Would bronze be alright material to use for main bearings in a T?
Sure, it has been done before:
What would the advantage of bronze be, over the original babbit? I am sure that there are reasons to use babbit and not bronze, but I'll let the experts chime in.
I have seen this tried in several pre-1910 engines from the factory when they were new and they all suffered from extreme wear to the crank and bearings. Don't try it.
It appears to be caused by two things: Dirt that gets in between the bearings and the crank wears both. With soft babbitt it gets embedded into it and does much less harm. The surface speed is to high for bronze. It will work fine for cam bearings but they only travel at half the speed.
I was thinking of bronze bearings because I have a shop where I can make inserts. Inserts just seem a lot more easy for me. I don't have the molds for babbit, nor the knowledge to do it.
All Points David made are true!
The biggest reason to use babbitt is that babbitt tends to "bed" contaminants into its surface that would otherwise wear a bronze bearing.
If you made your inserts oversize for babbitt, you could send your inserts to a babbitt shop to have some babbitt cast onto them and then you could machine the babbitt yourself, but pretty much all it would amount to is more work... If you figured your time at $10 p/h I would imagine you could be real close to getting your engine babbitted and line bored locally for less than it would cost you to make your own bearings.
If you are the sort of guy that likes to do experimental engine work and doesn't mind the possibility of a catastrophic failure occurring during driving season and/or has a spare running engine and doesn't mind spending a day changing engines if it doesn't work out; Then go for it!
I think it would be real interesting to see how they work and what they would look like after a few thousand miles of driving.
I think it would be real interesting to see how they work and what they would look like after a few thousand miles of driving. "END QUOTE"
Look on the net, there are already pictures of that.
Bill, the best thing you can do to fix your problem is take it to J & M Machine in Southborough, Ma., They can't be that far from you.
You look like your in the same state!
I have seen J & M's work, you can't get better then that, but you could get a whole lot of bad!
My 1908 Locomobile had bronze mains and they looked like the day they were originally installed when I tore the engine down for a rebuild. The crank was a bit worn but the car had seen many, many hard miles over the 90 years it was on the road before being rebuilt. There was enough meat on the mains that we were able to build up the crank, polish it and then line bore the mains for the oversized crank. I believe the mains were described in the owners manual as white bronze whatever that is. It looked like babbitt but was much harder. The other interesting thing about it was that the amount of material was almost double what you would expect to see with babbitt.
Most likely that 08 had what is called babbitted inserts, bronze shells with a babbitt coating on them. You would remove the shell rebabbit it and machine it on TA machine. Herm can post a picture of the machine used to machine them.
Later, the bronze was replaced with steel. Dan.
I don't live too far from J&M, they did a complete engine for me about 15 years ago, still running strong. I was just thinking if the inserts were good I could do this in my own machine shop.
That is not what the ''08 had but that is what the mains are on my 1930 Plymouth.
Val, there are a lot of bearing inserts that have come through here that didn't have any babbitt left in them, or had been replaced with sold brass, or bronze.
If your engine truly didn't have a babbitt lining, it would be a one of a kind.
Since we are talking about inserts. Has anyone ever put a Chevy crank with it's inserts in a T block? Looks like a tight fit, I have always wondered if it would work. Dan
Dan, the O.D. of the housing bore on the rear main is 2 inches, to large for a Model T using Chev. inserts.
Center main is 1.980 O.D.
Front O.D. is about 1.625.
The cranks will fit, but not using Chev. inserts
Just made some Chev. inserts for the four cylinders, front, and rear are solid Babbitt, the center is always Brass.
The front and rear I am showing are .060 thousandths under.
There is a real good book on babbitting title is BABBITT 1910 - 1916 American Machinist Memories and is available through Lindsay Publications
www.lindsaybks.com A very good book about everything you might want to know about pouring babbitt bearings. Interesting and informative.
Unfortunately Lindsay is retired and out of business.
Unfortunately the folks at Lindsay Books have retired and are no longer in business.
