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Author Topic: Italian drive shafts  (Read 362 times)
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Posts: 2357

« on: 23 March, 2022, 01:17:48 PM »

I think that this has been done before but not written up for a while .....

If you are lucky enough to have the Italian drive shafts but the bearings are beginning to wear, I have found a simple , inexpensive solution that may be worth trying, especially if you have boxes of old tired ones like I do !!

The main issue is that grease doesn't get into the needle rollers because the holes get blocked up (I could go for ages about stripping and cleaning these) and the needle rollers rust and eventually break up - that's OK if they haven't damaged the inner cup because you just replace the needle rollers and regrease
However once the needles seize, they damage/break the inner cup and then the bearing is finished

I haven't seen the exact price of a bearing recently but I think that they cost about 100 each , and there are 16 of them !!

So I found some suitable , modern bearings and lip seals to replace the innards

You need to remove the old seal and shim, scrape out the damaged needles and clean up the outer part.
Remove the cup from the spider

Once clean, fit the 2 x 5mm-thick bearings (I "glued" them in with permanent loctite) and the lip seal and you are done. I found that 2 bearings was 5 times less expensive than the 10mm thick bearing !

A few photos to explain.....

Bearings used :
61803-RS x 2 (size = 17x26x5mm)
Oil seal:

Here in France the total cost was about 8 in total, Simply Bearings had the same sizes but they were slightly more expensive

I haven't tried them yet so cannot vouch for the durability, but may be worth a try if you are stuck

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Amilcar CGS, Aprilia Cabrio, S2Aprilia, Ardea camioncino, S2 camioncino, S2 furgoncino, R4 Sinpar, R4 Rodeo, 65 Moke, R60 Tractor, R60 S, Toselli 78, Moto Guzzi Ercole, Disco 3, Mini ALL4 JCW, Moto Guzzi Cardellino, Fulvia GT, RE Himalayan, Ypsilon
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Posts: 1334

« Reply #1 on: 23 March, 2022, 09:56:09 PM »

I did something similar many years ago and all is still well.   Your solution is better than mine though as I used full width needle bearings and original type "seals" but I wrap the entire joints in sticky black plastic to protect them.
« Last Edit: 23 March, 2022, 09:57:46 PM by davidwheeler » Logged

David Wheeler.  Lambdas, Aprilia, Fulvia Sport.(formerly Appia and Thema as well).
Posts: 35

« Reply #2 on: 04 May, 2022, 03:14:42 PM »

Great idea. I have a pair of spare half-shafts (as I assume they are a weak point) but have baulked at equipping them with 16 new bearings at E100 each. The other thing I would suggest, if you have the half-shafts out, is to fit a second greaser to each spider, 180 degrees from the single greaser supplied by the factory as standard. I think that factory was being overly optimistic in assuming that the single greaser would routinely permit grease to reach all the bearings. Peter Blenk
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