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Thread: wheel bearing conversion question

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    wheel bearing conversion question

    Good day, all. New to the forum today and figured this might be the place to find an answer to my question. I did a forum search first and came up empty, so here's the project.

    It's not a kit car, but it's a very low production count (38), out-of-production vehicle called the Gizmo. The wheels are spun on sealed bearings with normal bearing play. It's possible that after 4000 miles, the bearing wear has increased somewhat, but I'd hope that I could get more than 4000 miles between bearing changes.

    The hubs appear to be similar to, or exactly the same as, 12" trailer wheels. I'm considering changing out the hubs, if necessary, in order to put tapered wheel bearings in place of the sealed ball bearing style.

    There's no adjustment to sealed ball bearing hubs, while my experiences with the tapered roller bearings are more favorable in that respect. The axle is about an inch in diameter with a drilled and cottered castle nut, pretty much what I've seen in my limited experience with taking apart wheels.

    Since the hubs have sealed ball bearings in them, is it possible to pop out the assemblies and put in a set of tapered roller bearings? What concerns should I have about the existing axle?

    Is it likely to be a simpler matter to pop another set of hubs on the axles and tighten things down to spec?

    I'm in a really grey area here, since I have such little exposure to this portion of any vehicle during my lifetime.

    Suggestions are appreciated.

    daytona beach, fl

  2. #2

    Re: wheel bearing conversion question

    You will have to be able to install a seal on the inside and have a place for it to seal on the spindle. The biggest problem will be finding a tapered roller bearing with the same dimensions (i.d. and o.d.) as the original bearing.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Re: wheel bearing conversion question

    That's encouraging, really. Since I'd plan to remove the hubs and put others in place, the OD won't matter as much as the ID. I had not considered the seal, though.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Re: wheel bearing conversion question

    You need to get the proper physical dimensions for the bearings that you currently have. From there you can chack to see if any tapered bearings with the same dimensions are available. The dimensional information for the tapered bearings should be easily obtainable from automotive tapered beaing vendors. Good luck....

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