Lotus Elan

Clutch Release Bearing

PostPost by: JJDraper » Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:21 am

Thanks for that Rohan, email has been sent to the company link you sent. I now have a new bearing carrier but the bearing I have is a loose fit on it, very loose - you can see light through the gap. The old bearing, with the plastic sleeve was also a loose fit on both the old carrier and the new one.

My understanding is that the bearing should be a 'Press fit'. Any ideas as to the consequence of a loose fit as I have described?

Thanks

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PostPost by: Craven » Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:51 am

Seems odd I know but the bearing is just located on the small larger diameter at the bottom.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Sun Oct 20, 2019 12:26 pm

Can you post a complete picture of the release bearing carrier? It doesn?t look original from what I see. The standard part is Mk 1 Cortina. If the bearing siezed up however it could well have spun the inner sleeve on the carrier and damaged it.
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PostPost by: alanr » Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:16 pm

The Bearing should definitely be a press/tight fit on the carrier! If it isn't it will slip/turn on the carrier and ruin it. It literally won't last five minutes!
Either the carrier you have bought,or the bearing, or both, are not right.
Back in the day I have never seen one with a plastic inner sleeeve and have changed dozens if not hundreds of them in my time.

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:33 am

JJDraper wrote:Thanks for that Rohan, email has been sent to the company link you sent. I now have a new bearing carrier but the bearing I have is a loose fit on it, very loose - you can see light through the gap. The old bearing, with the plastic sleeve was also a loose fit on both the old carrier and the new one.

My understanding is that the bearing should be a 'Press fit'. Any ideas as to the consequence of a loose fit as I have described?

Thanks

Jeremy

Just the rear steel part of the bearing is a press fit. The plastic / brass sleeve spins with the front face and has a clearance on the carrier. For your carrier to wear as it has means that the bearing has come loose somehow and floated forward and spun

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:06 am

About a year ago I chased up everything I could find out about the 4 speed box clutch release bearings given that supply was short of NOS bearings and the new no name bearings were of doubtful quality and no big name brand manufacturer was making them. The Lotus 5 speed bearings were different with a round nose rather than flat and used a different carrier and pressure plate without the bearing platen and are still available. Another alternative is to convert to the 5 Speed setup of pressure plate carrier and bearing.

What I found was as follows:

RHP bearing 6W 1 3/8 - white plastic sleeve - the original bearing used by Ford and Lotus in the UK. I have one NOS left
nos-rhp-6w-1-3-8.jpg and


RHP bearing 6W 1 3/8 - new bearing supplied by Orinoco bearings branded "RHP" and "made in England" appears identical externally to the NOS RHP bearing
new-rhp-6w-1-3-8.jpg and


FAG bearing 508458 - brass sleeve - found one NOS on the internet. If you search hard you may find more, Nice Black oxide protected steel components to reduce corrosion. looks best quality of all I have seen
nos-fag-508458.jpg and


FKC bearing 6W 1 3/8 - black plastic sleeve - was an after market bearing common in Australia until recently . Good quality but FKC purchased by NSK and this size no longer made, I have a couple of NOS and Orinoco bearings in UK say they have a large number of these available at same price as the new RHP branded bearings. I have used these for over 30 years without problems
nos-fkc-6w-1-3-8.jpg and


No Name brand bearing - They cannot even the name right ! - Brass sleeve -- Typically supplied by most of the usual suppliers. Made in India I believe as I found an Indian bearing company selling the same bearing. Can be Ok but can fail quickly as quality appears variable.
new-noname-6w-1-3-8.jpg and


As a final alternative Timken bearing 1505 - similar thickness and OD and flat face but 1.5 inch ID versus 1 1 3/8 ID of original. With a suitable sleeve on the carrier or new carrier will be a suitable replacement. Made by other large name, brand manufacturers as well e.g. SKF. Cheaper than new bearings from Orinoco and when I can non longer get new bearings at acceptable cost I will go down this route

cheers
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:21 am

2cams70 wrote:Can you post a complete picture of the release bearing carrier? It doesn?t look original from what I see. The standard part is Mk 1 Cortina. If the bearing siezed up however it could well have spun the inner sleeve on the carrier and damaged it.


