Thank you Don! I have a local SKF shop down here. Let me try first, otherwise will accept your offer. Did you rework the front cover in order to accept the reinforced bearing or are you still going with the original ball bearing? I have made the rework in the front cover following Bruce´s Bible and decided to install a roller bearing instead of the ball type, new seal and additional oil channel. So, the new question is: I need to stick with roller type in the back crankcase or can use roller in the front and ball in the crankcase?
I am not quite following your post, but I am comfortable using the original roller bearing in the rear and ball type in the front. I plan to open the additional oil feed hole as recommended for the front bearing. Ball and roller bearings work well so long as they are receiving some oil. If they sit a long time, they can corrode and the oil can turn to a thick gunk. This is a recipe for a failed bearing. Solution.... Drive often, use good, fresh oil.
I am in conversation with Classic Alfa regarding their water pump kit. At this point, it's a bit short of specifics. I am told that their bearing has "higher quality stainless steel", and is "truly sealed for life". I have not gotten an answer as to whether the use of their kit requires machining of the the block or timing cover.
I personally dislike "sealed for life" bearings. This is what is used in the distributor drive and distributor, and they wear out. Ball and roller bearings that operate in a spray of fresh oil tend to last a very long time, although I can see how the intermediary gear assembly somewhat masks the bearings from receiving said spray. I have drilled the front hole that allows drain oil from the Spica to enter the front bearing bore, and thence to the bearing. The rear bearing, history tells us, does not suffer quite so much.
I may order one of their kits to take a look and give it a try, but have doubts about magic in a bottle.
The bearing stack on the engine I'm rebuilding was something of a mess. Not sure I have all of the right parts or in the right order. Awaiting some stuff to confirm, but I may open up the second engine to compare.
Edgar - you might take a look at my Monty thread to see how to remove the inner race from the intermediary gear shaft.