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Old 06-26-2012, 11:25 AM
AutoGear AutoGear is offline
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Heres the Auto Gear company answer:

Aftermarket needlebearings can be cheap. Not necessarily a problem, however as you alluded to, they can fall apart in high mileage situations. Also, the NB doesn't like ANY misalignment. Bellhousing alignment is critical for their long term survival. Several of our customers had their inputs torn up by an improperly installed NB. The needles were trying to skew, stopped rolling and started sliding. For a home mechanic, installing a bronze bushing is easier, one less thing to worry about. If the drivetrain alignment isnt spot on, the bushing will accept some misalignment.

A lot of the off the shelf bushings have too much iron in the sintered bronze. The large amount of iron can score the input, weld itself to the input and then tear up the crank, or weld itself to the input AND the crank. Hence the magnet check. We use genuine self lubricating Oilite bronze. But, some of our customers don't want to ship an $8 bushing across the country, so I usually have them look for the more expensive 'HD' or 'Premium' pilot bushing at the parts store, and check with the mag.

This of course doesn't apply for OEM ballbearing applications.
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