Roller Bearing Upgrade

Nov 16, 2013 update on Roland444's 1971 Ford Pinto

Started gathering the parts for some rear suspension mods this winter. First up is replacing the front eye bushings in the leaf springs…the stock Ford setup uses huge rubber bushings, which is great for NVH, but leaves a bit to be desired for locating the rear axle during, uh, “spirited” driving. Racer Walsh once offered some trick TRW high durometer rubber replacement bushings, but these are NLA. I could’ve have modified a set of early Mustang poly or polygraphite bushings, or turned a set from Delrin or UHMW polythylene, but I wanted to try something a bit different. Early TransAm sedan racers used trick monoball setups for better location, so this will probably be nothing new…after some research, I found a pair of Berliss industrial roller bearings from our local McGuire bearing house that should hopefully swap right in.The O.D. of the stock bushings is 2.065 dia., while the roller bearings are 1.995 dia. The roller bearings have to be sleeved down with a pair of spanner bushings to get the 1/2” i.d. to fit the Ford bolts, but it was all readily available stuff. Ride harshness and noise will increase (natch) but they offer zero deflection and hopefully zero binding when properly set up and lubed. Stock bushings have to be “staked’ in place by tapping some divots after installation; it’ll be interesting to see what combination of shims, washers, etc. it takes to dial in the roller bearings…

 

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