First of all, these rods were not Babbitted by us. They were done by a large rebuilder South of us.
Two rods were bad out of alignment, and one rod was Ok, and the last rod was to far twisted to use with out straightening.
One of the rods had the rails on the cap ground off at the rebuilder that you will see. It must have been real heavy. That is the one I had to remove the most weight.
They must have thought that would make a balanced set or something, and that was the way to do it.
The problem is that with the rails gone, that brought the total weight of all 4 rods to with in 6 Grams, and that would have been a good set to balance from there.
But when you have a heaver rod with weight removed for total balance before real balance, that makes every thing else on that rod messed up for metal removal.
So we started with 4 rods weighting with in 6 grams, but when weighting the large ends, now the standard being 468 grams, and two rods are with in the 6 grams 474, but the fourth rod is now 12 grams apart. The only thing you can do is remove the weight, and not weaken the rod.
... how important is this in a standard engine? How much can have different weight?
My distinguishes 10gram = 0,1 kg
The distance between the pegs differed nothing, newly cast in the jig.
Ake, I am sure that 1Kg is 1000 grams, so 10 gram would be 0.01Kg.
I doubt that Ford ever worried about or checked the balance, or every set of rods would look like a woodpecker got a hold of them.
Here Pecker Wood, peck on these a while.
Ake, there in nothing better then Balance. More power, speed, with less wear.
Ake, as Kohnke showed it is always important to balance even a slow speed engine just to eliminate vibrations and make the engine running smoother.
This is not for looking for speed but it is for durability of the engine.
Just a minute, Before making any woodpecker jokes, I was not criticizing Kohnke's work. I was just stating that I had never seen a set of rods out of an original engine that had any holes drilled in them. Maybe a little ground off the reinforcement ribbing on the cap or beam, or holes drilled into and through the middle of the beam. but not a rod that looked like a jeweler was fixing to set stones in it. If that's the only way to do it, I'm not criticizing the work. I just said I had never seen a set of seemingly untouched Ford rods balanced in such a manner.
Now, for the woodpecker joke. My wife recently asked me to buy a Birthday card for a relative. The card had a drawing of a pirate with a woodpecker standing on his shoulder. The card read, "People don't mind when I mention my wooden leg, but when I mention my woodpecker . . . . Happy Birthday.
I have used many many of Kohnke rods and checked straightness and weight. They were all perfect. When you do as many at a time as Kohnke you can get weight a lot closer. try them and you will like them.
I always start by searching through all my rods before babbiting and sorting them into sets that are as close as possible to equal weight. With caps same thing, but I also measure them to see how much they have been filed off by previous owners. I am constantly on the look for caps that haven't been filed much. It they aren't 1/2" thick where the bolt goes through I try to avoid using them.
There were several styles of rods. The later ones lighter than the earlier rods. There were probably 20-30 different rod manufactures. Ford meant that the rod should be replaced by the same style rod. Dealers had a stock of rods and pistons and could pick and choose similar weighted parts. "Approximately the same weight" are the key words.
I agree with Terry. Balance is good but I've never seen rods treated like that even for a racing engine. All those holes will carry so much oil, they'll be out of balance within seconds anyway. There's a better way. If I found something like that in an engine, they'd be in the recycle bin.
All I gotta say is; it's a good thing that engine will be turning slower than a lawnmower engine.
And there's no reason to get vile because someone disagrees with your methods. If you're going to post such radical ideas, be prepared for critiques. My apologies in advance but I totally disagree with that method of balancing.
Forgot to mention: I can hardly wait to see the crankshaft.
I don't think you understand. Herm does not send out rods with holes. I believe he was only showing some rods that someone else did. Herm's rods are perfect. I believe that he does MORE RODS than you or any one else on this forum. I think that if you were to visit his shop and see him wheel in a shipping cart loaded to the top with rods to spin pour you would be impressed.
You are 100% correct. No one should ever file a rod cap. I hate to see it when these self experts advise new guys to file their caps to make them fit. I see it on this forum every once in awhile.
