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Myford Headstock bearings


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Bootlegger Blacky17/04/2021 14:47:23
25 forum posts
10 photos

Hello,I have a Myford ML7. That requires new headstock bearings.I assume it has the original soft spindle,so ...what do I need? As these are no longer available,can I use oilite off the shelf bearings,or bronze?or am I missing a trick?thanks in advance.

Andrew Tinsley17/04/2021 14:56:13
1485 forum posts

RDG /Myford do a new hardened shaft and bronze bearings. But at a price! The old white metal bearings are extremely thick and they can be re-scraped. The shaft may well need a skim, but you can scrape the old bearings to suit. It will lower your centre height a touch, but who cares when the refurb will cost you nothing.

I hoarded the last set of new white metal bearings in captivity, but when I came to do the job, I just scraped my old bearings in and sold the new bearings for a large amount of cash.



Edited By Andrew Tinsley on 17/04/2021 14:57:16

Michael Gilligan17/04/2021 15:33:53
18932 forum posts
943 photos
Posted by Andrew Tinsley on 17/04/2021 14:56:13:


The old white metal bearings are extremely thick and they can be re-scraped. The shaft may well need a skim, but you can scrape the old bearings to suit. It will lower your centre height a touch, but who cares when the refurb will cost you nothing.



I’m not being funny, Andrew ... just genuinely curious to know how that works

It’s easy enough to lower the bearing-cap a little; but what do you do about its width ?


duncan webster17/04/2021 15:42:28
3509 forum posts
63 photos

A bit left field. but would one of the modern plastic bearing materials work? There is a full size loco running around with PTFE coupling rod bearings and by all accounts it is successful

Andrew Tinsley17/04/2021 16:16:32
1485 forum posts

Hello Michael,

I didn't have to skim my shaft, so it wasn't a problem. I did a friends lathe which did need a few thou skimmed. I finished up with a non contact line at the bearing joint, it wasn't more than a few degrees either side of the joint., I just left it at that and it has performed well over a good few years.

I could have skimmed the top half of the bearings and made some improvement, but why bother when it all worked without trouble. No doubt the perfectionists will not like it, but then they would probably purchased the hardened mandrel and phosphor bronze bearings from Myford.


Michael Gilligan17/04/2021 16:27:39
18932 forum posts
943 photos

Thanks for that, Andrew

... my ‘fear’ was that the oil might drain away rather too quickly.

Not a problem for me anyway, as I have an ML7R ... but it’s useful to learn from the experience of others.


Steviegtr17/04/2021 17:01:08
2243 forum posts
311 photos

Is there no companies out there that would white metal spray the old shells.


Andrew Tinsley17/04/2021 17:22:58
1485 forum posts

That would be good if it works. I know a little about metal spraying, but not too sure if white metal alloy would spray too well, because of its low melting point.

Anyone really knowledgeable about metal spraying?


P.S. I have in the distant past, cast white metal bearings for full size locos. (Scraping axle boxes is hard work when you have to put the box on and off the wheel journal) . It would be an easy job to remetal or simply add a layer of white metal onto ML7 bearings. I am not even sure that the ML7 bearings have a backing. Making new ones should be pretty straightforward.

V8Eng17/04/2021 18:32:34
1634 forum posts
32 photos

I am not sure how far Noel has got with this  but it might be worth checking out the related thread here:-

ML7 Bearings

Sometimes Shafts and Bearings appear on eBay as well.


Edited By V8Eng on 17/04/2021 18:36:50

Edited By V8Eng on 17/04/2021 18:37:06

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