Torrington Bearings

6/5/2008, TCRA Email Forum

We have been seeing some bearings come in and the races are bent, they are springy. Mostly on the Torrington 298 MM bearing – GM-N-8HLT. I know I have had some bad ones from TRI and I think even some from Sonnax. It is about 1 in 50 that are bad. Has anyone else seen this?

Chris Sehorn
Circle D Specialties
Houston, TX


If you’re finding a problem with Sonnax supplied
Torrington product please get in touch with us so
we can gather together some details before contacting

To date there haven’t been any recently reported problems on this,
or any, Torrington bearings but we’re always on the lookout.

Keith Graves


I can’t say that I have seen any ….We don’t buy TRI bearings

If you can take a pic and sent it along and see if I can see what you are
talking about
Joe Rivera

Another question, How can you tell if it is a Torrington bearing? Some
of the bearings have a blue mark and some do not. I order all
Torrington, but maybe they are not.


Unfortunately Torrington/Timken does not put any special identification
markings on their bearings.
There are always slight design differences between a Torrington bearing
and any other brand but
the only way you could tell the difference between bearings for sure
would be them against Torrington’s

The blue mark you sometimes see is not for identification but is an
orientation strip for production.
Torrington places this on some of their parts depending on who bearings
are being manufactured for.
Seems OEM needs some help figuring out which side is up…:)
You’ll see this strip on some Torrington product but not all.

Keith Graves

Nice explanation !!!!

Which side is up anyway LOL

Joe Rivera

Thanks, That makes total sense now.

I tried some pictures of the bearings, but you can’t see the bend.
Just imagine a sealed bearing and one of the races is a little bent.
It will make the stator wobble, change bearings and it is fine.

It will probably not cause any damage, as soon as any load is put on it
should flatten out.

Chris Sehorn

Circle D Specialties

Regardless of which company those bearings came from (Sonnax or Tri) I
would assume that either one should be able to contact their rep at
Timken and send your bearings in for analysis. If this is going to
create a potential failure or problem (or not)I would like to hear from
the source.Jeff Stuck

I would like to hear from the source too. Because it may not hurt anything because I have seen Race converters bearing’s that had one of the races that was spring loaded maybe Ken Kelly might have a opinion on this. Mark Mustard

Torrington bearings usually have a blue stripe while INA has a black stripe. Torrington uses a rolled wedding band to hold enclosed bearings together. INA will have three or four crimps to hold the outer races together. Bearings are run under a load. When the load is applied the bearing will flatten out. If there is a crease in the race, the bearing is junk. The roller cages are another way to tell the difference. INA uses a “Z” cage while Torrington uses a two piece pocket cage.

Don Randolph Dacco Inc.


I was looking at the problem you are having with the 298 bearing. I have found over the years that we have better success if we use the later bowl with the later bearing. That means the later bowl which measures at the bearing surface 3.125 OD we use a later bearing which has the 3.275 OD. If you put the later bearing on an early bowl, which measures 2.875 OD bearing surface, the bearing rollers really do not contact the whole length of the roller which in turn can bend the edge of the race up. I think all the mismatches occur because the cores have been rebuilt so many times. So we always look at the bowls inside to make sure we are putting the right bearing against the right bearing surface. Just a thought, trying to help you, hope it helps, we have used alot of those bearings and we have not had any problems.

Rick Morris
Professional Transmission & Converter

I know what you are talking about, but I don’t think that is the problem. The bearings are actually bent. One of the races is slightly bent causing it to feel springy. I think I got them from Tri, just have not had time to call my rep yet. Appreciate your thought though!

Circle D Specialties

From an Engineering perspective the bearing race must be flat as must the surface it backs on to. Basically if they are not flat there is no point in having them.
Bob Ryan

Can you take an image and send it to the board
DJALLMA@BELLSOUTH.NET The bearing itself is bad. If you hold just the bearing in your hand you can bend one side of the race. These are sealed GM-N-8HLT bearings. I have tried to take pictures but you can not see the bend. It is also very rare, not a huge problem. I just wanted to see if anybody else had these problems.
Circle D Specialties

Chris Thanks for pointing out this potential problem. This is a perfect example of how useful this forum can be to all who share it. It would have been ideal for a vendor / manufacturer to get on board to give us all a resolution, but at least we can watch for it and hopefully head off a problem.
Jeff Stuck