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Old 04-03-2021, 19:49   #1
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Source For Torlon Ball Bearings

I should replace all the Torlon ball bearings in the batten cars. That's a lot of ball bearings!

Has anyone found a better...less expensive... source than marine suppliers? McMasterCarr is the best I've found so far.
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Old 04-03-2021, 20:00   #2
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Re: Source For Torlon Ball Bearings

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I should replace all the Torlon ball bearings in the batten cars. That's a lot of ball bearings!

Has anyone found a better...less expensive... source than marine suppliers? McMasterCarr is the best I've found so far.

I'd measure the balls. They may not be worn, considering how long they last in travelers.
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Old 04-03-2021, 20:36   #3
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Re: Source For Torlon Ball Bearings

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I should replace all the Torlon ball bearings in the batten cars. That's a lot of ball bearings!

Has anyone found a better...less expensive... source than marine suppliers? McMasterCarr is the best I've found so far.
I bought them directly from Harken. Expensive.

Yes, inspect the balls. Good chance that they are Ok, most of them.

If the BattCars stick and jam it might not be the balls.
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Old 04-03-2021, 20:40   #4
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Re: Source For Torlon Ball Bearings

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McMasterCarr is the best I've found so far.
Interesting that their Torlon balls are not rated for outdoor use.
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Old 05-03-2021, 10:03   #5
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Re: Source For Torlon Ball Bearings

I've dealt with all kinds of batten car sticking issues on a square top main, and not all fun i.e. like lots of bearings coming out and bouncing overboard and so fast.. that you wonder what could possibly have tracked or filmed them. Often, I've found, "sticking" is that the balls or the containment or track is dirty. A carefully cleaning can do wonders and then an application of no-grease lube. With the square top, a support line lead can botch "smooth" hoists and/or take-downs. I do think McMaster is conservative on what can and cannot be outdoors but shouldn't we all want to know that ? UV is a chief hazard. Have fun .. and GOOD LUCK
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Old 05-03-2021, 10:32   #6
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Re: Source For Torlon Ball Bearings

I purchased from US Spars https://www.usspars.com/standing-rigging/t-ball/

Don't know how their pricing compares to other outlets

Good luck
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:30   #7
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Re: Source For Torlon Ball Bearings

I found this UK site where in decent quantities, the price was very reasonable, far better than Harken, 150off 5/16" balls for £54

https://www.ballandrollerstore.com/t...plastic-balls/
Given they sell a lot in imperial sizes, they well have a source in USA, but postage and tax UK to USA should not be very much
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Old 05-03-2021, 12:08   #8
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Re: Source For Torlon Ball Bearings

This post reminds me of the time I took apart my traveler at night over gravel. Torlon balls went everywhere! I searched with a little flash light for hours. I gave up and purchased a new set with installer tool. They weren't much but don't recall the price.
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Old 05-03-2021, 12:18   #9
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Re: Source For Torlon Ball Bearings

To improve smooth operation and longevity consider using ‘One Drop’ lube specifically for this purpose. It makes a huge difference and you never need to read the fine print regarding how much to use... (Really. Don’t use more than one drop...)

Best wishes resolving things.

Cheers! Bill
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Old 05-03-2021, 20:02   #10
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Re: Source For Torlon Ball Bearings

Twice a year, at least, I flush the cars out with soapy water and rinse well. Helps a lot.

These cars are just over 20 years old. I replaced the balls in 2 or 3 cars and it made a world of difference. I had inspected the old balls, and found some worn spots, not on all, but how much time do you want to spend on these little things?

I have some One Drop; guess it would have helped if I had used it way back...before I knew about it...but too late once they get flats.

I thought I'd just bite the bullet and replace all the rest. I hadn't noticed what McMaster said about them not for outdoor use. But I figure Torlon is Torlon.

I'll check the two other sources mentioned. Thanks!
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Old 06-03-2021, 16:39   #11
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Re: Source For Torlon Ball Bearings

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Originally Posted by ggray View Post
I should replace all the Torlon ball bearings in the batten cars. That's a lot of ball bearings!

Has anyone found a better...less expensive... source than marine suppliers? McMasterCarr is the best I've found so far.
Ceramic balls would be best..

https://www.google.com/search?client...UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
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Old 06-03-2021, 19:25   #12
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Re: Source For Torlon Ball Bearings

Interesting.

Running on an aluminum track? In an aluminum car?

I really have no idea if that would work better on not, but reluctant to change the design/ composition of what I have.

Might be a good idea though!
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Old 12-03-2021, 21:21   #13
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Re: Source For Torlon Ball Bearings

Check EBay - big range - including the prices
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Old 12-03-2021, 23:43   #14
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Re: Source For Torlon Ball Bearings

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Originally Posted by ggray View Post
Interesting.

Running on an aluminum track? In an aluminum car?

I really have no idea if that would work better on not, but reluctant to change the design/ composition of what I have.

Might be a good idea though!
Seems to me that you would be now replacing the track and car whilst your immortal ceramic balls lasted forever!

I wonder if regular use of "One Drop" type lube would extend the life of the Torlon balls? I'm not sure of the wear mechanism that does them in.

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Old 16-03-2021, 10:59   #15
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Re: Source For Torlon Ball Bearings

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Interesting that their Torlon balls are not rated for outdoor use.
I asked McMaster about this, and after checking w/ manufacurer, told me this:

"The Torlon Pai Balls (9593K19) are made of Torlon 4203L Grade I. The manufacturer advised that they don't test this material for outdoor use, and therefore, it's up to the end user to determine. There are other grades of Torlon but neither us or the manufacturer have additional information for them, as they don't use other grades."

I looked at other sources noted here, and McMaster was priced much lower
than all...perhaps this is part of the reason.

An internet search of Torlon 4203 says this is electrical grade. (M-C bb's are green as opposed to the typical brown)

Torlon 4301 is bearing grade

So would be a gamble. Hmmm... most of our boats here are made of electrical grade fiberglass.
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