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TOPIC: Bearings

Bearings 2 months 2 weeks ago #55478

  • nz
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Hi

Are metal bearings better than the standard plastic tamiya ones?
What are the advantages?
Will plastic bearings need replacing over time?
What are the measurements for bearings in a TL01?

Thank you!!

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Bearings 2 months 1 week ago #55479

nz wrote: Are metal bearings better than the standard plastic tamiya ones?
What are the advantages?
Will plastic bearings need replacing over time?
What are the measurements for bearings in a TL01?


Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer: If you are referring to the one piece solid copper colored bushings (Oilite) that come with many Tamiya kits, yes they are vastly better than plastic bearings. Plastic bearings barely deserve the name but technically are "bearing" or "supporting" a rotating shaft. Because there is relative motion and friction at the surface, they will wear out quite quickly. As this happens, a lot of mechanical slop will be introduced in the joints which can also lead to premature failure of more significant parts. The solid metal bushings are made of an oil impregnated material which means that they are self lubricating. There is still sliding friction at their surface, but the friction coefficient is much less and the harder material will last much longer. The next step up are rolling element or "ball bearings". These have no sliding friction, only rolling friction which is much less. They are therefore the ultimate for performance and friction reduction, but at the potential cost of longevity. The kind of hardened steel used in ball bearings is not corrosion resistant so they can rust over time if they get wet or exposed to the environment. So my personal recommendation is:
  • Plastic bearings: Never
  • Metal bearings: Where moisture resistance is more important than performance
  • Ball bearings: Where performance is critical

As for sizes, typically each kit uses multiple sizes of bearings. The most common is what Tamiya calls 1150, an 11mm outer diameter and a 5mm inner diameter. 850, 1050, and 1260 are also common and follow the same naming convention.
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Bearings 2 months 1 week ago #55499

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Thank you for your incredible reply!!

Should I use plain metal bearings or metal with rubber?

Thank you
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Bearings 2 months 1 week ago #55500

nz wrote: Should I use plain metal bearings or metal with rubber?


Either one is fine. I use rubber shielded ball bearings almost exclusively because I tend to run my buggies and off road vehicles in wet conditions and it helps keep water and dust out. The rubber seal introduces a tiny bit of friction so if you are racing or going for pure performance the metal shielded bearings are technically a little better. You can split the difference by using rubber shielded bearings at the wheel hubs where they might get wet, but use metal shielded inside a sealed transmission where they are protected from the environment. They also make ceramic bearings which are even better yet but cost about 3 times as much. I recommend fasteddy.com because they offer prepackaged bearing kits for most Tamiya vehicles, but I'm not sure what country you are in.

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