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Technical model A main bearing conversion

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by birdman1, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 975


    I took on a 1930 Model A coupe to get running for a friend of mine. Long story short it turned into a major overhaul of the engine. The cylinders are scratched and grooved vertically so bad it blew oil out the oil fill pipe even with the lid ON!
    Tore it down and of course it just kept getting worse. pulled the crank out and found the rear main bearing(babbitt) was sitting in place but material was in pieces. Hard to get a decent babbitt job in this state so am wondering if any of you Hambers have an experiance with the insert bearing kits Snyder's sells for the Model A ??
    I think the inserts will be a better deal when completed anyhow. I need to know what is involved and what kind of money was spent doing the machine work. Does anyone have a set of instructions that could be posted on here? Thanks for any help, and yes, I DID try to talk him into putting a v8 flathead in it. No can do!
  2. mike bowling
    Joined: Jan 1, 2013
    Posts: 3,487

    mike bowling

  3. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,511

    seb fontana
    from ct

  4. 270dodge
    Joined: Feb 11, 2012
    Posts: 742

    from Ohio

    Way good on you seb. You did not have to send as a PM but schooled all of us.
    This is a real like, not that worthless button that means nothing to anyone!
    Oh yes I clicked the worthless like button too.

  5. von Dyck
    Joined: Apr 12, 2007
    Posts: 678

    von Dyck

    The align bore distance from the camshaft bore is critical. Be certain your machinist knows this distance. Otherwise you will have problems getting proper clearance on the timing gears.
  6. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,764


    Hey Birdman, I know a guy who rebuilds A engines, as well as babbitting them, here in Iowa if you are interested. He's been doing it for decades. He's over near Cedar Rapids. PM me for contact info.
  7. metaldave
    Joined: Aug 27, 2011
    Posts: 81

    from michigan

    Depends on how you are going to use your car. Babbitt bearings will last for a long time if you dont run it too hard. I would counterweight the crank , lighten the flywheel, and have the parts balanced. Make sure you have a good cam. You can spend a lot of money on the engine and not have much horse power. They used to sell kits to put Pinto engines in Model A's . They even used the old trans. 100 stock horsepower. They may be still offered. Have fun.
  8. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 2,089


    Snyder's and others have insert mains but as mentioned the block will have to be lined bored. You also have to deal with the thrust so it takes a set up for that too.
    Does rebuilding and inserting. I know Bert's in Denver has a rebuild service and does Babbitt. You are in USA and so are these folks
    I guess it depends what kind of use the engine is going to get and what the expectations are.
    Look in the HAMB classifieds too, there are some A engines for sale. just a thought.
  9. I rebuilt this with all Snyders parts for a full insert conversion, their insert rods are also very nice ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1443235613.362899.jpg
    Was told you can get cam gear issues but after assembly it all rotates nicely
  10. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 975


    Thanks for all the help.
    Get this. the last time I talked to the guy in person, he had just found out he had shingles(had rash on his neck). He paid me for the tear-down of the engine, and took the engine with him to a machine shop.That was the last I saw of him. It has been 6 weeks now , and cannot get ahold of him. So I hope he is okay but I have his 1930 Model A coupe sitting in my backyard with a tarp over it. Talk about a strang deal!

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