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I just finished a marathon session of adding approximately 160 bearings to my rolling stock. I am positively blown away by the results! It took hours and hours to do but cost only about $35 and the result is cars that seem to glide over the rails. I used the standard MR52ZZ bearings that others have used. They measure 2x5x2.5mm. These fit the older Lego 1.98mm axles with the pointed end, the newer 2.00mm axles with the blunt end and your custom .078 inch (1.98mm) music wire axles. I used all three types for this project. Variances in tolerance will sometimes require a hammer to tap the bearings on to the thinner axles, but the thicker ones require quite a pounding for each. I drilled a hole in a board to the correct depth to help seat the bearings when hammering. I used the yellow brick to verify the correct depth on each end and the jig ensures everything is centered. The hammering DOES damage the bearings! Don't be fooled. BUT, it doesn't matter. My cheap Chinese bearings went from icy smooth to "spins very well" after hammering. My cars now roll for yards with just a flick. A few (2-3?) bearings were destroyed; they became notchy and wouldn't spin freely after hammering. So off they came and into the trash they went. At less than $.20 each I could afford to toss a few. I never plan to reverse this mod, nor sell these parts so I don't care about cutting those two tiny tabs off. That said, this mod could be done and could be reversed without removing those tabs. If anyone's interested how let me know. I also used a tiny drop of thin CA to hold the bearings to the truck. That prevents them from popping out and from shifting left or right and rubbing against the inside of the truck. Did I mention I'm thrilled? I can now pull all my cars, at once, around the tightest curves and switches with a single train motor. Three of my engines have twin train motors specifically because they needed the traction provided by four driving wheels. I'm guessing that my battery life will improve also. Now I can start designing longer trains and adding more cars! Hope you like.
SevenStuds posted a topic in LEGO Technic and Model TeamI'm in the process of planning an air-powered vehicle that should be able to freely slide in any direction on a smooth, hard surface. For this to work, I thought of using 3 or 4 of these Technic ball pivots to support it: One of them is used in place of a 3'rd wheel in this Mindstorms model: Does anyone have any experience with them as to how freely the bearing rolls inside the ball joint? If a light craft was supported on 3 of these, how much force would require it to roll? Thanks in advance!