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Babbitt bearings

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bart78, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. Bart78
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 717

    Bart78
    Member

    I am going to clean a motor this weekend doing the electrolysis. The question I have will it eat the Babbitt bearings.
     
  2. moefuzz
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 4,950

    moefuzz
    Member

    Babbit is very soft and can esily be damaged or pitted. There would be no harm in safe guarding your babbit job by removing and storing the shells (in correct order) while you service your block.
     
  3. Digger_Dave
    Joined: Apr 10, 2001
    Posts: 2,517

    Digger_Dave
    Member

    Assuming that the babbitt bearings are "poured" (in the block) ..


    Do NOT DO IT! The electrolysis will EAT the babbitt!
     
  4. Commish
    Joined: Jan 9, 2010
    Posts: 379

    Commish
    Member
    from NW Ok

    Dave, is that backed by fact or experience, or just opinion? I would have thought he would probably be alright. Not trying to be arguemenative, just curious.
     

  5. The babbitt will be damaged/ruined if you do that. Is this a Ford or Chevrolet engine (Chevrolet babbitt pops out)?
     
  6. shinysideup
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,627

    shinysideup
    BANNED
    from ruskin, fl

    It will eat the babbit first. Try putting it in an engine wash machine.
     
  7. moefuzz
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 4,950

    moefuzz
    Member


    Apparently you don't know who Dave is.
     
  8. Bart78
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 717

    Bart78
    Member

    I was told by the old guy it had babbitt bearings. But my grandfather told me that the 59ab had insert bearings. I have not had time to do the block but I did some smaller parts and it worked great. My wife has been sick for the past week and a half and I have been playing mr mom.
     
  9. I don't understand how there would be a problem, so long as the block is the cathode.
     
  10. Commish
    Joined: Jan 9, 2010
    Posts: 379

    Commish
    Member
    from NW Ok

    Well, you figured that out right quick, care to tell me what his credentials are, since he does not seem to have seen my question. I would seriously like to know the answer, I have always been under the impression that the process would just pretty much remove the rust, and leave the more noble metals alone. I am always open to someone explaining the right or wrong of my theories.
     
  11. greaseguns
    Joined: Dec 24, 2006
    Posts: 135

    greaseguns
    Member

    My 59a has insert mains and full floater brass rod bearings as I thought all 59a engines had then the 8ba had inserts in rods and mains
     
  12. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,786

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Kanter shows Main bearing sets for V8 Fords from 1936 on. With that you should be able to remove the main bearing inserts (mark them if you plan to reuse them) and then send the block off to be cleaned.
     
  13. Bart78
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 717

    Bart78
    Member

    Good I will take them out and use them if they are good. I am going to try to clean it myself first. There is a old guy here that has rebuilt motors for years and has decided to stop. He is selling everything. I was told he had a bunch of flathead stuff. He is allso selling all his tools and machines.
     
  14. Jdeshler
    Joined: Jan 2, 2011
    Posts: 210

    Jdeshler
    BANNED

    man those babbitt's have me on the fence.. i heard the same 70 year old guy tell me they were amazing engines but if you go up a steep hill too long the oil wont get to the front cylinders.. someone swapped the babbitt out of my 49 stovebolt before i got it
     
  15. moefuzz
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 4,950

    moefuzz
    Member


    Don't confuse cheap ass gm parts with V8 Ford engines.

    Yes, GM engines run out of oil going up hill and guess what? GM would sell you a new engine at a good profit.
     
  16. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 4,038

    Truckedup
    Member

    Not GM engines in general,but dipper 216 and 235's that oiled the rods from a tray.In reality is probably like all Ford flathead V-8's overheat statement.Other GM engines had normal full pressure lubrication.
     
  17. Digger_Dave
    Joined: Apr 10, 2001
    Posts: 2,517

    Digger_Dave
    Member

    First of all, let's clear the air. I worked in an engine rebuilding plant that specialized in POURED babbitt bearings.

    This is where the babbitt is is heated to a molten state and using special molds and a pre-heated block POURED into the main bearing saddles.
    Then the the bearing surfaces were machined to size. (very labor intensive)

    Ford blocks - and I'm assuming early engines that DO NOT HAVE REMOVABLE CRANK SHAFT INSERTS should not be chemically cleaned. (or hot tanked)
    In addition to dissolving the babbitt, the dissolved babbitt will contaminate the hot tank chemicals

    Cam shaft bearings ARE removable and must be taken out before hot tanking.
    For the same reason as above.

    This also applies to non-removable connecting rod bearings.
     
