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Old 02-23-2016, 09:11 AM   #1
Christoph
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Default Engine Tear-down and Babbitt-prob.

Engine Tear-down and Babbitt-prob.

I lately opened the engine, which was in my car when I first bought it .

Engine still was running, but I took it off the car (years ago) as it was slow,

tired and powerless .
Engine was stored in my garage ever since and now I managed to tear it down.

Pistons look good (but will need new rings)
Cylinders look good and honing is in good shape

I found all valves and everything around completely gone.
3 valves (original–style) bent; None of them tight nor dense.
All valve-guides loose and “gone”

Funny , as engine was reworked earlier.
They used 4 different types of valve-springs (what they found in their shop, I guess)
They used hardened valve-seats ( I like this - will just have to clean that …)
They used adjustable Tappets (double-lock)

Change to new style-valves will not be a prob, i guess ( I hope)

Now my problem :
Engine was running quiet and without bearing-noises but now I found the
center main-bearing (just the lower part of the Babbitt) to be defective
(Find pics attached ).

Is that a production-problem of pouring the Babbitt or what happened here?

Please come back with suggestions how to solve that prob.
I guess you wouldn’t reuse ? ( I do not intend to reuse).
Thank you very much in advance.
Christoph

(btw - Please keep in mind that I am located in germany)
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:37 AM   #2
100IH
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Default Re: Engine Tear-down and Babbitt-prob.

The last time it was apart, only the minimum was tended to with more hope than money.
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:12 AM   #3
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Default Re: Engine Tear-down and Babbitt-prob.

obviously the last rebuild was done by a grease monkey and not a true professional. I would examine everything very carefully because obviously the last guy was incompetent! Wayne
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: Engine Tear-down and Babbitt-prob.

locate another cap that is good and scrape to size with a babbitt scraper. Bert's in Colorado USA may have one.
You can do it little by little using machinist's bluing, or even a large magic marker. It is tedious but can be done if you are patient. Since the engine is out of the car just flip it over and get started. The center main is what wears first. You want your clearances to be .0015-.002 using plastigage. Check all three caps. You peel shims off the shim pack shim to get the clearance tighter. Many threads here on how to do this. A search would be revealing.

If it has been this many years I am assuming you won't be putting many miles on the car.

I have no idea what kind of access you would have to a babbitt shop in Germany. Even here in the states the dudes that say they can do babbitt seldom can do it correctly. It is truly a lost art; an anachronism
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Old 02-23-2016, 12:11 PM   #5
Kohnke Rebabbitting
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Default Re: Engine Tear-down and Babbitt-prob.

Your Babbitt is not original, and shows it was a cold pour, as in not stuck.

There is no reason to think the other caps are any better.

I will bet the block Babbitt wasn't peened either.

Find somebody, and do it over, as what you have is not usable.

Take pictures of the other bearings also.

Herm.
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Old 02-23-2016, 01:11 PM   #6
glenn in camino
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Default Re: Engine Tear-down and Babbitt-prob.

I once pulled the rear main cap off a well used A engine and a quarter size piece of babbit fell out. I glued the piece back in with high temp. Locktight and ran it for several more years.
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Old 03-04-2016, 07:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: Engine Tear-down and Babbitt-prob.

Thank you all for your suggestions.
I really apprechiate.
I will more pics of all bearings in the next 2 postings....

@ 100IH
Ja - or maybe it was done by the owner with big hope and big money and he gave it to a Pro who made just money out of that.

@ tbirdtbird
Thank you – I agree in each statement.

I would love to learn and try to scrape.

BTW I had phonecalls with Steve ( at Bert`s) as I bought lots of parts there lately, but he sadly couldn’t offer any used cap.
They don’t sell Babbitt-caps anymore as they just sell inserts and insert-engines.
Anyhow I like to buy there, as they seem to have lots of original-parts available.

Assuming that I wont be putting many miles ON THAT SPARE is correct; If I redo it myself, it will stay a spare.
The actual engine was bought all new (inserts and counterbalanced and oil-pressurized and filtert) but already got
about 50`000 miles and I guess it wont have everlasting life. As so I need a spare ….
I could buy another All-new and shiny, but I want to learn about things myself.

