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Old 09-28-2020, 12:07 PM   #1
Tom Endy
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Default throw-out bearing

The Model A kingdom may recall that 10-15 years ago Aetna throw-out bearings were carried by all the suppliers and they usually failed within a hundred miles. Well, they are back, but this time they are in a Timken box, so beware, what goes around comes around.

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Old 09-28-2020, 12:41 PM   #2
Brentwood Bob
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Default Re: throw-out bearing

Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 09-28-2020, 02:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: throw-out bearing

Tom, on the bearing does it say Timken or Aetna?
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Old 09-28-2020, 02:57 PM   #4
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Tom, on the bearing does it say Timken or Aetna?
The bearing has the word Aetna stamped on the side.

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Old 09-28-2020, 04:20 PM   #5
Dave in Petaluma
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Default Re: throw-out bearing

I just received some transmission bearings from a reputable Model A supplier. The boxes said Timken, the bearings said Fafnir, Turkey.
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Old 09-28-2020, 11:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dave in Petaluma View Post
I just received some transmission bearings from a reputable Model A supplier. The boxes said Timken, the bearings said Fafnir, Turkey.
That’s because fafnir is a subsidiary of timken.
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Old 09-29-2020, 04:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: throw-out bearing

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Originally Posted by Tom Endy View Post
The Model A kingdom may recall that 10-15 years ago Aetna throw-out bearings were carried by all the suppliers and they usually failed within a hundred miles. Well, they are back, but this time they are in a Timken box, so beware, what goes around comes around.

Tom Endy
Tom is a very wise and experienced man. Let us all pay attention to what he says!
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Old 09-29-2020, 10:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: throw-out bearing

I might have received one of these bum bearings. Just reinstalled my recently rebuilt transmission and after only about 10 miles of driving it's already starting to squeal.
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Old 09-29-2020, 11:00 AM   #9
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That's surprising. When I pulled my transmission out it had an Aetna throw out bearing. Never gave any trouble. It probably was 30+ years old though, might have been better built then.
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Old 09-29-2020, 11:15 AM   #10
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I haven't bought a throw-out bearing in 50 years! When I pull a trans, I pack the bearing with wheel-bearing grease, using a wheel bearing packer.
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Old 09-29-2020, 11:47 AM   #11
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Default Re: throw-out bearing

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That's surprising. When I pulled my transmission out it had an Aetna throw out bearing. Never gave any trouble. It probably was 30+ years old though, might have been better built then.
Well I hope there are some good ones out there, specifically the one I have (made in USA) that has been fine for 2000+ miles so far.

Bought it from a well respected barner, along with a set of Mark's transmission shafts and gears.

As always, time will tell.....
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Old 09-29-2020, 05:43 PM   #12
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Just ordered new clutch, pressure plate, pilot bearing and throw out bearing yesterday. Hope they don't send me one of those bearings.
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Old 09-29-2020, 11:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Tom Endy View Post
The Model A kingdom may recall that 10-15 years ago Aetna throw-out bearings were carried by all the suppliers and they usually failed within a hundred miles. Well, they are back, but this time they are in a Timken box, so beware, what goes around comes around.

Tom Endy
Not sure I understand what you mean by, they’re back”.
Do you mean that brand is back, or do you mean bearings fail within a few hundred miles are back. Have you witnessed this bearing failure recently?
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Old 09-30-2020, 10:37 AM   #14
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What drives me crazy are the people who sit at a red light for 5 minutes with their big foot on the clutch pedal. Of course in a car you can't really tell but I see guys on motorcycles all the time with the clutch leaver pulled in. I just think candy ass newbe.
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Old 09-30-2020, 07:07 PM   #15
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What drives me crazy are the people who sit at a red light for 5 minutes with their big foot on the clutch pedal. Of course in a car you can't really tell but I see guys on motorcycles all the time with the clutch leaver pulled in. I just think candy ass newbe.



