OT - Babbitt or Phosphor main bearings

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: OT - Babbitt or Phosphor main bearings
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Friday, February 14, 2014 - 12:53 pm:

I brought this up earlier, but really didn't get to the bottom line. For main bearings, is there a "better than the other" choice?

Do restorers use phosphor bronze on main bearings today, or do they change to other material (babbitt, etc)?


Apparently Ford made the move to babbitt, and according to this 1906 article other car makers were switching to babbitt too?




This explanation was in a 1918 article. It says good babbitt will cost as much as phosphor bronze:



Thanks for any opinions or info,

Rob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Friday, February 14, 2014 - 12:57 pm:

I thought David Greenlees answer was perfectly clear. Babbitt is clearl a superior material for engine bearings.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Friday, February 14, 2014 - 03:33 pm:

Obviously I didn't think there was a consensus. If he thought that, I'm sure he'll share his views again.

Do you think babbitt is "clearly a superior material for engine bearings?"


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Greenlees on Friday, February 14, 2014 - 04:59 pm:



Rob, I don't think you will ever get a consensus. But just like all of the manufacturers and bearing producers did in the teens, everyone stopped using it because it is to hard.

The only possible use today might be for wrist bin bushings or valve guides, thrust washers, possibly gears of some sort in an engine, but only with a good supply of clean oil.

A good main or rod bearing in an engine with unfiltered oil, needs to have good enbeddability, to allow any dirt particles to embed into it instead of acting as an abrasive between the crankshaft and the bearing. Without it the shaft and the bearing wear quickly.

Follow the link below that explains it.

https://www.highpowermedia.com/ret-monitor/3596/bi-metal-journal-bearings-materials-and-construction


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Seth - Ohio on Friday, February 14, 2014 - 05:26 pm:

Rob,

I'm not knowledgeable in the science of metals and I know there are several posters on the forum who work with metal every day and I am sure they will chime in at some point.
It would be interesting to see what others have to say. I was going to contact the "Wizard of Menlow Park" on my Ouija Board but I don't have to now since Royce already provided an in depth answer to your inquiry.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Friday, February 14, 2014 - 06:09 pm:

David, thank you. I'm working on a comparison of Ford with other automakers, and some used babbitt, some Phosphor bronze, and some white phosphor. Just trying to make heads or tails of it all. My lack of mechanical aptitude doesn't help :-(

Rob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George_Cherry Hill NJ on Friday, February 14, 2014 - 06:47 pm:

I keep taking these sucker bets :-):-)

But what the heck, it is fun to then argue...ah...um...eh...debate, fun to take my marbles and go home, but then the 1/2 dozen or so emails I get saying 'thanks for explaining and making me smarter' make it all worth while and I recharge for the next time. :-):-):-)

Babbitt is the greatest metal invented for a bearing...provided...you can live within its own performance limits and you know what you are doing when you pour it! A few degrees too low or high when melted in the pot, a little scum carry-over...just makes Babbitt behave differently with all bets off. Herm can explain that.

Ford used a special Ford Babbitt and on this one I'm willing to cede that it was maybe not voodoo metallurgy but actually had a reason to exist. I could be wrong on that but offer the cede for the era. The key point is the 86-7-7 which defines the Babbitt used as HIGH STRENGTH Babbitt.

Oh boy…get ready...here we go again……Sigh…

Ford Babbitt was a high tin Babbitt Metal and that's the 86%. I don’t know the actual tested design limits for the Ford grades but I think someone like Ken Kopsky has.

Generally speaking, let’s look at rule of thumb rather than anything else. The boys in the era had more rules of thumb working for them than published data.

High Tin Babbitt's are felt to generally have a maximum surface speed limit of 1000 feet/min when put into the hands of normal folks doing normal things.

High Tin Babbitt's generally are felt to have a continuous load dissipation of 2000 PSI absolute max. again for normal things.

Got that?

Babbitt metal is actually the best choice for an engine main for a whole host of reasons…but Babbitt does have those glass ceiling as to limitations for design.

