Once again, I'm just getting around to assembling my '18 engine / transmission and I've run into the balancing issue.
First, however, I need to learn what kind of babbitt was used. I've been told that lead-based is preferred, but that mine could be tin. The mains and rods, as well as caps for both, were done in '02. A machine shop here in Memphis sent the block, rods, and all the caps off to a gentleman in Kansas City, I believe. The Memphis machine shop did all the machining on all other components. The work looks excellent to me, but again, I don't know the difference.
How can I tell if mine is lead or tin? Do I need to start over?
Pictures are attached.
Any input is appreciated.
I would like to know who told you lead based Babbitt is best? I sure wouldn't let him do my engine. Ford Babbitt had only trace amounts of lead. But you can't tell by just looking at it and tell if it has lead. It will have to be tested.
You might try one of the lead test kits. The link below is one type that Consumer Reports tested and ranked in the top three. It's good because it varies in color depending on lead content. A small trace of lead is acceptable (and expected) but if the test strip turn black, get new Babbitt.
Mr Babbitt's original formula had zero Lead. Lead just means cheap - not as good as the real thing.
Trace elements and compounds are found in all metals; even "pure" gold. No one could afford the refining process to remove all impurities so zero lead is an impossibility, even for Mr. Babbitt.
The babbitt should be tin based. I would make some calls. Before you do any balancing of the rods make sure the babbitt is covered if you do any grinding. The hot sparks will melt into the babbett if you don't.
I am going to say here, this is all my opinion!
Who done it, Mr. Everett has already given the answers to the riddle to that question, and besides, I know there their work.
First picture, the hole on the cap is off center, Groove off center, lead babbitt, the small specks in the cap babbitt is mixed in babbitt slag, the biggest thing is the babbitt coating left on the parting lines of the bearings, I will bet they are true!
There should never be a circle groove in a splash bearing, as it does no good, that is why the X groove, as it wipes the oil on the whole crank pin.
Who ever done the Align bore, it was there responsibility to clean the part lines, and machine flat.
Don't know why, but you can see sand paper scratches the length of the main bearings.
Herm: I saw it! You are not going to slip that one by that easy. Show just enough of the head to show the bolt hole Dan
"OH-MAN", Mr. Dan, did you have those lens put in your eyes that bring your sight back to 20-20!
I hope you do notice that the head is at least 6 inches away from the Rods, so we don't get contamination!
Looks like pretty decent babbitt to me. I would magnaflux the crank and put it together. Analysis of babbitt composition by viewing photos on the Internet leaves a touch of room for error.
Ted, I wouldn't expect you to be able to tell lead from tin from pictures, as I have worked with babbitt many times 7 days a week for 47 years now, and I can look a bearing and tell if it is lead, or tin, or a mix.
The rod cap is lead for sure.
The mains I can't tell 100%, but it has the same tint as the rod cap, but the pictures are to close up, and there is to much shine from the flash.
The pictures are of Lead Babbitt on the left, and Tin Babbitt on the right. Do they look the same to you Ted?
These are just as they came from the foundries 40 some years ago.
The lead has darkened more then it was, the Tin has stayed the same.
These two pieces I always took to swap meets for show and tell.
Herm is correct on the babbitt issue. I have noticed lead babbitt has a definite gray color while good "lead free" babbitt is silver and shiny in color. You can also see how the lead babbitt has a divot in the middle. This from the lack of antimony which is added to control shrinkage and that has none. XXXX nickle babbitt is good stuff.
Stonewall lead Babbitt. Grade 2 Tin Babbitt
10% Tin 89% Tin
14.75% Antimony 7.50% Antimony
1/4% Copper 3.50% Copper
It would seem to me that you could test the hardness of this babbitt and an old rod or main bearing cap with an automatic center punch by comparing the size of the divots. If they were about the same size, then you would know the babbitt is OK.
I don't know what happened, but some of the post was lost some where, I will try again!
Stonewall lead Babbitt has
Grade No. has
On the Round piece of Stonewall, the shrinkage is in the middle because the mold was round, and cooled from all sides.
The Grade No. 2 the shrinkage is the full length of the bar, as the mold was long, and narrow.
The shrinkage is always in the middle, as it in the last to cool.
Herm, Ted, and James;
Thank you for your responses.
What I'm trying to learn is whether or not I should start over on the babbitt.
My son and I are building this speedster; I'd like it to be running for years and thousands of miles to come without premature bearing wear and/or failure.
IF we're going to start over, now is the perfect time.
After the babbitt question has been resolved, I want to get the engine/transmission unit balanced.
My son has good hands; mine, not so much. But, assembling the engine and transmission together is something we'd like to do.
I'm happy to ship or bring the block and rods (Herm, I think you and I may have a few mutual friends / acquaintances) for evaluation and am also happy to pay.
Let me know if the above few paragraphs make sense about our assembling the engine/transmission, and then having it properly balanced.
Again, thank you for your input.
Thanks Bill, but as of today, we are filled to the first part of Oct.
Do you know if the re-babbitt could be from Herman Campbell of Oklahoma city, rather than Kansas? If so then your babbitt metal would be correct.
Marion Pass, J.B. Cook Auto Machine, did all the machining to the block, etc., here and sent everything to a gentleman in Kansas City back in '02 to get babbitted. Although I don't know his name, I once was told he used to work at Federal Mogul and bought all their fixtures when FM got out of the babbitt business.
There's only one place that got the old Federal Mogul Tooling.
Lead Babbit is what they used on the bearings on those old belt and pulley over head lineshafting systems in the late 1800's.
Lead is soft and naturally lubricating but no good for cyclical movement as it deforms badly (think of those old deformed lead hammers)
Therefore Lead babbit is not what you should use in an engine
And the $64000 question is, who got the old Federal Mogul Tooling?
Although I never spoke to the man who did the actual work, I'm 99% certain he was in/near Kansas City.
Guys, if this were your block, rods, and all other parts, and you wanted this project to run, say 35,000 miles without bearing failure, what would you do?
Also, does anyone know anyone who would like to balance this engine/transmission?
Here's an idea: Take an automatic center punch and round off the end. Then at room temperature test the new babbitt rod cap and a known good (used) rod cap with the center punch and compare the indentions. Then using an electric griddle set at 250F, heat the caps to temperature and repeat the test. If one is tin based, and one is lead based you should see a difference.
I think this "poor boy's" hardness test will be non destructive and tell you if your new babbitt is lead based. Lead based babbitt should soften at 250F more than a good tin based babbitt.
If you don't like this test, do a little research and come up with your own test. I don't think we folks on the forum can come up with any more than an opinion with only the photographs to use. You are going to have to figure it out or punt.
If it was lead base would it have lasted this long?
It will last a long time only, if you don't stress it with the higher R.P.M.'s.
Adjustment would be more frequent.
Also, you wouldn't get by with some of the thin oils you guys use, and larger clearances before adjustment.
Find a local metallurgist with an electron microscope and have him do a micro-structure test for materials. The microscope will tell you the amount of different elements in the "babbit". It'll cost some money to send to an independent lab but should cost less than having the engine re-babbited.