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Old 12-09-2020, 02:26 PM   #1
Magoo2
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Default Does this Babbitt look ok?

Iím rebuilding one of the spare engines I have. The pictures show the three main bearings. Iíve never done this before and would appreciate any opinions as to the condition of these bearings. There were no shims installed on the mains. The crank looks good,no scoring. Iím trying to do this as inexpensively as possible as itís a spare engine but I donít want to waste time and money if Iím going to have to get new Babbitt and have it line bored. Thanks .
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Old 12-09-2020, 02:31 PM   #2
jm29henry
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Default Re: Does this Babbitt look ok?

It doesn’t look bad but I think you should plastic gauge it and and you will know what you have ? This is only my opinion I hope the experts will let us know , best of luck to you
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Old 12-09-2020, 02:35 PM   #3
Magoo2
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Default Re: Does this Babbitt look ok?

I am going to plastigauge .i accidentally attached a connecting rod pic. Should have been the rear main. For some reason I canít attach a photo of it
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Old 12-09-2020, 03:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Does this Babbitt look ok?

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Originally Posted by Magoo2 View Post
I am going to plastigauge .i accidentally attached a connecting rod pic. Should have been the rear main. For some reason I canít attach a photo of it
If the rear main is in similar condition to those, I'd run them. I don't like doing it but if those bearings need tightening, you could carefully remove some metal from the cap using wet and dry paper on a flat surface and moving the cap in a figure 8 pattern.
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Old 12-09-2020, 06:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Does this Babbitt look ok?

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If the rear main is in similar condition to those, I'd run them. I don't like doing it but if those bearings need tightening, you could carefully remove some metal from the cap using wet and dry paper on a flat surface and moving the cap in a figure 8 pattern.
I've never heard of removing metal from cap. Is this a normal practice instead of removing shims?
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Old 12-09-2020, 06:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Does this Babbitt look ok?

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There were no shims installed on the mains so removing material from the caps will loosen up and possibly require a shim. Old school repair to keep it going without the expense of new babbitt and line boring.
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Old 12-09-2020, 07:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Does this Babbitt look ok?

Never much cared for plastigauge when checking poured babbitt, so I use aluminum foil.
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Old 12-09-2020, 08:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: Does this Babbitt look ok?

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I've never heard of removing metal from cap. Is this a normal practice instead of removing shims?
This is common practice for Model T engines when there are no shims left. It is called 'cross-filing'. Done with a file sideways over the bearing cap.
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Old 12-09-2020, 08:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: Does this Babbitt look ok?

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This is common practice for Model T engines when there are no shims left. It is called 'cross-filing'. Done with a file sideways over the bearing cap.
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Old 12-09-2020, 09:47 PM   #10
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Default Re: Does this Babbitt look ok?

doesn't matter if you sand caps to get it, just get .0015 to .002 clearance.. its called the hydrodynamic principle, a bearing/ journal needs .001 of oil clearance per inch diameter of shaft to be supported by oil.. 1.5" model a crankshaft?.0015...10" ship screw shaft?.010 clearance..

your babbit looks servicable, do the full monty, hone and re-ring,lap the valves and enjoy an old fashioned overhaul..
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Old 12-09-2020, 11:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: Does this Babbitt look ok?

I agree,

Fit the bearings and proceed. This engine still has a lot of life left in it.

Just be sure everything is CLEAN and all the filings are completely removed and it will be fine.

My opinion,

Chris W.
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Old 12-10-2020, 08:11 AM   #12
Magoo2
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Default Re: Does this Babbitt look ok?

I want to thank everyone for their input it was very helpful.
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Old 12-10-2020, 10:36 AM   #13
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Default Re: Does this Babbitt look ok?

You can find a vintage babbitt scraper on eBay, sharpen it up nicely. I think I paid about $15. I bought a rear main at swap meet for $5.00, looked to be poured, but never installed. You might be able to use a nice used one? First and foremost, is a lot of patience and time. I practiced on the old cracked main, it's fun! Prussian blue, fit and rotate, pull it off and scrape. Repeat a whole bunch of times going slow and careful. Saved my rehabilitated engine and was actually very rewarding. Of Course, you are nowhere near what I had to deal with, just thought this might help someone else with babbitt on a budget problems! Good Luck. Greg

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Old 12-10-2020, 01:02 PM   #14
Ernie Vitucci
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Default Re: Does this Babbitt look ok?

Good Morning...The fact that there are no shims would most likely mean that the engine has quite a bit of time on it and shims were removed as the bearings wore...the bearing is now, most likely egg shaped as it was originally round when allign boared. If you are able to scrape the babbitt...ok if it is not too thin...or file the cap...there will still be some life if the engine is treated with more than normal respect and a very light foot on the throttle...Mark the cap with a felt tip, turn it black and put it back on the engine and turn the crank...that will tell you if the cap is draging on the crank bearing anyplace. Ernie in Arizona
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Old 12-10-2020, 03:19 PM   #15
Chuck Sea/Tac
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Default Re: Does this Babbitt look ok?

Egg shaped is right. I don’t remember the number, but after so many thousandth of shim removal, it gets egg shaped. I like to do bearings by feel and sometimes Prussian blue to see the percentage of mating. You can do the cap sanding, but be aware your building a short mileage ice cream getter, not a touring engine.
I have been involved on a couple of rebuilds like this, and both times you could feel the bearings bind and then loosen over and over as the crank was rotated. Not sure why, except for out of round journals.?
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