thrust bearing wear

Discussion in 'Rotating Assemblies' started by grumpyvette, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    heres some basic info in my hard drive records
    http://www.thirskauto.net/Engine_Thrust_Bearings.html

    http://www.aera.org/tech/tb1465r.htm

    viewtopic.php?f=50&t=9409

    http://www.stealth316.com/misc/clevite-77-rod-main-bearings.pdf

    http://www.small-block-chevy.com/assemblyspec.html

    http://www.4secondsflat.com/Thrust_bear ... lures.html

    http://www.circletrack.com/techarticles ... to_04.html

    http://www.popularhotrodding.com/tech/0 ... e_control/

    http://www.circletrack.com/enginetech/c ... ce_basics/

    http://www.enginebuildermag.com/Article ... ilure.aspx

    http://members.rennlist.com/v1uhoh/cranksha.htm

    http://www.atra-gears.com/crankshaft/

    http://www.chevyhiperformance.com/tech/ ... ance_info/
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    Why Engine Thrust Bearings Fail

    Often, soon after an engine rebuild, premature engine thrust bearing failure occurs. We will discuss some of the major causes of these types of failures.

    One of the most common causes of thrust bearing failures is the transmission torque convertor. When the overrunning clutch in a torque convertor becomes either seized or will not lock up in one direction, the stator does not provide it's normal function of directing the transmission fluid to create the proper torque multiplication required to drive the vehicle. When this happens, a large amount of the energy created is exhausted through the center of the torque convertor, creating excessive forward pressure. It is this pressure which causes the engine thrust bearing damage. When installing a new engine, it is wise to check the convertor your self, or have a qualified transmission rebuilder inspect it for over running clutch problems.

    Improper installation of the torque convertor in the transmission front pump can also lead to bearing failure, as well as transmission failure.

    Vehicles with standard transmissions may also experience this type of engine failure due to high clutch pressures, usually related to performance clutches with high spring pressures being installed. Riding the clutch can also cause thrust bearing failure on new engines. You must also ensure the clutch has adequate free play.

    Symptoms of damage caused by excessive external pressure on the crankshaft vary on engines due to their design differences.

    Small block Chev engines usually suffer catastrophic damage from excessive external pressures. In most cases the thrust bearing show signs of heavy rubbing on the thrust bearing. The most severe damage it on the other mains bearings, with the highest wear being on the center bearing, usually concentrated on the lower half of the bearing. The intermediate main bearings will have about half the wear of the center bearing, with the front and rear bearing showing little sign of problem.

    Big block Chev engines, due to the rigidity of their crankshaft, will usually only destroy the thrust face of the thrust bearing, causing little damage to the other mains.

    Engines with a center thrust bearing usually, as well as rubbing the thrust surface, will show signs of wear on the opposite sides of the crankshaft on the two intermediate bearings.

    I have seen cases of thust bearing failure on small block Ford engines that do not seem have an apparant cause. Upon checking the inner part of the bearing that seats in the block, signs of scraping on the bearing were noticed. This is the result of the installer trying to install the bearing in the rear location instead of the center, where the thrust bearing is located in this type of engine.

    Crankshaft Thrust Bearing Failure - Causes & Remedies
    For years both transmission and engine rebuilders have struggled at times to determine the cause of crankshaft thrust bearing failures. In most instances, all of the facts concerning the situation are not revealed at the onset of the failure. This has led to each party blaming the other for the failure based only on hearsay or what some "expert" has termed the "cause". Some of those explanations have led to an argument, that ends up in litigation while the truth lingers uncovered in the background. This document is a group effort of combined information compiled by the Automotive Transmission Rebuilders Association (ATRA), the Automotive Engine Rebuilders Association (AERA), the Production Engine Rebuliders Association (PERA), the Automotive Service Association (ASA) and bearing manufacturers. This group of industry experts has assembled the following information to consider and offers solutions that may prevent a similar thrust bearing failure.

    Background:
    Although thrust bearings run on a thin film of oil, just like radial journal (connecting rod and main) bearings, they cannot support nearly as much load. While radial bearings can carry loads measured in thousands of pounds per square inch of projected bearing area, thrust bearings can only support loads of a few hundred pounds per square inch. Radial journal bearings develop their higher load capacity from the way the curved surfaces of the bearing and journal meet to form a wedge. Shaft rotation pulls oil into this wedge shaped area of the clearance space to create an oil film which actually supports the shaft. Thrust bearings typically consist of two flat mating surfaces with no natural wedge shape in the clearance space to promote the formation of an oil film to support the load.

    Conventional thrust bearings are made by incorporating flanges, at the ends of a radial journal bearing. This provides ease in assembly and has been used successfully for many years. Either teardrop or through grooves on the flange, face and wedge shaped ramps at each parting line allow oil to enter between the shaft and bearing surfaces. However, the surface of the shaft, as well as the vast majority of bearing surfaces, are flat. This flatness makes it more difficult to create and maintain an oil film. As an example; if two gauge blocks have a thin film of oil on them, and are pressed together with a twisting action, the blocks will stick together. This is similar to what happens when a thrust load is applied to the end of a crankshaft and oil squeezes out from between the shaft and bearing surfaces. If that load is excessive, the oil film collapses and the surfaces want to stick together resulting in a wiping action and bearing failure. For this reason, many heavy-duty diesel engines use separate thrust washers with a contoured face to enable them to support higher thrust loads. These thrust washers either have multiple tapered ramps and relatively small flat pads, or they have curved surfaces that follow a sine-wave contour around their circumference.

    Recent developments:

    In the past few years some new automotive engine designs include the use of contoured thrust bearings to enable them to carry higher thrust loads imposed by some of the newer automatic transmissions. Because it’s not practical to incorporate contoured faces on one piece flanged thrust bearings, these new engine designs use either separate thrust washers or a flanged bearing which is a three piece assembly.

    Cause of failure:

    Aside from the obvious causes, such as dirt contamination and misassembly, there are only three common factors which generally cause thrust bearing failures. They are:

    Poor crankshaft surface finish

    Misalignment

    Overloading

    Surface finish:

    Crankshaft thrust faces are difficult to grind because they are done using the side of the grinding wheel. Grinding marks left on the crankshaft face produce a visual swirl or sunburst pattern with scratches - sometimes crisscrossing - one another in a cross-hatch pattern similar to hone marks on a cylinder wall. If these grinding marks are not completely removed by polishing, they will remove the oil film from the surface of the thrust bearing much like multiple windshield wiper blades. A properly finished crankshaft thrust face should only have very fine polishing marks that go around the thrust surface in a circumferential pattern.

    Alignment:

    The grinding wheel side face must be dressed periodically to provide a clean, sharp cutting surface. A grinding wheel that does not cut cleanly may create hot spots on the work piece leading to a wavy, out-of-flat surface. The side of the wheel must also be dressed at exactly 90° to its outside diameter, to produce a thrust face that is square to the axis of the main bearing journal. The crankshaft grinding wheel must be fed into the thrust face very slowly and also allowed to "spark out" completely. The machinist should be very careful to only remove minimal stock for a "clean-up" of the crankshaft surface.

    In most instances a remanufactured crankshaft does not require grinding of the thrust face(s), so the grinding wheel will not even contact them. Oversize thrust bearings do exist. Some main bearing sets are supplied only with an additional thickness thrust bearing. In most of those instances, additional stock removal from the crankshaft thrust face surface may be required. Crankshaft end float should be calculated and determined before grinding additional material from the thrust face.

    Crankshaft grinding wheels are not specifically designed for use of the wheel side for metal removal. Grinding crankshaft thrust faces requires detailed attention during the procedure and repeated wheel dressings may be required. Maintaining sufficient coolant between the grinding wheel and thrust surface must be attained to prevent stone loading and "burn" spots on the thrust surface. All thrust surface grinding should end in a complete "spark out" before the grinding wheel is moved away from the area being ground. Following the above procedures with care should also maintain a thrust surface that is 90° to the crankshaft centerline.

    When assembling thrust bearings:

    Tighten main cap bolts to approximately 10 to 15 ft.lb. to seat bearings, then loosen.

    Tap main cap toward rear of engine with a soft faced hammer.

    Tighten main cap bolts, finger tight.

    Using a bar, force the crankshaft as far forward in the block as possible to align the bearing rear thrust faces.

    While holding shaft in forward position, tighten main cap bolts to 10 to 15 ft.lbs.

    Complete tightening main cap bolts to specifications in 2 or 3 equal steps.

    The above procedure should align the bearing thrust faces with the crankshaft to maximize the amount of bearing area in contact for load carrying.

    Loading:

    A number of factors may contribute to wear and overloading of a thrust bearing, such as:

    1. Poor crankshaft surface finish.

    2. Poor crankshaft surface geometry.

    3. External overloading due to.

    a) Excessive Torque converter pressure.

    b) Improper throw out bearing adjustment.

    c) Riding the clutch pedal.

    d) Excessive rearward crankshaft load pressure due to a malfunctioning front mounted accessory drive.

    Note: There are other, commonly-thought issues such as torque converter ballooning, the wrong flexplate bolts, the wrong torque converter, the pump gears being installed backward or the torque converter not installed completely. Although all of these problems will cause undo force on the crankshaft thrust surface, it will also cause the same undo force on the pump gears since all of these problems result in the pump gear pressing on the crankshaft via the torque converter. The result is serious pump damage, in a very short period of time (within minutes or hours).

    Diagnosing the problem:

    By the time a thrust bearing failure becomes evident, the parts have usually been so severely damaged that there is little if any evidence of the cause. The bearing is generally worn into the steel backing which has severely worn the crankshaft thrust face as well. So how do you tell what happened? Start by looking for the most obvious internal sources.

    Engine related problems:

    Is there evidence of distress anywhere else in the engine that would indicate a lubrication problem or foreign particle contamination?

    Were the correct bearing shells installed, and were they installed correctly?

    If the thrust bearing is in an end position, was the adjacent oil seal correctly installed? An incorrectly installed rope seal can cause sufficient heat to disrupt bearing lubrication.

    Examine the front thrust face on the crankshaft for surface finish and geometry. This may give an indication of the original quality of the failed face.

    Once you are satisfied that all potential internal sources have been eliminated, ask about potential external sources of either over loading or misalignment.

    Transmission related problems:

    Did the engine have a prior thrust bearing failure?

    What external parts were replaced?

    Were there any performance modifications made to the transmission?

    Was an additional cooler for the transmission installed?

    Was the correct flexplate used? At installation there should be a minimum of 1/16" (1/8" preferred, 3/16" maximum) clearance between the flex plate and converter to allow for converter expansion.

    Was the transmission property aligned to the engine?

    Were all dowel pins in place?

    Was the transmission-to-cooler pressure checked and found to be excessive? If the return line has very low pressure compared to the transmission-to-cooler pressure line, check for a restricted cooler or cooler lines.

    If a manual transmission was installed, was the throw out bearing properly adjusted?

    What condition was the throw out bearing in? A properly adjusted throw out bearing that is worn or overheated may indicate the operator was "Riding The Clutch".

    How does the torque converter exert force on the crankshaft?