Say that a T crank turns at 2000 RPM. It’s a 1.250 shaft. The circumference of a T journal is 1.25 x PI()…or roughly 4”/rev….or 3 rev per foot. So…on our T engine…we could actually churn out 3000 RPM before we’d slaughter the glass ceiling of Babbitt expectations and explode. Now remember, that’s based on the Babbitt being perfect, embeds flushed away as much as possible, enough oil micro-film sloshing thru where the tin has dissolved in use, and of course no reversal load pounding through open space impact!

Now we look at it the other way other ceiling constraint and I’m having a brain f**t on the length of a cap, either main or conn rod. (I'm at work, 12,000 miles on a Saturday away from my 'stuff') I want to say 2” but think I’m a little low. This other rule of thumb for high tin Babbitt is the PSI can NOT exceed 2000 PSI (and quite frankly I’d imagine most designers of the past stayed well below that value.)

Let’s say 70% scrape in surface contact efficiency…The same 1.250” OD of shaft, ID of Babbitt...

Cap length is 2”

2000 psi x 2” x 1.250 x 70% = maximum load before it grenades on itself.

3,500 pounds load on each bearing! (I’ll leave it to others to offer when that happens to get to that).

Now, should the caps be wider, or someone know the limits better using more modern 'stuff', have at it as it is just linear math. 50% wider = 50% more load carrying capacity.


So Rob, it is not a bronze is better than Babbitt, or steel insert is better than Babbitt, but rather when does the Babbitt material run out of ‘good’ before something has to be considered as the alternative. At the time, speed and sizes used as part of your own project work, it was Babbitt that won the day more often than not.

We can save the derivatives and modern views as they are all really time is money and the we need bigger size and are then outside of the domain where babbitt works.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Friday, February 14, 2014 - 07:03 pm:

Phosphor bronze is a great bearing material - just not for the environment inside engines. That's why, as David said in the previous post, everyone quit using it for engine bearings. Even in cars where cost was no object.

As David mentioned bronze alloys were still being used for wrist pin bushings at least through the 1970's by Ford in the FE series engines, but not in any other engine families in the USA. I think most if not all vehicles today have eliminated bronze alloy bushings in wrist pins as well.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Friday, February 14, 2014 - 07:34 pm:

I'll throw a curve ball here. The Rolls Royce Merlin used silver plated bronze inserts as a way increase the available bearing load needed with 2 stage supercharging (1650 HP)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem on Friday, February 14, 2014 - 08:24 pm:

Rob,

I believe you'll find your concensus amongst modern engine manufacturers in that, to my knowledge, none of them use phosphor bronze for main or rod bearings.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Friday, February 14, 2014 - 10:22 pm:

Thanks guys, I agree, for the most part, consensus achieved. George, as always, you've given a great in depth response (now I'll try to digest it fully).


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Craig Anderson, central Wisconsin on Friday, February 14, 2014 - 10:34 pm:

For the record........steel inserts are babbitt lined.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bud Holzschuh - Panama City, FL on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 10:01 am:

George

Always enjoy your dissertations. Keep em' coming!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Greenlees on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 10:44 am:

Two early engines have come thru the shop here in the last 30 years for rebuilding that each had bronze main and rod bearings. Both were ex Austin Clark cars: A 1905 Pierce-Arrow and a 1906 Studebaker. In both cases, all of the bearings were badly worn, and the crankshafts were scored so much they needed .030 regrinds.

On both of them the connecting rods and caps had been filed so much after continued "bearing tightening" that they were visibly out of round. On both cases, all the shims were removed, and the caps had at least .020 - .030 filed off of them.

I wonder if earlier slow-speed stationary engines had bronze bearings and if the early automotive manufacturers and engine builders copied that practice until the 1906-08 period, when it was found that it did not work well in the automobile?