Regarding Babbitt-shops over here:
Lots of Germans had “Wirtschaftwunder” after WW2; As so, they put everything old to the junk.
Well - Not my father, as he was to young for WW2 and he bought his first car in the 1970s (around the time, I bought my first car too….)
However there where not to many pre-war-cars left ( most of them to be crushed during war) and actually most pre-war-cars in germany
came from other countries (as my Tudor came from Netherlands)
Without old cars there is not to many Babbit-Specialists over here
The ones to be around are incredible expensive – Ja- it seems to be a lost art.

@ Herm
Thank you so much for your posting.
I really appreciate your experience.
Ja – I will send pics of the other bearings (as soon as I made some - which might be Saturday).

I thought it might be a cold pour – thank you for your confirmation.

If I cant fix that myself, I will give the engine to Peter Glasmacher in Belgium (who made my actual engine)
and he will do his Pro-Work and put in inserts.

Sending an engine to USA and back does not make sense and is EXPENSIVE (transportation and customs)
Additional, most US-Pro`s refuse to give Overseas-warranty (due to transportation.costs).

@ Glenn
Hmmm
Might work in certain cases, but as my cap seems to be a could-pour, I guess that failure will increase way to soon.


Thank you all again
I will post some pics of the other Babbitts soon

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Old 03-04-2016, 07:16 AM   #8
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Default Re: Engine Tear-down and Babbitt-prob.

more pics...

As i allready posted the lower part of the center crankshaft bearing,
here are the two others...
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Old 03-04-2016, 07:18 AM   #9
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Default Re: Engine Tear-down and Babbitt-prob.

....and here we go for the 3 crankshaft-bearings
which are in the engine-block
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Old 03-04-2016, 07:19 AM   #10
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Default Re: Engine Tear-down and Babbitt-prob.

...i would reuse each...

Would you ????

And if so, what to do with the lower part of the center Babbitt??

Thank you in advance
Christoph
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:36 AM   #11
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Default Re: Engine Tear-down and Babbitt-prob.

All the caps appear to be ready to fail.

The upper left of the rear main is cracked.
The other bearing seems to have a separation on the upper right corner.

If you plan on driving the anything beyond around the block or simple local parades then you are taking chances with these caps. No, you can not use other caps. Sometimes you get lucky, but the centers are going to be different causing other issues.

If you want to actually drive this engine places then you had best get the babbitt redone or have a good towing plan.

Have you checked the balance of the engine?

Have you measured the weight of the rods at each end? They should be within a few grams of each other. How close are the pistons in weight? On the factory line the rods were made to a weight +-1 gram at each end. The piston and rod together would have been within 4 grams of each other.
Have you checked the crank dimensions? Is the flywheel less then .002" off center (should be less then .001"). Has the crank been crack checked? Is it straight?
Balance and straightness along with precision grinding to factory tolerances is critical to a smooth running A engine that is not trying to pound itself to death. Ford precision built the parts for the A engine on the line, you have to approach the A engine like it is a race car engine if you want it to run right.
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Last edited by Kevin in NJ; 03-04-2016 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 03-04-2016, 11:46 AM   #12
Kohnke Rebabbitting
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Default Re: Engine Tear-down and Babbitt-prob.

Agree!
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Old 03-07-2016, 05:12 AM   #13
Christoph
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Thumbs up Re: Engine Tear-down and Babbitt-prob.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, your experience
and your expert knowledge.

I really appreciate your help.

Ja – as mentioned earlier, a reuse of the Babbitts would have
lead to “just a spare-engine”.

As I doubt now, that the outcome (using old Babbitts) will justify
the input and work, i got to find another solution with new bearings.

For sure, I will respect your input regarding weight of parts, flywheel
and crank.

Thank you again for your help.
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Old 03-07-2016, 09:18 AM   #14
Terry, NJ
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Default Re: Engine Tear-down and Babbitt-prob.

Cristoph, You might want to think about boring the bearings and placing what we call "Inserts" rather than redoing the babbitt. Pouring babbitt today is becoming a "Lost art" over here. I can only imagine what it's like in Europe. Insert bearing are a more modern concept. It's a tricky business requiring an in-depth knowledge of heat and alloys. Just a thought!
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