I bought several sets of matched weighted rods from Lang's and Snyder's in the past .All were very crudely ground down all over with I swear would be hand held grinder with the edge od hard coarse disk..
All gouged up and down and the crank pin end.
Twice I had them where you see a slight bend in the rod but the babbitt was bored in alignment with the piston pin..I ran them with no knocking but it bothered me a bit
One car I bought with rebabbiit rods and new pistons.Same mess but the inside of the pistons and around the pin bosses were ground up and nastly looking..
Some one mentioned above Ford Not checking the the balance or weight..there is documented film footage of a worker placing piston and rod assemblies on a big dial scale and reading the pointer ..How close ford cared about I don't know?. But the piston and rod weight was checked!
I believe he was only showing some rods that someone else did.
It is true Ford didn't balance the rods only by equal weight, but what they are talking about is rod manufacturers could pick by weight and any rods made by a company on the same forging dies would be in better in balance then by taking any companies rods and trying to make sets.
Ford kept going lighter with his parts, but still his only goal was to keep cost down.
With the Model A they did Balance rods. Crank shafts, flywheels ect. The rods were Balanced in automatic machines that removed the metal from both ends at once, for that purpose.
I agree with Terry. Balance is good but I've never seen rods treated like that even for a racing engine. All those holes will carry so much oil, they'll be out of balance within seconds anyway. There's a better way. If I found something like that in an engine, they'd be in the recycle bin. "END QUOTE"
Ken, you must have had a to large a plate of Baloney for breakfast, it's showing!
All those holes will carry so much oil, they'll be out of balance within seconds anyway."END QUOTE"
Honey, did you make that one up all by your self today.
So your saying that the rods now with holes to remove weight for balance will be full of oil, and make the rod out of balance carrying a full load of oil, and Seriously, you work on engines !!!! Have you not heard of centrifugal force in that area, YUP, there really is.
If you're going to post such radical ideas, be prepared for critiques."END QUOTE"
Ken, "Radical Ideas", "Seriously" Ken, I think there are a lot of things about engine building that are over your head! Critiques, I don't mind, but you arn't giving me anything factual to work with.
By grinding the metal away you have a very big chance of metal sparks in the babbitt. When a Hot metal particle hits babbitt, it embeds it's self about half way, and it acts like emery on the shaft.
About 20 years ago a guy brought a fresh rebuild from a S.D. builder that had about 10 miles on it before it started knocking. The mains were all right for size, but the rods had worn the crank pins about .005 thousandths already. I could see the rods were balanced with grinding, and if you held them up to the light you could see all the sparkles from embedded metal in the babbitt, and with your finger you could feel all the grinding's sticking out of the babbitt. I told the owner to take it back to the builder to fix, and the owner said that he did, and the guy said it must have been something in the oil that he used, that caused it, and wouldn't fix it, so I did. I have never seen a shaft tore up that bad.
Rods should always be balanced. Both Rotating, and Reciprocating weight.
So for the guys like Ken that come up with there own ideas, or those that are not sure about the importance of balancing, this may help.
The Rods were a special order, they are an in between size, there wasn't a return option to the company that built them.
The only option left was to balance, or pitch 250.00 dollars.
There is nothing the matter with the balance now, or with the strength, if there was we wouldn't use them, and besides I have to warrantee the rods anyway for them not failing, and what other damage they would cause for the life of the motor, but not the babbitt as it isn't ours, and I don't take that lightly.
As far as the woodpecker holes, I would rather have that then a skinned Cat look, and it still has its mass for strength.
I agree with Ken and Dave that this is a really low grade way of balancing. Herm clearly claims the job to be his and seems proud of it.
Now if we look at his second picture at the top of the page where he shows the rod clamped in a soft jaw vise. Clearly if he clamped the rods in that vise he could easily grind the cheeks beside the bolts with no risk of embedding grindings into the babbit.
Where he has drilled all the holes like swiss cheese into the caps has seriously weakened the cap AND more importantly created stress risers that greatly increase the chance of a fatigue failure not many miles down the the road.