    There are many theories on this subject, ranging from converter ballooning to spline lock. Most of these theories have little real bases and rely little on fact. The force on the crankshaft from the torque converter is simple. It is the same principle as a servo piston or any other hydraulic component: Pressure, multiplied by area, equals force. The pressure part is easy; it’s simply the internal torque converter pressure. The area is a little trickier. The area that is part of this equation is the difference between the area of the front half of the converter and the rear half. The oil pressure does exert a force that tries to expand the converter like a balloon (which is why converter ballooning is probably often blamed), however, it is the fact that the front of the converter has more surface area than the rear (the converter neck is open) that causes the forward force on the crankshaft. This difference in area is equal to the area consumed by the inside of the converter neck. The most common scenario is the THM 400 used behind a big-block Chevy. General Motors claims that this engine is designed to sustain a force of 210 pounds on the crank shaft. The inside diameter of the converter hub can vary from 1.5 inches up to 1.64 inches. The area of the inside of the hub can then vary from 1.77 square inches to 2.11 inches. 210 pound of force, divided by these two figures offers an internal torque converter pressure of 119 psi to 100 psi, respectively. That is to say, that depending on the inside diameter of the hub, it takes between 100 to 119 psi of internal converter pressure to achieve a forward thrust of 210 pounds. The best place to measure this pressure is the out-going cooler line at the transmission because it is the closest point to the internal converter pressure available. The pressure gauge must be "teed" in so as to allow the cooler circuit to flow. Normal cooler line pressure will range from 50 psi to 80 psi , under a load in drive.

    Causes for excessive torque converter pressure:

    There are two main causes for excessive torque converter pressure: restrictions in the cooler circuit and modifications or malfunctions that result in high line pressure. One step for combating restrictions in the cooler circuit is to run larger cooler lines. Another, is to install any additional cooler in parallel as opposed to in series. This will increase cooler flow considerably. An additional benefit to running the cooler in parallel is that it reduces the risk of over cooling the oil in the winter time—especially in areas where it snows. The in-parallel cooler may freeze up under very cold conditions, however, the cooler tank in the radiator will still flow freely. Modifications that can result in higher than normal converter pressure include using an overly-heavy pressure regulator spring, or excessive cross-drilling into the cooler charge circuit. Control problems such as a missing vacuum line or stuck modulator valve can also cause high pressure.

    What will help thrust bearings survive? When a problem application is encountered, every effort should be made to find the cause of distress and correct it before completing repairs, or you risk a repeat failure.

    A simple modification to the upper thrust bearing may be beneficial in some engines. Install the upper thrust bearing in the block to determine which thrust face is toward the rear of the engine. Using a small, fine tooth, flat file, increase the amount of chamfer to approximately .040" (1 mm) on the inside diameter edge of the bearing parting line. Carefully file at the centrally located oil groove and stroke the file at an angle toward the rear thrust face only, as shown in the illustration below. It is very important not to contact the bearing surface with the end of the file. The resulting enlarged ID chamfer will allow pressurized engine oil from the pre-existing groove to reach the loaded thrust face. This additional source of oiling will reach the loaded thrust face without passing through the bearing clearance first (direct oiling). Since there may be a load against the rear thrust face, oil flow should be restricted by that load and there should not be a noticeable loss of oil pressure. This modification is not a guaranteed "cure-all". However, the modification should help if all other conditions, such as surface finish, alignment, cleanliness and loading are within required limits.



    Other External Problems. Aside from the items already mentioned, there is another external problem that should be considered. Inadequate electrical grounds have been known to exacerbate thrust surface wear. Excessive current in the vehicle drive train can damage the thrust surface. It affects the thrust bearing as though the thrust surface on the crankshaft is not finished properly finished (too rough). Excessive voltage in the drive train can be checked very easily. With the negative lead of a DVOM connected to the negative post of the vehicle battery and the positive lead on the transmission, there should be no more than .01 volts registering on the meter while the starter is turning over the engine. For an accurate test, the starter must operate for a minimum of four seconds without the engine starting. It is suggested to disable the ignition system before attempting this test. If the voltage reading observed is found to be excessive, add and/or replace negative ground straps from the engine to the vehicle frame and transmission to frame until the observed voltage is .01 volts or less. Note: Some systems may show a reading of .03volts momentarily but yet not exhibit a problem. For added assurance, it is a good idea to enhance the drive train grounding with larger battery cables or additional ground straps.

    A special thank you goes out to Dennis Madden of ATRA, Dave Hagen of AERA, Ed Anderson of ASA, Roy Berndt of PERA and John Havel of AE Clevite for their contributions to this article.

    The AERA Technical Committee

    March 1998 - TB 1465R
    Crankshaft Thrust Bearing Failure:
    Causes and Remedies


    Although thrust bearings run on a thin film of oil, just like radial journal (connecting rod and main) bearings, thrust bearings can't support nearly as much load. While radial bearings can carry loads measured in thousands of pounds per square inch of projected bearing area, thrust bearings can only support loads of a few hundred pounds per square inch.

    Radial journal bearings develop their higher load capacity from the way the curved surfaces of the bearing and journal meet to form a wedge. Shaft rotation pulls oil into this wedge-shaped area of the clearance space to create an oil film which actually supports the shaft.

    Thrust bearings typically consist of two flat mating surfaces, with no natural wedge shape in the clearance space to allow an oil film to form, and support the load.

    Conventional thrust bearings are made by adding flanges at the ends of a radial journal bearing. This provides ease in assembly and has been used successfully for many years. Both teardrop or through grooves on the flange face, and wedge shaped ramps at each parting line, allow oil to enter between the shaft and bearing surfaces.

    But the surface of the shaft and the vast majority of bearing surfaces are flat. This flatness makes it more difficult to create and maintain an oil film. For example, suppose two gauge blocks had a thin film of oil on them. If you were to press them together with a twisting action, the blocks would stick together.

    This is similar to what happens when a thrust load is applied to the end of a crankshaft: Oil squeezes out from between the shaft and bearing surfaces. If there's too much load, the oil film collapses and the surfaces want to stick together, which causes a wiping action, and ultimately, bearing failure.

    This is why many heavy-duty diesel engines use separate thrust washers, each with a contoured face: to enable them to support higher thrust loads. These thrust washers either have multiple tapered ramps and relatively small flat pads, or they have curved surfaces that follow a sine-wave contour around the outer edge.

    Recent Developments
    In the past few years, some new automotive engine designs have included contoured thrust bearings. This change enables them to carry higher thrust loads imposed by some of the newer automatic transmissions. Since it's impractical to use contoured faces on one-piece flanged thrust bearings, these new engine designs use either separate thrust washers, or a flanged bearing, which is a three-piece assembly.

    Cause of Failure
    Aside from the obvious causes, such as dirt contamination and misassembly, there are only three common factors which generally cause thrust bearing failures:

    1. Poor crankshaft surface finish
    2. Misalignment
    3. Overloading

    Surface Finish
    Crankshaft thrust faces are difficult to grind because they are done using the side of the grinding wheel. Grinding marks left on the crankshaft face produce a visual swirl, or sunburst pattern. The scratches sometimes crisscross one another in a cross-hatch pattern similar to hone marks on a cylinder wall.

    If these grinding marks are not completely removed by polishing, they will remove the oil film from the surface of the thrust bearing, much like multiple windshield wiper blades. A properly-finished crankshaft thrust face should have only very fine polishing marks that go around the thrust surface in a circular pattern.

    Alignment
    Under normal circumstances, a remanufactured crankshaft does not require grinding of the thrust face surfaces. There are, however, situations where grinding is necessary. One is the automatic oversize of a thrust flange main bearing, required by using undersized crankshaft main journals.

    A second occurs when thrust surface wear (front and rear) is beyond allowable specifications. This situation often requires an oversize thrust flange bearing or washer, if one is available for that application. Under these conditions, the thrust face of the crankshaft will require oversize grinding. In this case, crankshaft end float should be calculated and determined prior to grinding additional material from the thrust face.

    Grinding the thrust face of the crankshaft presents a challenge, because the crankshaft remanufacturer has to use the side of the grinding wheel, which is not specifically designed for metal surface removal.

    In addition, keeping enough coolant between the thrust surface and the wheel (just as keeping oil for lubrication within the engine) is difficult, and that combination creates a danger of wheel loading and burn spots. The result: an inconsistent thrust surface. To avoid this situation, the grinding wheel must be dressed periodically, to maintain a 90° angle, perpendicular to the centerline of the grinding wheel. This transfers to the same 90° angle between the thrust surface and the centerline of the crankshaft.

    During the grinding process, the grinding wheel must feed into the thrust face very slowly and be allowed to spark out completely. If the grinding wheel does not cut cleanly, it may create hot spots on the crankshaft, leading to a wavy, out-of-flat surface. It is important to avoid excessive grinding of the thrust surface; this procedure is intended primarily for surface clean up.

    When Assembling Thrust Bearings:

    • Tighten the main cap bolts to about 10 to 15 ft-lbs in order to seat the bearings; then loosen the cap bolts.
    • Tap the main cap toward the rear of the engine with a soft faced hammer.
    • Thread the main cap bolts in finger tight.
    • Use a bar to force the crankshaft as far forward in the block as possible, to align the bearing rear thrust faces.
    • While holding the crankshaft forward, tighten the main cap bolts to 10 to 15 ft-lbs.
    • Complete tightening the main cap bolts to specifications in two or three equal steps.

    This procedure should align the bearing thrust faces with the crankshaft, to provide the maximum bearing contact for load carrying.

    Loading
    A number of factors may contribute to wear and overloading of a thrust bearing, such as:

    1. Poor crankshaft surface finish
    2. Poor crankshaft surface geometry
    3. External overloading due to:

    a) Too much torque converter pressure.
    b) Improper clutch release bearing adjustment.
    c) Riding the clutch pedal.
    d) Excessive crankshaft load pressure due to a malfunctioning front-mounted accessory drive.

    NOTE: There are other, commonly-thought issues such as torque converter ballooning, the wrong flexplate bolts, the wrong torque converter, the pump gears being installed backward or the torque converter not installed completely. Although all of these problems will cause undue force on the crankshaft thrust surface, it will also cause the same force on the pump gears, since all of these problems will put equal force in both directions from the torque converter. So any of these conditions should also cause serious pump damage very quickly (within minutes or hours).

    Diagnosing the Problem
    By the time a thrust bearing failure becomes evident, the parts have usually been so severely damaged there's little if any evidence of the cause. The bearing is generally worn into the steel backing, which has severely worn the crankshaft thrust face as well. The following is a list of factors to consider while diagnosing the cause.

    Engine-Related Problems
    Is there evidence of distress anywhere else in the engine that would indicate a lubrication problem or foreign particle contamination?
    Were the correct bearing shells installed, and were they installed correctly?
    If the thrust bearing is in an end position, was the adjacent oil seal installed correctly? An incorrectly installed rope seal can cause enough heat to affect bearing lubrication.
    Examine the front thrust face on the crankshaft for surface finish and geometry. This may give an indication of the original quality of the failed face.
    Once you're satisfied that all potential internal sources have been eliminated, ask about potential external sources, such as overloading or misalignment.

    Transmission Related Problems
    Did the engine have a prior thrust bearing failure?
    What external parts were replaced?
    Were any performance modifications made to the transmission?
    Was an additional cooler installed for the transmission?
    Was the correct flexplate used? At installation, there should be at least 1/16" (1/8" preferred, 3/16" maximum) clearance between the flexplate and converter, to allow for converter expansion.
    Was the transmission aligned to the engine properly?
    Were all dowel pins in place?
    Was the transmission-to-cooler pressure too high? If the return line has very low pressure compared to the transmission-to-cooler line, check for a restricted cooler or cooler lines.

