Since I run nitro engines cars and trucks, I've always used standard rubber or metal shielded clutch bearings. Things have changed this spring when I have installed Boca ceramic clutch bearings in my nitro buggy. We frequently hear people saying that ceramic bearings are better than any other types of bearing and I was curious to evaluate how much better they were. I usually replace the standard clutch bearings at every gallon or so. When I replace them, they show sign of wear, often their shields are gone and they don't spin really well. That's the perfect situation to end your a-main earlier than expected!
My buggy has gone through 3 gallons of nitro since I've installed the Boca ceramic clutch bearings in my RC8B. The bearings have gone through the abuses of bashing and racing. When I removed the clutch bell to replace the clutch shoes and for an inspection, the bearings were just like new. They were spinning freely just like when they were new, no specific sign of wear or deterioration. I'm very impressed and I wonder why I've waited so long before using ceramic bearings, especially for the clutch bell since those bearings have to take a lot of abuse and heat. I don't know how long they will last, but by seeing how they look after 3 gallons, I can easily expect 3 more gallons before I have to replace them. Since I'm not a maintenance freak, you could guess that I never re-oiled the bearings and I'll never do!
No matter if you run your nitro R/C vehicle on or off the track, all I have to tell is to not hesitate and make the switch to ceramic bearings, at least for the clutch. As you may expect, the Boca ceramic clutch bearings are more expensive than normal bearings but you'll save on long term and your race or bash day will not end earlier due to a stupid worn out clutch bearing.
Lafrance, S. (2011, August 22). Boca ceramic clutch bearings review [Online Forum Comment].
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