Practice pouring Babbitt

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Mark Gregush
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Practice pouring Babbitt

Post by Mark Gregush » Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:56 pm

Using KR Wilson pouring bar. The areas where the Babbitt is poured has been turned down about .030. Shims added under the spacer block that fits on top.

My first attempt, forgot a plug in the oil hole, most of the Babbitt went on the floor.

2ed try, did not get all the moisture off the pouring bar. Luckily, only a small splatter hit me in the face, most went on the floor or all over the block. Lesson learned; face shield and welding gloves from now on.

My 3rd try (the photos), Babbitt at around 800 degrees with Palmer Hot Pot, block about 400. I think the pour would have been better if I had not stopped because the side I was pouring from was overflowing, also may turn the KTW collar around and just use the flat side on all the saddles. The KRW collars have a built-in radius, except for the front one. Next time I am going to barrow a set of the pouring dams.

I did get the thrust on the back side a bit thicker than is really needed, will close the gap up some. I had to use an 1.25" ID collar that I had on hand, shimmed to fill the gap on the ID, and with a piece of brass shim stock clamped on the outside to make the mold, the KRW collars have too small of OD. Using the collar I had on hand with larger OD seemed to work just fine, just clamping the shim stock on the outside, but could have a larger OD. Will get some 6061 aluminum round stock and try a different approach at some point.

I am only adding thrust to the rear of the block, so only that part was cut back on the saddle. For the caps, I will be using Gene French's mold. At this point, just I am using reclaimed Babbitt to practice with.
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I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

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Dan Hatch
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Re: Practice pouring Babbitt

Post by Dan Hatch » Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:00 pm

Babbitt should be at least 950.
Remember that KRW boring jig is made for Standard cranks. You should under cut the bar to be sure you have enough material for undersized cranks.
Also you will need to peen the battitt before to cools.

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Re: Practice pouring Babbitt

Post by JTT3 » Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:07 am

Dan as usual is right on, you need to be above 900 degrees on your babbitt when pouring. Be sure to remove the dross & stir the babbitt right before the pour. You should consider milling the 3rd main on the block so you have a full thrust on the flange side of the block when you pour it too. I use to use a period Taft Pierce set up. It worked well but Gene French’s set up is a better system for me because like Dan stated your not dealing with standard size cranks. So we’ve got 2 jigs and multiple molds from Gene for faster production when doing multiple blocks. Dan also gave us some great recommendations on how to peen the babbitt but I won’t steal his thunder.

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Re: Practice pouring Babbitt

Post by Mark Gregush » Wed Nov 24, 2021 1:20 am

Using the KRW pouring bar, the areas where the Babbitt is poured has been turned down about .030, that is why there is a step at the rear. I may take it down a bit more.
This was a practice pour only, used a ballpeen hammer. Till I add a bigger circuit box, I can either have heat or run my air compressor to use the pneumatic rivet gun for peening. My compressor is hardwired into the only 220 CB, so have to unwire it to use the plug for the 220 shop heater. I pick heat right now. LOL
I am now thinking that the front of the saddle just was not hot enough, I will have to check that better on the next practice run.
"Be sure to remove the dross & stir the babbitt right before the pour." yes on that.
I remove material from the rear of the block saddle to match the length of the cap and angled it back some.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

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Re: Practice pouring Babbitt

Post by Joe Bell » Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:21 am

I use two cast ladles when pouring, that way it pours faster from both sides. The babbitt peening came into the process from Ford was pouring cold blocks and they used this practice to set the anchors. If you take two pieces of babbitt lay them on top of each other and start hammering them, after a while you still have two pieces of babbitt! Try knocking a shell out after peening, some of the anchors will be brittle and fall right out. The best way is a hot pour on block and babbitt, they will cool slowly together.


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Re: Practice pouring Babbitt

Post by Joe Bell » Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:28 am

In the beginning some one told me to use cotton balls to plug the holes, I took out two light bulbs and Babbitt splattered everywhere, still have Babbitt on the walls from it. Can not have any moisture in the process. Try chalking or turn down the torch to get the black from the gas and smoke the molds so it makes it easier for removal after, do not smoke the shells!


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Re: Practice pouring Babbitt

Post by TXGOAT2 » Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:57 am

No oil, no moisture, no rust. Virgin babbit will probably handle better than reclaim. A draft-free shop helps.


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Re: Practice pouring Babbitt

Post by J1MGOLDEN » Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:02 am

I have always wondered exactly how many pounds of Babbit are needed to complete a rebuild of main bearings, connecting rods and camshaft bearings.

Now, I am also wondering what is the ratio of elements for the safer lead free Babbit.

The genuine Ford Babbit ratios are well known, but there are several variations, all just called Babbit, available.

