Here's another question. I was just disassembling a T block that came as a spare, and it has aluminum connecting rods. They are babbitted. Has anyone seen these before? I can't find any information on them. They are definitely old.
They might have been sold by Townsend Automotive Parts back in the day, and may have been used in certain types of large pumps. Some were for racing applications. I have seen some installed in engines over the years too.
I have run across a few. They were used in some kind of air compressor, I am told.
Usually air compressors use the aluminum as the bearing surface. Seems like it would work for a T also.
Franklin also used babbited aluminum rods. Always amazes me because it is insanely difficult to properly bond babbit to aluminum. That's why we use aluminum for molds and mandrels. I don't know if anyone knows how to do it anymore. All the Franklin guys I know have converted their rods to inserts. That is another whole topic and opinions will vary.
Bonding babbitt to aluminum takes a couple of steps but it's not difficult. All you have to do is zincate it first.
Briggs & Stratton has been using aluminum rods without babbitt on a steel crank since the beginning of time. They hold up well in a splash oil system. My concern would be rod length and clearance for the mass necessary for strength. Seems like it would take some modern alloy for such a spindly Model T rod.
There are two kinds of Aluminum type rods.
The first one is called Lynite. This rod has copper in it, an a tensile strength of 55,000 pounds per square inch.
This rod can be babbitted, but has to be done in a centrifugal casting machine, or as we call a spin caster. These Lynite bearings dissipate heat 4 to 1 faster then steel rods, letting the bearings run faster, and cooler.
The second type of Aluminum rod is made out of "Aluminite". This type runs directly on the crank shaft, and wears much better then babbitt. These rods were used in race cars and normally have round, and or oval webs, but in speedster's with the normal web.
Many times, one of these two names will be embossed on the rod.
The rod shown was made for Model T's.
Aluminum rods in a Spin Caster do get tinned, but are all together different then steel, brass, and or bronze, not at all the same Process.
I have included some pictures of a Franklin, Mains that are not cast, and the rods that are, we have done many over the years.
Does anyone still make the "aluminite" rods for the T ?
They make Aluminite rods, but I have never seen them for Model T's, now days.
It would be something to check into.
Several years ago, I think I remember Tom Carnege mentioning that his brother had made some aluminum rods.
Always a pleasure to see pictures of Herm's work. It is truly a standard of excellence I aspire to on every job.
Eric, You are sure right on Herm,s work. scott