I never heard of the two terms, apparently the self aligning is new and this is what I found
"The roller elements are tapered and barrel shaped. If the thrust face did not contact square or the thrust forces were not perpendicular to the thrust face can rock in the race and still maintain even loading on all the bearing elements.
It should be a better design in an application where the loading is not even but its not to any degree in a mopar manual transmission design. Is it necessary to have this ability in our cars? Or, is this really unique? Could be they have been using this design for ever, I know I don't take throw out bearings apart.
Seems what ever they have been selling for the past 40 years has held up fine so I kind of think its a marketing gimmick to lighten our wallets more."
Thanks Steve. My only clue was that the pictures of self aligning ones had a ridge on the groove where the fork rode that I thought maybe did something. I ordered the tried and true regular type and it had the ridge too. So much for that idea. I agree, what is the benefit? The fork can pivot pretty well on the ball stud and the bearing tilts on the fork. That pretty much gives 360° of adjustment. Unless the pressure plate fingers are horribly out of alignment I don't see a need. But in that case you have a bad pressure plate anyway.
I don't see the need of it, like you said fork can pivot so I don't see the need of a self aligning bearing. I know the "old" style bearings can last for many miles so I would want to take the chance on finding out the taper bearing don't last as long. The other thing i with the "old" style bearing if it is going it gives you a well advance notice before it fails, who knows if the taper bearing will give you the same warning before it fails
Steve if you are following my other topic you read that the bearing was dry when I removed it. I suspect the fingers of the clutch were contacting the bearing just enough to cause it to spin and that overheated it driving the grease out. When I spun it by hand the sound was of dry bearings. Yet all I heard driving was a kind of muffled whine not unlike a turbocharger. I could not figure what the sound was but now seeing the dry bearing it makes sense. And still it was not growling or screeching like you would expect a dry bearing to. So this old style bearing took 10 years of punishment, my latest neglect, and soldiered on just the same. I'd say that says a lot.
The TOB is sealed and greased for life. Do you have a retracting spring that holds the fork and TOB off the pressure plate?. I don't have a spring on mine and it makes a noise which goes away when I depress the clutch so I think my TOB is hitting the pressure plate. If you don't have any play in yours maybe the pivot ball is too tall.
Yes, in fact I use 3 springs. One to hold the push rod tight to the fork. Another to retract the fork away from the clutch, both springs are inserted into the little hole at the end of the fork. Then a third up under the dash to pull the pedal up towards me so it is always in the absolutely released position. So with all that I adjust for 3/4" to 1" free play at the pedal. How it closed up is a mystery but then after 10 years maybe the mystery is why I ignored it for so long. But as for the pivot ball I am using an old Pontiac OHC-6 bell housing I got by accident at the Englishtown swap meet. All I saw was BOP housing and I grabbed it. When I tried to use it the fork was so close to the back of the opening I had no travel and it hit. I checked the part number and found it was for the OHC-6 which used a flat finger diaphragm clutch and a very tall TOB. The pivot was super short as the flat finger had very little travel . Luckily I was able to find a tall pivot ball at S-K Speed. That corrected the geometry and the fork was located perfectly. I remember when there were 3 lengths of bearings and 3 lengths of pivots as well as the Lakewood adjustable pivot ball.