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What is the prevailing opinion on the bronze pilot bushing as opposed to the new style roller bearing........
 
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THere's really nothing new about it. My '68 Hurst Olds came with one in '68. I prefer them.
 

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For a T5 swap, the roller is needed. For period transmissions, I think either is fine. However, I did have a pilot bearing lock up once and wallered out the end of the crank shaft. Real bummer, but that was on a Pontiac.
 

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I read a caution somewhere when installing a T5 be sure to use the roller pilot bearing because the T5's input shaft is not tempered to take the heat of a bronze bushing and will soon be toast if you use one.
 

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Although my Pony's are automatics, my diesel truck has a T-19 manual and I work on industrial engine assemblies for a living and I can't recall one which doesn't have a roller pilot bearing whenever a clutch is utilized.

FWIW, all transmission input shafts I've ever worked on were harder than heck...they need to be to run against the hardened needles in the roller bearing, not to mention the strength the hardening brings to handle the clutch spline and power transmission loadings.

I've only worked on a few Toploaders and zero T5's but I do recall the input on the Toploader being hardened too. From my experience in building pump driveshafts (for gear hydraulic pumps), I do know that a bronze bushing is much more forgiving of surface hardness in the shaft than a needle roller bearing is. If I don't get the heat treat just right, the needles chew up the shaft in no time, wheras the bronze bushing just slowly wears the shaft out, albeit more quickly than a correctly hardened one.

Personally, I'd only run the roller bearings....I've got 150K on the OEM clutch and pilot bearing in my diesel pickup and it's still doing fine (checked everything when replacing the throwout bearing at 120K)

Hope that helps!
 
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