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Old 11-06-2018, 11:15 AM   #1
37 Coupe
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Default Made in China transmission bearings

I just received my order from Brattons and the main shaft bearings are from China.really no surprise but I do wonder if there is an alternative or just go with them and sink them in oil? Years ago I would order bearings like this from Bob Selzam and he would only send me USA made but I do know that a good old USA made bearing is not so good if it has been sitting around for years .Wouldn't be too bad for transmission as grease could be cleaned out for the oil anyway. I suppose my new Ford has China bearings.The Federal Mogul throwout bearing is from Mexico,I paid too much for it a lot cheaper from Snyders but it could be made in India who knows. Radiator hoses I got from Brattons is from India. I never understood why the bearing manufacture went to China like Timkin here in Ohio.Bearings are so much machine technology made was it really cheaper manpower?
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Old 11-06-2018, 11:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: Made in China transmission bearings

I made the mistake years ago of throwing out the old trans bearings,they were probably better than the imported junk they sell today.If you have a Ford roller bearing and compare it with the import you will see the difference.Lesson learned,save all used parts.
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Old 11-06-2018, 12:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Made in China transmission bearings

I have done the same thing but this transmission rebuild is different because the two mainshaft bearings do seem to roll rough and have a catch in them after several cleanins and even soaking in kroil.Not wort reusing.Does anyone have Bob Selzam;s email? I have heard it is the only way he will respond now.
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Old 11-06-2018, 02:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Made in China transmission bearings

I recently bough the main shaft and main drive bearings from Bert's. USA made and they are very nice bearings. More expensive than some of the others, but nice.
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Old 11-06-2018, 04:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: Made in China transmission bearings

Guys,

A few years ago i needed new wheel bearings for an XJ6 and they were made in China as well. they did not last long. The original Timken bearings had case hardened rollers and the Chinese bearings had through hardened rollers. The through hardened rollers did not have the same resilience as the originals had. Through hardening is a two step/cheaper process than a 3 step process of carburizing, hardening and drawing.

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Old 11-06-2018, 06:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: Made in China transmission bearings

The China bearings were made that way because the U.S. buyer wanted them CHEAP, or else didn't care what quality they were so didn't even specify the hardness he wanted!
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Old 11-06-2018, 07:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: Made in China transmission bearings

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The China bearings were made that way because the U.S. buyer wanted them CHEAP, or else didn't care what quality they were so didn't even specify the hardness he wanted!
Well said, the Chinese are some of the hardest working most resourceful people you will find anywhere (they built much of the US railroad infrastructure 150 years ago that's still in use today). They will build to your specifications and quality requirements. Don't necessarily blame them for the poor quality parts sold here today.
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: Made in China transmission bearings

I agree. The Chinese make what is ordered by people in the west who have only an eye for $$$$. It is poor inspection and quality control amongst their customers (us) that is the let down. Just because soemthing is made in the USA, doesn't mean it is autromatically good quality. When Ford ceased production here, they substituted the American Mustang for the discontinued Falcon. Whilke the Mustang has a few followers, those who know their cars don't rate the Mustang very highly at all. Same with Jeep.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOZP3HeIg7A
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IUMNw4LB2k
And there are plenty more.
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Old 11-06-2018, 11:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: Made in China transmission bearings

Arnold, I have one of those mustangs,(2017) a very good car ,one complaint, it should come with speeding ticket credits,
I have not had one yet, but it wont be a 105 one .
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Old 11-07-2018, 12:45 AM   #10
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Arnold, I have one of those mustangs,(2017) a very good car ,one complaint, it should come with speeding ticket credits,
I have not had one yet, but it wont be a 105 one .
Lawrie
Lawrie, I was referring mainly to the poor 2 star safety rating of the Mustang versus the 5 stars of the Falcon. For goodness sake, don't prang it with that poor safety rating.
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Old 11-07-2018, 01:14 PM   #11
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Default Re: Made in China transmission bearings

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Well said, the Chinese are some of the hardest working most resourceful people you will find anywhere (they built much of the US railroad infrastructure 150 years ago that's still in use today). They will build to your specifications and quality requirements. Don't necessarily blame them for the poor quality parts sold here today.
Well it is a good thing that the Chinese were just installing the railroads and not making or tempering the steel.I will never stand up or shout out praising the Chinese manufacturing all I want to do is find good bearings and it loks like Bert's in Colorado aggrees with me. I saw first hand for years what side by side parts held up and the ones that didn't and it was always the one marked China.A lot of there parts only has to lok like the original and that is all,you see this mostly in hardware items like plumbing supplies,valves gauges etc. I just recently saw a parts cleaning brush at NAPA and decided that I should probably replace the one in my parts cleaning tank I have used off and on for over 30 years as the bristles were worn pretty short. When I first used it a couple weeks ago with some kerosene to clean with all the bristles came out at first I wondered what was in my tank.I asked the clerk about any problems with these and it was the same "your the first complaint" response that you always get. He asked me what kind of cleaner I was using and tried to blame that,although it was called a solvent cleaning brush,Made in China.It looked good but didn't work so good.
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Old 11-07-2018, 01:27 PM   #12
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Default Re: Made in China transmission bearings

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Originally Posted by 37 Coupe View Post
I just received my order from Brattons and the main shaft bearings are from China.really no surprise but I do wonder if there is an alternative or just go with them and sink them in oil? Years ago I would order bearings like this from Bob Selzam and he would only send me USA made but I do know that a good old USA made bearing is not so good if it has been sitting around for years .Wouldn't be too bad for transmission as grease could be cleaned out for the oil anyway. I suppose my new Ford has China bearings.The Federal Mogul throwout bearing is from Mexico,I paid too much for it a lot cheaper from Snyders but it could be made in India who knows. Radiator hoses I got from Brattons is from India. I never understood why the bearing manufacture went to China like Timkin here in Ohio.Bearings are so much machine technology made was it really cheaper manpower?
Sir we have been selling those bearing for over 15 years and not had any issue with them. I just looked back through my records and noticed that there have been 3 returns because a customer ended up not needing the bearing not because it was defective. We have spent and continue to spend a lot of time and effort to supply the best parts that we can source. Sometimes the best part we can find is made overseas.
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Old 11-07-2018, 02:47 PM   #13
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Default Re: Made in China transmission bearings

