For Model A engine rebuilds I've read people have been using lighter 283 Chev pistons, and more and more Model A people are opting for inserted over babbitt. Burlington Model A cranks are available again:
What's our news? Have any new products or trends emerged so far this year? ( not including the interesting floating transmission shaft made by Les...what the latest Les? ).
Is there more than one company making forged rods for Ts? Who are they? Any reviews?
Do we have a T crank yet with A size journals?
Are people running inserted engines without a pressurized and filtered system? Model A guys seem to consider that an option, see:
Scat makes cranks with A size journals and A stroke. You use A rods and special pistons from Egge. Another option is to use Scat rods with insert bearings. They make them for model A and you would also use them with the special pistons, but if you go that route Scat is making special rods to use with their stroker crank that use standard model T pistons. Also, these rods create much less clearance problems between the rods and the pan, inspection cover, and camshaft. Better all around. My problem with insert bearings is that because they do not tolerate foreign objects between them and the shaft, they much prefer clean (filtered) pressurized oil. Not what you have in a model T. If you talk to the A guys who use inserts, most will tell you they change the oil very frequently. Keep in mind the T will put more trash into the oil from the transmission and starter drive. We have built inserted T engines here but only with full flow filtered pressure lube. As always, opinions will vary.
Insert Rod bearings on an A have been around for decades--MANY decades. I stick with babbit, as done properly, it is more forgiving of "uh-oh" than an insert--and if you do get an "uh-oh" with an insert, you have more than likely damaged the crankshaft too, so where's the savings? The actual bearing material on a modern insert is basically plating thickness, no "reserve capacity" there at all.
OK, getting off soapbox!
First, you can buy the NEW insert Model A rods and bearings for about $471 from Snyders. I think there are more people recommending a filter system when using insert bearings then not for A or T. I built an engine using the NEW babbitt rods (you can get A or T). Except for really not enough info for installing they were very nice rods, having never built an engine that used single use bolts took too much time sorting that out and that info should have been in the instructions.