Vintage Oldsmobiles Curved Dash, Limited Touring, Models 40, 53, 66; Series 60, 70, 90

1955 Olds Front Wheel Bearings

Old February 9th, 2014, 05:12 PM
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1955 Olds Front Wheel Bearings

Has anyone converted the front wheel bearings from the older ball bearings to the newer roller bearings. I had heard that the 57 Olds bearings can be used with remanufactured races to fit the 55 hub and spindle. One of the upgrades I want to due for safety purposes.
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Old February 9th, 2014, 09:26 PM
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I will be anxious to hear on this one since my 54 still has the ball bearings.
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Old February 9th, 2014, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Olds Scott View Post
One of the upgrades I want to due for safety purposes.
I must be living in a cave, but what 'safety purpose' would that be?? I never had a problem with ball bearings
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Old February 9th, 2014, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by 59-59-59 View Post
I must be living in a cave, but what 'safety purpose' would that be?? I never had a problem with ball bearings
X2 on this,
Olds designed these bearings to carry several times the load that they will ever carry.
I think the main reason that GM went over to roller bearings was that they were cheaper.
My advice is to clean the bearings thoroghly . Inspect the bearings and races for pitting or rust. if they look good, pack them with good wheel bearing grease and " roll on ".
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Old February 10th, 2014, 07:11 AM
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Although those ball bearings are very expensive, they last a long time if greased and adjusted regularly. I'd leave them alone unless your upgrading to disc.
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Old February 10th, 2014, 08:22 AM
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Mine is still rolling on the old ones, never had a problem....Tedd
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Old February 10th, 2014, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Tedd Thompson View Post
Mine is still rolling on the old ones, never had a problem....Tedd
Good to know.

Thanks Tedd
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Old February 10th, 2014, 10:01 AM
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Sounds like everyone likes the ball bearings. I would still like to run a roller bearing system. Anyone know someone that manufactures a conversion?
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Old February 11th, 2014, 01:59 PM
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Ball Bearings vs. taper Bearings......

You guys are on the money with the fact that taper bearings are much cheaper... and there was 1 company that experimented with replacement taper bearings for ball bearing applications -- it was a pretty red, white, and blue box -- called appropriately enough "American" Bearings... unfortunately, they went out of business a long time ago.....
The '55 - '57 Chevy world has "reproduced" their bearings in a taper replacement, but unfortunately, they don't fit Oldsmobiles......

Stay away from these Bearings of today (you guessed it -- china -- and their ***** are held in with plastic cages -- junk.....)

If replacing Ball Bearings -- you must use "NEW OLD STOCK" -- and I do have some, not a lot, for OLDSMOBILES -- 1935 thru 1961 !!!!!!!

Best to call me -- craig -- 516 - 485 - 1935... New York.....
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Old February 11th, 2014, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Charlie Jones View Post
...I think the main reason that GM went over to roller bearings was that they were cheaper...
Tapered roller bearings are less sensitive to contamination and the added surface area distributes load. My ball bearings on my '56 Chevy were nothing but trouble. But, I was only 15 when I bought the car and was more interested in partying than in maintenance
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Old February 11th, 2014, 03:50 PM
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I tend to agree with Killian Morder especially about distributed bearing load. Just got to figure out how to do the conversion.
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Old February 12th, 2014, 10:03 AM
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Measure the spindle diameters where the ballbearings sat and the distance between both seats. If they match up with another model, you've got it easy. If not, machine accordingly.
Just found this, while looking up spindles: http://www.streetrodderweb.com/featu...8/viewall.html
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Spindle.jpg (10.7 KB, 18 views)

Last edited by Killian_Mörder; February 12th, 2014 at 10:09 AM.
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Old February 14th, 2014, 01:31 PM
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Before you buy the outer bearing,check your local bearing shop. Last ones I bought were 20 bucks and change, BO1 sounds familiar, and he said he could supply as many as I needed-for a 56 but similar for earlier. Same goes for all bearings. Remove-take to bearing shop and see what they have on the shelf. Bo1 is the outer and Bo2 is the inner,909001 is outer number fusick uses and 909062 is the inner number.

Last edited by pete324rocket; February 14th, 2014 at 01:39 PM.
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