Looking at a friends non-T rod babbit, one of the rods has a crack in the babbit on the rod side, no missing pieces, the surface of the babbit and the crank are smooth, looks like when clamped in the crank with the rod cap there is no way for the piece to get loose etc.
Question is, does it need to be replaced or will it run ok that way ?
the answer to your question is yes...it probably should be replaced just for peace of mind...that being said,i have seen rods (and mains) with babbitt in similar condition that had run for years and probably will continue to run for a long time ...depending on condition of rod journal on crankshaft(roundness and clearance)this may give good service ...it could also fail...babbitt cracked for some reason ...probably excess clearance and pounding at some time in vehicals lifetime ...it may also be that bearing was not properly poured ...i would recommend replacement while the engine is down ...an inspection of all bearings and crankshaft and cylinders ,valves,cam and tappets is in order also ...do it right and then drive with confidence ...best regards and Merry Christmas gene french
Very good advice, Gene French, the babbitt cracked for some reason. Maybe bad tinning, wrong temp, any of dozens of reasons. Running a questionable rod or main bearing could be a VERY expensive mistake. Especially in a non-Ford antique, you cannot just go out and get another block or crank. And anyone that knows me, knows I will run some questionable stuff, but not that, I know when not to.
A crack in the surface of a babbit bearing that has been in service a long time is generally due to an area that was not fully fluxed. Myself, I would prefer to grind the crank and re-babitt everything when overhauling an engine, but this is not always in everyones budget. If the overall bearing is smooth, has no contamination bedded into it, and the babbitt is well fluxed to the rod on all visible edges, it is very likely it will never cause any problems.