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Federal Mogul Bearing Pitting
Posted by: wittsend ()
Date: February 16, 2020 05:23PM

After searching I found a number of post here referencing the "pitting" of Federal Mogul bearings. I'm looking for information related to the longevity of such bearings.

Back story: 25 years ago I was given a Lakewood PG that has now sat on jackstands all that time. I decided it was 'now or never' to doing anything with the car. The condition is marginal but if I could get it running that was all that mattered. Honestly I don't see myself driving this car more that one thousand, maybe two thousand miles in my lifetime and doing so on city streets. It will pretty much be about once every six weeks to Cars & Coffee that is all of 5 miles away.

In Fall of 2019 I disassembled the engine and found the crank was 10/10. While it had scratches the general area mic-ed within spec. I polished the crank and then set out looking for replacement bearings. My budget is in step with the marginal condition of the car. I found a very reasonable priced used main bearing set that was not showing any copper - advertised as "I would run these in my race car." While they weren't in great condition they appeared far better than what I took out (image 2). And given the limited use I anticipated thought they would be suitable.

Yesterday I opted to put them in my ultra sonic cleaner (distilled water, 10 minutes max) feeling any contamination removal was wise. When I removed them I was rather surprised to see the pitting (image 1). Using a pick I did not notice any flaking. It was more as one post stated, like 'a chemical disintegration.'

So, I'm curious if those who have found pitted FM bearings given the way the motor ran prior to disassembly was there any obvious indication of the pitting in how it ran (excessive smoke or knocking) that could be attributed to the bearing condition? Given the minimal, unstressed use I'm foreseeing I'm trying to decide to proceed with these bearings.., or not. BTW, rod bearings I got a great deal on a new set so I'm OK there.

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Re: Federal Mogul Bearing Pitting
Posted by: 63turbo ()
Date: February 16, 2020 06:07PM

If it were mine, and they looked like those in the top photo's, I think I would bite the bullet and buy new ones just to be sure. Too many scratches along with the pits.

------------------------------------

Kevin Nash
Friday Harbor Washington
63 Spyder, Daily driver, EFI read about my project here: [corvaircenter.com]
first test start on EFI here:[www.youtube.com]
first official EFI boost test here:[www.youtube.com]
My new fan! [corvaircenter.com]
engine less 62 Spyder
Canadian 64 Monza Parts car



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Re: Federal Mogul Bearing Pitting
Posted by: Brizo ()
Date: February 16, 2020 06:49PM

The first pic looks like etching cause by the acids that form in the oil by combustion by-products. Used bearings are rarely worth the trouble unless they are very low mileage and you know the exact history.

Dan Brizendine, Circle City Corvairs
'64 8door Greenbrier 140 PG. "In beautiful Wanamaker Indiana...with one stop light and 5 pizza shops"

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Re: Federal Mogul Bearing Pitting
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: February 16, 2020 07:12PM

An ultrasonic cleaner can remove metal. It works on the same principle that cavitation does which will eat a hole right through a cylinder liner. Generally the idea is not to leave the part in too long or use a frequency or power level that won't eat the metal.

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 114 Corvairs and counting...

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Re: Federal Mogul Bearing Pitting
Posted by: Vairismo ()
Date: February 16, 2020 08:16PM

Can you feel much of anything with your finger and or fingernail? If the feel smooth and are within clearance tolerances I don't see a real problem with them. Just my opinion though.

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Re: Federal Mogul Bearing Pitting
Posted by: richard1 ()
Date: February 17, 2020 12:12PM

although I would discount Joel's comment on the ultra sonic cleaner. That type of pitting is very common in bearings where the engine has sat with oil oil. One of the reasons I campaign to get people to change the oil before storage, Including farmers that have months with idle equipment, or construction companies between projects.

Restoration in Bolivia
Richard's Mini Pickup
Richard's Corvair
Richard's Renault Dauphine

Selection of the Right Motor Oil for the Corvair
Selection of the right transmission oil for the corvair
How to polish and restore stainless and aluminum trim

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Re: Federal Mogul Bearing Pitting
Posted by: wittsend ()
Date: February 17, 2020 12:56PM

Richard, I noted in your Dauphine rebuild that you refer to the main bearings as "homemade" and in the picture refer to them as "refilled." Can you elaborate? I've read recently that silver has lubricant properties (as a bearing surface).

