Many LBCs of the 1920s to the late 1970s used a carbon faced throw out (or "release") bearing to operate the pressure plates on their clutch systems.
Back in the 1930s-40s, virtually all automobile manufacturers used carbon faced release bearings. Yet, not one uses carbon T.O. bearings today. Why? Because Carbon T.O.'s were not designed to withstand the abuse of modern stop and go driving conditions.
If you live in a rural area, or put mostly highway miles on your LBC, carbon can be quite adequate and last the life of the clutch. But If you subject that same carbon T.O. bearing to the rigors of modern, daily city driving, chances are that it will fail before the other clutch components are worn.
This problem lead to aftermarket roller T.O. bearings designed to replace the antiquated carbon units. Unfortunately, these are hard to find and are prohibitively over priced. Here is my alternative.
What you will need:
- a 1992-07 throw out bearing from a Honda civic
- a new or used OEM MGB carbon throw out bearing
- a little J.B. Weld (or J.B. Quick)
- Tin snips, Grinder, Drill, Propane torch, pliers, some light gauge sheet metal, 4 stainless steel pop rivets & a Pop rivet gun.
First thing we do is disassemble the Honda T.O. bearing.
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Grind these 4 tabs flush.
We will only be using the 3 pieces of the Honda bearing shown below.
Next, remove all the carbon from your OEM MGB T.O. bearing and insert the ring spring, bearing and bearing housing into the MGB T.O...It should fit snug and the bearing should have about 1/16th" up and down, spring loaded movement.
Below is a side view of the unit with the Honda bearing installed.
My OEM MGB T.O. bearing housing had been ground out a little bit to much when it failed, so I filled this space with J.B. weld.
The retainer clip was cut from light gauge sheet metal. I cut the hole to allow for the bearing to move up and down, then made 4 tabs that I bent around the sides of the MG T.O. housing. After it was cut and bent I heated the clip (3 times) to red hot and quenched it in motor oil to harden it.
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And that's it. The roller bearing is quiet and it doesn't lower engine RPM's when depressed like some carbons do.