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Old 08-29-2010, 01:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Pilot Bearing for 390

Guys,
Could someone give me a part no. for a Pilot bearing that would fit a Tremec TKO 600 transmission and a 390 FE Crank. The hole in the crank is 1.85" Dia. X .440" Deep. So I would need a bearing that is 1.85" OD X .669" ID and .440" or there abouts long. I've looked all over the internet and I can't find one like that. Thanks, Jim
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Pilot Bearing for 390

you need an SKF 6204RSJ pilot bearing.

Napa has it.
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Pilot Bearing for 390

Thank you FE. Jim
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Pilot Bearing for 390

Not a problem my bruddah in Ford!
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Pilot Bearing for 390

FE, have you ran this bearing before? I've got the same one for my TKO swap in my '62, but never hear from anyone using it. I'll say this -- the fitment is very snug to get the trans stabbed in the first few times. Just wondering what everyones experience was.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Pilot Bearing for 390

I put many bearings in other 390 combos and I use a bit of emery cloth to massage the outside of the bearing and the output shaft's tip so as not to cause any friction.

I simply called a favorite supplier with the dimensions supplied and that's the bearing number that matches those dimensions.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Pilot Bearing for 390

I did the same dimension matchup with the local parts house. I've never run one, so I've got no clue how well it will work. In theory it should be fine and I went a step further to get the 6204 with the high temp side seals. The parts guy questioned this type of bearing because its not the typical needle bearing type you see the SBC guys running saying the tolerances may be too tight to allow some play as a bronze bushing will. However, the Tremec isn't a wobbly shafted 50 year old trans either. I was curious if anyone had run one before, never heard any first-hand experience.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Pilot Bearing for 390

Stop the sale here. The dimensions of a SKF 6204 are as follows:
47mm OD, 20mm ID, 14mm width.

That converts to 1.85" OD, .7874" ID, .551" wide.

JimNolan says he needs 1.85" OD to fit the hole in the crank. But he says his shaft size is .669".

That gives .1184" clearance from the bearing ID to his shaft. That is WAY TOO MUCH. A bearing with a 17mm ID would work out to .6693". That would make it a bitch getting the transmission in and out, but would be a proper fit to the input shaft. You DO NOT want the inner bearing race spinning loosely on the input shaft of your tranny. It is much harder steel than the shaft and could gall it up. That is why I run a bronze bushing rather than a bearing. The bushing will not last as long, but if you were to experience a catastrophic bearing failure it would ruin the input shaft of your trans.

If you cannot come up with a bushing let me know. I have an old worn out bushing from my 390 that had a .500" hole. I could throw it the lathe and open the hole up to fit your bigger pilot for your TKO.

BTW, the pilot bushing vs. pilot bearing arguement is older than the hills, but I prefer the bushing for the reasons I've mentioned.

Last edited by Dave66Galaxie; 08-30-2010 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Pilot Bearing for 390

Guys,
I finally got hold of Mike Forte. He is the guy I bought the pilot bearing I'm running now from in 07. It's a needle bearing type. Apparently there's not that many people that run TKOs with FE engines. Anyway, I'm getting ready to put a new engine in my 57 and I'd like to get the parts ahead of time. Meanwhile I drive the 57 everyday, so tearing it down just to get a part no. off the bearing isn't an option. I plan on making the engine swap a one day affair. Thanks, anyway. Jim
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Pilot Bearing for 390

I totally screwed up the number in my last post, sorry about that. The bearing I have is a 6303 NOT a 6204. It is 47mm x 14mm with a 17mm hole, and yes, Dave, it is a very snug fit. The first few times I put the trans it was a chore, but now after installing and removing the trans a few times it slides together nicely. I have a B50-HD bronze bushing I could run just as easily, but heard the roller pilots make the shifts easier with the Tremecs.

Would be interesting to know from Mike Forte if the needle bearing he sells has any distinct advantage to the 6303 sealed roller pilot.
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:45 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Pilot Bearing for 390

drdano, that 6303 looks like the ticket.
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Pilot Bearing for 390

I used bronze bushings with every TKO I did, including my own. I just haven't seen any benefits to the bearings, especially if you dial the bell on center.
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:21 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Pilot Bearing for 390

Stang,
You're probably right. The bushing would work also. The bearing is what I used before so I just thought I'd use it again. I used the Lakewood bell housing and it dialed in at .003" without offset dowels. The transmission has been flawless behind the 390 so I'm going back with the same pieces I used before. I'm going to use the same flywheel, clutch and pressure plate but I want to have a new pilot bearing and throwout bearing when it goes back. I don't have a lot of help when it comes to changing engines and labor so when one of the guys comes over to help change the engine I want to have everything ready and not drag this swap out more than a day. Jim P.S. This time I'll write down the part numbers of the pieces I use so I won't have to go through this again.
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:44 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Pilot Bearing for 390

Guys,
I just got off the phone with Mike Forte. The reason I couldn't find a pilot bearing is because he makes them himself. The part number is irrelivent since you get it from him.
From what I've read on the internet he is one of the first people to produce parts and kits for the FE-Tremec conversions. Anyway, since I've had flawless operation from my previous conversion I don't want to deviate from it now.
I will say this, Mike seemed to be a great guy with a world of knowledge between his ears.
Thanks guys for looking up different numbers for me. I appreciate that a lot. I'd use a bushing and I know that would probably be fine, they've used them for ages with no trouble. But, after having a transmission you can't hear for the last three years, I'll just go back that way since I can. Jim
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:16 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Pilot Bearing for 390

As a quick update on this, I ran into a problem with the 6303 roller pilot bearing on my 390 FE. I'm still in mockup stages working on my trans tunnel, but I noticed tonight that the input shaft of the transmission is bottoming out in the back of the 6303 bearing in the crank. Granted, its not much, maybe half a millimeter, but enough to make me want to pop it out and run the B50-HD bronze bushing instead if I cannot find a suitable replacement roller bearing that is a bit shorter.
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