This seems like a classic "penny wise and pound foolish" case. They claim the be saving $250.00 spent on the babbitting job. I would assume Herm has charged for his time to drill all those holes. So the true savings are likely quite a bit less and the customer gets a second class job.
I see Herm has already got the "weasel words" into the warrantee.
I see nothing wrong with the way Herm balanced those rods.
First off, at 5 HP per rod (if you're lucky) strength isn't that large an issue.
Secondly the real forces are at the top half of the rod, not the cap.
As long as the cap is, at least, as strong as the bolt it doesn't matter.
The only other way would be to weld ON material but that, undoubtedly, would warp the rods so they'd have to be straightened first.
OR, as Les mentioned, scrap the whole works and start with different rods.
When the cylinder changes from exhaust to intake there is significant pull and stress reversal. So while the power stroke exerts more load on the babbit, the load on the bolts and the cap is all about this stress reversal. The bolts survive because they have been preloaded when they are done up. Just let a rod bolt lose that preload and see how short a time it survives. This is precisely why I am no fan of cotter pinning rod bolts when we have a number of better solutions available to us today. With cotter pins there is a significant risk of the bolts being under torqued or over torqued. Fortunately I see these rods in question have self locking nuts.
I won't even address the welding issue.
Why would one waste time and effort to balance those four rods in the manner in which it was done? If you rebabbitt rods why not just select 4 rods that are weight matched to begin with? IMO
AMEN, to your idea, Jack. Of all the parts to an engine that might fail and be unfit to reuse, only intakes come to mind as being as plentiful as rods. They very seldom break, unlike blocks, cranks, and transmission drums. Even if the rods were a special order unusual oversize, I've got extra rod cores to take to the scrape yard. Why waste the time trying to balance a set of rods that you didn't pour the babbit into and can't guaranty the finished product for all reasons, 100%. I sure would waste my time, unless I was making $1000.00 for a set, and even then I would probably do it over warranty issues.
I meant to say "I sure wouldn't waste my time" "I wouldn't probably do it over warranty issues". I would do this; if anyone has a set of rods in this condition, I'll tell them that I'll get them balanced for $1000.00 and let them chisel me down to $500.00; then I'd sent them to Herm and let him do it; and them after I got them back; the customer could get his rods back. Herm would be happy because he made $250.00. I would be happy because I made $250.00 and don't have to warranty them, and the owner would be happy to get his balanced rods back.
I, too, balance the rods at both ends, not just total weight. I have done rods for sizes in between normal grinder specs. It seems to me you went to a lot of work on this job to make rods supplied by another vendor work. Would you have saved time by making your own rods for the job? In that case, you could be sure of quality. I have had engines come in to my my shop with rods badly out of alignment. This causes me to question the quality of any work done on the job. I know nothing leaves your shop unless it is the best. I agree that balance is crucial in model T's and A's. When you have 20 or 40 HP to work with, don't waste it generating vibration.
I am getting ready to do another run of spun poured model T rods. Your input on that subject has been invaluable. Thanks.
Ford built 15 million Model T's and balanced nary a single rod. How could that be?
All I can add is you guys are trying to create a problem where there is none.
Schubert, I have no idea what you meant by that? I see Herm has already got the "weasel words" into the warrantee"END QUOTE"
If you rebabbitt rods why not just select 4 rods that are weight matched to begin with? "END QUOTE"
Because, I had nothing to do with the old cores, or ordering the new ones. Right now I don't have time to mess with Model T rods that takes 3 times the labor of just about all of any other kind of rod. I was just asked to align the rods, and balance them, and that is what I got stuck with.
I will say again, there is not anything wrong with those rods for strength. If I have to grind on a rod, it is never at the babbitt end. I have balanced rods like this for 47 years, and now you say they won't last. If that metal was ground away, it would have been weak.
Schubert, If you actuality knew half of what you had an opinion on, you would be somebody.
Tony you are right, I missed 01
I were rebabbitt rods matched each other as closely as possible.
So I did with my 1915 engine and I have been driving for 13 years very much and it works perfectly still.
