Originally Posted by Nomad Willy
With the babbitt bearing one would need to grease it quite regularly I suppose. And to pic up the grease droppings I'd need to cut out the floor anyway.
You spotted that right away now didn't you
You are right, they require lube frequently and are messy. I actually cut out some diapers to lay under/around them to keep the grease from dripping into the bilge. Based upon records from the prior owner, the last bearings (2) lasted about 500 hours. Thankfully, they are easy to change, and are about $95 each.
To fit a pillow block style bearing, you would need to modify your existing bearing support to include a shelf for support. Alignment and positioning of the bearing would be pretty important too.
How well did the original flange bearing perform? It seems to have lasted a while, or have you replaced it before? Depending upon the design of the bearing, some do have some 'thrust' capability. With only 40hp or so, I believe the thrust is well under 1,000# max.
Dodge, Moline, Sealmaster and other manufacturers make a double tapered roller bearing in a 4-bolt flange configuration. The Dodge E-Series is rated at over 1,000# thrust in the 1-1/4" size. Note that they have 4 set screws to lock the shaft to the inner race. These would provide a much more substantial solution that would not require any modifications to your existing setup.
Note - these are not self-aligning bearings, they would need to be shimmed to align perfectly with the shaft when installed.