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For you machinists...a question about final drives


John Ranalletta

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John Ranalletta

Doesn't it make sense for BMW to use a roller rather than a ball bearing in the final drive?

 

I can't ever remember seeing a ball bearing setup in a car front wheel and car wheel bearings seldom if ever fail. Can't remember if rear axle bearings are ball or roller, though.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
Doesn't it make sense for BMW to use a roller rather than a ball bearing in the final drive?

 

I can't ever remember seeing a ball bearing setup in a car front wheel and car wheel bearings seldom if ever fail. Can't remember if rear axle bearings are ball or roller, though.

 

FWIW, my last car (an '88 Acura Legend) had a double-row ball bearing on each wheel.

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John Ranalletta

In autos, the bearings are either sealed or lubed with grease. Do you think that's potentially an issue with the final drive in that the lube may be insufficient? There's not much fluid in the drive and, at speed, I can imagine some atomization of the fluid and not being available to the bearing surfaces.

 

Is there a possibility it's not the bearings or race that fail first, but the soft metal ball cage that wears out leaving the balls to be unequally distributed in the race?

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Eckhard Grohe

They use the ball bearing, a deep groove ball bearing at that, to carry the axial loads necessary to preload the taper roller on the other side. A roller bearing doesn't like axial loads too much.

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