  18. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    CutawayAl
    Member
    from MI

    I can't explain the physics or chemisty. I do know that in a plating bath the part is the cathode and the metal being deposited is the anode. Some metals quickly and completely disintegrate even if they are the cathode. I know special precautions must be used to avoid it happening where it is avoidable.
     
  19. Commish
    Joined: Jan 9, 2010
    Posts: 379

    Commish
    Member
    from NW Ok

    Dave, first of all Thanks for the explanation, although I am aware of what babbit is and its uses, I worked as a mechanic for several yrs. I also know that it should not be hot tanked, and a lot of chemicals would be hard on it. If you can not answer the question about the electrolysis affecting the babbit, just say so and maybe someone who knows for sure will weigh in. I also worked for a few yrs. as a corrosion tech for a pipeline co., so have some familiarity with the process of electrolysis, and just have a natural curiosity about these things. If someone has actually seen it damage the babbit, or ran the process and seen no damage, that would go a long way with me.
     
  20. Digger_Dave
    Joined: Apr 10, 2001
    Posts: 2,517

    Digger_Dave
    Member

    I think I just did.
     
  21. Commish
    Joined: Jan 9, 2010
    Posts: 379

    Commish
    Member
    from NW Ok

    You told me what you know about babbit, and hot tanking and the chemicals involved. The electrolysis process uses DC current and usually sodium carbonate dissolved in the water ( which in itself should not damage babbit), just makes the water more conductive, and does heat the water some, but is not hot tanking.
    You totally dodged my main question, have you seen it or seen the damage done from the process. I was not questioning your knowledge on babbit, you expressed an opinion on a process that I am interested in and have not posted anything to back it up. So if you really think you answered my question I will leave it at that. If no one else chimes in I may have to throw a sample in a tank one of these days and try it myself. If I do and come up with a result, I will find this thread and update it either way.
    Again no disrespect to you intended, you seem to be well regarded here.

    Thanks for the discussion
     
  22. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,850

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    So does he actually need to see someone shot to death before his very eyes to know that a gun can kill?

    I think the question has been answered quite thoroughly. I think similiarly, I've seen the electric removal of chrome eat pot metal pieces that have been left in the tank too long. When I stripped my Edsel tail lights, the shop I used did a great job of monitoring their time in the bath to maintain their detail. I've seen other parts not fare so well, which left pits in the pot metal. Obviously pot metal is different than babbitt, but similar in that it is an inconsistent alloy of various cheap metals
     
  23. Bart78
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 717

    Bart78
    Member

    I will do it and see what it does. I have more motors this one was free for me to just come get. If I screw it up I am not out anything but the couple dollars in gas to go get it. But then I will know to do it or not to do it next time.
     
  24. Commish
    Joined: Jan 9, 2010
    Posts: 379

    Commish
    Member
    from NW Ok

    My question was not answered at all, the reason I persisted. What was the solution in the chrome bath, do you know?
     
  25. Commish
    Joined: Jan 9, 2010
    Posts: 379

    Commish
    Member
    from NW Ok

    Bart, glad to hear you are going to try it, I have heard of people using lye in their bath, and that sure might damage the babbit. If I were to try it I would use sodium carbonate, Arm and Hammer has it as washing soda, and you can also find it at pool supplies, I think labeled as PH decreaser. Be sure and let us know how it comes out.
    Thanks
     
  26. Commish
    Joined: Jan 9, 2010
    Posts: 379

    Commish
    Member
    from NW Ok

    Curbfeeler, some of that I agree with, some I don't think is applicable, but I do appreciate the effort. When it come right down to your conclusion, it pretty well sums it up, for the back yard guy. Probably going to have to try it on something not important and draw your own conclusions.
    Thanks
     
  27. Bart78
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 717

    Bart78
    Member

    I have used the washing soda and it works good. Takes off rust greas and carbon. Did a model a head the other day for the hell of it and it wad full of carbon. Let it set in it for about 4 hours looks new
     
  28. George Miller
    Joined: Dec 26, 2008
    Posts: 413

    George Miller
    Member
    from NC usa

    That is not true, we ran lots of trucks with 216 and 235 engines up hill. Also the rods are lubed from a oil line in the oil pan, one for each rod.
     
  29. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 5,040

    pitman

    The stew becomes ever more complex, when electrochemistry enters the room. Platers knew what worked, even if the theories were obscure (or not understood) at times.
    I would assume a slightly more, or slightly less noble metal/alloy would be talking part in the brine or acid electrolyte bathed voltage-induced reactions.
     
  30. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    CutawayAl
    Member
    from MI

    As often happens, the answers you got were inconclusive. But I am wondering, if you are willing to do it and see what happens, why was the question asked? I see this happen all the time. I'm not trying to give you a hard time, just curious what the thought process is.
     

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