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Old 08-21-2012, 02:58 PM   #15
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While we are on the subject of bearings I figured this would be something noteworthy to throw out here.

MicroBlue has a coating that on bearings and engine internals drastically reduces friction and increases lifespans. A bi-product of this is increased fuel mileage. I am seriously considering doing this to my truck.

There are several truckers running them now, and just by changing out the bearings some of them are seeing 4mpg increases in their trucks. It is pretty neat stuff.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:26 AM   #16
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Since our wheel bearings roll rather than slide, I would think Microblue would have no advantage in reducing friction.
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:50 AM   #17
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Since our wheel bearings roll rather than slide, I would think Microblue would have no advantage in reducing friction.
Rolling over another surface results in friction. Whether that friction is enough to justify Microblue over the usual wheel bearing grease is the question.

A 4 mpg increase is an enormous percentage increase for a large truck and would mean to mean that wheel bearings with standard grease account for enormous amounts of friction. I find that hard to believe.

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Old 08-27-2012, 01:01 PM   #18
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Looking at the link provided, it says 4/10 (0.4%) of a percent increase in mpg for the best case. I would find that hard to measure, but maybe a over the road trucker has that kind of accuracy with all the miles of data.
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:18 PM   #19
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0.4% improvement seems believable, though perhaps difficult to prove... 4 mpg in an HD pickup seems unlikely, and 4 mpg in a semi rig would probably represent an increase of 50% or better which isn't believable at all. Searching around I found some apocryphal comments about improvements but nothing about repeatable tests, but I confess I didn't put a lot of time into the search.

A big fraction of energy at highway speeds goes to battling aerodynamic drag, and I think rolling resistance of tires is a bigger factor than that of bearings (assuming decent quality undamaged bearings that are properly lubricated, of course.)
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:22 PM   #20
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The grease provides some heat transfer as well as lubrication for the end of the rollers that are sliding over the cages. Rolling friction on tapered roller bearings is an order of magnitude less that sliding friction in a grease lubricated sleeve bearing. I doubt you can measure gas mileage that accurately, given the great variability in road/weather conditions as well as other variables. I would think Microblue would be more effective in a sliding friction application under high load and marginal regular lubrication. Slick 50 says it provides some additional lubrication for engines with pressurized oil systems.
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:32 PM   #21
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actually I believe that it says "4/10 mpg improvement" or 'four tenths of one mile per gallon improvement', for a 3-axle tractor set, and

not 4 mpg; nor 0.4%; nor 4/10 of a percent....

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Old 08-27-2012, 01:51 PM   #22
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actually I believe that it says "4/10 mpg improvement" or 'four tenths of one mile per gallon improvement', for a 3-axle tractor set, and

not 4 mpg; nor 0.4%; nor 4/10 of a percent....

That would represent something like 6-7% for the average semi, I think. It seems like around 6 MPG is a good rating for them.

6% would be a big deal if it's provable, since it would go straight to profit once any price difference for the blue bearings is defrayed. I'd find 0.4% more believable in the absence of supporting data, but I'm the cynical type. To illustrate just how cynical, I'd also want to make sure they're comparing their product to a brand-new high-quality bearing without the coating, and not to the performance of a bearing that's ready to be replaced because it's worn out.

Where did you see this claim? I poked around on their site for a while and didn't find a specific claim.
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:07 PM   #23
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upper right hand quarter of the home page at MICROBLUE® | Superior Friction Reducing Technology

and, my apology to MrBeast, as it was he, not that home page, who said "4 mpg".

best,
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:45 PM   #24
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Ah, OK, I was looking for a titled section about that and ignored that section as "headlines" which it turns out was mostly right.

It links to a section in which they say: "We've now shipped over 500 bearing sets to customers throughout the US and Canada. On 3 axle tractors, nobody has given us any other number than 4/10ths. improvement. Sounds crazy, but it's true. We're starting to get trailer info in, but the picture hasn't been as consistent. The problem with that has been all about the install."

So, this improvement has all been reported by customers who bought the bearings, and since it's replacement bearings on commercial vehicles, I'd guess that most of the installations were replacing worn-out bearings. I can believe that new top-quality bearings replacing worn-out sets might achieve 6% improvements in that kind of application.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:31 PM   #25
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Each to his own theory of Murphy's visitation cycle. My Dad called me "Murphy" for the first five years of life despite my mother's protestations. Personally, I travel with 4 full sets of bearings, tools for the job, and lube- vestiges of my Boy Scout days.
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