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Re: Practice pouring Babbitt

Post by Mark Gregush » Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:06 am

My very first pour was a 4th main. I smoked the mold core, got too much smoke on it, left imprints in the Babbitt! LOL I didn't have any issues removing the mold during this practice run, came right off. Putting carbon on the mold was suggested by someone else, too, when I did the 4th. I will do that if the need arises.
I am using the Hot Pot to melt the Babbitt, just don't have room for a larger pot to use two ladles, so am trying this way to see how it works.
After reading up on pouring, I was thinking that because when the KRW setup was used, the block just had the chill taken off and moisture removed, that is why the two ladle method was used, for the quicker pour.
Joe, I think I understand what you are saying re the peening.

So far, the feedback has been great. Thanks!

No oil, Check
No moisture, lesson learned check
No rust, did not see the rust on the bar which was from the 2ed attempt
Virgin babbit will probably handle better than reclaim. That would be a good thing.
A draft-free shop helps. As close I can get it, even turned the heater to blow the other way, but shop is only about 14 by 10.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

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Re: Practice pouring Babbitt

Post by RajoRacer » Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:13 am

Keep after it Mark - be convenient to have a Babbitt source on the west coast near Tacoma !!!


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Re: Practice pouring Babbitt

Post by John kuehn » Wed Nov 24, 2021 2:07 pm

Good to see you pouring babbitt and learning how to do it. Interesting to see in your first post about wearing welding gloves and a face shield from now on.

Being a maintenance mechanic for several years before I retired, welding and using a torch we did almost daily. I always wore a shield and gloves when doing it and it was habit to do it.

I’ve never poured babbitt but wearing welding gloves and a shield is a must. And yes guys who have experience doing it know when the heat is right and not having moisture.
I assume the guy pouring babbitt in the Ford service manual is shown as someone who has experience but not shown wearing gloves is an oversight since safety wasn’t given much attention in the T era.
I’m glad you didn’t get burned or hit badly in the face when water was present! Your lucky to be sure!
All it takes is to get hit with the hot babbitt to ruin you day and that wasn’t meant to be funny.

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Re: Practice pouring Babbitt

Post by Mark Gregush » Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:37 pm

The small area on my face it did hit was just under my glasses. Hope it does not scab up! UCK!! ;) Have spent the AM redoing the pouring bar. Cut it down a bit more and have a little more work to do on it before next pour. Need to make more shims to space the 3 blocks that go between the collars out from where I cut the bar down. I wanted to use this setup so would be spending less time moving things once the block is close to being heated up. The caps, I have 3 sets, so am thinking out how to do a production process to do a bunch at the same time. :)
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

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Re: Practice pouring Babbitt

Post by Gene_French » Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:41 pm

Mark , Steve :
i recommend a material called " Anti-Heat" from Eastwood supply co. for plugging the oil holes ... this is a refractory material that is water soluble and is easily cleaned after drilling out the oil hole ... i use a 30 cal. brass barrel brush ... for babbitt on the west coast you can purchase an automotive high speed babbitt from N-F smelters in Seattle ,Wa. ( Non-Ferrous Smelters ) ... will post the numbers for the "anti-Heat" and tinning compound from Eastwood tomorrow ..always an optimist...Gene French


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Re: Practice pouring Babbitt

Post by Joe Bell » Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:46 pm

When I first started playing with it, I used melted out babbitt, later found out imperfection after machining, then I found Power Nickel from Magnolia metals works great and real close to the Ford original, it is pricey and it is sold on the rare metal exchange so varies every day.

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Re: Practice pouring Babbitt

Post by Mark Gregush » Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:26 pm

Gene is this the tinning butter; https://www.eastwood.com/ew-tinning-but ... b-jar.html I was worried because it might have lead in it, so didn't know if I should use it.
For plugging the holes, I have that covered. :twisted:
I have a new/old bar of "United American Metals Government Genuine" Babbitt. Last time Tom checked, the Seattle place had a really big price jump.
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Re: Practice pouring Babbitt

Post by Joe Bell » Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:50 am

Another tinning compound is Tin Tight from McMaster Carr, and they sure do not give it away.

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Re: Practice pouring Babbitt

Post by TWrenn » Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:22 am

My tried and true method of pouring babbitt is to let JOE BELL do it!! :lol: Then it'll be good!

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Re: Practice pouring Babbitt

Post by Ruxstel24 » Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:05 pm

I have a ladle that my dad used to pour the 3rd main with, that has 2 spouts beside each other.
I’ll have to look for it and get a picture.

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Re: Practice pouring Babbitt

Post by Mark Gregush » Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:10 pm

TWrenn wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 11:22 am
My tried and true method of pouring babbitt is to let JOE BELL do it!! :lol: Then it'll be good!
He is bit far for shipping! LOL Besides, that would take all the fun out of learning. :lol:
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

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Re: Practice pouring Babbitt

Post by JTT3 » Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:31 pm

Do you guys tin the mains in the block? Ruby red is awesome for tinning. Generally speaking the fist time you have moisture on you block or caps is generally your last ha.

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