and how much and I've had a few bushings fail with absolutely no reason that I could figure out as to why.
Is it o.k. to pack the pilot bearing with synthetic wheel bearing grease?
Not supposed to. The theory is, the surface gets hot and the oil runs to lube it. Grease won't run easy enough. :/
I've had my fill of the pilot bushings in my 75 F150 360 T-18. :/
Like AverageF250 said, sometimes the hole gets big for no reason that I can figure out.
I recently switched to a 6303 sealed bearing. Not very many miles on it yet, but so far so good. In my case it sure as heck seems like the 360's crank and the T-18's input shaft were made for a 6303 sealed bearing. A new replacement pilot bushing has the same exact dimensions as a 6303 ball bearing.
Did the heavy duty trucks with an FE engine use a sealed bearing?
Alvin in AZ
ps- automatic transmission in a pickup? You're like, kidding, right?
94 Explorer with M5OD and 150K miles had a pilot bearing that failed. It is a lousy application for a needle bearing. There is just too much abrasive dust in the area. When it failed it damaged the end of the shaft. Rather than replacing the shaft we just smoothed it down with emery cloth and used a conventional bushing for replacement. The replacement is working perfectly a year later.
I worked for a company that had a fleet of p500"s with 300 cid engines and 5 speeds.
The way those trucks were treated by all but a few drivers was something to see.
The pilot bushings in most cases ran until the engines were pulled and rebuilt 100 to
150 thousand miles. These things were on newspaper delivery and the clutches were
used hard, as I wrote before the bushing only works when the clutch is disengaged.
The practice of putting the lever in neutral and clutch out at a stop light saves it even more. I always put a finger tip full of grease on the bushings when replacing
a clutch, and no we didn't reface flywheels every relpacement, never had chatter
problems. The most important thing I think is buff off a bit of the glaze with emery cloth and pull the pressure plate bolts down evenly from side to side. Don't worry about that bushing it's only a support for that end of the clutchshaft when it's