Since I'm the type of person who likes the challenge of squeezing water out of a dry sponge (so to speak) I was contemplating applying a coat of solder and then scraping it off with a razor. I'd think that would put down a coat about .0005 thick. Not sure if lead/tin or silver tin would be best.

I realize for most this is not the norm. But some men slog through the forest for days hunting when meat is readily available at the supermarket. Me I just enjoy the challenge of mechanically doing things out of the norm. Given my little investment and the very low anticipated use this is something I will ponder.

BTW, for the count I've gotten one probably wouldn't and one probably would vote for using the bearings I bought. I'm back to zero. smiling smiley

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Re: Federal Mogul Bearing Pitting
Posted by: wittsend ()
Date: February 17, 2020 06:32PM

Well, I decided to put my solder coat concept to the test. I used one of my old rod bearings as I already have a new set to install.

Am I suggesting everyone do this? NO! But with vendor prices in the $200+ range for rods & mains someone on a budget with a car they "just want to get running" (my budget and goal) it might be better than just letting things sit.

I basically cleaned the bearing then held it with a strong magnet clamped in my vise. I applied flux, heat, wiped the heated flux, more flux and heated again then applied the solder. The razor did not work well but then I used a wet linen rag to wipe the excess. You have to play around a bit but eventually you get a decent coating. All that is (hopefully) staying on is about .0005 per half.

Below: First are the original bearings as removed.In fact these are two upper bearings halves which have greater wear. I chose to do this since it was more challenging a clearance to compensate for. Next is the solder coated bearings. Last is the measurement (I'm calling it .0023) and while on the wider side still in spec. I never measured what came out originally but given all the showing copper they were likely in the .003-.0035 range - maybe more.

This is a measurable proof of concept. Does it work in actual use? Do that at Your Own Risk. I might do it on my mains.

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Re: Federal Mogul Bearing Pitting
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: February 17, 2020 07:11PM

First off I have to ask why you would ever put bearings with soft metal in an ultrasonic cleaner? You got the results expected.

I have old GM bearings that look like what you show from sitting with old oil, it is not just a Federal Mogul issue. It is a bearing construction issue and acids.

I have to ask what solder you are using? A 60/40? 50/50? Solid or rosin core? The reason I ask is the solder numbers refer to the amount of tin in the solder and also how hard the solder will be.

Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: Federal Mogul Bearing Pitting
Posted by: wittsend ()
Date: February 17, 2020 07:51PM

My assumption was that the cleaner would release any embedded debris in the overlay which I saw as a good thing. Given that the cleaners are used on jewelry (also a soft metal) I assumed they wouldn't damage the overlay.To that end where there was little to no wear contact (at the parting edges, back side etc.) I did not seem to lose the overlay. So, was it the cleaner that did the damage..., or was it already there (as mentioned by acids) and the cleaner just dislodged what was filling the craters?

I got the cleaner used and it had no instructions. I actually looked on line because I was concern about damage before I did this but found no warnings. The run time was about 10 minutes. This is a minimal cleaner with no frequency adjustment. I also was unaware that there should be a basket.

As to the solder hardness, at the moment I don't know. It is the newer lead free (I assume silver/tin) type. It is not rosin core. These bearing I did today were just a test. I have other lead based solders.

I'm not sure how much of the post you read but this engine will see roughly 1,000 miles in my lifetime. The cars condition is marginal. But, still I like the challenge and what many may see as wasted time I consider a "hobby." So, whether by used parts or goofy things like re-coating bearing if it works for me that is the joy I get out of the process. When my life is done I don't thing anyone will have want for the car. So, there will be no guy hating on me for how I did things. I just have an affinity for the 'make do, survival' process. I've lived my whole life that way.

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Re: Federal Mogul Bearing Pitting
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: February 17, 2020 07:54PM

The bearings you took out were working so this should be an improvement.

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 114 Corvairs and counting...

