Carbon or BATES throwout bearing which one to use ?????

Mon May 03, 2004 11:17 pm

I am at the point there where I need to decided on what throwout bearing to use. Do I want to stay with the original carbon style or go the next step and hopefully better design and buy one of the Bates throwout bearing??

I have emailed Rudi in hopes he could give me some "words of wisdom" and he is waiting for a response from the Bates Corp. on wheather they fixed the problem the bearing getting ate up, or what ever has been occuring.


Has the Bates bearing getting ate up by the pressure plates arms an isolated case?

I myself really like the idea of a roller bearing design, but I really don't want to split the tractor back apart and going back to an OEM carbon in a few weeks or months, especailly with a putting on a new paint job.

Keep in mind with this tractor there will be a LOT of stop and go running and PLUS my 12 year son wants to drive it and I have one heck of time in keeping him from riding the clutch on my 8N. I don't think the carbon would hold up as well as the Bates on a "clutch rider" and I know he will.

Please let me know any and all views and how the Bates actually works. I want to order "A" bearing this week and get this thing back together and painted.

Thanks, John Niekamp

Tue May 04, 2004 5:41 am


I have had a Bates TOB in my '50 for a little over a year. It has worked flawlessly for me. I didn't install it, so it must have been done right. I must say that the bearing doesn't have a lot of time on it. By that I mean that, since I use the Cub for mowing only, the clutch probably doesn't get pushed in and released more than a half dozen times per mowing session.

Bottom line - I really like mine and would use another if I had another Cub.

Tue May 04, 2004 7:38 am

John, The one Bud is rebuilding for me is getting the bearing type throwout. I read the posts, but decided to go with it anyway. I got mine from I'm not sure, but I think they get theis from a different supplier than Bates does. If you decide to get the original type, get one from a dealer. I bought an aftermarket one once to save money, and replaced it 3 times in 14 months before I bought one from a dealer.

Tue May 04, 2004 12:26 pm

I'm one of the ones who have had trouble with a Bates bearing, it was chewed up after less than 2hrs running time. I spoke w/ the kind folks at Bates, and I decided I would try another Bates- the bearing type just makes more sense to me than the graphite block. I should be installing it in the next week or two, and will let ya'll know the results.

Tue May 04, 2004 2:29 pm

In most Cubs the original has lasted for up to 50 years.
I will stay with the OEM.

Tue May 04, 2004 4:07 pm

When I did Ole Malley, I took the clutch, flywheel and TOB to my clutch specialty shop in Johnson City, TN. They specialize in rebuilding clutches for Tractor trailer rigs. He immediately knew what the pressure plate was out of when I tossed in on the counter (a real old timer). He said my original graphite TOB needed to be milled flat, which he did, and said it would be good for another fifty years. He also set my clutch finger adjustment on a special machine to make sure that they all were exactly adjusted to be even. Even used a feeler gauge if I remember correctly. It's been ten years and the original graphite TOB is doing just fine. Not a question IMHO.

Tue May 04, 2004 9:30 pm

Bates roller Bearing ,went out on me , Less than 1 hour run time.Bates sent me a new one.Great people and a great business to deal with.Will let you know when I get it out ,I will be sending the old one back to them.What are you going to do, s**t happens. Don't sweat the small stuff.The engine parts I got from them work great.

Tue May 04, 2004 9:30 pm

I'm using a Value Built for the last 15 months. Will post if and when I replace it.

Tue May 04, 2004 9:41 pm

I installed a new Bates bearing when restoring my 49 and within 2 hours running time the entire front flange of the bearing was ground away..I noticed that the bearing turned somewhat stiff and was skeptical whether it spun or not..anyway I sent it back and they replaced it, this one spun very freely but started to do the very same thing, I could lay under the tractor running and engage the clutch by hand and see the metal dust flying off the bearing, this has to be an alignment problem, if the bearing isn't perfectly centered on the fingers then is is constantly scrubbing and adjustment there except to bend the bracket left to right..after the 3rd split I installed an IH graphite bearing and haven't had any problem with several hours plowing snow and using the clutch a lot..So I don't reccomend the Bates..Gary L.

Tue May 04, 2004 10:08 pm

Thanks Gary for feedback , I noticed the same thing when mine was installed.Now I'm sweaten I don't want to do this the third time.My paint job is chiping off.Please lets not turn this(cub) into somthing like my job :(

Wed May 05, 2004 12:32 am

To be honest I am leaning towards the factory original carbon bearing, BUT the "VALUE BUILT" has sparked my interest too now.

Can anyone give me some more information? is this somthing even different?

What I am reading into this, with the way the factory bent up engagement fork (if you will) can cause the Bates bearing to go off center of the pressure plate fingers causing this to run off center and ruin the new bearing. Am I on the right track here?

I guess like someone else said the carbon has lasted 50 or more years in several cases.

John Niekamp

Wed May 05, 2004 6:25 am
I think it is just as good. Lots of parts for a Cub even from a Dealer are after market. Lots of what I have bought from dealer was made in Taiwan.
Actually I got mine from Ebay still in the box for $28.

Wed May 05, 2004 10:20 am

I don't understand why this is still a question. No one has ever (to my knowledge) had a problem with the graphite bearing. Several people have reported having problems with the ball bearing type TOB. What is the advantage to changing to a roller bearing TOB? A little less friction when engaged? The pressure and thrust on the crankshaft will be the same with either type. What am I missing?

Wed May 05, 2004 1:48 pm

Yo's Dad,
Why would you replace something that worked for 50 yrs with some new fangled thing.......Why would you go and buy some inferior after market battery box........Why would you convert your tractor to 12 volt when a 6 volt works just fine ( if you did it right)...... Why would you buy from someone other than your IH dealer?
The reason......people are cheap......and these are the same people who complain that there isn't an IH dealer near them anymore.
Wonder's hard for them to stay in business when you don't buy from them.
My 2 cents........I'd give you a nickles worth but I can be cheap also.


Wed May 05, 2004 2:19 pm

I don't know that so much of it is being cheap. Some people think the technology of 50 years ago can't be as good as todays new stuff.

Breaking your tractor in half is a lot of work and guys want to go with the best they can afford. I don't think anyone wants to have to replace a TOB any more often then necessary. Granted a new ball bearing type TOB would seem to be a "Better" alternative to the old graphite type; but, in this case, there appears to be mixed results.

I like the graphite bearings I have had one in my '48 for 14 years with no problems and it looks like it will last for at least another 5 to 8 years.