measuring crank bearing journals

measuring crank bearing journals

Postby grumpyvette » September 16th, 2011, 6:54 pm

measuring your bearing clearances is critical, to both engine durability and controlling oil flow rates, am=nd maintaining full lubrication.
be sure to measure in several locations as a worn crank journal may have a taper or slight egg shape or cone shape to the journal, if you don,t measure at the 12, o'clock, 6 o'clock 3 o'clock 9 o'clock locations along the full length of the journal surface that may not be obvious if its only been checked in one location

Ive generally found the H-series bearings are the best choice
Common assembly clearances

(ALWAYS consult your piston manufacturer for recommended clearances. Many pistons require a tighter bore)

Piston to bore 0.0055 - 0.0065" ( measured at centerline of wrist pin, perpendicular to pin)

Piston ring gap MINIMUM end clearances Top 0.022"
2nd 0.016"
Oil 0.016"

Wrist pin 0.0006 - 0.0008" in piston, 0.0008 - 0.0010" in rod for full floating pin (End play 0.0 - 0.005"

Rod bearings 0.002 - 0.025" , side clearance 0.010 - 0.020"

Main bearings 0.002 - 0.003" , 0.005 - 0.007 crankshaft end play

Piston to head clearance 0.035 MINIMUM including gasket (steel rods), 0.060" MINIMUM aluminum rods

Valve to piston clearance MINIMUM 0.020" exhaust , 0.010" intake NO VALVE FLOAT
Recommended: 0.080 intake, 0.100 Exhaust (steel rods) 0.100 intake, 0.120 Exhaust aluminum rods


use plasti-gauge across the whole bearing as you can have a tapered journal thats correct in one area but loose or tight else-ware

notice the bearing wears near the edge during the test fit indicating either the bearing is tapered or the bearing or main caps not seated correctly, in any case stop and find out whats causing the problem
IVE dunked my piston/ring assembly's in a can of MARVEL MYSTERY OIL just before installation with a ring compressor and have never seen the slightest indication of problems either on ring sealing getting the rings broken in, or on tearing the engines down later for inspections the amounts not that great, ideally each one installed adds a bit of resistance but at no time should the short block take over 40 ft lbs ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM to start it spinning,and LESS than 20 lbs to keep it moving, even with all the rings and pistons installed,yes you need to verify the bearing clearances during assembly and IT SHOULD take between 20lbs-25 lbs to start it spinning if the clearances are correct! and LESS than 20 lbs to keep it moving
IF it takes over 40 ft lbs to get it rotating ,youll need too DISASSEMBLE and FIND OUT WHY!

when you get the crank polished take the time and effort to clean out any cross drill oil feed passages and to very carefully de-burr the passage opening edges, as this is a very commonly overlooked issue, below is what at first looks like a perfectly polished crank, with oil feed passages to the rod bearings,
but the deep scratches the oil feed passage openings left in the rod bearing surfaces bare witness, after a single rotation, during a trial assembly show they are HARDLY burr free or ready for use, and obviously he failed to check each rod bearing during the assembly process, and probably ignored , what was very likely un-even or rather excessive resistance to the crank rotation. which should never exceed about 40 ft lbs even with all 8 rod bearings and pistons installed

failure to clean out the oil passages in the block and crank journal cross feed oil holes, can and has frequently also resulted in trapped debris being flushed out and scoring the bearings during the test fit process in these bearings, an easily avoided but very common screw-up after a cam or bearing fails and your forced to do a ring, cam,lifter, and bearing replacement
Image ... ooving.pdf ... arings.pdf ... erials.pdf


you might keep in mind bearing manufacturers are in business to sell bearings and if a small but consistent segment insists on buying and paying for 270 and 360 degree bearings the manufacturers will supply that demand to make a profit, they will also post tech bulletins explaining why a 180- degree oil feed groove in only the upper bearing shell provides a more durable bearing that carries more load capacity