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Re: Federal Mogul Bearing Pitting
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: February 18, 2020 04:31AM

OK, Think about this, can you scratch jewelry with your fingernail? NO? Not as soft as you think!

Didn't think about the lead free solder, that is harder and not really a bad thing! At one point GM even used copper lined bearings on the early turbo engines.

With your limited useage you should have just put the engine together and run it! I have posted before about my throw together engines with all used parts except gaskets. When I say used it was select bearings, cam, used lifters (NOT matched to the cam), and at times even used rings! I also just posted about that again in building the engine for my Ultra and the only issue I had was the reground cam and NEW lifters lost a lobe!

Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: Federal Mogul Bearing Pitting
Posted by: dryenko ()
Date: February 18, 2020 05:55AM

Scotch brite the top picture set with very fine type , then repeatedly clean with WD 40.
Measure the clearance and if in spec , use them.
Once a oil wedge film is established by pressure and rotation no contact between bearing and crank occurs, so you should be good to go.
YOMV

Bob C aka Dryenko
Dobson, NC 27017

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Re: Federal Mogul Bearing Pitting
Posted by: Wagon Master ()
Date: February 18, 2020 06:29AM

Just out of curiosity, did the individual you purchased the "I'd use them" bearings have the initials of J_ _ _ C_ _ _ _?

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Re: Federal Mogul Bearing Pitting
Posted by: idiyaught ()
Date: February 18, 2020 06:32AM

Check the melting temperature of your solder, some can melt around 200 deg

John Oostdyk
Thornhill, Ont
63 Rampy
65 Greenbrier
64 Convertible

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Re: Federal Mogul Bearing Pitting
Posted by: jasonscorvairs ()
Date: February 18, 2020 10:27AM

Get new bearings, get crank polished,and change oil often, Follow what Richard says and Happy Corvair driving.

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Re: Federal Mogul Bearing Pitting
Posted by: wittsend ()
Date: February 18, 2020 11:04AM

Thank you everyone for your relies, wisdom and the new concerns I've learned about ultrasonic cleaners. Also, thank you for being courteous about my not so conventional ideas. Since it was asked, from what I'm finding the melt point of the solder I'm using is above 425+F.

I'm as apprehensive as I am curious about trying these soldered bearings. Likewise about the bearings I bought. I don't doubt that the clearances are good where there is no deterioration. But where there is, is that pathways to leaking too much?

I might solder up the old main bearings, pop them in the case half and spin the oiled crank slowly over time to see what happens. When I polish a crank I'm always concern the shoelace method is putting too much pressure in one spot. So I slowly spun my crank with a BBQ spit motor while I polished (image below). I can easily adapt that motor to slowly spin the crank over time and look to see if there are any wear characteristics that tell me not to proceed. R&D for pennies on the dollar.

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Re: Federal Mogul Bearing Pitting
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: February 18, 2020 11:21AM

I like the wood bearings.

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 114 Corvairs and counting...

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Re: Federal Mogul Bearing Pitting
Posted by: richard1 ()
Date: February 18, 2020 01:55PM

I just notices a typo.I meant to say I would not discount Joels comment on the ultra sonic cleaner. Sorry

As for the homemade bearings I found in the Dauphine, I'm using them. Not sure how they did it, But could not find new ones. I still don't have license plates for it, so I've only driven it about 100 miles. After nine years, it looks like I will have plates for it in a few weeks. You probably don't want to know how.

For my Corvair, I filled and sanded down the thrust bearing, when I found the new one still was not wide enough.



Before


After


Restoration in Bolivia
Richard's Mini Pickup
Richard's Corvair
Richard's Renault Dauphine

Selection of the Right Motor Oil for the Corvair
Selection of the right transmission oil for the corvair
How to polish and restore stainless and aluminum trim

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Re: Federal Mogul Bearing Pitting
Posted by: larry202br ()
Date: February 19, 2020 05:49AM

You need this: babbitt metal Then you can make your own, just like they used to on model Ts and the like!

1961 rampside with a 65 / 67 110 engine, car four speed.
1965 convertible
1966 Custom two door/four door 180 Turbo.

KC0SKX
Olathe, ks
HACOA

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