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1920 continental 6y engine/ inserts or babbitt


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Bear with me/ i've researched a lot!  i have a 1920 continental 6y engine in  my 1920 columbia. we did a lot of work and i managed to get 8000 miles on my newly babitted connecting rods. however, one day i was doing about 50 mph and blew /melted one out! after a tear down/ only takes about an hour on that car/ i noticed some cracking in other bearings also and sloppiness in my wrist pins on my new aluminum pistons. so, i added an external 12v oil pump and filter! works great! we sleeved the wrist pins to tighten them up, and went thru a lot!!!! of effort to machine insert bearings from modern volvo aluminum something or another! it has all failed!  It couldn't handle the pounding and every few hundred miles i was adding shims  behind  the inserts to tighten things up.so, i went into my shed and retrieved my old pistons, rings, wrists pins / all look great!  i had only switched to alu

uminum pistons because i thought newer is better! WRONG! here.s the kicker(s)!!!  i think with the electric oil  pump i solved the problem of doing 45mph. but i'm debating weather going back to babbitted or trying nickel bronze as inserts! i researched and can not find what the first inserts were made from in the early 20's when they were first used. did they already have the technology to have layered/ coated inserts? also, with my aluminum inserts, since they were machined as a complete unit and cut in half, they weren't true halves. and then the problem of spin. we drilled and pinned them but they still wanted to rotate and the pin simply gouged the aluminum until it allowed some movement. has anyone had success with home made inserts in an engine that rpm wise i guess falls in between the slow pre 1920's and the faster rpm of later engines. i'm guessing i hit 2000 rpm  but don't know. just judging by sound. i often run at 35/35 mph. it.s a strait 6 200 cu inch or so. if i do go with babbitt should i try and straighten the rods/ 2 have very slight bend / or can i make up for that with the line boring of the babitt with the wrist pin angles?also, how many 2000th brass shims should i use under the caps for future tightening?  also, has anyone tried to 

strenghten a connecting rod by welding stock on either side the full length after straightening them. if i use inserts then there's no correction possible.the rods have a slight twist also but i don't see how that would matter as the piston would just be slightly turned. i know this is a lot of questions, but i like driving my car a lot without a tear down every few hundred miles. i,m about ready to try the old method of cutting strips from my leather belt. many claim to get 1000 miles this way and thats a lot better than what i.m getting, and only 10 bucks to boot. thanks, steve noll

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Rods need to be absolutely straight.

 

Welding on rods is a terrible idea. Unbreakable rods are possibly available from Carillo, Crower, etc. if you can find any long enough. They tend to be heavy, and usually unnecessary.

 

Aluminum pistons are better if they are lighter because they reduce loads on the rod bearings. There is no reason for them not to be lighter in 2019, considering there are several companies (Ross, etc.) that will make you some lightweight pistons to spec. Your bent rods probably caused the piston pin trouble, but I would also make sure they are getting adequate oil.

 

Back in the day manufacturers used to do all sorts of stunts to prove their cars would survive at high speed, but the truth is that real roads did not allow it. Extended high speeds cause engine explosions in cars not intended for those speeds, and there were a rash of them when the Pennsylvania Turnpike opened in about 1938. If you really must go that fast, look into changing the gearing, or better yet, adding an overdrive. Don't overdo it. Many older cars just do not have adequate power to go much faster. There are also the brakes and tires to consider.

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, Warrior goddess said:

Bear with me/ i've researched a lot!  i have a 1920 continental 6y engine in  my 1920 columbia. we did a lot of work and i managed to get 8000 miles on my newly babitted connecting rods. however, one day i was doing about 50 mph and blew /melted one out! after a tear down/ only takes about an hour on that car/ i noticed some cracking in other bearings also and sloppiness in my wrist pins on my new aluminum pistons. so, i added an external 12v oil pump and filter! works great! we sleeved the wrist pins to tighten them up, and went thru a lot!!!! of effort to machine insert bearings from modern volvo aluminum something or another! it has all failed!  It couldn't handle the pounding and every few hundred miles i was adding shims  behind  the inserts to tighten things up.so, i went into my shed and retrieved my old pistons, rings, wrists pins / all look great!  i had only switched to alu

uminum pistons because i thought newer is better! WRONG! here.s the kicker(s)!!!  i think with the electric oil  pump i solved the problem of doing 45mph. but i'm debating weather going back to babbitted or trying nickel bronze as inserts! i researched and can not find what the first inserts were made from in the early 20's when they were first used. did they already have the technology to have layered/ coated inserts? also, with my aluminum inserts, since they were machined as a complete unit and cut in half, they weren't true halves. and then the problem of spin. we drilled and pinned them but they still wanted to rotate and the pin simply gouged the aluminum until it allowed some movement. has anyone had success with home made inserts in an engine that rpm wise i guess falls in between the slow pre 1920's and the faster rpm of later engines. i'm guessing i hit 2000 rpm  but don't know. just judging by sound. i often run at 35/35 mph. it.s a strait 6 200 cu inch or so. if i do go with babbitt should i try and straighten the rods/ 2 have very slight bend / or can i make up for that with the line boring of the babitt with the wrist pin angles?also, how many 2000th brass shims should i use under the caps for future tightening?  also, has anyone tried to 

strenghten a connecting rod by welding stock on either side the full length after straightening them. if i use inserts then there's no correction possible.the rods have a slight twist also but i don't see how that would matter as the piston would just be slightly turned. i know this is a lot of questions, but i like driving my car a lot without a tear down every few hundred miles. i,m about ready to try the old method of cutting strips from my leather belt. many claim to get 1000 miles this way and thats a lot better than what i.m getting, and only 10 bucks to boot. thanks, steve noll

It sounds like there were many things wrong that gave your engine no good chance to survive the 8,000 miles.

Yes, the rods on any engine have to be straight, in its twist, bend, and off set, or the stage is set for an automatic, failure. The chance of you getting a good babbitt job, can be slim, to none. I would like see a few pictures of the work. I would think in 1920, the babbitt would be poured solid in the rods. What was the clearance on the pistons, to cylinder wall?

All Aluminum piston pins have to be checked for clearance, as many are to tight to survive, they can gall.

What was the Bearing clearances? 

Is your engine pressure fed?

 

Herm.

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