    If a manual transmission was installed, was the clutch release bearing adjusted properly?
    What condition was the clutch release bearing in? A worn or overheated clutch release bearing that's adjusted properly may indicate the operator was "riding the clutch."

    How does the Torque Converter Exert Force on the Crankshaft?
    There are many theories on this subject, ranging from converter ballooning to spline lock. Most of these theories have little real basis, and rely little on fact.

    The force on the crankshaft from the torque converter is simple: It's based on the same principle as a servo piston or any other hydraulic component: Pressure, multiplied by area, equals force.

    The pressure part is easy: It's simply the internal torque converter pressure. The area is a little more tricky. The area that's part of this equation is the difference between the area of the front half of the converter and the rear half. The oil pressure does exert a force that tries to expand the converter like a balloon (which is why converter ballooning is often blamed); however, the forward force on the crankshaft occurs because the front of the converter has more surface area than the rear (the converter neck is open). This difference in area is equal to the area of the inside of the converter neck.

    The most common scenario is the THM 400 used behind a big-block Chevy. General Motors claims this engine is designed to sustain a force of 210 pounds on the crankshaft. The outside diameter of the converter hub 1.873". Therefore, the area of the hub is 2.755 square inches. 210 pound of force, divided by this area offers an maximum torque converter pressure of 76 PSI.

    The best place to measure this pressure is the outgoing cooler line at the transmission, because it's the closest point to the internal converter pressure. The pressure gauge must be teed in, to allow the cooler circuit to flow. Under normal driving conditions the pressure will not exceed the 76 psi limit based on these figures.

    Causes for Excessive Torque Converter Pressure
    There are two main causes for excess torque converter pressure: restrictions in the cooler circuit, and modifications or failures that cause high line pressure.

    One step for combating restrictions in the cooler circuit is to run larger cooler lines. Another is to install an additional cooler in parallel with the original, rather than in series. This will increase cooler flow considerably. An additional benefit to running the cooler in parallel is it reduces the risk of overcooling the oil in the winter. The in-parallel cooler may freeze up under very cold conditions; however, the cooler tank in the radiator will still flow freely.

    Modifications that can result in higher-than-normal converter pressure include using an overly heavy pressure regulator spring, or excessive cross-drilling into the cooler charge circuit. Control problems such as a missing vacuum line or stuck modulator valve can also create high pressure.

    What Will Help Thrust Bearings Survive?
    A simple modification to the upper thrust bearing may be beneficial in some engines. Install the upper thrust bearing in the block to determine which thrust face is toward the rear of the engine. Use a small, fine tooth, flat file to increase the chamfer on the inside edge of the bearing parting line to about 0.040" (1 mm).

    Carefully file at the centrally located oil groove and stroke the file at an angle toward the rear thrust face only, as shown in the illustration. Avoid contacting the bearing surface with the end of the file. The enlarged chamfer will allow pressurized engine oil from the pre-existing groove to reach the loaded thrust face, without passing through the bearing clearance first (direct oiling).

    Since there may be a load against the rear thrust face, oil flow should be restricted by that load, so there shouldn't be a noticeable loss of oil pressure. This modification is not a guaranteed cure-all, but it should help if all other conditions, such as surface finish, alignment, cleanliness and loading are within required limits.

    NOTE: As with all modifications, it is important to find the original cause of the problem before making modifications. Failure to do so may result in a repeat failure.





    Other External Problems

    Aside from the items already mentioned, there is another external problem that should be addressed. Ground problems have been known to intensify thrust surface wear. Excessive current in the drivetrain can damage the thrust surface, which then affects the thrust bearing as though the thrust surface on the crank shaft isn't finished properly.

    It's easy to check for excessive voltage in the drivetrain: Connect the negative lead of your DVOM to the negative post of the battery, and the positive lead to the transmission. You should see no more than 0.1 volts on your meter while the starter is cranking.

    For an accurate test, the starter must operate for at least four seconds. It may be necessary to disable the ignition system so the engine won't start during the test.

    If the voltage is excessive, check or replace the negative battery cable, or add ground straps from the engine to the frame, or the transmission to the frame.

    Some systems may reach 0.3 volts momentarily without having a problem. For added assurance, improve the ground with a larger battery cable or additional ground straps.

    Although the greatest current draw is usually while the starter is cranking, current in the drivetrain can occur while accessories are operating. That's why you should perform this voltage-drop test with the ignition on, and as many accessories operating as possible. Again, the threshold is 0.1 volt.

    One final problem that may occur is current though the drivetrain, without measurable voltage. If the grounding problem is in the chassis but the engine and transmission ground is okay (or vice-versa), the vehicle may pass the test. What happens here is the ground circuit can be completed through the drive shaft and suspension.

    To test this, measure the voltage drop with the drive shaft removed. Both the drivetrain and frame must pass the 0.1 volt test. This is where a ground strap from the engine or transmission to the frame does its best work.

    Summary
    As with most problems, rarely is one solution the answer for all examples. It is attention to detail and rebuild procedures that include many details that ensure success. The intent of this article is to include the most likely causes for crankshaft thrust failure, as well as dispel some of the myths and mysteries surrounding it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2017
  2. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    check your cranks end play (forward/aft slack/ clearance in the bearings)
    and take the time to read the links and sub links it can save you a great deal of time and effort on repairs that are easily avoided if the bearings are correctly installed


    http://members.rennlist.com/v1uhoh/cranksha.htm

    http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/thrust-bearing-wear.619/#post-10925

    http://www.tpub.com/content/constructio ... 050_74.htm

    http://www.chevyhiperformance.com/tech/ ... index.html

    http://www.4secondsflat.com/Thrust_bear ... lures.html

    http://www.thirskauto.net/Engine_Thrust_Bearings.html
    [​IMG]
    http://books.google.com/books?id=TXEMMg ... &ct=result

    http://www.circletrack.com/howto/1815_c ... index.html

    http://books.google.com/books?id=1dcXtE ... &ct=result

    http://garage.grumpysperformance.co...hrust-bearing-failure-info-related-info.1138/

    http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/causes-of-bearing-failure.2727/#post-13056

    http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/bearing-clearances.2726/#post-7077

    http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/bearing-clearances.2726/#post-26599

    http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/rotating-assembly-bearings.9527/

    http://garage.grumpysperformance.co...g-up-oil-feed-holes-in-bearings-shells.10750/

    http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/oil-system-mods-that-help.2187/

    http://garage.grumpysperformance.co...ank-durring-short-blk-assembly.852/#post-1534

    always check on a bare crank sitting in the bearings, before you add and rods and pistons, and its resistance to rotation,in the blocks oiled and torqued into place main beatings
    I use a 50%/50% oil and assembly lube mic on the crank journals,
    [​IMG]
    it should require less than 4-5 lbs to get the crank started rotating, and less than 2-3 lbs resistance too keep it rotating

    Id check the thrust bearing end play while your checking clearances BTW
    Id take a rubber mallet and beat the crank front too back a few times and use that same rubber mallet and give the main caps a couple wacks,
    and spin it in the bearings (without any plati-gauge) to settle and seat the main bearings the clearances might open up a 1/4-1/2 thousandths.

    https://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result/index/?dir=asc&order=EAScore,f,EAFeatured+Weight,f,Sale+Rank,f&q=plastic+hammer
    [​IMG]
    https://www.harborfreight.com/2-lb-rubber-mallet-69082.html
    [​IMG]

    CHECKING TRUST BEARING CLEARANCE
    THIS BEAM STYLE TORQUE WRENCH IS THE TYPE TORQUE WRENCH YOU WANT TO CHECK ROTATIONAL RESISTANCE
    [​IMG]

    ID SUGGEST YOU KNOCK THE CRANK FRONT TO BACK IN BOTH DIRECTIONS WITH A PLASTIC DEAD BLOW HAMMER SEVERAL TIMES TOO SEAT THE THRUST BEARING BEFORE MEASURING CLEARANCE WITH A DIAL INDICATOR ON THE CRANK SNOUT! (IDEALLY .007-.010)
    you can increase thrust bearing clearance, a couple thousands if required, by polishing the thrust bearing to crank surface on a sheet of wet,on a sheet of glass, with 1000 grit wet/dry sand paper in a figure 8 pattern

    [​IMG]
    ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION TO THE PICTURES AND LINKS AND SUB LINKS
    NOTICE NO CONNECTING RODS ON THE CRANK WHILE VERIFYING THRUST BEARING CLEARANCES

    http://www.harborfreight.com/4-lb-neon-orange-dead-blow-hammer-69004.html
    every engine builder needs a plastic dead blow hammer, After torquing the main caps in place and before installing connecting rods you'll need to drive the crank back and forward in the main bearing saddles a few times fore and aft, to properly seat the thrust bearing before taking clearance measurements, and only then proceed to the rod & piston install, rotational resistance checks and checking rod side clearance during assembly.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    keep in mind the assembly lube or even oil on the bearing surfaces has a surface shear limit,
    that why the crank is harder to start rotating but the required effort to keep it spinning is significantly lower,
    your initial effort to twist the crank must break that surface tension on the lube,
    once its sheared the lube forms a lubricating layer and metal to metal contact is prevented as the lube forms a barrier layer

    keep in mind both the main caps base and the area in the block must be machine precisely parallel , and there is a slight interference fit into a slight recess in the block on most engines to help prevent the caps moving once tightened into place by the main cap bolts or main cap studs. on some performance engines its fairly common for a hollow sleeve,s inserted 1/2 its short length, into the block and 1/2 its length into a shallow recess into the main caps, too fit into matching recesses around the main cap studs , this locates and prevents lateral movement of the main caps
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    [​IMG]
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    http://garage.grumpysperformance.co...tion-of-crank-durring-short-blk-assembly.852/

    http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/bearing-clearances.2726/

    http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/can-i-get-it-polished.9214/

    http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/precision-measuring-tools.1390/#post-68194

    http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/thrust-bearing-wear.619/

    http://garage.grumpysperformance.co...earances-and-journal-surface.9955/#post-38385
    Clevite H-Series main bearings were developed primarily for NASCAR racing, but are well suited to other types of competition engines as well. They're especially good for engines that run at medium-to-high revs. They have steel backings with carefully selected overlays and a high crush factor, plus a medium level of eccentricity. H-Series bearings have enlarged chamfers at the sides for greater crank-fillet clearance and are made without flash plating for better seating. They're also available with either 180 degree or 360 degree oil grooves, as well as an extra 0.001 in. of clearance. the 180 degree groove bearing with only the top 1/2 groove in the block is preferred as having the lower 1/2 in the main cap without the groove, has a higher load capacity

    [​IMG]
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    LOOK CLOSELY the upper main bearing, that seats in the block, is grooved the lower half that seats in the main cap is NOT GROOVED
    IF it was my engine Id check the trust bearing clearance, and if I found significant wear, replace the cam bearings and the mains and rod bearings, IF YOU find significant wear on the THRUST bearing clearance check, simply because that bearing material went some place and the cam bearing look like they are well worn. and YES you might find the crankshaft thrust bearing surface so worn, it needs to be welded and re-machined or a new replacement crank installed>
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 15, 2017
  3. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

  4. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    DR HUNT POSTED THIS INFO
    Some little quirks when building engines
    All the books that you can read that are published have alot of information, but there's always something lacking that they don't discuss. Here's one thing that I hardly ever run into but have on at least two other occasions, this being the third.

    When installing the crank, you typically install the center cap, snug it hand tight, rotate the crank and then work your way out from the center each way alternating, while rotating the crank to make sure it spins freely. You do this till you get all 5 caps on and if the crank gets tight you have a problem with the last cap you put on so you check it.

