First of all, I am new to gassavers, I've been reading posts for the last year or so and just decided to make an account today. I have owned hondas for years, I currently have a 94 VX, avg 61mpg with minimal mods, mirror delete, efficient driving habits. I am posting because I can not find any topics on wheel bearings. I have been into honda racing for awhile and I had been thinking about purchasing a set of nice wheel bearings to free up horsepower, (I don't race the vx, i have a supercharged crx also) but I am now thinking about getting some to boost my mpg on the vx. These are the bearings I was looking at. http://www.kingmotorsports.com/category.aspx?cat=12 Has anyone tried this? I know they're a bit expensive but I thought it would be worth a shot.
I'd be a little skeptical considering they started with an OEM part and adding " super-finishing process" to remove MICROSCOPIC IMPERFECTIONS ( perhaps the horsepower gain is equally microscopic).Then you get PROPRIETARY anti-friction coating (packed in grease; I wouldn't think the coating makes much difference). Last and probably least as well: a SPECIAL light weight racing grease.
I know nothing about Honda nor Honda racing,but this looks like more marketing than engineering. The OEM part is most likely just as good and cheaper.
From my experience in the bicycle industry where bearing drag is a popular subject, you will get some improvement by using lightweight synthetic grease, and use it sparingly. Less grease = Less drag. Thin grease = less drag. Maybe try degreasing and re-lubing your wheel bearings with a little light synthetic grease and see how you like it. It's quick and cheap.
I'm thinking of doing this on my car sometime.
I also have a 94 VX and I just replaced my front wheel bearings. I actually went with the cheaper SK bearings @ $18/piece my cost. I went with the cheaper ones because they actually had less resistance than the more expensive NTN (OEM Honda ones).
And especially at $175 per bearing....you'd have to drive that car for over 100 years to see a break even point cost wise since the gain would be microscopic.
What you get is determined by your reasons for hypermiling/ecomodding. If you are doing it to reduce the use of gasoline and lower emissions and money is nothing then go for it. Personally, I'm in it to save money and gas, but mostly money.
In motorcycle racing, we've change wheel bearings and transmission bearings. But we didn't replace the bearings with coated bearings. We used ceramic bearings.
The ceramic portion applies to the ball, not the races.
Here's what I know. A ceramic ball has a uniform size and shape. Additionally, its surface topography is very smooth. Its Rockwell hardness is more than a steel ball, and when it's loaded up, it doesn't deflect like a steel ball does.
When set up in the races, they can use tighter clearances and a lighter grease as they are uniform and don't expand like a steel ball because of deflection and heat. They will outlast a steel ball bearing under the same conditions. They are lighter.
So, in real world applications, what did we see? People I knew in drag racing found that they could gain an extra 2-4MPH in a quarter mile. Adding about 4MPH to a 150+ pass for some. In transmission applications, specifically some Buell's that use Harley-Davidson engines, a lot of internal "chatter" was reduced from the transmission shafts being able to remain more in their fixed locations. Some use them in steering head locations, which isn't a fast rotating area, but the lack of ball deflection made steering input easier and consistent all the time. Take a motorcycle wheel that has ceramic bearings and just rotate it on the axle with a spin by hand, it rotates longer that one with a regular bearing.
I haven't seen those kind of results with treated bearings. I think that's related to the fact that it is still a steel ball.
Ceramic wheel bearings for a motorcycle are usually around $400+. Usuallly, you'll try to do that toward the last thing on your set up.
The guys I go to for answers are here. You'd call them, they aren't big in email.
its true that a minimal greased up bearing has less drag BUT it wears out faster... its like saying well if I use less oil in my car then theres less drag (we all know what happens when engines run outa oil or very little)
so while you may save a few cents a month, spening a alot of money in wheel bearings (also run the risk of bearing seizing, detonating then the wheel falling off, or tearing the crap outa the hub/spindle) I dont think its worth it...
like engine oil, there's a lot EXTRA in there. unless you're running it hard, you can have half the total sitting in the sump. what do you think happens when you run 2 quarts low and nothing bad happens? it's to account for 'oops i forgot to add oil' and to hold the particulates and crap that are the result of operation of the vehicle.
as for the bearings themselves, it also depends on the bearing type. for sealed ball races, better brands are the best option. if you use tapered rollers, make sure the installation is done 110% perfect. too tight and too much drag (and they disintegrate) too little and there's slop and the same result.
I like timkin bearings myself.
1991 Toyota Pickup 22R-E 2.4 I4/5 speed
1990 Toyota Cressida 7M-GE 3.0 I6/5-speed manual
mechanic, carpenter, stagehand, rigger, and know-it-all smartass
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theres some extra BUT the valve train can hold a quart sometimes two. so while you may have half (depends on car really) half of that half could be up in the valves.
yes sealed bearings better the quality the better /longer it will last. but open bearings especially tapered ones, lots of lubricationa dn what kamesama said, having the bearing too loose/tight can cause them to wear out...