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#495319 - 06/24/13 7:36 pm 5T Conrod Question  
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,766
Gordo in Comox Offline
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Gordo in Comox  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,766
Comox BC Canada
I now have my 1953 5t engine apart and I expected some sort of babbitt bearing arrangement based on the references I have. As far as I can see this engine has never been apart before so it is most likely as it left the factory.

About 20 years ago I talked to the original owner about whether or not he had ever upgraded the conrods to the later style with bearing shells but at his age he could not remember what had been done, if anything. I have no experience with babbitt bearings.

What I find is an alloy rod with steel cap as below. What I find strange is that the rod and caps look so different on the inside. The rod looks like it was running straight on the journal. I am not sure what the cap looks like but it is more like what a used shell might look.

Is this what used babbitt bearings should look like after some 60,000 miles?

Gordo




Without frequent roadside repairs there is no fun in riding!
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#495340 - 06/24/13 11:18 pm Re: 5T Conrod Question [Re: Gordo in Comox]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,549
Pete R - R.I.P. Offline
In Remembrance
Pete R - R.I.P.  Offline
In Remembrance

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,549
Vic. Australia
What's the crankpin size?If it's 1-7/6",the rod will be white-metalled.
If it's 1-5/8",the rod might not be white-metalled.The first year or so of big journal cranks had no white metal in the rod;only the cap was white-metalled.

'53 would have originally had the small journal crank.

#495352 - 06/25/13 3:15 am Re: 5T Conrod Question [Re: Gordo in Comox]  
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,766
Gordo in Comox Offline
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Gordo in Comox  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,766
Comox BC Canada
Pete: Thanks for the info. The journal appears to be 1 7/16 and the rod seems to be plain. Does that make sense?

The surfaces look so different when I compare the rod and the cap.

Is it possible to babbitt an alloy rod? I talked to a local old car restorer and he thought you would need a steel rod for the babbitt material to stick.

I suppose the real problem would be finding someone who could do a babbitt job for me if the originals are too far gone.

Gordo


Without frequent roadside repairs there is no fun in riding!
#495360 - 06/25/13 5:27 am Re: 5T Conrod Question [Re: Gordo in Comox]  
Joined: Jan 2007
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Tiger100 Offline
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Tiger100  Offline
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Queensland, Australia
Can't say that I have used their services but maybe a start:

http://www.babbitt-inc.com/


Regards

Grant
#495387 - 06/25/13 4:13 pm Re: 5T Conrod Question [Re: Gordo in Comox]  
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,766
Gordo in Comox Offline
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Gordo in Comox  Offline
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Posts: 2,766
Comox BC Canada
Grant: Thanks for the link. They certainly seem to do nice work but it would not be my first choice to deal with a shop many thousands of miles away in another country if I can at all avoid it.

I am still curious about the feasibility of a babbitt being poured into an alloy rod.

Gordo


Without frequent roadside repairs there is no fun in riding!
#495388 - 06/25/13 4:18 pm Re: 5T Conrod Question [Re: Gordo in Comox]  
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 253
British Ironwork Offline
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British Ironwork  Offline
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England
I noticed SRM have started offering these,


More info HERE, not the cheapest option, but a way out if called for.

Brian

#495391 - 06/25/13 4:50 pm Re: 5T Conrod Question [Re: Gordo in Comox]  
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,654
Dick Harris Online content
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Dick Harris  Online Content
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East Bethany New York
Gordo, If I'm not mistaken, the rod runs on the aluminum of the rod itself. The rod cap is the only thing that is babbited. Dick

#495396 - 06/25/13 5:49 pm Re: 5T Conrod Question [Re: Gordo in Comox]  
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,887
kommando Online content
kommando  Online Content


Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,887
Scotland
Briggs and Stratton all alloy rods run directly on the journal, the alloy is a good bearing material. When making Babbit shell bearing strip at the Glacier factory the hot steel was tinned in a hot liquid bath of 100% Tin before the molten Babbit was poured onto the steel.

#495398 - 06/25/13 5:56 pm Re: 5T Conrod Question [Re: Gordo in Comox]  
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,766
Gordo in Comox Offline
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Gordo in Comox  Offline
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Posts: 2,766
Comox BC Canada
Dick: I think that is what I have, the plain alloy rod with the steel babbitted cap.

Brian: Thanks for the link. I have emailed them to see if those rods will work with my small journal crank. A bit pricey but maybe a lot more straight forward.

My fear has alway been that I would throw a rod through the cases if I rode the bike too hard. It is a very original unrestored machine and I would hate to destroy the engine. I had an exciting 70 mph lock up some years ago so I fiqured it was time to give it some TLC to prevent disaster.

Gordo



Without frequent roadside repairs there is no fun in riding!
#495418 - 06/25/13 10:27 pm Re: 5T Conrod Question [Re: Gordo in Comox]  
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,272
Wilfred Offline
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Wilfred  Offline
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Posts: 1,272
Nanaimo, B.C. Canada
I think Gordo was referring to the lockup when I was riding directly behind him on a long climb. It WAS exciting as I still remember the scent from the engine just a couple of strokes before the rear wheel locked up and a different kind of scent came right after it along with the whiff of smoke from the rear wheel......Gordo likes to do things right. On all of my seizures I have been fortunate enough to get to the clutch before that wonderful total lock up experience. Cheers, Wilf


"It's about the ride..."
#495517 - 06/26/13 6:54 pm Re: 5T Conrod Question [Re: Gordo in Comox]  
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,766
Gordo in Comox Offline
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Gordo in Comox  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,766
Comox BC Canada
SRM replied that their new rods will work with my engine. They are not cheap but appear to come with the bolts.

It sounds like the original rods cannot be used if the crank is ground to undersize as the alloy rod cannot be made to fit the smaller journal even if the steel cap can be resurfaced to fit.

Gordo


Without frequent roadside repairs there is no fun in riding!
#495821 - 06/29/13 1:13 am Re: 5T Conrod Question [Re: Gordo in Comox]  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 11,108
RF Whatley Offline
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RF Whatley  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 11,108
North Georgia, USA
It's my understanding that the 1953 5T was the long-stroke 500 and used the same rods as the 650. Now the 650 rod never changed length, so you have the option of finding 2 nice used matching 650 rods and using those.

Remember, when you change the rods, you'll also need to have the crank re-balanced. So save some money for that.

bigt


Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!

RF Whatley
Cornelia, GA

"Shop Boy" at Rodi British Bikes

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