    Well, Mic'ing the crank and using snap guages in the bearings I determined that I had .0015 clearance on the mains, tight, but it's a street motor and it's within specs. Bearings are C&A mains .010 undersized. When installing the caps everything was great until I got to the rear main, which is the thrust. But since I had mic'd all the clearances I was wondering WTF? So, I installed my dial indicator to measure the thrust clearance and low and behold I had zero!!! It turns, but it's still zero with white grease in place so, it's probably at about .0005 or less. The books don't cover this problem. Option 1 is to have the crank thrust touched up, but you'll have to take the mains to .020 and buy new bearings. In rare instances is a crank grinder going to be able to touch it without having to grind the crank or at least polish it.

    Let's analayze the situation. The crank is a used piece, stock 400sbc that was running so we know it was ok, same with the block. I had it align honed, caps squared, decked to 9.000 inches, bored and honed with plates and arp studs in the mains. So we know the block is spot on. So, it has to be bearings are alittle thick in the thrust area. So, what we do is get a piece of thick glass. I happened to have some pyrex flat glass out of my fireplace, you put fine sandpaper on the glass and sand the thrust down to get your clearance. I used a good dial caliper to measure the thickness of the thrust as I went keeping it pretty even, with .0005. I took .003 off of the back and just leveled up the front side to where there were no high or low spots. This gave me a measured .003 thrust when I re-installed the crank. Perfect, and now it turns well.

    So just a thought when your building an engine and you run into this problem. Keep in mind that all bearings are not exactly the same all the time. Keep it in the back of your mind.


    Default Crankshaft thrust/end play
    Yes, crank thrust or end play as it sometimes called, is often overlooked when assembling an engine and I have found just as Doc found, approx 10-20% of the time with domestic V-8’s, the thrust is too tight. Riding on Docs coat tail, I want to elaborate a little more on checking and setting the crank thrust. I use this process for every build I do, V-8, L-series, etc.

    Crank thrust, what is it and why is it so important? With most manual transmissions and all automatic transmissions, there is force being applied on the back of the crank, pushing it forward. When you push on the clutch pedal, all that force is pushing against the crank thrust bearing. With heavy clutches, you don’t want to hold the clutch in for extended periods with the engine running, not only because it is wear on the throw out bearing and little wearing the clutch, but because it will cause excessive thrust wear! Automatics torque converter is always pushing against the crank. If the thrust is improperly set on and automatic, the thrust will wear to the point the crank moves far enough forward the crank cheeks will contact the block main webs, making loud knocking sound, similar to rod knock. Seen a few examples of that come through our shop from DIY garage builds where the assembler didn’t verify adequate cranks thrust.

    Why do you need to “set” the thrust when measuring thrust clearance, and during final assembly? We do so to make sure that both halves of the thrust bearing are flush on the side of the thrust bearing that sees most of the thrust loads. For most engines, that load is pushing against the rear of the crank, (trying to push the crank out through the front of the engine). Some applications such as late model manual trans LT1, that load is opposite, pulling on the crank, covered a little further down.

    When assembling during the mock up, thrust should be checked dry, no lube. Install the mains, crank and caps, snug down the thrust main, not tight, just barely snug. Now you need to “set” the trust. Using a dead blow hammer, (NOT a metal faced hammer), strike the crank on the snout driving it rearward, then again on the flywheel flange driving it forward this time, but a little harder in this direction as that is the direction of thrust loads on the running engine, (the exception is discussed at the bottom)! Some will use a screw driver to so this, I prefer the dead blow as it is a more positive setting technique. Now tighten down the thrust main cap. With dial indicator against the crank snout or crank cheek to take thrust measurements, use a flat blade screw driver between a crank cheek and main cap/web and “lightly-carefully” pry the crank back and forth. If there is thrust clearance it will make an audible thunk thunk sound as the crank seats against the thrust bearing moving back and forth. take note of the dial indicator reading at each extreme, that measurement is your thrust clearance. When doing this, be very careful not to touch the crank journals with the screw driver, they are soft and mar easily. If the thrust clearance is not adequate, remove the thrust bearings and just as Doc did, remove material from the thrust face. My preference is to only remove material from the side of the thrust bearing that doesn’t see any thrust loading so as to leave the manufacturers coating on the face that does see thrust loads. One technique is to use a fine file to remove the material, another is flat stones, my personal favorites are Doc's approach using a flat surface such as glass and fine sand paper measuring as you go or a milling machine. I’ve used all the above having had to add clearance many a domestic V-8 thrust back in the day. Just be sure to take your time paying close attention to the pressure you are applying so as to remove material equally around the circumference, measuring as you go.

    As I mentioned earlier, some manual trans such as the later model T-56 for the LT1 have a pull style clutch, as such when you push on the clutch pedal, the clutch is being pulled on so when setting the thrust on an LT1 using a pull style clutch arrangement, make your last hit while setting the crank against the snout setting the thrust halves, and if material needs to be removed from the thrust bearing, remove it from the back side of the thrust bearing.

    __________________
    Paul Ruschman POSTED THIS INFO
    Crankshaft thrust/end play
    Yes, crank thrust or end play as it sometimes called, is often overlooked when assembling an engine and I have found just as Doc found, approx 10-20% of the time with domestic V-8’s, the thrust is too tight. Riding on Docs coat tail, I want to elaborate a little more on checking and setting the crank thrust. I use this process for every build I do, V-8, L-series, etc.

    Crank thrust, what is it and why is it so important? With most manual transmissions and all automatic transmissions, there is force being applied on the back of the crank, pushing it forward. When you push on the clutch pedal, all that force is pushing against the crank thrust bearing. With heavy clutches, you don’t want to hold the clutch in for extended periods with the engine running, not only because it is wear on the throw out bearing and little wearing the clutch, but because it will cause excessive thrust wear! Automatics torque converter is always pushing against the crank. If the thrust is improperly set on and automatic, the thrust will wear to the point the crank moves far enough forward the crank cheeks will contact the block main webs, making loud knocking sound, similar to rod knock. Seen a few examples of that come through our shop from DIY garage builds where the assembler didn’t verify adequate cranks thrust.

    Why do you need to “set” the thrust when measuring thrust clearance, and during final assembly? We do so to make sure that both halves of the thrust bearing are flush on the side of the thrust bearing that sees most of the thrust loads. For most engines, that load is pushing against the rear of the crank, (trying to push the crank out through the front of the engine). Some applications such as late model manual trans LT1, that load is opposite, pulling on the crank, covered a little further down.

    When assembling during the mock up, thrust should be checked dry, no lube. Install the mains, crank and caps, snug down the thrust main, not tight, just barely snug. Now you need to “set” the trust. Using a dead blow hammer, (NOT a metal faced hammer), strike the crank on the snout driving it rearward, then again on the flywheel flange driving it forward this time, but a little harder in this direction as that is the direction of thrust loads on the running engine, (the exception is discussed at the bottom)! Some will use a screw driver to so this, I prefer the dead blow as it is a more positive setting technique. Now tighten down the thrust main cap. With dial indicator against the crank snout or crank cheek to take thrust measurements, use a flat blade screw driver between a crank cheek and main cap/web and “lightly-carefully” pry the crank back and forth. If there is thrust clearance it will make an audible thunk thunk sound as the crank seats against the thrust bearing moving back and forth. take note of the dial indicator reading at each extreme, that measurement is your thrust clearance. When doing this, be very careful not to touch the crank journals with the screw driver, they are soft and mar easily. If the thrust clearance is not adequate, remove the thrust bearings and just as Doc did, remove material from the thrust face. My preference is to only remove material from the side of the thrust bearing that doesn’t see any thrust loading so as to leave the manufacturers coating on the face that does see thrust loads. One technique is to use a fine file to remove the material, another is flat stones, my personal favorites are Doc's approach using a flat surface such as glass and fine sand paper measuring as you go or a milling machine. I’ve used all the above having had to add clearance many a domestic V-8 thrust back in the day. Just be sure to take your time paying close attention to the pressure you are applying so as to remove material equally around the circumference, measuring as you go.

    As I mentioned earlier, some manual trans such as the later model T-56 for the LT1 have a pull style clutch, as such when you push on the clutch pedal, the clutch is being pulled on so when setting the thrust on an LT1 using a pull style clutch arrangement, make your last hit while setting the crank against the snout setting the thrust halves, and if material needs to be removed from the thrust bearing, remove it from the back side of the thrust bearing.

    It has been my experience that too tight is worse than being too loose.

    General main thrust clearances range between .003”-.013”. .005-.007” has always been a good safe range for the SBC and L-series. Be sure to always verify acceptable thrust clearance range for the particular engine you're building.

    Being too loose just allows the oil that much room and opportunity to flow out more freely on the non loaded side thrust side though it is debatable if it has an ill effect once the thrust clearance is greater then .008” or so. Rod bearing clearances on the cranks pin that is fed from the thrust main will have an affect on how much oil goes to the thrust as well.
     
  5. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    CHECKING TRUST BEARING CLEARANCE
    THIS BEAM STYLE TORQUE WRENCH IS THE TYPE TORQUE WRENCH YOU WANT TO CHECK ROTATIONAL RESISTANCE
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION TO THE PICTURES AND LINKS AND SUB LINKS
    NOTICE NO CONNECTING RODS ON THE CRANK WHILE VERIFYING THRUST BEARING CLEARANCES

    http://www.harborfreight.com/4-lb-neon-orange-dead-blow-hammer-69004.html
    every engine builder needs a plastic dead blow hammer, After torquing the main caps in place and before installing connecting rods you'll need to drive the crank back and forward in the main bearing saddles a few times fore and aft, to properly seat the thrust bearing before taking clearance measurements, and only then proceed to the rod & piston install, rotational resistance checks and checking rod side clearance during assembly.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    keep in mind that the rear facing face of the thrust bearing bears up under several hundred pounds per square inch of surface area when a fairly decent clamping force clutch is depressed when you stomp on that clutch petal, and that can be repeated tens of thousands of times, on a manual transmission car, and a torque converter can apply similar loads.
    a mirror finish on the cranks thrust bearing mating surface is almost mandatory
    a worn surface like this pictured below will rapidly wear a bearings surface

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    GROOVE the edge of the bearing in the area marked in green as it provides extra lubrication to the bearing where its needed most(the rear support face) that resists the pressure from the clutch and or/torque converter
    Ive done that mod for decades and I feel it helps, you onlly bevel a 45 degree edge on 1/2 the bearing mating surface like the picture shows,about 20 thousands wide just enough to provide a bit of extra oil flow, btw notice its the upper bearing shell on the pass side, front of the bearing thats beveled as thats where the bearing loads are far lower


