Goodbye to Plastic Bushings

I really, really dislike the plastic bushings used for the elevator torque tubes, so I decided to design a better way to support the tube. I found a thin section (aka Thinex) ball bearing that fits perfectly over the 1” aluminum tube, and has a small overall diameter that will fit in the space without requiring mods to the ribs. The bearings I bought are flanged on one side. I plan to fabricate a small bearing plate to which I will press-fit the bearings, and then rivet the bearing plate into the floor ribs, just like the current bushing close-out plates do. I expect the smoothness of these bearings will improve elevator control feel in the control stick.

1” bore stainless steel flanged ball bearings
Just loosely test fitting the bearing. I can tell you already that the tube rotates much more smoothly on this bearing than on the bushing!
Another view of the bearing on the short elevator torque tube
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