Anyone know what was used for bearing material in earlier engine?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dean Yoder on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 11:38 am:

David My 1905 Fuller Johnson 5 hp DE used Babbitt


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 12:26 pm:

David,
I know the 1904/05 Ford Model B had babbitt bearings. However, in contrast, I believe the first year of the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost used Phosphor Bronze.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Timothy Kelly on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 02:28 pm:

Rob

The two unrestored 1904 10hp Model A, or as some say AC, Ford engines that I have seen disassembled both had bronze main bearings. In one of the engines, the bearings had been filed so many times to make up for wear that a large gap between the backside of the bearing and the crankcase resulted, making it more difficult to keep oil in the engine.

Timothy


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kohnke Rebabbitting on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 03:27 pm:

I wonder if earlier slow-speed stationary engines had bronze bearings and if the early automotive manufacturers and engine builders copied that practice until the 1906-08 period, when it was found that it did not work well in the automobile?
Anyone know what was used for bearing material in earlier engine?

Phosphor Bronze is what the bearing shell is made of, NOT what the crank run's on.

They are ALL lined with babbitt, no exception.

All the shells are made of either bronze, steel, or solid babbitt as in "some" early gas engines, and cars.

That was the whole idea of a break through is a metal that wouldn't tear up a running shaft.

Many bronze bearings that come in here have so much wear that the .015 of babbitt that they had on them can not be seen.

Many of the flanged bronze bearings were not covered with babbitt, on the thrust, but their was not always that much constant pressure on the flange, although they do wear, so we add about .050 thousandths babbitt on each end so the thrust can be cut to Spec's again.

In NO case was a shaft run on bronze with out babbitt.

Herm.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kerry van Ekeren (Australia) on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 03:56 pm:

Early caterpillar refer to in parts books, as bronze bearings for the crank and later the choice of bearing is aluminum.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kohnke Rebabbitting on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 04:10 pm:

So was John Deere, and hundreds of others, so what was your point!!!

I don't see one!!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 04:27 pm:

Many period specifications indicate other surfaces than babbitt were used. Above I posted an excerpt from a 1906 article saying Ford was an early convert to babbitt, and that about 60 % of car makers made the switch to babbitt.

Below is a spec page listing several makes and models of cars, and about half are listed using babbitt, the other half using a variety of bearings including phosphor bronze, white phosphor and ball bearing:





Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kerry van Ekeren (Australia) on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 04:41 pm:

Point being Herm is I agree when talking later shells but we are not, this is, as Rob is researching, very early stuff, so I ask you, did cat in 1906 have the ability to do and machine a few thou of babbitt on bronze?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Timothy Kelly on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 05:31 pm:

In my post above I mention that the bronze bearings found in one of the 1904 10hp engines being disassembled was very worn.

Interestingly enough, the bronze bearings found in the other engine showed very little wear. In fact the clearances are such that consideration was given to using them as is.

Further, there is no evidence of the bearings ever having been babbitted. And, there is no clearance for babbitt.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Greenlees on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 05:38 pm:

"In NO case was a shaft run on bronze with out babbitt".

Herman, Many early engines did in fact run directly on bronze bearings as is mentioned above.
I have rebuilt two of them personally and know that they were quite common early on.

Tim Kelly also pointed out that early Fords used bronze bearing.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Craig Anderson, central Wisconsin on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 05:43 pm:

Herm, the early IHC engines have bronze mains and rod bearings.
A few years ago I needed to repair a 20 HP IHC hit & miss engine.......the mains were shot but, surprisingly, the journals were not.
I bored out the bronzes to make room for a babbitt pour. I didn't want to bore them out too much so it was a tricky pour in those large shells.
For reference the crankshaft is about 6' long.

IHC crankshaft


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kohnke Rebabbitting on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 06:10 pm:

Rob, are you saying that on the left side of your sheet that when the bearing is listed as bronze, Hess- Bright, White Bronze, Parsons, that is what the crank is running on.

Not so, The type is what the insert is made of.

You misinterpreted your spec's a little Rob.

The Number is the number of bearings, or inserts used!!!



Babbitt, is, Solid babbitt insert, or poured!