1915 chev 4 cyl. engines used Babbitt lined bronze inserts. Early 1cyl. Pope cars had bronze for the mains & rod....no Babbitt.
I ran bronze inserts with Babbitt in our 1910 2cyl. REO for 25 yrs. with out failure. The original rods had the Babbitt so thick that if the Babbitt failed there was enough room for the top piston ring to pop out. Very bad things happen then. Making special bronze back inserts and having them coated with Babbitt turned out to be a great fix. I also carried an extra insert on tours in case a rod bearing loosened up. That never happened. I fabricated a new crankshaft and also made up new rods which are not hinged. The new rods have Babbitt.
Well, Michael is a couple of minuets faster than I am! Just a week ago I was looking for a lathe book that I bought from them years ago to give to someone that just got a lathe and found out that they were out of business.
Lindsays stock of book can be found here:
1915 chev 4 cyl. engines used Babbitt lined bronze inserts."END QUOTE"
Les, the only bronze Chevy four insert was the center on all 4 cylinders, and it was babbitt lined, front and centers were were solid babbitt.
The pictures I posted fits all 4 Cylinders.
In the 1929 models, "six's", they had all 3 bearings were babbitt lined brass, and then they went to thin steel babbitt lined until about 1936.
There was an interesting court case, IIRC it took place in Adelaide (Oz) in around 1912, where a Ford owner took his car to an engineering works for repair, and they fitted at least one bronze bearing. The engine failed soon after and the car owner took the engineers to court. Unfortunately I can't find the story at the moment.
Well Bill, as being a machinist, I trust you have
watched Keith Fenners "textbook pour" vidio on utube which is his method pouring babbit not hard at all.
Right or wrong or old school for line boring, I
turned a round stock clamped that in the mains, fabbed up a jig (the turned round stock center drilled). This is to line up the block on the lathe
for the boring bar between lathe centers, tighten
the jig, remove the bar, install boring bar which
is also between centers. The block is laying on its
side on the jig clamped to the cross slide. removed the compound -I have tee slots on this
crosslide. This lathe is older that the engine.
can be used for A's and V8s too. Just another
" I believe the mains were described in the owners manual as white bronze whatever that is. It looked like babbitt but was much harder. The other interesting thing about it was that the amount of material was almost double what you would expect to see with babbitt."
Val I also have a Loco and a lot of literature and in it they describe the bearing material as "Parsons White Bronze"
A bit later on Loco changed to conventional bronze - backed babbitted inserts.
If you are interested we can show you how to make your own inserts and babbitt them as we do here in the shop on early racing cars and other brass cars used for touring.
At the top is a 1912 Mercer Raceabout crankcase getting align-bored before the new inserts are machined and babbitted.
Below is a 1910 6-70 Thomas-Flyer with a 54" long crankcase that we finished recently.
This is not an advertisement as we are busy with work for years, but you can follow along here and you can learn about the whole process @ http://theoldmotor.com/?s=A+Very+Special+Thomas
A new Cunningham rod and inserts made for a Mercer.
An insert in the pouring jig ready to be filled and two just finished.
An insert being machined in the lathe above and below you can see one ready to be cut in half in the milling machine.
Insert on the left with tinning compound and on the right after heating and tinning and ready to be poured.
Inserts below being pre-heated before being poured....The wood stove works great. They then get put in the mold and heated to the right temp w/a torch. Learn how to do it yourself here @ http://theoldmotor.com/?s=A+Very+Special+Thomas
That is a copper still on top of the stove that we restored to use as a humidifier in the shop. The water boils in it and comes out of the three spouts on the top. Bought it in a junk shop for $10.
Happy Holidays & Babbitting to all.
The babbit books are still available through Your Old Time Book Store
A workshop with nice pictures on the walls - very inspiring!
"A workshop with nice pictures on the walls - very inspiring!"
I only have two cars, a Model T and a brass car and decided instead of collecting more car and parts it was a bit easier and wiser to collect lithographs, old photos and signs. They have no batteries or tires to take care of, or brass to polish and they do not leak oil......