heres a quote from a bearing manufacturer

extending the main bearing groove much past 180 degrees increases friction, reduces load capacity costing hp, read the link
"Influence of Grooving on Main Bearing Performance
Various forms of main bearing grooving have been used over the years. We are
frequently asked what difference grooving makes.
First, it’s essential to understand that bearings depend on a film of oil to keep them
separated from the shaft surface. This oil film is developed by shaft rotation. As the shaft
rotates it pulls oil into the loaded area of the bearing and rides up on this film much like a
tire hydroplaning on wet pavement. Grooving in a bearing acts like tread in a tire to break
up the oil film. While you want your tires to grip the road, you don’t want your bearings
to grip the shaft.
The primary reason for having any grooving in a main bearing is to provide oil to the
connecting rods. Without rod bearings to feed, a simple oil hole would be sufficient to
lubricate a main bearing. Many early engines used full grooved bearings and some even
used multiple grooves. As engine and bearing technology developed, bearing grooving
was removed from modern lower main bearings. The result is in a thicker film of oil for
the shaft to ride on. This provides a greater safety margin and improved bearing life.
Upper main shells, which see lower loads than the lowers, have retained a groove to
supply the connecting rods with oil.
In an effort to develop the best possible main bearing designs for High Performance
engines, we’ve investigated the effects of main bearing grooving on bearing performance.
The graphs on the next page illustrate that a simple 180° groove in the upper main shell is
still the best overall design.
While a slightly shorter groove of 140° provides a marginal gain, most of the benefit is to
the upper shell, which doesn’t need improvement. On the other hand, extending the
groove into the lower half, even as little as 20° at each parting line (220° in total), takes
away from upper bearing performance without providing any benefit to the lower half.
It’s also interesting to note that as groove length increases so do Horsepower Loss and
Peak Oil Film Pressure which is transmitted directly to the bearing."
RELATED THREADS YOU NEED TO READ, yeah it might take a couple hours but those would be WELL SPENT TIME ... _ch139.pdf

viewtopic.php?f=53&t=2726&p=7077&hilit=plastigauge#p7077 ... clearances ... index.html ... gauge.html














viewtopic.php?f=50&t=1027 ... /rods1.htm ... ce_basics/








Engine Bearing Installation and Fitting Tips

When measuring bearing measurements, they should always be taken at 90-degrees to the parting line to determine the minimum clearance. If measuring the bearing wall thickness, use a special micrometer with a ball anvil to fit the curvature of the bearing ID. The best way to determine bearing clearance is to measure the bearing ID with the bearings installed in the housing and the bolts torqued to the specified assembly torque. Use a dial bore gauge to measure the bearing ID at 90-degrees to the parting line, then subtract shaft size from bearing ID to determine the clearance. If the dial bore gauge is zeroed at the actual diameter of the crankshaft journal to be installed, the dial bore gauge will then read clearance directly and the subtraction calculation can be eliminated. About .001" clearance per inch of shaft diameter is a good rule of thumb. Increasing that by about .0005" will add a little margin of safety when starting out, especially for rods. Example: .001" X 2.100 = .0021" then add .0005", so starting out set clearance at .0026" for a 2.100 shaft.

If clearance adjustments need to be made, use either an extra clearance part for more clearance or an undersize part for less clearance. It is permissible to mix sizes if less than .001" adjustment in clearance is desired. When mixing sizes for a select fitting: a) never mix parts having more than .0005" difference in wall size; b) and always install the thickest wall shell in the upper position if installing a rod bearing or the lower position if installing a main bearing. When working with a reground shaft, always measure assembled bearing ID's first. Next have a shaft sized to produce the desired clearance since there are no extra clearance parts available for undersize shafts.