Parson's was a solid babbitt type bearing which had a higher melting point.

All bronze were bronze inserts, but babbitt lined.

White Bronze, is a short name for, Parson's white Bronze.

Anti-Friction, another name for solid Babbitt in this case, and normally Lead Babbitt.

Bronze, a bronze shell that is babbitt lined.

A "Combination" would mean that it MAY would have some inserts, and some bushings as on the end of the crank.




Early caterpillar refer to in parts books, as bronze bearings for the crank and later the choice of bearing is aluminum. "END QUOTE"


Kerry, Bearings listed as bronze for the CAT's are babbitt lined, we have probably done at least 200 sets over the years.

Aluminum in mains and rods can not be used with out oil pressure.

The Model T rods that were used in racer, and speedsters were made of Aluminite which you can run on a crank bare, or Lynite which has copper plus, and will take spun cast Babbitt.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kohnke Rebabbitting on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 06:37 pm:

"In NO case was a shaft run on bronze with out babbitt".

Herman, Many early engines did in fact run directly on bronze bearings as is mentioned above.
I have rebuilt two of them personally and know that they were quite common early on.

Tim Kelly also pointed out that early Fords used bronze bearing. "END QUOTE"


I will say again, the bearings you are calling bronze are a babbitt recipe. You are also talking slow speed engines, in which they found out when they went up in RPM's, The Parson's white Bronze had to be replaced.


Further, there is no evidence of the bearings ever having been babbitted. And, there is no clearance for babbitt."END QUOTE"

Yes, but you didn't have real Bronze, it is a babbitt formula.

If you use bronze in a Model T engine, say the mains, that has been tried, in a short time the bearing gets chewed up along with the crank.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Timothy Kelly on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 07:00 pm:

Herm

With reference to bronze bearings, you stated "you didn't have real Bronze, it is a Babbitt formula."

What exactly is the "babbitt" formula, or composition of the bronze bearings that was found in the 10hp Model A engine?

Timothy


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 07:09 pm:

Herm,

David speaks the truth. No kidding, solid bronze bearings on mains and rods were used in the real early stuff. It didn't work worth a hoot, so it was quickly abandoned.

I've seen a few T engines that Ralph Zaijcek rebuilt using home made oillite bushings on the rod journals. Not sure how long they lasted, but they ran great right after Ralph built them.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Kopsky, Lytle TX on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 07:42 pm:

/quote{Aluminum in mains and rods can not be used with out oil pressure.}
You better let Briggs & Stratton know about that. Apparently, they've been building engines incorrectly for nearly a hundred years. All of their rods are aluminum on a steel crank. And no oil pressure. When they weren't using ball bearing mains, they used bronze bushings. Still no oil pressure.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John E Cox on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 07:44 pm:

The older Kinner aircraft engines used an aluminium bronze bearing for the valve guides because it would tolerate the poor lubrication it would get from the infrequent grease gun applications. No Babbitt involved. Different application Herman. Don't go manic on me. I think that the later oiled heads used a porous bronze bushing.
I don't think that the plated steel backed inserts for crankshafts came into use before the late 20's Ford didn't use them before 1935/36.
I love these posts where the know it all doesn't know when to stop. I wonder how many prospects go elsewhere.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kohnke Rebabbitting on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 07:45 pm:

Herm

With reference to bronze bearings, you stated "you didn't have real Bronze, it is a Babbitt formula."

What exactly is the "babbitt" formula, or composition of the bronze bearings that was found in the 10hp Model A engine?

Timothy


Tin, Zinc, and Copper, and I think a little Lead, that is the Parson's White Bronze, and as far as I know, that besides babbitt was all that was to be had, for touching the crank.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kohnke Rebabbitting on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 08:06 pm:

/quote{Aluminum in mains and rods can not be used with out oil pressure.}
You better let Briggs & Stratton know about that. Apparently, they've been building engines incorrectly for nearly a hundred years. All of their rods are aluminum on a steel crank. And no oil pressure. When they weren't using ball bearing mains, they used bronze bushings. Still no oil pressure."end QUOTE"


Ken, the bearings of what you speak are Aluminite, not Aluminum, a big difference the rods normally have that word embossed on the rod if you look.