I have been rebuilding Model A transmissions as a cottage industry for the past 30 years. I purchase all my replacement parts, including bearings from Bratton's. Over the years I have observed that the front and rear ball bearings marked as being manufactured in various off-shore countries such as Korea and Russia. I have never had a problem with any of them. They appear to be of good quality

What you need to be careful of are the three roller bearings. There is a supplier or suppliers out there selling some really poor quality roller bearings that are designed to fail. This was reported on this forum a while back. I became concerned and immediately checked my inventory to make sure I didn't have any of them. And I didn't.

I spoke with Walt Bratton about it and he assured me he was not stocking any of them and that he has been using the same bearing source for many years.

What you need to look for is that each roller element has an individual axle at each end that protrudes though the end cage. The poor quality roller bearings will not have axles, but will be rounded on the end and ride in a dimple in the end gage. They may last 100 miles if you are lucky.


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Old 11-07-2018, 05:17 PM   #14
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Default Re: Made in China transmission bearings

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Sir we have been selling those bearing for over 15 years and not had any issue with them. I just looked back through my records and noticed that there have been 3 returns because a customer ended up not needing the bearing not because it was defective. We have spent and continue to spend a lot of time and effort to supply the best parts that we can source. Sometimes the best part we can find is made overseas.
As someone else had posted on here Bert sells the USA made bearings and they are quite a bit more.If you also stocked the Timkin bearing as another choice and showed the price difference I think others as well as myself would buy the non China ones. It is just me I guess I do not want to put a China part in a transmission that has already lasted almost 90 years especially because I like to do things just once. Again it must just be my hangup .
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Old 11-07-2018, 06:02 PM   #15
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Default Re: Made in China transmission bearings

If you search in EBay motors under "bearing" plus the various Timken, Federal Mogul, SKF etc. base part numbers, eg. "306" for the Timken main drive bearing, it is amazing what is out there. These bearings were used in more applications than just Fords and folks selling them often have no idea what they go to. I found a seller that was liquidating old stock for a government agency and was able to pick up a number of old stock US made transmission bearings for $1-$3 each. For a time back in the 80's, these bearings were also sourced from Austria (Steyr) and Italy (SKF) and those are also of excellent quality.
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Old 11-07-2018, 06:50 PM   #16
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Default Re: Made in China transmission bearings

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Originally Posted by ursus View Post
If you search in EBay motors under "bearing" plus the various Timken, Federal Mogul, SKF etc. base part numbers, eg. "306" for the Timken main drive bearing, it is amazing what is out there. These bearings were used in more applications than just Fords and folks selling them often have no idea what they go to. I found a seller that was liquidating old stock for a government agency and was able to pick up a number of old stock US made transmission bearings for $1-$3 each. For a time back in the 80's, these bearings were also sourced from Austria (Steyr) and Italy (SKF) and those are also of excellent quality.
Good information,Thank You.
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:19 PM   #17
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Default Re: Made in China transmission bearings

well, the Japanese made junk at one time too.
today Japanese bearings and cars are some of the best. Give the chinese time..........
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:24 PM   #18
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Default Re: Made in China transmission bearings

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Originally Posted by 37 Coupe View Post
Well it is a good thing that the Chinese were just installing the railroads and not making or tempering the steel.I will never stand up or shout out praising the Chinese manufacturing all I want to do is find good bearings and it loks like Bert's in Colorado aggrees with me. I saw first hand for years what side by side parts held up and the ones that didn't and it was always the one marked China.A lot of there parts only has to lok like the original and that is all,you see this mostly in hardware items like plumbing supplies,valves gauges etc. I just recently saw a parts cleaning brush at NAPA and decided that I should probably replace the one in my parts cleaning tank I have used off and on for over 30 years as the bristles were worn pretty short. When I first used it a couple weeks ago with some kerosene to clean with all the bristles came out at first I wondered what was in my tank.I asked the clerk about any problems with these and it was the same "your the first complaint" response that you always get. He asked me what kind of cleaner I was using and tried to blame that,although it was called a solvent cleaning brush,Made in China.It looked good but didn't work so good.
Why, then, was NAPA selling such a garbage brush in the first place?! Don't they even care about the quality of their merchandise?? Apparently they have low or no quality standards! Seems they should have rejected that shipment of brushes but no, huge short term profits mean more. Seems the blame lies mainly with NAPA!!
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Old 11-12-2018, 07:10 AM   #19
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Default Re: Made in China transmission bearings

Take the bearings to an industrial bearing supply house, they will read the numbers, or measure the bearing and source a replacement for you. They will have numerious reference books to look at. They will be able to tell you the country of orgin. I almost never "order" a replavement bearing for anything.
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Old 11-12-2018, 07:32 AM   #20
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Take the bearings to an industrial bearing supply house, they will read the numbers, or measure the bearing and source a replacement for you. They will have numerious reference books to look at. They will be able to tell you the country of orgin. I almost never "order" a replavement bearing for anything.
That is what I did ,Motion Industries.and the bearings are now in the transmission.SKF which was originally a Swedish company but all say Made in USA. Pilot bearing also Fafnir USA. Again anal on my part but it comes from years of working in a local manufacturing facility that depended on good bearings. We were even classroomed on causes of failure and proper installation.
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