We can conclude that all is happy on his idea.
Thanks for all the posts and knowledge.
If you can provide the diameter and depth of the holes I can calculate the reduction in strength and the reduction in fatigue life that you have accomplished, most notably on the rod in your 12th picture. Assuming you used a 37 degree drill bit then the point depth would be sufficient.
Isn't worth my time!
My question is would a vender such as Snyders,accept these modified rods as cores for a future rebuild of this engine?
Some jobs are better turned down in the long run.
There are two ways to look at it.
1.-- If a set of balanced rods were sent to any vender that has been ground, or drilled, the vender should not except them, and I also would not.
The reason for that you can't except rods with metal removed, and have a customer send a set that are untouched, and exchange for a set that has been balanced, or metal removed.
Now if a customer has a set of balanced rods that have been ground on drilled and wants them poured, that is NO problem, as we do that all the time with many engines, other then Fords, as well as Fords.
2.-- I don't know if they were balanced right, and normally they have one rod, or all rods with the babbitt missing, so there is no way to check them to see if they are a set, or part of 2 sets or more.
Getting back to the drilling versus grinding.
The rod in question had to have the big end removed of 12 grams. That is not the norm, but I could not change anything.
When you grind 12 grams off the big end, as I said it would look like a skinned Cat.
That would have weakened the cap, rod strength, as you are removing all the metal layer thickness, unless you are the type to dig grinding holes.
When you drill, all around the dill hole there is a bridge, or a web of strength. It's the same way as drilling the web in the rod to lighten it. You have taken the weight, but you are not compromising strength.
So, now look at the drilling again, and at all the bridge between drilled holes, and the rod still has the FULL THICKNESS of the metal it left the Factory with.
Some jobs are better turned down in the long run."END QUOTE"
Only if you don't know what you are doing, My Boy.
One last thing about turning the rods down.
The first thing I look at is the babbitt to see if it is stuck to the rod, it looked ok, many are not.
It was, so we were good to go, as the balancing would be no problem.
I'm glad to see this topic as I was going to ask the Forum's opinion on my problem.
The man who did my engine generally did a good job, but he is very popular and very busy, so when he found one of the late rods I supplied could not be straightened, rather than the delay of contacting me to get another, he substituted an earlier, heavier rod from his own stock.
I don't know the rod weights, but I definitely have a balance problem, It's OK if I drive at the gentle pace I prefer, but on the odd occasion when I'm pressured to 'open her up' the vibration shakes every nut & bolt on the car loose. I have to fix it.
So, do I find a matching rod and get it remetalled or do I set to with a drill and emulate the results above? I'm not throwing it back at the rebuilder, he is so busy it will be at the back of the queue for ever.
Hmmmm,.....I understand what you're saying, but I think the fact remains, if the vibration is as severe as you say, I'd say that the builder made a mistake! If he can't make good on it in a reasonable time, I'd at least let him know that as you say,...."it needs to be fixed"! If nothing else, the builder should be at least interested enough in the resulting problem to learn enough about it so as to avoid making the same mistake on someone else's engine!
If your crank is a "standard undersize" you should be able to buy a rod ready to go of the correct type from one of the other suppliers. Heck Herm can probably sell you one. Tuck the heavy one under the seat and you can always use it to get you home if bad luck strikes.
If that doesn't work then weigh one of your good rods AND get me a accurate measurement of the diameter and length of the bearing at the big end AND a accurate weight and I can probably fix you up.
If you could supply a rod you would like to use (with a cap that hasn't been filed to nothing) that might be easier.
Les is correct. I wish you were closer I could fit a rod that would weigh a lot closer to your other rods than the heavy one you have.
The guys in Spokane should be able to help you. I have always found them to very knowledgeable and accommodating.
Thanks gents, for the advice and offers. Les is right, I will keep the heavy rod as an emergency item. Neil Tuckett here in the UK will be able to find me a suitable rod, maybe even with good babbitt, or there are plenty of white-metallers here. And I will balance all the rods properly.