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Old 10-22-2019, 09:25 AM   #1
jhowes
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Default Machinery

My son bought a line bore set up with forms to to pour the babbitt bearings. We don't plan on going in the business but we are interesting some young people to see how it was done in the past. So far they have been a part of resurfacing valves in the three step process and other mechanical examples. What we need now is the fixture to bore, ream, hone, whatever the rod bearing babbitt. Does anyone know of a fixture that we could buy without going into permanent debt? This is for demonstration and fun. So far it has been a blast. Jack
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:51 AM   #2
redmodelt
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Default Re: Machinery

Contact Gene French, he posts on the Model T Ford Club of America's site.

https://www.mtfca.com/phpBB3/viewtop...+French#p37977
He make a Model A rod pouring jig. If you have a milling machine, there is a rod holder on ebay;
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Model-A-T-B...gAAOSwBIVdq3X5
Don't know if it is all there but would be a start.



Unless you really know what you are getting, could get costly real fast between buying, shipping and repairs to buy a dedicated tool to do the babbitt in the rods. The less costly tools were setup to do only one size and might have been ok in the day to get by with.


Hopefully you understand that there is more to the job then just pouring some hot metal in a mold. There are lots of videos on You-Tube that can help, along with practice.

If you are going to do the job, you will also need a way to check the babbitt temperature. You will need a Pyrometer that reads up to about 1000 deg. f with probe for checking temp of babbitt.



Also don't forget the tinning butter and a tool to check the rods for straightness.



You will be working with metal that is in the 700-800+ deg F range and is not something to take lightly.



I would suggest posting an ad in the classifieds in parts wanted, T, A and early V8. There would be more then one maker, so do some research.

You could do a google search; "Fordbarn; rod boring" for example. Not trying to scare you off from trying, just offering a bit of info.
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:48 AM   #3
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: Machinery

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhowes View Post
My son bought a line bore set up with forms to to pour the babbitt bearings. We don't plan on going in the business but we are interesting some young people to see how it was done in the past. So far they have been a part of resurfacing valves in the three step process and other mechanical examples. What we need now is the fixture to bore, ream, hone, whatever the rod bearing babbitt. Does anyone know of a fixture that we could buy without going into permanent debt? This is for demonstration and fun. So far it has been a blast. Jack

Jack, I am only one of several professional engine rebuilders that frequent this forum, so my answers are just from my experiences and should not be considered the only answer but having something small enough for show & tell yet still be robust is going to be difficult at best. Maybe it would be best to have a vendor offer you a few rods in different phases of the rebuilding process for you to show.

If you do decide to bite the bullet and purchase some equipment for demonstration purposes, here are my thoughts. What I learned the hard way in this business is poor equipment sells for cheap money. Poor equipment creates poor results. Many older pieces of tooling can be restored (-which might be a great option for you), -and on some of mine that is exactly what I have done, but other machines are cost prohibitive to restore.

So to answer your question(s) specifically, you asked about machining the Connecting Rod 'babbitt'. I use a Storm machine to machine rods. It is a machine that was specifically designed and used in a production atmosphere to machine connecting rods. Including purchase price and restoration on the unit, I probably have $10k in it. To hone the wrist pin bushing, I have a Sunnen pin fitting machine. Many of these in worn condition can be found for cheap, but a good one of these that has an AG300 gauge on it will be in excess of $3k.

Both of those may be more than you are wanting to spend just for performing demonstrations. Therefore I would suggest in your situation, I would find/use a Bridgeport vertical mill to do both ends with the exception of final hone of the bushing. Since I believe you frequent the Model-T forums, I would suggest to speak with Dean Yoder there and let him post some pictures of how he fixtures and machines rods on his Bridgeport. If you have access to a Bridgeport Mill, this may be the best option for demonstrations

And finally, there is one or two items that you really need to do a quality job on rebuilding rods is a Straightness Checker and a Rod Press. While I don't have pictures on my phone of my press or straightener, I feel certain Herm will be along directly and he likely has pictures of his to show what to look for.
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Old 10-23-2019, 12:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: Machinery

Brent, Like the good advice you have given. To teach myself the techniques for pouring rods or mains and align boring a block or rods I started by using lead. I know it does have a lower melting temperature, but at $50-60 for a 4 lb. bar of good babbitt, it is a little cheaper.
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Machinery

I would also like to thank Brent for his input. We are using lead also, this is a teaching project. We first made bearings for a bench grinder with a seperate motor. It was fun and the young ones had a great experience. We have also made arrangements with a small machine shop to have a demo on the lath and the vertical Bridgeport. We're just trying to show the younger generation how some things were done in years past. Thanks to all. Jack
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Old 10-23-2019, 10:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Machinery

I'm not sure how close lead or tin/lead will come to actual experience as a replacement for babbitt. Babbitt that is used for Ford blocks has somewhat different characteristics in shrinkage and malleability. If folks are looking for actual experience then the recommended babbitt mix is the only way to go. This is not an easy thing to learn without an experienced tutor and using the wrong materials isn't advised.
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:21 AM   #7
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Default Re: Machinery

there are some threads about babbitt recently. Peening the babbit had been mentionted as neccasary. I see peening was not mentioned in your post. https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=269129
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Old 10-23-2019, 12:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Machinery

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Originally Posted by mike657894 View Post
there are some threads about babbitt recently. Peening the babbit had been mentionted as neccasary. I see peening was not mentioned in your post. https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=269129

Mike, he was speaking about connecting rods which the cap & rod is tinned which means the rod castings are not peened.
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Old 10-23-2019, 05:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: Machinery

Cast iron can be tinned but an engine block is too big to make it practical. Con rods are forgings so they tin a lot easier. Some of the main caps are forged but I don't think the rear one is. The main bearings in the block is where they do most of the peening. The babbitt shrinks so it has to be forced to fit by the peening process.

I don't know how lead will be. It works at lower temps and may not shrink as much but I have no idea. Folks that do this stuff regularly don't use lead.
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