    RELATED INFO
    http://www.circletrack.com/techarticles ... ewall.html

    http://www.4secondsflat.com/Thrust_bear ... lures.html

    http://www.chevyhiperformance.com/tech/ ... index.html

    http://www.chevyhiperformance.com/tech/ ... index.html


    http://www.summitracing.com/parts/CRN-99004-1/



    [​IMG]
    ABOVE FOR BOLT THREADS NOT BEARINGS
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    ABOVE FOR BEARINGS, LIFTERS CAM LOBES ETC.
    read these links


    http://www.summitracing.com/parts/MAN-40177/?rtype=10

    http://www.performanceproducts4benz.com ... -lube.html

    viewtopic.php?f=53&t=3449&p=9133#p9133

    viewtopic.php?f=54&t=2187

    viewtopic.php?f=54&t=2725&p=7076&hilit=studs+sealant#p7076

    viewtopic.php?f=44&t=805&p=1171&hilit=studs+sealant#p1171

    viewtopic.php?f=53&t=247

    viewtopic.php?f=53&t=852

    viewtopic.php?f=53&t=3897

    viewtopic.php?f=53&t=5478

    viewtopic.php?f=53&t=509

    viewtopic.php?f=53&t=4419

    viewtopic.php?f=51&t=1479

    viewtopic.php?f=51&t=2919
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2015
  6. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Crankshaft Thrust Bearing Failure: Causes and Remedies
    http://www.artcarr.com/page/news/1.acpp
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    the crank flange faces that potentially bear against the thrust bearings face surface areas should be dead parallel, with the bearing face and mirror smooth to reduce wear
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    [​IMG]

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    A simple modification to the upper thrust bearing may be beneficial in some engines. Install the upper thrust bearing in the block to determine which thrust face is toward the rear of the engine. Using a small, fine tooth, flat file, increase the amount of chamfer to approximately .040" (1 mm) on the inside diameter edge of the bearing parting line. Carefully file at the centrally located oil groove and stroke the file at an angle toward the rear thrust face only, as shown in the illustration below. It is very important not to contact the bearing surface with the end of the file. The resulting enlarged ID chamfer will allow pressurized engine oil from the pre-existing groove to reach the loaded thrust face. This additional source of oiling will reach the loaded thrust face without passing through the bearing clearance first (direct oiling). Since there may be a load against the rear thrust face, oil flow should be restricted by that load and there should not be a noticeable loss of oil pressure. This modification is not a guaranteed "cure-all". However, the modification should help if all other conditions, such as surface finish, alignment, cleanliness and loading are within required limits.
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    ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION TO THE PICTURES AND LINKS AND SUB LINKS
    NOTICE NO CONNECTING RODS ON THE CRANK WHILE VERIFYING THRUST BEARING CLEARANCES

    http://www.harborfreight.com/4-lb-neon-orange-dead-blow-hammer-69004.html
    every engine builder needs a plastic dead blow hammer, After torquing the main caps in place and before installing connecting rods you'll need to drive the crank back and forward in the main bearing saddles a few times fore and aft, to properly seat the thrust bearing before taking clearance measurements, and only then proceed to the rod & piston install, rotational resistance checks and checking rod side clearance during assembly.


    [​IMG]

    NOTICE NO CONNECTING RODS ON THE CRANK WHILE VERIFYING THRUST BEARING CLEARANCES
    [​IMG]

    Although thrust bearings run on a thin film of oil, just like radial journal (connecting rod and main) bearings, thrust bearings can't support nearly as much load. While radial bearings can carry loads measured in thousands of pounds per square inch of projected bearing area, thrust bearings can only support loads of a few hundred pounds per square inch.

    Radial journal bearings develop their higher load capacity from the way the curved surfaces of the bearing and journal meet to form a wedge. Shaft rotation pulls oil into this wedge-shaped area of the clearance space to create an oil film which actually supports the shaft.

    Thrust bearings typically consist of two flat mating surfaces, with no natural wedge shape in the clearance space to allow an oil film to form, and support the load.

    Conventional thrust bearings are made by adding flanges at the ends of a radial journal bearing. This provides ease in assembly and has been used successfully for many years. Both teardrop or through grooves on the flange face, and wedge shaped ramps at each parting line, allow oil to enter between the shaft and bearing surfaces.

    But the surface of the shaft and the vast majority of bearing surfaces are flat. This flatness makes it more difficult to create and maintain an oil film. For example, suppose two gauge blocks had a thin film of oil on them. If you were to press them together with a twisting action, the blocks would stick together.

    This is similar to what happens when a thrust load is applied to the end of a crankshaft: Oil squeezes out from between the shaft and bearing surfaces. If there's too much load, the oil film collapses and the surfaces want to stick together, which causes a wiping action, and ultimately, bearing failure.

    This is why many heavy-duty diesel engines use separate thrust washers, each with a contoured face: to enable them to support higher thrust loads. These thrust washers either have multiple tapered ramps and relatively small flat pads, or they have curved surfaces that follow a sine-wave contour around the outer edge.


    Recent Developments
    In the past few years, some new automotive engine designs have included contoured thrust bearings. This change enables them to carry higher thrust loads imposed by some of the newer automatic transmissions. Since it's impractical to use contoured faces on one-piece flanged thrust bearings, these new engine designs use either separate thrust washers, or a flanged bearing, which is a three-piece assembly.


    Cause of Failure
    Aside from the obvious causes, such as dirt contamination and misassembly, there are only three common factors which generally cause thrust bearing failures:

    1. Poor crankshaft surface finish
    2. Misalignment
    3. Overloading




    Surface Finish
    Crankshaft thrust faces are difficult to grind because they are done using the side of the grinding wheel. Grinding marks left on the crankshaft face produce a visual swirl, or sunburst pattern. The scratches sometimes crisscross one another in a cross-hatch pattern similar to hone marks on a cylinder wall.

    If these grinding marks are not completely removed by polishing, they will remove the oil film from the surface of the thrust bearing, much like multiple windshield wiper blades. A properly-finished crankshaft thrust face should have only very fine polishing marks that go around the thrust surface in a circular pattern.


    Alignment
    Under normal circumstances, a remanufactured crankshaft does not require grinding of the thrust face surfaces. There are, however, situations where grinding is necessary. One is the automatic oversize of a thrust flange main bearing, required by using undersized crankshaft main journals.

    A second occurs when thrust surface wear (front and rear) is beyond allowable specifications. This situation often requires an oversize thrust flange bearing or washer, if one is available for that application. Under these conditions, the thrust face of the crankshaft will require oversize grinding. In this case, crankshaft end float should be calculated and determined prior to grinding additional material from the thrust face.

    Grinding the thrust face of the crankshaft presents a challenge, because the crankshaft remanufacturer has to use the side of the grinding wheel, which is not specifically designed for metal surface removal.

    In addition, keeping enough coolant between the thrust surface and the wheel (just as keeping oil for lubrication within the engine) is difficult, and that combination creates a danger of wheel loading and burn spots. The result: an inconsistent thrust surface. To avoid this situation, the grinding wheel must be dressed periodically, to maintain a 90° angle, perpendicular to the centerline of the grinding wheel. This transfers to the same 90° angle between the thrust surface and the centerline of the crankshaft.

    During the grinding process, the grinding wheel must feed into the thrust face very slowly and be allowed to spark out completely. If the grinding wheel does not cut cleanly, it may create hot spots on the crankshaft, leading to a wavy, out-of-flat surface. It is important to avoid excessive grinding of the thrust surface; this procedure is intended primarily for surface clean up.


    When Assembling Thrust Bearings:

    1. Tighten the main cap bolts to about 10 to 15 ft-lbs in order to seat the bearings; then loosen the cap bolts.
    2. Tap the main cap toward the rear of the engine with a soft faced hammer.
    3. Thread the main cap bolts in finger tight.
    4. Use a bar to force the crankshaft as far forward in the block as possible, to align the bearing rear thrust faces.
    5. While holding the crankshaft forward, tighten the main cap bolts to 10 to 15 ft-lbs.
    6. Complete tightening the main cap bolts to specifications in two or three equal steps.




    This procedure should align the bearing thrust faces with the crankshaft, to provide the maximum bearing contact for load carrying.


    Loading
    A number of factors may contribute to wear and overloading of a thrust bearing, such as:


    1. Poor crankshaft surface finish
    1. Too much torque converter pressure.
    2. Improper clutch release bearing adjustment.
    3. Riding the clutch pedal.
    4. Excessive crankshaft load pressure due to a malfunctioning front-mounted accessory drive.
    2. Poor crankshaft surface geometry
    3. External overloading due to:




    Note: There are other, commonly-thought issues such as torque converter ballooning, the wrong flexplate bolts, the wrong torque converter, the pump gears being installed backward or the torque converter not installed completely. Although all of these problems will cause undue force on the crankshaft thrust surface, it will also cause the same force on the pump gears, since all of these problems will put equal force in both directions from the torque converter. So any of these conditions should also cause serious pump damage very quickly (within minutes or hours).




    Diagnosing the Problem
    By the time a thrust bearing failure becomes evident, the parts have usually been so severely damaged there's little if any evidence of the cause. The bearing is generally worn into the steel backing, which has severely worn the crankshaft thrust face as well. The following is a list of factors to consider while diagnosing the cause.


    Engine-Related Problems
    Is there evidence of distress anywhere else in the engine that would indicate a lubrication problem or foreign particle contamination?
    Were the correct bearing shells installed, and were they installed correctly?
    If the thrust bearing is in an end position, was the adjacent oil seal installed correctly? An incorrectly installed rope seal can cause enough heat to affect bearing lubrication.

    Examine the front thrust face on the crankshaft for surface finish and geometry. This may give an indication of the original quality of the failed face.
    Once you're satisfied that all potential internal sources have been eliminated, ask about potential external sources, such as overloading or misalignment.


    Transmission Related Problems

    1. Did the engine have a prior thrust bearing failure?
    2. What external parts were replaced?
    3. Were any performance modifications made to the transmission?
    4. Was an additional cooler installed for the transmission?
    5. Was the correct flexplate used? At installation, there should be at least 1/16" (1/8" preferred, 3/16" maximum) clearance between the flexplate and converter, to allow for converter expansion.
    6. Was the transmission aligned to the engine properly?
    7. Were all dowel pins in place?
    8. Was the transmission-to-cooler pressure too high? If the return line has very low pressure compared to the transmission-to-cooler line, check for a restricted cooler or cooler lines.
    9. If a manual transmission was installed, was the clutch release bearing adjusted properly?
    10. What condition was the clutch release bearing in? A worn or overheated clutch release bearing that's adjusted properly may indicate the operator was "riding the clutch."




    How does the Torque Converter Exert Force on the Crankshaft?
    There are many theories on this subject, ranging from converter ballooning to spline lock. Most of these theories have little real basis, and rely little on fact.

    The force on the crankshaft from the torque converter is simple: It's based on the same principle as a servo piston or any other hydraulic component: Pressure, multiplied by area, equals force.

    The pressure part is easy: It's simply the internal torque converter pressure. The area is a little more tricky. The area that's part of this equation is the difference between the area of the front half of the converter and the rear half. The oil pressure does exert a force that tries to expand the converter like a balloon (which is why converter ballooning is often blamed); however, the forward force on the crankshaft occurs because the front of the converter has more surface area than the rear (the converter neck is open). This difference in area is equal to the area of the inside of the converter neck.

    The most common scenario is the THM 400 used behind a big-block Chevy. General Motors claims this engine is designed to sustain a force of 210 pounds on the crankshaft. The inside diameter of the converter hub can vary from 1.50" to 1.64". Therefore, the area of the inside of the hub can vary from 1.77 square inches to 2.11 square inches. 210 pound of force, divided by these two figures offers an internal torque converter pressure of 119 PSI to 100 PSI, respectively.

    So, depending on the inside diameter of the hub, it takes between 100 to 119 PSI of internal converter pressure to achieve a forward thrust of 210 pounds. The best place to measure this pressure is the outgoing cooler line at the transmission, because it's the closest point to the internal converter pressure. The pressure gauge must be teed in, to allow the cooler circuit to flow. Normal cooler line pressure will range from 50 PSI to 80 PSI, under a load, in drive: Far too low to create a forward thrust of 210 pounds.


