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Pilot Bearing Fit on Ford 3.0L - Can't Get the Crank in My Lathe

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  • Pilot Bearing Fit on Ford 3.0L - Can't Get the Crank in My Lathe

    OK, it would fit in my lathe if I pulled the engine and disassembled it, but I didn't even want to pull the transmission.

    My problem is with a 1998 Ford Ranger 3.0L V6 with M5R1 5 speed manual. The terrible squalling noise I put up with for (hummdy-hum-hum) months when the clutch was depressed may well have been the pilot bearing spinning in the crank rather than the throwout bearing. The pilot roller bearing is pretty firmly attached to the transmission input shaft and still all in one piece as in I haven't been able to pull it off and the outer race is locked solid to the rollers and inner race.

    The real problem is it looks like I have substantial wear in the end of the crank. The pilot bearing is a Timken FC65354 which has an O.D. of 0.827" and a length of 0.59". My crank now has a bore of roughly 0.832" after a short lip (maybe 0.1") of 0.825". This implies I probably pushed the bearing in further about 120,000 miles ago when I installed the used transmission although it did not bottom out in the crank. The OD of that frozen up bearing is still 0.827".

    So how should I go about handling this problem? I need a fix for the crank that will work without pulling the engine. And no, I am not going to pull it as it requires venting the A/C (thank you for that hard line Ford Engineering) and there is no way to even pull the oil pan without pulling the engine. The transmission is going to get a rebuild as the bearings are shot, but everything else looks good in there. I know the pilot needs a light interference fit so I suspect the 0.825" was probably good.

    I've searched Google pretty thoroughly and usually the bearing just turns to dust (which is what I found the previous two times.)

  • #2
    Sounds like it would still line up fine, if it was mine I might try one of the better grades of Loctite, I think they make one just for bearings.


    • #3
      I worked with a guy whose front pulley came loose on the crankshaft (Isuzu Diesel). Did not want to remove crank so he assembled it with a Belzona product and it seemed ok. I have used this stuff on a crankshaft repair (broken woodruff key seat on chainsaw crankshaft) and it is still going well. Expensive to buy, so I found a company who used it regularly (crack repair/shaft rebuilds etc) and bought just enough for my job. You mix it up, apply it and assemble parts and let it set....

      I think there are other products like this, but I can't recall their names at present.

      There might be some Loctite products which can handle 0.007"?


      • #4
        Why not just remove the bad bearing, and replace it with a home grown bushing (oilite bronze)) that would fit well? A little locktite and lube, and the thing should last for quite a while....At least long enough to find somebody else to deal with the problem.
        No good deed goes unpunished.


        • #5
          I was wondering why Ford used such a tiny roller bearing as opposed to a bushing. This will be the third bad one, but the truck IS just shy of 300,000 miles, although this is the second engine and transmission.

          I plan to keep this thing as my job requires a bit of travel and I need the spare vehicle. I was supposed to deal with the clutch issue a year ago, but that was when the transmission blew on the van and well, I really don't like pulling transmissions. I just like paying someone else to do it less so.

          Does anyone have a good suggestion on in situ reaming/boring of the crank bore to get it uniform? Could I press in a bushing that has the extra needed diameter past the smaller bore diameter at the bore entrance without screwing it up? Am I worrying too much? This does take me a lot of time to pull, never mind the cost of the various parts so I would like to get it at least close to right. The only issue I have with gluing or Locktite is that the bore is not uniform and I don't know how I would keep a new bearing or bushing straight while it set up. There is no way I could get the transmission back in place quickly enough.

          So saltmine, what does "quite a while" translate to in miles do you reckon?


          • #6
            Have two Rangers myself both with many more miles on them,never had a pilot bearing failure,but anyway here's how to fix what you have.
            The 3.0l has a pilot on the crank flange that centers the flywheel,it's a male pilot.Take the flywheel off,clean the pilot bearing bore in the crank with Acetone or similar.

            Assuming you have access to a lathe,chuck a piece of roundbar,can be anything,Aluminum,Brass,Steel doesn't matter.Face the end off square,bore the end to match the crank pilot OD for a depth of about 3/8".

            In the same position drill and ream a through hole the same diameter as the pilot bearing nose on the tranny's input shaft.

            Take another piece of round bar and turn a slug the same diameter as the pilot bearing nose and long enough to fit through the first piece plus another inch or so.

            Degrease the OD of the new bearing with Acetone.

            Paint the OD of the bearing and the crank bore with Loctite 271 and slip the bearing in the bore.Put the piece you turned to fit the pilot on the crank pilot,then slip the pin inside in and push it into the bearing.Let the Loctite cure for 24hrs so it's at full strength before removing the jig.

