Kenmore/Frigidaire washer bearing replacement

Our Kenmore (made by Frigidaire) front-loading washer (417.41142000) is now very noisy while spinning, and I suspect that the bearing is crapping out -- and, no, we have never used non-HE detergent in it.
The bearing is available from Sears or the other appliance parts vendors only as part of a whole shell-and-bearing assembly costing $150 or more (plus expensive shipping because of its size).
Questions:
1. Is a suitable bearing in fact available from, e.g., an engineering supplies vendor?
2. Is replacing the bearing (and, if push comes to shove, the whole shell-and-bearing assembly) all that is needed? Or is it probably necessary to replace the tub as well (about the same price again) because the shaft will have suffered damage too?
Perce
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I had the same problem with my washer (same model). I wound up replacing the complete drum assembly for a couple of hundred dollars, and it's as good as new. I was able to get a new complete drum assembly for about $150, and simply swap it. Other people have reported being able to simply replace the bearings for about $50 or so, plus 2-3 hours of work.
More information here: http://applianceguru.com/forum2/834.html including a link to the bearing part and seal.
Good luck!

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When did you do this? AFAICS from the messages on that forum, the price has shot up over the past few months.
Perce
On 07/23/07 10:33 am snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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I did it last summer, and from what I recall, the complete drum assembly was always cheaper here in Canada.
The second posting in the thread has a link to a bearing and seal set for a bit less than $50.
Instructions are available at http://fixitnow.com/documents/pegidocs/RearBearingV6.pdf , and it also has the bearings and seal parts that you could probably order from a bearing shop in your area (check your yellow pages).
Rob
wrote:

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