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I run bushings vs. I run bearings

  • I run plastic(Acetal/PTFE/Polyurethane/Nylon/etc) bushings, and I LIKE it

    Votes: 4 50.0%
  • I run plastic(Acetal/PTFE/Polyurethane/Nylon/etc) bushings, and I HATE it

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I run spherical bearings (monoballs/uniballs/pillowballs/etc), and I LIKE it.

    Votes: 4 50.0%
  • I run spherical bearings (monoballs/uniballs/pillowballs/etc), and I HATE it.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    8
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
They're both vastly superior to whatever comes from factory and pros and cons are already well known, but I'm more curious about long term effects and especially NVH.

I'm under the impression that if you do any street driving, plastic bushings are recommended over spherical bearings due to compliance.
Spherical bearings are known to wear over time so they require regular maintenance, but the ones for our cars I haven't heard much complaints possibly because they are sealed against elements.

So, I'm curious what the mid+ long terms impressions are from those who've chosen plastics bushings or spherical bearings.
It would be nice to know what kind of drivings are done, say 80% track 20% street, 15/16 or 16/17 wheel/tire setup, type of damper/springs people run, in addition to the long term impression of particular brand of bearing/bushings.

Among all the people I've talked to, I've only had one actual complaint from someone running spherical bearings. Those who run them sound generally content so far without much need for rebuilds.
On the other hand, it wouldn't make sense to talk NVH on cars that spend 100% of the time at racetracks.
 

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I have been running (and selling) the spherical bearings for a very long time. I've spoken with 100s of clients over the years and it really boils down to tires and track use. If you are running R-compound or stickier tires and doing track days than bearings are a good upgrade. Yes, spherical bearings will wear out but they have been holding up as we have sold precious few replacements. The NVH penalty is almost non-existent. Lotus are rattle traps so that probably makes the bearing noise less noticeable. I run them on my street sportscars but I only drive my sportscars for fun and not daily use.

We developed our OEM-style rubber bushes as most people are not at the track. These will last longer than bearings ( how much longer is still TBD). Feeling the difference, on the street, is really hard and suspect most can not tell (including me). If I drove my Lotus in snow/salt, I would use these rubber bushes.
 

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I can not talk for the acetal, but the spherical are great and last... I changed mine last years after more than 8 years, small wear on two, mostly by corrosion. I installed new bearings with more grease, good for the next ten years..
 

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I can not talk for the acetal, but the spherical are great and last... I changed mine last years after more than 8 years, small wear on two, mostly by corrosion. I installed new bearings with more grease, good for the next ten years..
Good real world input. What was approx miles? Track/street time?
 

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I installed a set spherical bearing from Monkey Wrench. My car sees a lot of track use along with some street use. I think the bearings were in for about a year and I took the car to Sebring. Destroyed the bearings in one weekend. I don't think they last as long as everybody thinks because unless you disassemble them, the seals hide the PTFE liner being displaced. When I replaced mine, I went to a better bearing as far as load factors. I'm waiting to see how long they last this time. Considering that Sebring is like rough road street driving, I would not recommend them for street use.

Later,
Eldon
 

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I installed a set spherical bearing from Monkey Wrench. My car sees a lot of track use along with some street use. I think the bearings were in for about a year and I took the car to Sebring. Destroyed the bearings in one weekend. I don't think they last as long as everybody thinks because unless you disassemble them, the seals hide the PTFE liner being displaced. When I replaced mine, I went to a better bearing as far as load factors. I'm waiting to see how long they last this time. Considering that Sebring is like rough road street driving, I would not recommend them for street use.

Later,
Eldon
Eldon,

Sebring is one of the roughest tracks out there. That is interesting to hear that the bearings were worn after one weekend - which makes sense with all the reports from clients who have broken their cars at Sebring! With slicks, it is really brutal. But I would not compare the loads seen on a rough street to what a car experiences at Sebring. Sebring seems to have the harshest conditions of all tracks in the US.

Buttonwillow used to be a rough track but still not as bad as Sebring. We campaigned an Elise in Lotus Cup that we inspected after the season. The MONOballs were still in good shape. We set a track record at Buttonwillow so we were flying with a car running slicks and heavy downforce. Watch it: HERE
 

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Eldon,

Sebring is one of the roughest tracks out there. That is interesting to hear that the bearings were worn after one weekend - which makes sense with all the reports from clients who have broken their cars at Sebring! With slicks, it is really brutal. But I would not compare the loads seen on a rough street to what a car experiences at Sebring. Sebring seems to have the harshest conditions of all tracks in the US.

Buttonwillow used to be a rough track but still not as bad as Sebring. We campaigned an Elise in Lotus Cup that we inspected after the season. The MONOballs were still in good shape. We set a track record at Buttonwillow so we were flying with a car running slicks and heavy downforce. Watch it: HERE
Shinoo,

My liking of Sebring to street use is that both will see large impact forces. Running at Sebring is similar to performing accelerated life testing. The bearings fail because they are not designed for the impact forces that the car can see from rough roads. The impact loads force the PTFE liner out of the bearing thus causing failure of the bearing. If the bearings only ever saw smooth roads, I believe that they would have a good life span. What I'm concluding is that if you live in a area where the roads are bad, I would not install spherical bearings. How long they will last is dependent on how many bumps and pot holes that you hit. And Yes, race teams use the 12 Hours of Sebring to see what will potentially fail before running Le Mans.

Later,
Eldon
 

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Shinoo,

My liking of Sebring to street use is that both will see large impact forces. Running at Sebring is similar to performing accelerated life testing. The bearings fail because they are not designed for the impact forces that the car can see from rough roads. The impact loads force the PTFE liner out of the bearing thus causing failure of the bearing. If the bearings only ever saw smooth roads, I believe that they would have a good life span. What I'm concluding is that if you live in a area where the roads are bad, I would not install spherical bearings. How long they will last is dependent on how many bumps and pot holes that you hit. And Yes, race teams use the 12 Hours of Sebring to see what will potentially fail before running Le Mans.

Later,
Eldon
Great input, as usual.

San
 

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Good real world input. What was approx miles? Track/street time?
At the time I am responding, I can see many bad experience on that forum. Weird... my car is mostly driven on track, quite nice and smooth track, and on road. Combined for more than 25k miles.

Mine were purchased at sector111, now inokinetic. The new bearing were installed with a lot of grease. As usual, i will inspect the suspension within the next month since the snow is arrived up here.
 

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After inspection of my suspension last we, I did not see any loose. The new bushing installed last years are from FK. Better or worst that Aurora... I don't know. By spec, FK are better... but with a ration of 2, I suspect they do not have the same criteria.
 
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