Not a Fan of these New Bearings

I’m not a fan of the replacement superformance outer suspension bushings. They look nice and new but the surfaces are not smooth compared to the Ferrari originals.

Original Ferrari 308 bearing and superformance bearing

Original journal left, Superformance replacement right

In particular, the surfaces of the original bearing journals are polished mirror smooth. The replacements are machined, not polished and still have ridges left over from from the machining. Each outer bearing comprises one plain bearing and one thrust bearing. Both use PTFE coated sufaces in contact with the journal surface.

Perhaps the Superformance replacements are meant to hold some lubricant on the surface but experts have told me that these journals are supposed to be inserted dry and using a lubricant will rapidly deteriorate the PTFE coating on the bearing surfaces. Superformance sells two grades of outer bearing of which these examples are from the non-upgraded versions. Maybe the ‘upgraded’ stainless steel versions are better?

Superformance replacement Ferrari 308 journals

The tolerances of the replacement journals do not seem well controlled either. Of the four I checked, two were a good fit – neither too loose nor too tight. However, one was so loose it fell out every time the bearing was tilted and another was so tight it would not rotate and even needed a puller to remove it!

I ordered complete replacements a few months ago because I did not know how much of the old bearings, if any, could be re-used. The ones I took off the car were the originals and were externally in very bad shape. Since superformance sell a complete bearing kit comprising all of the parts to replace all four outer bearings for one wheel, that looked like a good solution at the time.

Superformance bearing compared to OEM

The thrust surface of the replacement is similarly rough compared to the equivalent original part. The original above looks bad but the black marks are just some sticky residue that is easily removed with a glass scraper, revealing a clean polished surface.

Original Ferrari 308 thrust bearing surface

Given these shortcomings, I have decided to re-use the original cleaned-up journals and thrust surfaces, combined with the superformance casing, sleeve and rubber seals.

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