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  #1  
Old 05-31-2006, 05:15 PM
wick246 wick246 is offline
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Pilot bushing vs. bearing

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?
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2004 F-150 4x4 5.4L FX4 Supercab
1979 Bronco 4x4 400 C6 4.56's 35" tires
1979 F-250 4x4 400 NP435 4.56's 35" tires E locker
1979 F-150 4x4 400 C6 Supercab patiently waiting
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  #2  
Old 05-31-2006, 06:21 PM
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I've used both and preffer the bearings, haven't had any failures after lots of miles as compared to worn bushings..just my 2 cents
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  #3  
Old 05-31-2006, 08:54 PM
averagef250 averagef250 is offline
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Go bearing. I've had quite a few bushings go bad and never had an issue with a pilot bearing.
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Old 05-31-2006, 09:10 PM
kotzy kotzy is offline
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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.

Last edited by kotzy; 05-31-2006 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 05-31-2006, 09:18 PM
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I prefer the bearing over the bushing. No particular reason, I have changed a lot of clutches over the years and just prefer the bearing. It has always done well by me.
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Old 05-31-2006, 09:26 PM
wick246 wick246 is offline
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Thanks all. I was leaning towards the bearing but was worried it may have a history of early failures.
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2004 F-150 4x4 5.4L FX4 Supercab
1979 Bronco 4x4 400 C6 4.56's 35" tires
1979 F-250 4x4 400 NP435 4.56's 35" tires E locker
1979 F-150 4x4 400 C6 Supercab patiently waiting
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Old 05-31-2006, 10:18 PM
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like alot of things that come from the factory, the bushing is cheaper not better, but under normal use they last a long time, go with the bearing for a few bucks more
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  #8  
Old 06-02-2006, 02:04 AM
averagef250 averagef250 is offline
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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.
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Old 06-02-2006, 11:25 AM
wick246 wick246 is offline
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Is it o.k. to pack the pilot bearing with synthetic wheel bearing grease?
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2004 F-150 4x4 5.4L FX4 Supercab
1979 Bronco 4x4 400 C6 4.56's 35" tires
1979 F-250 4x4 400 NP435 4.56's 35" tires E locker
1979 F-150 4x4 400 C6 Supercab patiently waiting
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2006, 03:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wick246
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?
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  #11  
Old 08-25-2006, 04:41 AM
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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.
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Old 08-25-2006, 09:55 AM
wick246 wick246 is offline
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Too late I installed the bearing with grease. We'll see how long it lasts now...
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2004 F-150 4x4 5.4L FX4 Supercab
1979 Bronco 4x4 400 C6 4.56's 35" tires
1979 F-250 4x4 400 NP435 4.56's 35" tires E locker
1979 F-150 4x4 400 C6 Supercab patiently waiting
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  #13  
Old 08-25-2006, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wick246
Too late I installed the bearing with grease. We'll see how long it lasts now...
Ok, cool.

Can we take bets on it?

I say 20,000 miles.

Alvin in AZ
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  #14  
Old 08-25-2006, 03:24 PM
wick246 wick246 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alvin in AZ
Ok, cool.

Can we take bets on it?

I say 20,000 miles.

Alvin in AZ
Yep stay tuned. It's taken me all summer to put 1,000 miles on it. In about 18 years we'll see what you win.

"Not supposed to. The theory is, the surface gets hot and the oil runs to lube it. Grease won't run easy enough. :/"

What oil are you talking about??? Actually it came with grease but I'm not sure exactly what it was made of.
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2004 F-150 4x4 5.4L FX4 Supercab
1979 Bronco 4x4 400 C6 4.56's 35" tires
1979 F-250 4x4 400 NP435 4.56's 35" tires E locker
1979 F-150 4x4 400 C6 Supercab patiently waiting

Last edited by wick246; 08-25-2006 at 03:26 PM.
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  #15  
Old 08-25-2006, 07:42 PM
kotzy kotzy is offline
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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
disengaged.

Last edited by kotzy; 08-25-2006 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 08-25-2006, 07:42 PM
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