Hi all! I just bought a spare engine for my T and it will need new Babbitt in the mains. is there anyone on the east cost doing this type of work ? thanks, Ken
j & M machine Southborough Massachusetts
Thanks for the help. Ken
George King in CT
What makes you think you need new babbitt? I have found very few blocks that need mains replacement. Lots have scores, scratches, but are fully usable. I sense that there is a lot of money spent unnecessarily in mains replacement.
I would never put an engine back into service with old babbit. I have also never found a block with useable babbit, and have only found one good crank! Guess your lucky that people in you area removed perfectly useable engines from service. I also found that the spare blocks or complete engines were set to the side years ago because they were junk to begin with.
Out of three engines I have I can use at least two with old babbitt. Since the mid main has a tendency to wear upwards while the front and rear main wears in the cap I think it's important to first check them with a straight edge. Maybe the front and rear can be scraped to go back to straight if the mid bearing is worn? I didn't have to. Rebabbitted caps are available from the vendors and can be fitted with timesaver lapping compound.
It's not for serious cross country driving, more an economical way to get them rolling for perhaps several years of touring around the neighbourhood. Getting the rest of the parts on my cars in presentable shape costs so much it's great to have a couple of affordable running engines. When the cranks finally breaks, then it's time for a serious repair - hopefully SCAT cranks are still available then & I can afford them
(Message edited by Roger K on November 11, 2014)
J and M,Southboro,Ma if you don't want to worry about it being done right...
They have done three complete engines and transmissions for me..
Also, one can use original babbitt blocks by line reboring to an oversize and getting a matching oversize crank, such as SCAT.
The scat stroker crank needs forged rods. Different pistons, larger main caps, a pan spacer, and it is a quartet inch larger in diameter, so new babbit as well.
No, I don't think so. SCAT cranks come as standard T replacements. I think one can can get a custom grind on the mains.
The standard crank is in fact the same diameter as a original fresh crank. The stroker has larger diameter rod journals and larger main journals. Sure you could get something special order but for how much over the 1400 bucks these things cost? Also why would one spend that much and stick it in old bearings, which you have no clue if they were properly done? Bearing failures do happen, would freakin suck if it fs up a new crank! I would also feel dumb if I knew it could be avoided!
Also along with what David posts, the thrust would be very unlikely to fit correctly.
About the only thing old babbitt is good for is making soft face hammers. It would be silly to rebuild an engine and not replace the babbitt. What are you going to save--$8 in babbitt? It still needs machined and you loose the ability to adjust them later. (removing shims) The mains get hammered about 100 times a second at cruising speed. Think about what happens to old babbitt in the differential. Are you going to shine that up too and reinstall it? Silly, silly, silly.
If you can't verify the history of the engine, assume the babbitt is 80-100 years old.
I just installed a Scat crank in one of my T's. It has the original size grind and only thing different is the counterbalance. The original T rods and pistons can be used. I would, however recommend repouring the bearings. It would be a shame to pay for a crank and then have the bearings fail. The engine idles and runs very smoothly with the crank and I think I am less likely to break the crankshaft by driving the car.
I've done what you suggest, Roger. IE scrape the front and rear main saddles in the block to match the center main. Followed up with Timesaver of course. I was concerned that the slight reduction in distance between the timing gears might be a problem but it wasn't. Its a real time burner but I'd probably do it again.
We have a large engine restoring company in Jönköping, Sweden that quotes $1550 for washing the block, casting the mains including the axial thrust part and boring to size. Magnafluxing and grinding the crank is $530 and babbitting 4 rods is $1540, total $3620 so yes, there is big money to save over here if the babbitt can be saved..
(OK, there is another guy that does much cheaper T engine work further up north, but he's in his mid 80's and may not be able to do as much engine work as he used to do)
Your numbers are silly.
Is that SEK or USD?
That should be done anyway. The babbitt is still $8. ($59.22 SEK)
You can get a set of four complete refurbished rods for less than $400 USD. (Includes $100 in cores.) Who in their right mind would charge/pay $1540 for babbitting four rods?
Why don't you save yourself some big money and just change the oil?
Then buy a can of paint and call it rebuilt.
The Jönköping company is the only one doing babbitt commercially in Sweden as far as I know, thus they can quote high prices. Their prices are general for any engine with that number of bearings and rods and may cover adaptions they have to make in their tooling for different makes of cars. A Model A/T specialist would have an easier job to give cheap service. As you can read I wrote $. Noone would pay the quoted prices for Model T rods since they're available cheaper from the vendors. When I eventually *really* need babbitt done, I think I'll learn how to do it myself, just like I did when I wanted to mill my Prus head.
And Ken, the comparison you do with the thrust washers in the rear axle is silly, the crack prone original rear axle thrusts were made of a different material - likely lead babbitt while the original babbitt in the mains is genuine high speed babbitt made from 86% tin, 7% copper and 7% antimony only and holds up much better over time.
Only concern would be if it's imbedded with too much dirt and grime.. but I think that can be scraped clean at least once until it's too thin.