5 speed ( longer and on left) and 4 speed ( shorter and on right) original bearing carriers
cheers
Rohan

4-speed-versus-5-speed-thrust-bearing-carrier.jpg and
Last edited by rgh0 on Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Craven » Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:43 pm

I believe there was/is a problem with after- market bearings, being with the internal diameter section that is the press fit to the carrier. Slightly over-size diameter allowed the bearing to move position, so match the size of carrier to bearing. Maybe Loctite or something similar.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:50 pm

Rohan, for clarity, which is which?
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PostPost by: alanr » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:10 pm

Thrust Bearings in a genuine FoMoCo or Enfo box through a Ford UK main dealer were never plastic sleeved between years 1961 and 1983 when I was on the workshop floor. They always had bronze inners and that is what I would definitely use today.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:52 pm

alanr wrote:Thrust Bearings in a genuine FoMoCo or Enfo box through a Ford UK main dealer were never plastic sleeved between years 1961 and 1983 when I was on the workshop floor. They always had bronze inners and that is what I would definitely use today.


Hi Alan
Do you recall what was the make of the bearing.? The only bearing i can find from the period with a brass sleeve was the FAG bearing. SKF and Timken also used to make bearings of the correct size but no longer do and I don't have NOS samples of those . RHP which were the original supplier used the plastic sleeve always. There are two ford part numbers for the bearing with the second one having a B suffix - maybe these were not the RHP part and maybe those had a brass sleeve and maybe they were from FAG.

Regardless I would not use the current brass sleeved no name versions today in any circumstances unless I enjoyed pulling out my engine

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PostPost by: alanr » Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:26 am

Hi Rohan,
The actual bearing maker of the original Ford boxed bearing unfortunately I can't remember, just being in a Ford branded box (early branded ENFO or later FoMoCo) and with a bronze (brass?) liner. Didn't take much notice at the time and I don't think I have anything to support that knowledge now only that I know they definitely were not plastic lined that I have ever fitted. Personally I can't imagine a plastic lined one lasting long!

Hmmm...If I get chance I will have a search through my stock of bits. I can find NOS one that may put more light on the matter.

Alan.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:54 am

alanr wrote:Hi Rohan,
The actual bearing maker of the original Ford boxed bearing unfortunately I can't remember, just being in a Ford branded box (early branded ENFO or later FoMoCo) and with a bronze (brass?) liner. Didn't take much notice at the time and I don't think I have anything to support that knowledge now only that I know they definitely were not plastic lined that I have ever fitted. Personally I can't imagine a plastic lined one lasting long!

Hmmm...If I get chance I will have a search through my stock of bits. I can find NOS one that may put more light on the matter.

Alan.


Hi Alan
The plastic sleeve does not contact anything directly inside or outside the bearing as it spins freely with the front face, it is a non loaded part and effectively just the grease seal on the bearing. The new Timken bearing I showed in the 1505 size has a similar plastic sleeve as you will see from the photo and I would trust Timken to know what they are doing. This and my experience with the RHP and FKC plastic sleeved bearings over the last 40 years says I have no concern.

However my experience with the no name brand brass sleeved bearings which are the only ones available with a brass sleeve currently is that they can fail early. This is due to poor generally variable quality and not the brass sleeve itself

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:20 am

gjz30075 wrote:Rohan, for clarity, which is which?

The 5 speed carrier on the left and 4 speed on the right. The 5 speed has the bearing mounted further forward from the fork compared to the 4 speed. This is to compensate for the lower pressure plate height with no platen and the bearing running directly on the fingers of the diaphram spring. I dont know why it has a longer nose also that sticks past the bearing, maybe that was to give greater stability when sliding on the tube it runs on, The tube in the 5 speed may be longer I must measure the difference one day.

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PostPost by: JJDraper » Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:47 pm

I have had a reply from Orinoco - only one NOS bearing in stock - made by Fafnir in the 60's. Price matches rarity - ouch!

I have had a release bearings fail before, even with the clutch slave rod adjusted & checked regularly. The one before the current failed one, exploded eventually, at speed, but didn't cause any real damage. See picture.. As I used the car regularly, and there was no other reason to pull the engine I was advised to let it carry on making a noise until I pulled the engine for something else.. Fair enough, it did another 20k miles before this happened - even then the clutch worked - enough to drive 60 miles to a workshop in Bromsgrove. It is interesting that the bearing faces are almost untouched, so I guess it was the balls that failed. I never saw any of these at the autopsy....

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