            Push a finger tip full of high temp wheel bearing grease into the bearing and the cavity behind it.Make sure the new tranmission input shaft is clean,smooth and polished put it back together and now for the most important part-

            When at a stop,put the tansmission in neutral and take your foot off the clutch
            I just need one more tool,just one!


            • #7
              You know weirdscience, as I was typing that last bit about centering I started wondering about doing something along those lines. But only just barely.

              Thanks to everyone for your help. Sometimes I cannot see the forest for the trees and hallelujah I don't do machinist or mechanic work for a living as I would have starved to death years ago.

              Now I just have to feed the lathe (HF 12x36, leaks like a sieve and the cost of oiling that sucker keeps me from playing as much as I should) and give this a go.

              I would still like to know whether the bushing might be more durable though.

              Thanks again!


              • #8
                Bronze pilot bearings were the gold standard for many years. I say go for it. I feel your pain. I had a Ranger with the 2.4 liter 4 cyl but the same pilot arrangement. Coming from Flagstaff to Phoenix ( fairly serious mountain driving and much shifting for the gutless POS) the clutch suddenly would not disengage. I took it to my mechanic (I hate this crap in my old age more than I l loved it when young) and told him to fix it. From the pilot bearing to the throwout bearing and everything in between. I did not want a patch job. When I picked it up he showed me the problem. The pilot bearing failed in a similar manner and one of the little rollers fell between the flywheel and driven plate. If I had had a plain bushing in there it would have never happened.
                Last edited by tdmidget; 04-01-2013, 01:32 AM.


                • #9
                  As far as I know, oilite bronze bushings have been used for pilot bushings since time began....or at least since the first car was built. I've pulled many a transmission to find a bronze bushing, slightly worn, but still doing it's job, even after 300,000 miles of neglect and abuse. Ford was trying to reduce friction when they went with a needle bearing pilot.
                  Another good thing about an oilite bronze bushing is they're cheap, and anybody who is a reasonably good machinist can manufacture one should they become unavailable.

                  I sold my old S-10 with a pilot bushing in the back of the crank (original) with over 200,000 miles on it, and never had a problem. Trust me....they're reliable.
                  No good deed goes unpunished.


                  • #10
                    BTW, I do intend to let those who contributed suggestions know how this went, as soon as I get around to actually doing it. I'm kinda slow.


                    • #11
                      Run it without the bearing. Some new cars don't have pilot bearings any more.


                      • #12
                        Andy it is not designed for that, the ones you mention have a tranny mainshaft that supports that - don't tell him that or he will eat a trans in short order,,,

                        Nash you say your pilot bearing got pushed in some? does this mean you have some original ID left to push a new bearing in with loctite stud and bearing mount? or you could use their "sleeve retainer" both good stuff and the original ID would mean you would have it centered,,,

                        The other option is what Saltmine suggested - machine up a sintered bronze bushing for interference and press it in, it will work BUT, if you have an original ID on the outer part of the bore it will shear the bushing down and it will fit loose inside the crank once again, so you will need to either remove this lip or go with the loctite,,, just my opinion...

                        just re-read, at .1" it's not that big of a lip - possibly hand sand it and keep measuring... then install your oversize sintered bronze...
                        Last edited by A.K. Boomer; 04-20-2013, 06:48 PM.


                        • #13
                          I don't know, would it? I have known guys that have driven forever after hearing a noise without issue and eventually having to do a clutch find out their pilot bearing has been disintegrated for years. I have had both type of transmissions apart and there is no difference in input shaft bearings that would help the no pilot bearing transmissions sustain extra loads. And honestly what loads would there be? while letting the clutch peddle out the clutch should want to center itself much like a drill bit in a lathe. Once the clutch is fully engaged the clutch holds the input shaft strait in line with the crank. I doubt it would ever be an issue. But don't take my word for it, if you can get a bearing to work use it.



                          • #14
                            Considering the state of the bearings inside the transmission, it needs the pilot. I'm stuck at the moment trying to get the old bearing races off the shafts. Hammer and chisel is doing nothing. Does anyone have any experience with Harbor Freight's 93980 bearing splitter set? It's on sale!


                            • #15
                              Oh yes, and weirdscience's suggestion in post #6 is where I am headed. I did buy the sleeve retainer already. The 0.1" leading lip that is OK should help with the centering of the bearing. I considered the bushing idea, but the lip and no bushings readily available close enough ID to use decided me for the bearing. I pulled the exhaust this time so I should be able to line the tranny up on the bearing when installing it.

                              I told myself last time I would never do this again on this truck, but nobody listens to me...