2002 2500 w/Cummins & NV4500

Recently it is getting harder to shift into 1st/2nd and reverse and downshifting while driving is difficult too. The transmission shop I went to suggested it may be the pilot bearing.
Knowing that nothing is certain until the tranny is dropped, and assuming it IS the pilot bearing, there are two available according to the shop. One of them is standard metal (brass?) w. roller bearings and the other is ceramic. the price diff is about $100. Is it worth it spending the extra $100 for the ceramic or should I just go with the regular one?
Thanks Eddie
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How many miles did your original last?
FMB (just replaced my pilot bearing, as well as TO, PP and Clutch in my '03 2500 CTD HO, at ~185k miles)
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I've got ~184K. Hoping it's not more than the pilot bearing...What type of pilot bearing did you replace with? I'm wondering if it may be worth it to use the expensive ceramic one if it will last forever. With the labor cost to replace, it may actually be worth the extra $$.
Eddie
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I have almost 190k miles. I replaced everything with OEM, it lasted well all this time, I figure it will last till I get rid of it in 2-3 years. To get to the pilot bearing, you already have the tranny off and the Clutch and PP. Might as well replace it all while you are in there. My neighbor runs a transmission shop (nationwide with bad rep) and he says one of his top mechanics can replace a Clutch, Pressure Plate, Throw out bearing, fork & pivot in about 3 hours or less, but that is with lifts, stands and other stuff a well equiped shop has.
Oh, and I bought the parts through a dealer in TX and with shipping to CA, saved lots of bucks compared to the full price my local dealer was going to sell it to me for.
FMB (North Mexico)
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When they pulled the tranny the input shaft was all munched up where it rides in the pilot bearing and the clutch fell to pieces. The flywheel was still well within specs so that didn't need replacing. Total cost was just under $2000 to replace the input shaft & bearings and the clutch. I wish I had a lift and another car and the time to fix it myself...would have saved about $1000 in labor charges. Got a 1 year/12000 mile warranty on parts & labor.
http://www.enterpriseengine.com/prod_display/Transmissions/111/NV4500+5 +Speed/0.php ^^^^ has very good prices for transmissions & parts and is a distributor for South Bend clutches. Unfortunately the transmission shop wouldn't/couldn't install a customer supplied clutch due to warranty issues. Probably BS, but what can ya do? If you are a DIY kind of guy this is probably the company to get your parts from.
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