I talked to rod at Groovy yesterday and bought one of the last 3 remaining sets of bearing collars he has. He is no longer doing the bearings because He has to order 500 sets that are custom made. Does anyone have the exact dimensions of the BB bearings? He says there are cheap off shore made bearings available that will work.
I have been able to buy bearings in the correct size from a number of differnt industrial supply or bearing houses over the years. They are usually foreign made but not always, depends on what they receive from their distributors. Just take one with you or give them the number from the bearing and they can cross reference them. One giy told me that this was not an uncommon size bearing, even with the retaing ring on the OD
Our original BB bearings were made by NTN and I believe they were intended for use in lawn mowers. Our spindles were 5/8" OD so the original bearings will not work on a 16mm spindle. I would suggest looking up NTN and see if they can supply a bearing that will have the 16mm ID. Not sure where we got the collars from. If I remember correctly, we used red locktite on them to secure them into the BB shell.
I think that Phils' spec for Fat listing is wrong.
I've personally been lucky enough to never need a spindle (got a couple for different applications), but I remember reading someone one here who bought one that didnt work with the stock Fat bearings/lockrings.
the bearings are designed to work with the phil spindle, which is 17mm. the outside diameter of the bearings is 35mm, which allows for a tight fit into the threadless bottom bracket. there is a lot of interference with the phil spindle/bb setup. they are both pretty much exactly 17mm and it takes a lot of patience and a little ingenuity to get them to fit, cross your fingers that you don't wreck the bearings on the install.
i have just recently tried the external bearing phil has, and it works really well, if your ok running a modern hollowtech crank. the bb on my fat has been faced down to 64mm over the years and i have to compensate with chris king spindle spacers, so it works OK but if the bb is 68 i think it'd work fine.
I'm about to try installing a set of 17x35x10 bearings I got from vxb ( with snap rings). It seems Action Tec has a 17x120 straight spindle which would hopefully be compatible. If it all works I'll update...
Using ghetto technology, the bearing were installed in my '91 Wicked as was the lovely lightweight Ti hollow spindle. First ride impressions are that the new parts work very smoothly, chainline correct.