    Causes for Excessive Torque Converter Pressure
    There are two main causes for excess torque converter pressure: restrictions in the cooler circuit, and modifications or failures that cause high line pressure.

    One step for combating restrictions in the cooler circuit is to run larger cooler lines. Another is to install an additional cooler in parallel with the original, rather than in series. This will increase cooler flow considerably. An additional benefit to running the cooler in parallel is it reduces the risk of overcooling the oil in the winter. The in-parallel cooler may freeze up under very cold conditions; however, the cooler tank in the radiator will still flow freely.

    Modifications that can result in higher-than-normal converter pressure include using an overly heavy pressure regulator spring, or excessive cross-drilling into the cooler charge circuit. Control problems such as a missing vacuum line or stuck modulator valve can also create high pressure.


    What Will Help Thrust Bearings Survive?
    A simple modification to the upper thrust bearing may be beneficial in some engines. Install the upper thrust bearing in the block to determine which thrust face is toward the rear of the engine. Use a small, fine tooth, flat file to increase the chamfer on the inside edge of the bearing parting line to about 0.040" (1 mm).

    Carefully file at the centrally located oil groove and stroke the file at an angle toward the rear thrust face only, as shown in the illustration. Avoid contacting the bearing surface with the end of the file. The enlarged chamfer will allow pressurized engine oil from the pre-existing groove to reach the loaded thrust face, without passing through the bearing clearance first (direct oiling).

    Since there may be a load against the rear thrust face, oil flow should be restricted by that load, so there shouldn't be a noticeable loss of oil pressure. This modification is not a guaranteed cure-all, but it should help if all other conditions, such as surface finish, alignment, cleanliness and loading are within required limits.


    Note: As with all modifications, it is important to find the original cause of the problem before making modifications. Failure to do so may result in a repeat failure.




    Other External Problems
    Aside from the items already mentioned, there is another external problem that should be addressed. Ground problems have been known to intensify thrust surface wear. Excessive current in the drivetrain can damage the thrust surface, which then affects the thrust bearing as though the thrust surface on the crank shaft isn't finished properly.

    It's easy to check for excessive voltage in the drivetrain: Connect the negative lead of your DVOM to the negative post of the battery, and the positive lead to the transmission. You should see no more than 0.1 volts on your meter while the starter is cranking.

    For an accurate test, the starter must operate for at least four seconds. It may be necessary to disable the ignition system so the engine won't start during the test.

    If the voltage is excessive, check or replace the negative battery cable, or add ground straps from the engine to the frame, or the transmission to the frame.

    Some systems may reach 0.3 volts momentarily without having a problem. For added assurance, improve the ground with a larger battery cable or additional ground straps.

    Although the greatest current draw is usually while the starter is cranking, current in the drivetrain can occur while accessories are operating. That's why you should perform this voltage-drop test with the ignition on, and as many accessories operating as possible. Again, the threshold is 0.1 volt.

    One final problem that may occur is current though the drivetrain, without measurable voltage. If the grounding problem is in the chassis but the engine and transmission ground is okay (or vice-versa), the vehicle may pass the test. What happens here is the ground circuit can be completed through the drive shaft and suspension.

    To test this, measure the voltage drop with the drive shaft removed. Both the drivetrain and frame must pass the 0.1 volt test. This is where a ground strap from the engine or transmission to the frame does its best work.


    Summary
    As with most problems, rarely is one solution the answer for all examples. It is attention to detail and rebuild procedures that include many details that ensure success. The intent of this article is to include the most likely causes for crankshaft thrust failure, as well as dispel some of the myths and mysteries surrounding it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2017
  7. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Crankshaft Thrust Bearing Failure - Causes & Remedies

    http://www.small-block-chevy.com/assemblyspec.html

    http://www.motor.com/magazine/pdfs/082010_09.pdf

    http://garage.grumpysperformance.co...hrust-bearing-failure-info-related-info.1138/

    For years both transmission and engine rebuilders have struggled at times to determine the cause of crankshaft thrust bearing failures. In most instances, all of the facts concerning the situation are not revealed at the onset of the failure. This has led to each party blaming the other for the failure based only on hearsay or what some "expert" has termed the "cause". Some of those explanations have led to an argument, that ends up in litigation while the truth lingers uncovered in the background. This document is a group effort of combined information compiled by the Automotive Transmission Rebuilders Association (ATRA), the Automotive Engine Rebuilders Association (AERA), the Production Engine Rebuliders Association (PERA), the Automotive Service Association (ASA) and bearing manufacturers. This group of industry experts has assembled the following information to consider and offers solutions that may prevent a similar thrust bearing failure.
    Background:

    Although thrust bearings run on a thin film of oil, just like radial journal (connecting rod and main) bearings, they cannot support nearly as much load. While radial bearings can carry loads measured in thousands of pounds per square inch of projected bearing area, thrust bearings can only support loads of a few hundred pounds per square inch. Radial journal bearings develop their higher load capacity from the way the curved surfaces of the bearing and journal meet to form a wedge. Shaft rotation pulls oil into this wedge shaped area of the clearance space to create an oil film which actually supports the shaft. Thrust bearings typically consist of two flat mating surfaces with no natural wedge shape in the clearance space to promote the formation of an oil film to support the load.

    Conventional thrust bearings are made by incorporating flanges, at the ends of a radial journal bearing. This provides ease in assembly and has been used successfully for many years. Either teardrop or through grooves on the flange, face and wedge shaped ramps at each parting line allow oil to enter between the shaft and bearing surfaces. However, the surface of the shaft, as well as the vast majority of bearing surfaces, are flat. This flatness makes it more difficult to create and maintain an oil film. As an example; if two gauge blocks have a thin film of oil on them, and are pressed together with a twisting action, the blocks will stick together. This is similar to what happens when a thrust load is applied to the end of a crankshaft and oil squeezes out from between the shaft and bearing surfaces. If that load is excessive, the oil film collapses and the surfaces want to stick together resulting in a wiping action and bearing failure. For this reason, many heavy-duty diesel engines use separate thrust washers with a contoured face to enable them to support higher thrust loads. These thrust washers either have multiple tapered ramps and relatively small flat pads, or they have curved surfaces that follow a sine-wave contour around their circumference.

    Recent developments:

    In the past few years some new automotive engine designs include the use of contoured thrust bearings to enable them to carry higher thrust loads imposed by some of the newer automatic transmissions. Because it’s not practical to incorporate contoured faces on one piece flanged thrust bearings, these new engine designs use either separate thrust washers or a flanged bearing which is a three piece assembly.

    Cause of failure:

    Aside from the obvious causes, such as dirt contamination and misassembly, there are only three common factors which generally cause thrust bearing failures. They are:

    *

    Poor crankshaft surface finish
    *

    Misalignment
    *

    Overloading

    Surface finish:

    Crankshaft thrust faces are difficult to grind because they are done using the side of the grinding wheel. Grinding marks left on the crankshaft face produce a visual swirl or sunburst pattern with scratches - sometimes crisscrossing - one another in a cross-hatch pattern similar to hone marks on a cylinder wall. If these grinding marks are not completely removed by polishing, they will remove the oil film from the surface of the thrust bearing much like multiple windshield wiper blades. A properly finished crankshaft thrust face should only have very fine polishing marks that go around the thrust surface in a circumferential pattern.

    Alignment:

    The grinding wheel side face must be dressed periodically to provide a clean, sharp cutting surface. A grinding wheel that does not cut cleanly may create hot spots on the work piece leading to a wavy, out-of-flat surface. The side of the wheel must also be dressed at exactly 90° to its outside diameter, to produce a thrust face that is square to the axis of the main bearing journal. The crankshaft grinding wheel must be fed into the thrust face very slowly and also allowed to "spark out" completely. The machinist should be very careful to only remove minimal stock for a "clean-up" of the crankshaft surface.

    In most instances a remanufactured crankshaft does not require grinding of the thrust face(s), so the grinding wheel will not even contact them. Oversize thrust bearings do exist. Some main bearing sets are supplied only with an additional thickness thrust bearing. In most of those instances, additional stock removal from the crankshaft thrust face surface may be required. Crankshaft end float should be calculated and determined before grinding additional material from the thrust face.

    Crankshaft grinding wheels are not specifically designed for use of the wheel side for metal removal. Grinding crankshaft thrust faces requires detailed attention during the procedure and repeated wheel dressings may be required. Maintaining sufficient coolant between the grinding wheel and thrust surface must be attained to prevent stone loading and "burn" spots on the thrust surface. All thrust surface grinding should end in a complete "spark out" before the grinding wheel is moved away from the area being ground. Following the above procedures with care should also maintain a thrust surface that is 90° to the crankshaft centerline.

    When assembling thrust bearings:

    1.

    Tighten main cap bolts to approximately 10 to 15 ft.lb. to seat bearings, then loosen.
    2.

    Tap main cap toward rear of engine with a soft faced hammer.
    3.

    Tighten main cap bolts, finger tight.
    4.

    Using a bar, force the crankshaft as far forward in the block as possible to align the bearing rear thrust faces.
    5.

    While holding shaft in forward position, tighten main cap bolts to 10 to 15 ft.lbs.
    6.

    Complete tightening main cap bolts to specifications in 2 or 3 equal steps.

    The above procedure should align the bearing thrust faces with the crankshaft to maximize the amount of bearing area in contact for load carrying.

    Loading:

    A number of factors may contribute to wear and overloading of a thrust bearing, such as:

    1. Poor crankshaft surface finish.

    2. Poor crankshaft surface geometry.

    3. External overloading due to.

    a) Excessive Torque converter pressure.

    b) Improper throw out bearing adjustment.

    c) Riding the clutch pedal.

    d) Excessive rearward crankshaft load pressure due to a malfunctioning front mounted accessory drive.

    Note: There are other, commonly-thought issues such as torque converter ballooning, the wrong flexplate bolts, the wrong torque converter, the pump gears being installed backward or the torque converter not installed completely. Although all of these problems will cause undo force on the crankshaft thrust surface, it will also cause the same undo force on the pump gears since all of these problems result in the pump gear pressing on the crankshaft via the torque converter. The result is serious pump damage, in a very short period of time (within minutes or hours).

    Diagnosing the problem:

    By the time a thrust bearing failure becomes evident, the parts have usually been so severely damaged that there is little if any evidence of the cause. The bearing is generally worn into the steel backing which has severely worn the crankshaft thrust face as well. So how do you tell what happened? Start by looking for the most obvious internal sources.

    Engine related problems:

    *

    Is there evidence of distress anywhere else in the engine that would indicate a lubrication problem or foreign particle contamination?
    *

    Were the correct bearing shells installed, and were they installed correctly?
    *

    If the thrust bearing is in an end position, was the adjacent oil seal correctly installed? An incorrectly installed rope seal can cause sufficient heat to disrupt bearing lubrication.
    *

    Examine the front thrust face on the crankshaft for surface finish and geometry. This may give an indication of the original quality of the failed face.

    Once you are satisfied that all potential internal sources have been eliminated, ask about potential external sources of either over loading or misalignment.

