Ball Bearing vs. Journal Bearing


The journal bearing has long been the brawn of the turbocharger, however a ball bearing cartridge is now an affordable technology advancement that provides significant performance improvements to the turbocharger. Ball bearing innovation began as a result to work with the Garrett Motor Sports group of several racing series where it received the term the 'cartridge ball bearing'. The cartridge is a single sleeve system that contains a set of angular contact ball bearings on either end, whereas the traditional bearing system contained a set of journal bearings and a thrust bearing.

Turbo Response 

When driving a vehicle with the cartridge ball bearing turbocharger, you will find exceptionally crisp and strong throttle response. Garrett Ball Bearing turbochargers spool up 15% faster than traditional journal bearings. This produces an improved response that can be converted to quicker 0-60 mph speed. In fact, some professional drivers using Garrett ball bearing turbocharged systems claim that they feel like they are driving a big, normally aspirated engine.

Reduced Oil Flow

The ball bearing design reduces the required amount of oil to provide adequate lubrication. This lower oil volume reduces the chance for seal leakage. Also, the ball bearing is more tolerant of marginal lube conditions, and diminishes the possibility of turbocharger failure on engine shut down.

 
 
 
 

Improved Rotor Dynamics and Durability

The ball bearing cartridge gives better damping and control over shaft motion, allowing enhanced reliability of both everyday and extreme conditions. In addition, the opposed angular contact bearing cartridge eliminates the need for the thrust bearing, commonly a weak link in the turbo bearing system.

Additional Ball Bearing Options 

Another option one will find is a hybrid ball bearing. This consists of replacing only the compressor side journal bearing with a single angular contact ball bearing. Since the single ball bearing can only take the thrust in one direction, a thrust bearing is still necessary and drag in the turbine side journal bearing is unchanged. With the Garrett ball bearing cartridge the rotor-group is entirely supported by the ball bearings, maximizing efficiency, performance, and durability.

Information Provided By: Garrett Performance Products

 

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