So Ken, I don't have to tell Briggs & Stratton, they already know!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kohnke Rebabbitting on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 08:41 pm:

The older Kinner aircraft engines used an aluminium bronze bearing for the valve guides because it would tolerate the poor lubrication it would get from the infrequent grease gun applications. No Babbitt involved. Different application Herman. Don't go manic on me. I think that the later oiled heads used a porous bronze bushing.
I don't think that the plated steel backed inserts for crankshafts came into use before the late 20's Ford didn't use them before 1935/36.
I love these posts where the know it all doesn't know when to stop. I wonder how many prospects go elsewhere."END QUOTE"

Ford used Babbitt through 1953, and started thin wall inserts in 1936, on the flat heads, along with other types of lined bearings.


I love these posts where the know it all doesn't know when to stop."END QUOTE"


And I, as the "Resident Know it All" am amazed at some that will open a post they don't want to read and would rather needle a situation, and then set back and "complain, a nice word" about something!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kerry van Ekeren (Australia) on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 08:55 pm:

Well, you got us with a stumper there Herm! 'ALUMINITE' What tha?? Briggs quote that the cases are aluminium, please tell, what aluminite is, no search even comes up as that being an english speaking word!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John E Cox on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 09:18 pm:

When I made a Menasco D4-87 engine airworthy for Bill Tuner when Ed Marquart built the Miles and Atwood special for him it had aluminium rods with just the rod's them selves for bearings. I have no idea what the alloy was but they worked just fine.
This was a WW2 engine way beyond what is going on here.Miles and atwood


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kohnke Rebabbitting on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 09:21 pm:

look in Speed, and Sport, it starts on page 150.

Brigs Crank cases are not bearing material.

Its on the net under Aluminite connecting rods and pistons, I think most were made for Green Engineering.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kohnke Rebabbitting on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 09:23 pm:

nice plane!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kerry van Ekeren (Australia) on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 09:40 pm:

Well I did that Herm, in the whole wide world, that of Green Engineering of the 1920's is the only reverence to the word Aluminite, a fancy made up name for Aluminium.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kohnke Rebabbitting on Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 11:55 pm:

I hate to do your home work for you Kerry!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Kopsky, Lytle TX on Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 11:13 am:

Full Definition of ALUMINITE

: a hydrous aluminum sulfate Al 2SO 4(OH) 4.7H 2O usu. occurring in white compact reniform masses.

Often used in branding by companies marketing aluminum products.

No one said the case was used as a bearing. I said the rod is aluminum and runs, without babbitt, directly on the crank throw. It's lubricated by a splash system.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Seth - Ohio on Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 01:44 pm:

See Rob, You didn't think I could get all the wizards from Menlow Park to respond to your request. Aren't Ouija Boards great.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 01:53 pm:

Dennis

Uncle. I give. Enough already.....

:-)

You did good


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Greenlees on Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 02:47 pm:




Found in the November 1906 Horseless Age above, is part of an article talking about changes in engine design.
This part of the article talks about the start of the change over from solid phosphor bronze bearings (without
any babbitt lining at all) which were common at the time and in earlier times to the babbitt bearing.

These phosphor bronze alloys never were never offered with a "babbitt formula" as this type of bronze is composed
of copper with varying amount of tin 3.5-10% and 1% phosphorus depending on what grade was used. The higher
the tin content the softer the alloy

Babbitt also comes in many different grades and formulas as many of you know, but a typical high grade babbitt
as used back in the time was 86% tin, 7% copper, 7% antimony. Babbitt is tin or lead based and not copper based
as bronze is, and they are as different as night and day.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 03:42 pm:

David,
Thank you for the post. The reason I was curious about these two bearing surfaces is because during my research of Pierce and Ford, I learned Pierce and several other "high end" car makers were still using phosphor bronze while Ford was an early convert to babbitt.