    Transmission related problems:

    *

    Did the engine have a prior thrust bearing failure?
    *

    What external parts were replaced?
    *

    Were there any performance modifications made to the transmission?
    *

    Was an additional cooler for the transmission installed?
    *

    Was the correct flexplate used? At installation there should be a minimum of 1/16" (1/8" preferred, 3/16" maximum) clearance between the flex plate and converter to allow for converter expansion.
    *

    Was the transmission property aligned to the engine?
    *

    Were all dowel pins in place?
    *

    Was the transmission-to-cooler pressure checked and found to be excessive? If the return line has very low pressure compared to the transmission-to-cooler pressure line, check for a restricted cooler or cooler lines.
    *

    If a manual transmission was installed, was the throw out bearing properly adjusted?
    *

    What condition was the throw out bearing in? A properly adjusted throw out bearing that is worn or overheated may indicate the operator was "Riding The Clutch".

    How does the torque converter exert force on the crankshaft?

    There are many theories on this subject, ranging from converter ballooning to spline lock. Most of these theories have little real bases and rely little on fact. The force on the crankshaft from the torque converter is simple. It is the same principle as a servo piston or any other hydraulic component: Pressure, multiplied by area, equals force. The pressure part is easy; it’s simply the internal torque converter pressure. The area is a little trickier. The area that is part of this equation is the difference between the area of the front half of the converter and the rear half. The oil pressure does exert a force that tries to expand the converter like a balloon (which is why converter ballooning is probably often blamed), however, it is the fact that the front of the converter has more surface area than the rear (the converter neck is open) that causes the forward force on the crankshaft. This difference in area is equal to the area consumed by the inside of the converter neck. The most common scenario is the THM 400 used behind a big-block Chevy. General Motors claims that this engine is designed to sustain a force of 210 pounds on the crank shaft. The inside diameter of the converter hub can vary from 1.5 inches up to 1.64 inches. The area of the inside of the hub can then vary from 1.77 square inches to 2.11 inches. 210 pound of force, divided by these two figures offers an internal torque converter pressure of 119 psi to 100 psi, respectively. That is to say, that depending on the inside diameter of the hub, it takes between 100 to 119 psi of internal converter pressure to achieve a forward thrust of 210 pounds. The best place to measure this pressure is the out-going cooler line at the transmission because it is the closest point to the internal converter pressure available. The pressure gauge must be "teed" in so as to allow the cooler circuit to flow. Normal cooler line pressure will range from 50 psi to 80 psi , under a load in drive.

    Causes for excessive torque converter pressure:

    There are two main causes for excessive torque converter pressure: restrictions in the cooler circuit and modifications or malfunctions that result in high line pressure. One step for combating restrictions in the cooler circuit is to run larger cooler lines. Another, is to install any additional cooler in parallel as opposed to in series. This will increase cooler flow considerably. An additional benefit to running the cooler in parallel is that it reduces the risk of over cooling the oil in the winter time—especially in areas where it snows. The in-parallel cooler may freeze up under very cold conditions, however, the cooler tank in the radiator will still flow freely. Modifications that can result in higher than normal converter pressure include using an overly-heavy pressure regulator spring, or excessive cross-drilling into the cooler charge circuit. Control problems such as a missing vacuum line or stuck modulator valve can also cause high pressure.

    What will help thrust bearings survive? When a problem application is encountered, every effort should be made to find the cause of distress and correct it before completing repairs, or you risk a repeat failure.

    A simple modification to the upper thrust bearing may be beneficial in some engines. Install the upper thrust bearing in the block to determine which thrust face is toward the rear of the engine. Using a small, fine tooth, flat file, increase the amount of chamfer to approximately .040" (1 mm) on the inside diameter edge of the bearing parting line. Carefully file at the centrally located oil groove and stroke the file at an angle toward the rear thrust face only, as shown in the illustration below. It is very important not to contact the bearing surface with the end of the file. The resulting enlarged ID chamfer will allow pressurized engine oil from the pre-existing groove to reach the loaded thrust face. This additional source of oiling will reach the loaded thrust face without passing through the bearing clearance first (direct oiling). Since there may be a load against the rear thrust face, oil flow should be restricted by that load and there should not be a noticeable loss of oil pressure. This modification is not a guaranteed "cure-all". However, the modification should help if all other conditions, such as surface finish, alignment, cleanliness and loading are within required limits.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    file strokes follow arrow direction only, angle about 30 degrees below edge and 30 degrees toward rear from center look at arrow
    with fine single cut 6" flat file or small jewelers file,you want about a 1/16" wide bevel
    [​IMG]
    remember the REAR thrust face takes higher loads that the forward facing thrust face rear thrust face shown here
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    forward thrust face shown here
    so verify which part of the bearing your actually modifying for greater oil flow rates

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    IT SHOULD take between 20lbs-25 lbs to start the engines rotating assembly (crank,rods, pistons and rings) 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!
    http://garage.grumpysperformance.co...tion-of-crank-durring-short-blk-assembly.852/
    READ THIS THREAD CAREFULLY
    [​IMG]
    MORE USEFUL INFO
    [​IMG]
    BE 100% SURE that the oil pump bolt or STUD doesn,t protrude past the inner main cap surface ,(LIKE THIS PICTURE SEEMS TO SHOW IT DOING) because if it bears on the rear main bearing shell it will almost always result in a quickly failed rear bearing

    Other External Problems. Aside from the items already mentioned, there is another external problem that should be considered. Inadequate electrical grounds have been known to exacerbate thrust surface wear. Excessive current in the vehicle drive train can damage the thrust surface. It affects the thrust bearing as though the thrust surface on the crankshaft is not finished properly finished (too rough). Excessive voltage in the drive train can be checked very easily. With the negative lead of a DVOM connected to the negative post of the vehicle battery and the positive lead on the transmission, there should be no more than .01 volts registering on the meter while the starter is turning over the engine. For an accurate test, the starter must operate for a minimum of four seconds without the engine starting. It is suggested to disable the ignition system before attempting this test. If the voltage reading observed is found to be excessive, add and/or replace negative ground straps from the engine to the vehicle frame and transmission to frame until the observed voltage is .01 volts or less. Note: Some systems may show a reading of .03volts momentarily but yet not exhibit a problem. For added assurance, it is a good idea to enhance the drive train grounding with larger battery cables or additional ground straps.

    A special thank you goes out to Dennis Madden of ATRA, Dave Hagen of AERA, Ed Anderson of ASA, Roy Berndt of PERA and John Havel of AE Clevite for their contributions to this article.

    The AERA Technical Committee

    March 1998 - TB 1465R

    Ive occasionally been asked what you can do too reduce the slack in the timing chain if your blocks been line honed,
    to straiten the main bearings and that resulted in a slightly closer crank to cam center-line distance,
    that results in a slightly increased slack in the stock timing chain sets.
    a negligible amount of metal is generally removed from the main bearing saddles in the block, they usually try very hard to minimize that, metal removal so standard parts still fit,during a line hone , but they do sell slightly tighter timing chain sets to correct excess slack if that's required.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    https://www.summitracing.com/parts/clo-9-3100-5
    Timing Chain and Gear Set, Original True Roller, Double Roller, -0.005 in., Iron/Steel Sprockets, Chevy, Small Block, Set
    for line honed blocks where the crank is .005 closer to the cam


    https://www.summitracing.com/parts/clo-9-3100-10
    for line honed blocks where the crank is .010 closer to the cam
    Timing Chain and Gear Set, Original True Roller, Double Roller, -0.010 in., Iron/Steel Sprockets, Chevy, Small Block, Set
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2017
  8. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Article from Gears Magazine about thrust bearing failure
    Crankshaft Thrust Bearing Failure: Causes and Remedies
    Although thrust bearings run on a thin film of oil, just like radial journal (connecting rod and main) bearings, thrust bearings can't support nearly as much load. While radial bearings can carry loads measured in thousands of pounds per square inch of projected bearing area, thrust bearings can only support loads of a few hundred pounds per square inch.

    Radial journal bearings develop their higher load capacity from the way the curved surfaces of the bearing and journal meet to form a wedge. Shaft rotation pulls oil into this wedge-shaped area of the clearance space to create an oil film which actually supports the shaft.

    Thrust bearings typically consist of two flat mating surfaces, with no natural wedge shape in the clearance space to allow an oil film to form, and support the load.

    Conventional thrust bearings are made by adding flanges at the ends of a radial journal bearing. This provides ease in assembly and has been used successfully for many years. Both teardrop or through grooves on the flange face, and wedge shaped ramps at each parting line, allow oil to enter between the shaft and bearing surfaces.

    But the surface of the shaft and the vast majority of bearing surfaces are flat. This flatness makes it more difficult to create and maintain an oil film. For example, suppose two gauge blocks had a thin film of oil on them. If you were to press them together with a twisting action, the blocks would stick together.

    This is similar to what happens when a thrust load is applied to the end of a crankshaft: Oil squeezes out from between the shaft and bearing surfaces. If there's too much load, the oil film collapses and the surfaces want to stick together, which causes a wiping action, and ultimately, bearing failure.

    This is why many heavy-duty diesel engines use separate thrust washers, each with a contoured face: to enable them to support higher thrust loads. These thrust washers either have multiple tapered ramps and relatively small flat pads, or they have curved surfaces that follow a sine-wave contour around the outer edge.


    Recent Developments
    In the past few years, some new automotive engine designs have included contoured thrust bearings. This change enables them to carry higher thrust loads imposed by some of the newer automatic transmissions. Since it's impractical to use contoured faces on one-piece flanged thrust bearings, these new engine designs use either separate thrust washers, or a flanged bearing, which is a three-piece assembly.


    Cause of Failure
    Aside from the obvious causes, such as dirt contamination and misassembly, there are only three common factors which generally cause thrust bearing failures:

    Poor crankshaft surface finish
    Misalignment
    Overloading


    Surface Finish
    Crankshaft thrust faces are difficult to grind because they are done using the side of the grinding wheel. Grinding marks left on the crankshaft face produce a visual swirl, or sunburst pattern. The scratches sometimes crisscross one another in a cross-hatch pattern similar to hone marks on a cylinder wall.

    If these grinding marks are not completely removed by polishing, they will remove the oil film from the surface of the thrust bearing, much like multiple windshield wiper blades. A properly-finished crankshaft thrust face should have only very fine polishing marks that go around the thrust surface in a circular pattern.


    Alignment
    Under normal circumstances, a remanufactured crankshaft does not require grinding of the thrust face surfaces. There are, however, situations where grinding is necessary. One is the automatic oversize of a thrust flange main bearing, required by using undersized crankshaft main journals.

    A second occurs when thrust surface wear (front and rear) is beyond allowable specifications. This situation often requires an oversize thrust flange bearing or washer, if one is available for that application. Under these conditions, the thrust face of the crankshaft will require oversize grinding. In this case, crankshaft end float should be calculated and determined prior to grinding additional material from the thrust face.

    Grinding the thrust face of the crankshaft presents a challenge, because the crankshaft remanufacturer has to use the side of the grinding wheel, which is not specifically designed for metal surface removal.

    In addition, keeping enough coolant between the thrust surface and the wheel (just as keeping oil for lubrication within the engine) is difficult, and that combination creates a danger of wheel loading and burn spots. The result: an inconsistent thrust surface. To avoid this situation, the grinding wheel must be dressed periodically, to maintain a 90° angle, perpendicular to the centerline of the grinding wheel. This transfers to the same 90° angle between the thrust surface and the centerline of the crankshaft.

    During the grinding process, the grinding wheel must feed into the thrust face very slowly and be allowed to spark out completely. If the grinding wheel does not cut cleanly, it may create hot spots on the crankshaft, leading to a wavy, out-of-flat surface. It is important to avoid excessive grinding of the thrust surface; this procedure is intended primarily for surface clean up.