I guess I'm one of those motorbike guys. I've only been riding 60yrs. Some day I might figure it out.
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Old 10-01-2020, 06:58 PM   #16
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Default Re: throw-out bearing

And they’ll sit at a light going up hill and let the car roll back, then let the clutch out enough to go forward, then roll back again.
A couple of weeks ago I put a new throw out bearing in a ‘46 Mercury. The model A bearing goes to ‘48 on cars, later on Mercs and ‘56 on trucks.
I called C &G, they haven’t heard about it so I hope I’m safe.
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Old 10-01-2020, 07:52 PM   #17
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Tom Endy, Back about 20 years ago a friend of mine known for installing BW overdrives planned a trip to the National. He decided he wanted to replace his clutch disc and since he also had a brand new throwout bearing from Macs he decided to replace it as well. Well when the job was completed the new throwout bearing squealed worse than the old one. Aetna was in Chicago on the near northside. He took the bearing which was marked Aetna and they placed it on a lathlike machine which clamped the inner portion and applied pressure to the area which contacts the pressure plate fingers. It screamed. The Aetna employee did state that it indeed was marked Aetna, but was not their bearing. He asked my friend if he minded him cutting the bearing open and since my friend had no objection, it was cut open. Result; Inferior junk for materials. Bearings were being made in India and other third world countries and goin so far as even copying Aetna's logo. Spend the money and buy the better throwout bearings.
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Old 10-01-2020, 09:53 PM   #18
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Tom Endy, Back about 20 years ago a friend of mine known for installing BW overdrives planned a trip to the National. He decided he wanted to replace his clutch disc and since he also had a brand new throwout bearing from Macs he decided to replace it as well. Well when the job was completed the new throwout bearing squealed worse than the old one. Aetna was in Chicago on the near northside. He took the bearing which was marked Aetna and they placed it on a lathlike machine which clamped the inner portion and applied pressure to the area which contacts the pressure plate fingers. It screamed. The Aetna employee did state that it indeed was marked Aetna, but was not their bearing. He asked my friend if he minded him cutting the bearing open and since my friend had no objection, it was cut open. Result; Inferior junk for materials. Bearings were being made in India and other third world countries and goin so far as even copying Aetna's logo. Spend the money and buy the better throwout bearings.

The problem here is Aetna bearings are now showing up in the boxes of other quality bearing manufactures. years ago the Aetna problem was solved for me by the supplier I use almost exclusively. He began stocking throw-out bearings made by Federal Mogul. They are made in Mexico, but they were good quality bearings and I have been using them exclusively ever since without a problem.

About eight months ago I received some Federal Mogul bearings that I could not turn by hand. I contacted my favorite supplier and he checked several in his stock and confirmed what I had found. I returned the ones I had and the supplier returned his inventory to his supplier. The replacement inventory he received was the same. He returned them and went looking for another throw-out bearing source. He found a supplier that could offer Timken throw-out bearings, so he ordered and stocked them. Inside the Timken boxes the bearings have Aetna stamped on them. So, are they truly made by the legitimate Aetna company, if they still exist, or are they the junk bearings of yesteryear. Good luck with that one. I for one will never install a throw-out bearing that has Aetna stamped on it.

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Old 10-01-2020, 10:12 PM   #19
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What drives me crazy are the people who sit at a red light for 5 minutes with their big foot on the clutch pedal. Of course in a car you can't really tell but I see guys on motorcycles all the time with the clutch leaver pulled in. I just think candy ass newbe.
What....?
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Old 10-02-2020, 05:56 AM   #20
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There was a problem with very stiff bearings from Fed-Mogul/National about 1-2 years ago. We quickly pulled our stock and hand tested them all. We ended up returning a large quantity and reordering. Had a high failure rate on the next batch. Then things rapidly improved and we haven’t seen the issue for over a year now. The company is so big that you can’t find anyone to speak with to discuss the problem, but apparently they figured out what it was and the bearings are back to normal again.
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