The factory used the bronze bushing in cars and many trucks as it does the job very well. The bushing can be removed easily with grease and a wooden dowel. The bearing can not be removed that easily as you will need a different method. If you have any misalignment in your bellhousing the bearing will fail where the bushing is more tolerant of misalignment.
The bearing will not make your car any faster, it will not last longer or run better, so why use it at all?
I put a new solid (I guess brass) in my 350 and I didn't notice how tight it was on the shaft until I had it together and it acted like I had no clutch at all. I was thinking about a roller (just to see if that was the problem) until I had several guys recommend against it. I pulled the original from my 6 cyl and put it in the 350. Works great.
My advice, it if fits good now, leave the old one in.
If you decide to go with a needle roller bearing I highly suggest the GM version. It has a very nice lead-in to help input shaft installation and is pre-lubricated. Many aftermarket parts do not have the lead-in making installation a lot harder.
I am going against the grain on this one. I am not sure why GM, and Ford have decided to start using the roller bearings, as they usually will not spend an extra penny if not needed, but.....I know there are ten bazillion bronze ones out there with no problems, and I know how many of the roller ones I have seen turned to red "dust" like bad u-joints. If you really thing about it, the ONLY time the bearing actually gets used is when you have the clutch pushed in. At all other times, the input shaft is turning the same speed as the crank, unless the clutch is slipping. Personally, I would rather have the entire surface of the bronze bushing to support the input shaft, instead of just the 12 little needle bearings. I have never seen a bronze pilot bushing fail unless there was some drastic misalignment present betweent eh engine and trans.
Maybe someone from Gm who knows the true reason for the roller bearing will chime in ??
Advanced Automotive Machine
1971 Chevelle "Heavy Chevy" original owner
I have the roller in mine, but I also aligned the bellhousing before using it. I have seen both kinds go bad and I can't tell you which one is really the best. I can say that when the bronze bushing goes bad it does less damage to the input shaft.
'69 RS/SS396 pro street
High Performance Drive Train Parts And Service www.lubedealer.com/biggearhead
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