When measuring a bearing ID or wall thickness, avoid measuring at the parting line. The diagram illustrates there is a parting line relief machined into nearly all bearing shells. This relief is to allow for any mis-match between upper and lower shells due to tolerance differences, or possibly resulting from cap shift or twist during assembly. To determine bearing wall eccentricity or assembled bearing ID ovality, measure at a point at least 3/8" away from the parting line.

When installing any bearing DO NOT ATTEMPT TO POLISH THE BEARING RUNNING SURFACE WITH ANY TYPE OF ABRASIVE PAD OR PAPER. Bearing overlay layers are extremely soft and thin – typically .0005" on high performance parts. These thin layers can easily be damaged or removed by an abrasive media. Because the overlay layer is electroplated, it may exhibit microscopic plating nodules that make it feel slightly rough. The nodules are the same material as the rest of the plated layer and will quickly be flattened by the shaft. Bearing surfaces can be lightly burnished with solvent and a paper towel if desired.

Chevy V8 bore & stroke chart


262 = 3.671" x 3.10" (Gen. I, 5.7" rod)
265 = 3.750" x 3.00" ('55-'57 Gen.I, 5.7" rod)
265 = 3.750" x 3.00" ('94-'96 Gen.II, 4.3 liter V-8 "L99", 5.94" rod)
267 = 3.500" x 3.48" (Gen.I, 5.7" rod)
283 = 3.875" x 3.00" (Gen.I, 5.7" rod)
293 = 3.779" x 3.27" ('99-later, Gen.III, "LR4" 4.8 Liter Vortec, 6.278" rod)
302 = 4.000" x 3.00" (Gen.I, 5.7" rod)
305 = 3.736" x 3.48" (Gen.I, 5.7" rod)
307 = 3.875" x 3.25" (Gen.I, 5.7" rod)
325 = 3.779" x 3.622" ('99-later, Gen.III, "LM7", "LS4 front wheel drive V-8" 5.3 Liter Vortec, 6.098" rod)
327 = 4.000" x 3.25" (Gen.I, 5.7" rod)
345 = 3.893" x 3.622" ('97-later, Gen.III, "LS1", 6.098" rod)
350 = 4.000" x 3.48" (Gen.I, 5.7" rod)
350 = 4.000" x 3.48" ('96-'01, Gen. I, Vortec, 5.7" rod)
350 = 3.900" x 3.66" ('89-'95, "LT5", in "ZR1" Corvette 32-valve DOHC, 5.74" rod)
364 = 4.000" x 3.622" ('99-later, Gen.III, "LS2", "LQ4" 6.0 Liter Vortec, 6.098" rod)
376 = 4.065" x 3.622" (2007-later, Gen. IV, "L92", Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon)
383 = 4.000" x 3.80" ('00, "HT 383", Gen.I truck crate motor, 5.7" rod)
400 = 4.125" x 3.75" (Gen.I, 5.565" rod)
427 = 4.125" x 4.00" (2006 Gen.IV, LS7 SBC, titanium rods)

Two common, non-factory smallblock combinations:

377 = 4.155" x 3.48" (5.7" or 6.00" rod)
400 block and a 350 crank with "spacer" main bearings
383 = 4.030" x 3.75" (5.565" or 5.7" or 6.0" rod)
350 block and a 400 crank, main bearing crank journals
cut to 350 size


366T = 3.935" x 3.76"
396 = 4.096" x 3.76"
402 = 4.125" x 3.76"
427 = 4.250" x 3.76"
427T = 4.250" x 3.76"
454 = 4.250" x 4.00"
496 = 4.250" x 4.37" (2001 Vortec 8100, 8.1 liter)
502 = 4.466" x 4.00"
572T = 4.560" x 4.375" (2003 "ZZ572" crate motors)

T = Tall Deck

ALL production big blocks used a 6.135" length rod.


348 = 4.125" x 3.25" (6.125" rod)
409 = 4.312" x 3.50" (6.010" rod)
427 = 4.312" x 3.65" (6.135" rod) 1963 "Z11" SHP drag race

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