I believe we often think of Ford for their economy and forget how cutting edge the company was.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Greenlees on Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 04:23 pm:

Rob, You are welcome. This article is perfect as it explains the change over just as it was happening.

I will keep my eyes open for other interesting articles on the subject while doing other research.

Perhaps white bronze might be interesting subject?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 04:30 pm:

David, I see above Rainier and a few more used white bronze. I have no idea what the material was. I'll watch for more info too.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By charley shaver on Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 05:33 pm:

well!! I was going to make new bearings for my overland's, but now after reading all this all I have got is a bad head ache!!!!!!!!!!!charley


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Timothy Kelly on Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 05:57 pm:

And, like white bronze, perhaps another interesting subject might be yellow babbitt.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 07:31 pm:

At the time i wonder if some of the materials used were the same as used for steam engines? For years i have wondered why Model T rods arn't made from aluminum? Bud in Wheeler


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 07:35 pm:

At the time i wonder if some of the materials used were the same as used for steam engines? For years i have wondered why Model T rods arn't made from aluminum? Bud in Wheeler


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kohnke Rebabbitting on Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 08:21 pm:

Full Definition of ALUMINITE

: a hydrous aluminum sulfate Al 2SO 4(OH) 4.7H 2O usu. occurring in white compact reniform masses.

Often used in branding by companies marketing aluminum products.

No one said the case was used as a bearing. I said the rod is aluminum and runs, without babbitt, directly on the crank throw. It's lubricated by a splash system."END QUOTE"


you got the Definition right, and it is also used in cement work, but everything you said is wrong.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kerry van Ekeren (Australia) on Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 08:57 pm:

And here I was searching for this bearing metal that wasn't Aluminum but 'Aluminite'. I was looking in the wrong places, should be in the building industry, just a Crystal and used for cement additive, still haven't come across any reference to it making Aluminium into a better bearing surface!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Sunday, February 16, 2014 - 10:06 pm:

Judging from some early comments above it seems to me that if you are going to use your Model T to run a cream separator, then by all means the Babbitt bearings should be replaced by food grade bronze,and canola oil should be used for lubrication in the engine with woven white cotton for the bands.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kohnke Rebabbitting on Monday, February 17, 2014 - 12:29 am:

Parson's White Bronze Analyses.

Tin 65.12

Zinc 31.71

Copper 2.87

Also has iron and lead which are impurities.


Phosphor Bronze

Valve guides, wrist pin bushings, Music horns Ect., no reference to main or rod bearings of any kind.

Copper 94.8
Tin 5.0
phosphor .02


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kerry van Ekeren (Australia) on Monday, February 17, 2014 - 12:51 am:

Dosen't that raise the question of why? in that 1906 list that Rob posted, that the metals used are listed as separate identities, ie, parsons as one, white bronze and just bronze, surely all bearing alloys in their own right?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Monday, February 17, 2014 - 12:56 am:





Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kohnke Rebabbitting on Monday, February 17, 2014 - 02:07 am:

Dosen't that raise the question of why? in that 1906 list that Rob posted, that the metals used are listed as separate identities, ie, parsons as one, white bronze and just bronze, surely all bearing alloys in their own right?"END QUOTE"

Nope, All different Company's, I bet they are all Parson's White Bronze, they just listed the bearings as Parson's, or Bronze


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Monday, February 17, 2014 - 07:30 am:

Several of the Pierce engineers came from steam engine manufacturing where bronze bushings were considered to be the best. When they talk about "marine type" connecting rod I bet they are talking about a steam powered launch.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Greenlees on Monday, February 17, 2014 - 08:18 am:

"Several of the Pierce engineers came from steam engine manufacturing where bronze bushings were considered to be the best."

The 1905 Pierce-Arrow connecting rod and main bearings I have redone in the past were solid phosphor bronze that never had a babbitt lining.