    When Assembling Thrust Bearings:

    Tighten the main cap bolts to about 10 to 15 ft-lbs in order to seat the bearings; then loosen the cap bolts.
    Tap the main cap toward the rear of the engine with a soft faced hammer.
    Thread the main cap bolts in finger tight.
    Use a bar to force the crankshaft as far forward in the block as possible, to align the bearing rear thrust faces.
    While holding the crankshaft forward, tighten the main cap bolts to 10 to 15 ft-lbs.
    Complete tightening the main cap bolts to specifications in two or three equal steps.


    This procedure should align the bearing thrust faces with the crankshaft, to provide the maximum bearing contact for load carrying.


    Loading
    A number of factors may contribute to wear and overloading of a thrust bearing, such as:


    Poor crankshaft surface finish
    Too much torque converter pressure.
    Improper clutch release bearing adjustment.
    Riding the clutch pedal.
    Excessive crankshaft load pressure due to a malfunctioning front-mounted accessory drive.
    Poor crankshaft surface geometry
    External overloading due to:

    Note: There are other, commonly-thought issues such as torque converter ballooning, the wrong flexplate bolts, the wrong torque converter, the pump gears being installed backward or the torque converter not installed completely. Although all of these problems will cause undue force on the crankshaft thrust surface, it will also cause the same force on the pump gears, since all of these problems will put equal force in both directions from the torque converter. So any of these conditions should also cause serious pump damage very quickly (within minutes or hours).

    Diagnosing the Problem
    By the time a thrust bearing failure becomes evident, the parts have usually been so severely damaged there's little if any evidence of the cause. The bearing is generally worn into the steel backing, which has severely worn the crankshaft thrust face as well. The following is a list of factors to consider while diagnosing the cause.


    Engine-Related Problems
    Is there evidence of distress anywhere else in the engine that would indicate a lubrication problem or foreign particle contamination?
    Were the correct bearing shells installed, and were they installed correctly?
    If the thrust bearing is in an end position, was the adjacent oil seal installed correctly? An incorrectly installed rope seal can cause enough heat to affect bearing lubrication.

    Examine the front thrust face on the crankshaft for surface finish and geometry. This may give an indication of the original quality of the failed face.
    Once you're satisfied that all potential internal sources have been eliminated, ask about potential external sources, such as overloading or misalignment.


    Transmission Related Problems

    Did the engine have a prior thrust bearing failure?
    What external parts were replaced?
    Were any performance modifications made to the transmission?
    Was an additional cooler installed for the transmission?
    Was the correct flexplate used? At installation, there should be at least 1/16" (1/8" preferred, 3/16" maximum) clearance between the flexplate and converter, to allow for converter expansion.
    Was the transmission aligned to the engine properly?
    Were all dowel pins in place?
    Was the transmission-to-cooler pressure too high? If the return line has very low pressure compared to the transmission-to-cooler line, check for a restricted cooler or cooler lines.
    If a manual transmission was installed, was the clutch release bearing adjusted properly?
    What condition was the clutch release bearing in? A worn or overheated clutch release bearing that's adjusted properly may indicate the operator was "riding the clutch."
     
  9. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    gears magazine part 2
    How does the Torque Converter Exert Force on the Crankshaft?
    There are many theories on this subject, ranging from converter ballooning to spline lock. Most of these theories have little real basis, and rely little on fact.

    The force on the crankshaft from the torque converter is simple: It's based on the same principle as a servo piston or any other hydraulic component: Pressure, multiplied by area, equals force.

    The pressure part is easy: It's simply the internal torque converter pressure. The area is a little more tricky. The area that's part of this equation is the difference between the area of the front half of the converter and the rear half. The oil pressure does exert a force that tries to expand the converter like a balloon (which is why converter ballooning is often blamed); however, the forward force on the crankshaft occurs because the front of the converter has more surface area than the rear (the converter neck is open). This difference in area is equal to the area of the inside of the converter neck.

    The most common scenario is the THM 400 used behind a big-block Chevy. General Motors claims this engine is designed to sustain a force of 210 pounds on the crankshaft. The inside diameter of the converter hub can vary from 1.50" to 1.64". Therefore, the area of the inside of the hub can vary from 1.77 square inches to 2.11 square inches. 210 pound of force, divided by these two figures offers an internal torque converter pressure of 119 PSI to 100 PSI, respectively.

    So, depending on the inside diameter of the hub, it takes between 100 to 119 PSI of internal converter pressure to achieve a forward thrust of 210 pounds. The best place to measure this pressure is the outgoing cooler line at the transmission, because it's the closest point to the internal converter pressure. The pressure gauge must be teed in, to allow the cooler circuit to flow. Normal cooler line pressure will range from 50 PSI to 80 PSI, under a load, in drive: Far too low to create a forward thrust of 210 pounds.


    Causes for Excessive Torque Converter Pressure
    There are two main causes for excess torque converter pressure: restrictions in the cooler circuit, and modifications or failures that cause high line pressure.

    One step for combating restrictions in the cooler circuit is to run larger cooler lines. Another is to install an additional cooler in parallel with the original, rather than in series. This will increase cooler flow considerably. An additional benefit to running the cooler in parallel is it reduces the risk of overcooling the oil in the winter. The in-parallel cooler may freeze up under very cold conditions; however, the cooler tank in the radiator will still flow freely.

    Modifications that can result in higher-than-normal converter pressure include using an overly heavy pressure regulator spring, or excessive cross-drilling into the cooler charge circuit. Control problems such as a missing vacuum line or stuck modulator valve can also create high pressure.


    What Will Help Thrust Bearings Survive?
    A simple modification to the upper thrust bearing may be beneficial in some engines. Install the upper thrust bearing in the block to determine which thrust face is toward the rear of the engine. Use a small, fine tooth, flat file to increase the chamfer on the inside edge of the bearing parting line to about 0.040" (1 mm).



    Carefully file at the centrally located oil groove and stroke the file at an angle toward the rear thrust face only, as shown in the illustration. Avoid contacting the bearing surface with the end of the file. The enlarged chamfer will allow pressurized engine oil from the pre-existing groove to reach the loaded thrust face, without passing through the bearing clearance first (direct oiling).

    Since there may be a load against the rear thrust face, oil flow should be restricted by that load, so there shouldn't be a noticeable loss of oil pressure. This modification is not a guaranteed cure-all, but it should help if all other conditions, such as surface finish, alignment, cleanliness and loading are within required limits.

    Note: As with all modifications, it is important to find the original cause of the problem before making modifications. Failure to do so may result in a repeat failure.

    Other External Problems
    Aside from the items already mentioned, there is another external problem that should be addressed. Ground problems have been known to intensify thrust surface wear. Excessive current in the drivetrain can damage the thrust surface, which then affects the thrust bearing as though the thrust surface on the crank shaft isn't finished properly.

    It's easy to check for excessive voltage in the drivetrain: Connect the negative lead of your DVOM to the negative post of the battery, and the positive lead to the transmission. You should see no more than 0.1 volts on your meter while the starter is cranking.

    For an accurate test, the starter must operate for at least four seconds. It may be necessary to disable the ignition system so the engine won't start during the test.

    If the voltage is excessive, check or replace the negative battery cable, or add ground straps from the engine to the frame, or the transmission to the frame.

    Some systems may reach 0.3 volts momentarily without having a problem. For added assurance, improve the ground with a larger battery cable or additional ground straps.

    Although the greatest current draw is usually while the starter is cranking, current in the drivetrain can occur while accessories are operating. That's why you should perform this voltage-drop test with the ignition on, and as many accessories operating as possible. Again, the threshold is 0.1 volt.

    One final problem that may occur is current though the drivetrain, without measurable voltage. If the grounding problem is in the chassis but the engine and transmission ground is okay (or vice-versa), the vehicle may pass the test. What happens here is the ground circuit can be completed through the drive shaft and suspension.

    To test this, measure the voltage drop with the drive shaft removed. Both the drivetrain and frame must pass the 0.1 volt test. This is where a ground strap from the engine or transmission to the frame does its best work.


    Summary
    As with most problems, rarely is one solution the answer for all examples. It is attention to detail and rebuild procedures that include many details that ensure success. The intent of this article is to include the most likely causes for crankshaft thrust failure, as well as dispel some of the myths and mysteries surrounding it.
     
  10. elisalvador

    elisalvador Member

    hi ,grumpy, i have a 350 im building its 383 stroker kit it came with crank and bearings and everything else needed, i had my block machined and cleared at the machine shop , but im measuring the crank end play and i have a .019 of play , this is a street machine, no dragracing, would this be ok .. and if not what would be my remedy for the end play?
     
  11. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    thrust bearing clearances is usually supposed to be in the .003-.008 range for a small block chevy , with .006-.008 preferred, if the clearance is too tight the forward facing bearing face of the bearing is usually sanded with 600 grit paper on a sheet of flat window glass with diesel fuel on the sand paper , (move the bearing face in a figure (8) pattern, on the wet sand paper to sand off extra clearance,)to get a couple thousands extra required then carefully cleaned and re-tested for crank end play clearance, if the clearance is too loose, the cranks usually welded up and re-machined back down to have less clearance with a near mirror surface finish on the bearing thrust surface on the crank, but on a stock cast sbc crank, unless you have some kind of emotional investment in the crank it's almost always cheaper to buy a new crank, and yes thats why you check clearances BEFORE you pay to balance the rotating assembly.
    you can probably get by on a street car installing the crank with its current thrust bearing clearance but the result is likely to rapid dear on the bearings, so Id advise against it.
    THERE may be over size thrust bearings available, but Ive never seen those locally or needed to look for them
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    A simple modification to the upper thrust bearing may be beneficial in some engines. Install the upper thrust bearing in the block to determine which thrust face is toward the rear of the engine. Using a small, fine tooth, flat file, increase the amount of chamfer to approximately .040" (1 mm) on the inside diameter edge of the bearing parting line. Carefully file at the centrally located oil groove and stroke the file at an angle toward the rear thrust face only, as shown in the illustration below. It is very important not to contact the bearing surface with the end of the file. The resulting enlarged ID chamfer will allow pressurized engine oil from the pre-existing groove to reach the loaded thrust face. This additional source of oiling will reach the loaded thrust face without passing through the bearing clearance first (direct oiling). Since there may be a load against the rear thrust face, oil flow should be restricted by that load and there should not be a noticeable loss of oil pressure. This modification is not a guaranteed "cure-all". However, the modification should help if all other conditions, such as surface finish, alignment, cleanliness and loading are within required limits.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    KING BEARINGS LISTS THEM IN SEVERAL SIZES, WHY NOT CALL THEM, if they have the correct size youll still need to polish the crank matched surface to prevent further rapid wear
    [​IMG]

    http://kingbearings.com/maxflange_proflange.php



    King Engine Bearings, Inc.
    371 Little Falls Road, Suite 5
    Cedar Grove, NJ 07009
    USA

    Phone: 1-973-857-0705
    Toll Free: 1-800-772-3670
    Fax: 1-973-857-3228
    Email: inquiry@kingbearings.com

    For inquiries from Europe, Asia, and Africa:

    King Engine Bearings, Ltd.
    10 Ha’avatz St.
    Kiryat-Gat 82101
    Israel

    Office: +972 8 688 8550
    Fax: +972 8 681 1881
    Email: mail@king-bearings.com
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2017
  12. elisalvador

    elisalvador Member

    thanks . ill call the company above see how I can make this work , I appreciate the input
     

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