Anyone have any suggestions for buying babbitt other that the normal T catalogs, would like to buy more than what they have listed.
You might want to check with Lowell Spicer in Harpswell, Maine. He recently finished rebabbiting my block and we got talking about the babbit and different quality, etc. He used only the best for my block (ha). I can't recall where he gets it though.
Mike, Lowell has done four engines for me and his babbitt is Navy Spec (top drawer). You can believe anything he tells you. He is "old school Maine stock." I saw the box it comes in and the price was not cheap, but don't remember the details. He can't buy enough for just one engine either.
If your engine is not right, take it back, he will make it right. I messed up one block he did for me by driving it too fast with almost zero miles on the rebuild. My wife was following and told me I was up to 60 at times, but usually 50 to 55 mph. That was my first one that I could drive on the road and I had no idea of the speed or my ability to go that fast. Lowell wanted to fix that one for free, under the guarantee. I was sure it was my fault and wanted to pay him for the repair. We finally compromised and he accepted half price.
James, if you went to see Lowell in Maine, you passed right by me. Why didn't you stop in and say hello?
Lowell has re-babbited both my brother's block and my Dad's and both seem to be very well done. He also did some other work on them as well, such as boring/honing cylinders and some valve stuff. Really nice guy and I don't expect I'll have any problems at all.
Otherwise, I learn from my mistakes, but I also try to learn from other peoples mistakes too. I'll be sure not to push my T too fast shortly after rebuild!
Tim, we are quite tired by then and racing to get to Maine in time for a seafood dinner. I may surprise you and stop one of these days yet. Seems like I did meet you and your folks in Maine a few years back on a tour there.
So I take it Lowell sells babbitt? Or what do these responses mean to the original question?
James, you must have met my Grandparents, my Brother, his wife and my niece. Only my pickup truck made it on that trip, I stayed home. Grandpa's truck was not big enough to haul the trailer that far so he borrowed mine. I drove his Model A around for the week, so it was a win/win.
I may go on the tour this year, depends on fund availability. I should probably send in my dues money now that I'm thinking of it!
If everything goes to plan, it will be a busy year for us. We have a little flea market here in Mansfield Mass, then Indiana, Michigan, Maine, and Hershey. Hopefully I will get the chance to meet all the people that post on the forums, and also the "lurkers".
Ken, Lowell rebuilds engines. I doubt that he sells babbitt. I don't remember where I bought my last chunk, I'll have to look it up. Next time, I'll probably go through the vendors.
I guess I don't truly understand the original question. "would like to buy more than what they have listed." How about saying "I'd like three of those" when you place the order?
Unless he's trying to order it by the ton?
There was a thread last year that provided a source or two for babitt. Lowell don't sell babbitt, but may still buy some from time to time. The box he gets is small, but must weigh about 30 pounds. I'm not sure how much an engine needs. He also pours 4th Main Bearings and machines them to any size you need.
Most places (bulk) have a minimum order. For babbitt it's around 25lbs. but gets a lot cheaper at 50lbs. and up. Depending on where you are, shipping can be a large piece of the pie though. The best low-volume places are out of Canada but you better be close or shipping will kill the deal.
Which vendor(s) are selling small volume babbitt? When I posted that idea a while back, no one responded. It doesn't show up in my catalogs. Do you get a "cert" with it or is someone mixing it up in their garage?
I buy mine from Roto Metals in the S.F. bay area. You can get all info and order online. This is top of the line babbit. I think they are at rotometals.com or you can just use Google or Yahoo searches. I usually buy about 20lbs at a time but I think the minimum is much less.
"This is top of the line babbit."
Evidently, RotoMetals stopped selling that. All I saw was some mix of scraps. Why would they use Monel (Which has it's own chemistry) for the nickel content in the babbitt? The babbitt doesn't seem to even carry an ASTM number. Which means it has no standard nor meets a standard.
Let me know how that works out.
The last batch I bought was from Atlas Metal Sales in Denver. Got a heckuva deal on it, as I recall. Something like 250 lbs. Anyway, they don't list as carrying it on their website, but I'm fairly certain if you call them they'll have what you want. They had several different alloys from low-speed, leaded babbitt (DON'T!) to the no-lead, high nickel content, which is what I purchased. They provided me with a batch analysis, as well. Always good people to deal with.
There is a great deal of Babbitt information to be found on the Internet. Here is a short summary. Babbitt is a genaric term for White Metal or vice versa. Isaac Babbitt, inventor and manufacturer; invented a journal box (for enclosing train axles, ball bearings, and lubrication), U.S. Patent #1252, July 17, 1839. His suggestion of the bearing alloy was more important than the invention itself. Babbitt, in present-day usage is applied to a whole class of silver-white bearing metals, or "white metals." These alloys usually consist of relatively hard crystals embedded in a softer matrix, a structure important for machine bearings. They are composed primarily of tin, copper, and antimony, with traces of other metals added in some cases and lead substituted for tin in others. Ford "Babbitt" wasn't Babbitt at all. It was what was called "heavy pressure metal" and the chemical composition differed from the originally Babbitt. The material used by Ford had a composition of 86% tin, 7% copper and 7% antimony. The alloy known as "genuine Babbitt" is composed of about 85% tin, 7% copper and 8% antimony. Because of the high cost of tin, there is a more widely used Babbitt metal which is composed of 85% lead, 5% tin, 10% antimony and 0.5% copper. The latter is not suitable for high speeds or heavy loads. A common "Government Genuine Babbitt" is composed of 89% tin, 7% antimony and 4% copper. This is the best Babbitt to nearly approximate the old "heavy pressure metal", and the stuff is NOT CHEAP. No doubt, there are many various in-between alloys loosely termed "Babbitt" metals. The element ratios used in "Babbitt" alloys impart different wearing characteristics with different ratios. Temperature is more important to a good bearing than composition. Babbitt over-heating, when melting and pouring will "burn" it and the result will be a brittle bearing. The Babbitt that is no longer available would be, if there was a market for that metal ratio and that was the best metal you could get.
Ken, I apologize for getting side-tracked writing about some of Lowell's qualities. I originally posted his name so you might contact him to find out what he purchases and where from. He knows a lot about what works and what doesn't and will steer you straight. He posts here occasionally and might have a profile/email address, or contact me and I will give you his phone number if you are interested.
I recommend "Atlas Metals" in Denver...their phone # is 1-800-662-0143 ...comes in 4 lb ingot...depending on molds that is usually enough material for 2 T blocks
In Lang's Fall 2006 catalog, page 165 under Restoration Supplies, R-BAB - 3.25# of "Power Nickel" babbitt. Enough for one engine $31.95. I don't know if they still carry it or not.
OK so it sounds like Atlas is the go to company. Thanks for the related info. As far as the unrelated info goes... thanks for that too... :-)