I have machined a number of new parts out of phosphor bronze in the past and the 05 Pierce bearings were very hard and machined the very same way.
The color was also an exact match. I never had it analyzed but there is no doubt in my mind that the Pierce bearings were solid phosphor bronze.

I have also machined Parson's White Bronze and worked with it and it machines quite differently and the color it entirely different.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Greenlees on Monday, February 17, 2014 - 08:24 am:



This is the 1905 Pierce-Arrow that has the phosphor bronze bearings I have redone.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Monday, February 17, 2014 - 08:45 am:

It sounds as if Ford initially used phosphor bronze (Tim's Model A) and made the change by 1905, when the Model B is listed with babbitt bearings. It would be interesting to know more about when Henry Ford became aware of, and switched to babbitt.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cameron Whitaker on Monday, February 17, 2014 - 08:48 am:

Bronze does work well for engine bearings, but they are only good for very slow-running engines. My Maytag has bronze bearings, and a bronze rod bearing (actually, it doesn't have a bronze bearing, the entire connecting rod is bronze). I think that they may also wear down the crank faster. For the price of a new crank, I'd rather replace the babbitt then the crank.

Babbitt is very nice because if you have the tools and knowledge associated with it, then it is very easy to work with. You can pour oversize babbitt and not have to worry about machining or even line-boring the block, although it is a good idea to line-bore the babbitt.

If you really want to talk about engine bearings... How about making a roller crank for a T? :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Greenlees on Monday, February 17, 2014 - 09:49 am:

"Bronze does work well for engine bearings, but they are only good for very slow-running engines".

And that is the point here, after cars started to become capable of higher speeds and RPM bronze did not work well.

But it works excellent for cam bearings if they have an adequate oil supply, since they only go half the speed of the crankshaft and are lightly-loaded. I have machined many of them and have had very good luck using SAE 660 bearing bronze which is: 83% copper, 7% tin, 7% lead 3% zinc. But DO NOT use it for main or rod bearings.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Monday, February 17, 2014 - 11:08 am:

Cameron,

Ford's six cylinder racer was reported having "ball bearing throughout" in this 1909 articles saying the racer would enter the 1909 Indy races:




The entire article:




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Cameron Whitaker on Monday, February 17, 2014 - 11:47 am:

Rob,

That is very interesting. I know of a few early engines that have ball bearing cranks, such as the LeRhone Rotary. But I never knew that Ford had made one!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Monday, February 17, 2014 - 11:55 am:

International Harvester made ten's of thousands of them as late as 39 or 40! Bud in Wheeler.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Monday, February 17, 2014 - 01:58 pm:

The National, Mercedes, Moore, C.V.&G. and Lane cars listed above had ball bearing mains (Hess Bright was a ball bearing maker). Several car makers of the period used ball bearing main and rod bearings.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Harper - Keene, NH on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 09:31 pm:

I don't know that this will bring anymore light onto this debate, but I think that the following is what should be used when rebabbitting the Model T block and rods.

I submit this image for the three or four of you who have never seen one of these, and note the spelling.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 09:26 pm:

Bill,

Thanks for posting. I have not seen an ingot of Ford "babbit" before. Was Ford saving time and money by skipping a "t"?

:-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kohnke Rebabbitting on Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 10:49 pm:

I had 3 chunks just like that from a babbitt collection from Earl Davis, at Kennth Babbitting in Minneapolis, Mn. The same exact thing, but there were 3 chunks still stuck together, it was a lead babbitt.


Just because it has Ford on it does not mean it is Fords babbitt, as there were a lot of bogus parts and materials be peddled to the smaller shops, that is what Earl told me.

K.R.Wilson states, Ford got his babbitt from The National Lead company, the Model was Dutch Boy, high Pressure Metal, which is a Tin base.

Tin Base should not turn black like that, that is the way mine was as was all the different kind's in the collection, that was Lead Base at that time. Not so with the tin base.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 11:35 pm:

Thanks for posting Herm. A lot of good info on this thread for those of us with little knowledge of babbit(t).


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