Oil Field Engines
[Home] - [HELP] - [Forums] - [Library] - [Photo Gallery] - [Groups] - [Classified Ads] - [Subscribe] - [Links] - [Books] - [Sponsors] -

Go Back   SmokStak > SmokStak® Antique Engine Community > Oil Field Engines
Forgot Password? Join Us!


Oil Field Engines A gathering place for OFES members otherwise known as "Oafs". Basically, if you like "BIG OLD GREASY RUSTY OIL FIELD ENGINES, you're in the right place. Founded by Russell Farmer.

Oil Field Engines

Repouring crosshead babbitts?

this thread has 22 replies and has been viewed 1343 times

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-05-2017, 12:54:13 AM
Skidmore's Avatar
Skidmore Skidmore is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Harrisville, West Virginia, USA
Posts: 560
Thanks: 1,504
Thanked 1,141 Times in 332 Posts
Default Re: Repouring crosshead babbitts?

I have poured the Rod bearing both ways. We have shafts made up for several different size cranks with collars that you can push up to the rod bearing and a set screw to hold it in place. That way you can pour it on the work bench. In your case I would melt the babbitt out of both halves. Repair the one half, make two 1/4" shims out of wood , brass, belting , copper Etc. and bolt it back up to the crank . Getting it centered on the throw is the tricky part and held in place. For the damming part I use rawhide boot laces and wrap them around the bearing and crank at the gap then put damtite clay over that, Almost forgot blacken the throw with a torch so the Babbitt wont stick to it. Grease on the throw melts and runs to the bottom and makes you pour look bad. My Grand Dad showed me that. Heat everything up good make sure to get the moisture out of the crank throw and the bearing. Very important. You can pour down through the oil hole where the licker bolts on. Another thing a good way to tell if your babbitt is ready to pour. Stick a pine stir stick in the Babbitt count to 5 and pull it out if it turns caramel color it's ready.
Skidmore aka engine hoarder
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 01-05-2017, 12:09:42 PM
Kirk Taylor Kirk Taylor is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Bedford, PA
Posts: 517
Thanks: 0
Thanked 336 Times in 180 Posts
Default Re: Repouring crosshead babbitts?

Originally Posted by con-rad View Post
So here's another babbitt bearing question, thought i'd ask here rather than make another thread.

As you can see in the photo, one of my bearing caps is broken so the babbitt needs to be melted out so it can be brazed together again. My question is what is the best way to pour that bearing half? it is best to use a dummy mandrel or use the crankshaft itself? I'd like to use the crank but it seems like damming it would be a challenge. any other wisdom?


As Skidmore said, bolt everything together and pour it right on the shaft. Since you have a good half already, this will be an easy pour. Fill any oil grooves in the good half with damming compound and make the shims so they contact the journal. Put a clamp across the good half to hold it tight to the shaft. This will position the bearing in proper alignment. I usually fill the oil hole with aluminum foil or damming compound, make a funnel out of aluminum flashing, and pour the babbitt in one edge of the bearing with a vent on the other edge. Pouring down the oil hole works okay, too.
Dam everything well. If it blows out during the pour, you'll have to rip everything apart and start from scratch. You'll also have a big mess to clean up. The crankshaft and bearing don't have to be all that hot; warm to the touch is okay. Once you start to pour the babbitt, pour it very quickly. Don't trickle it in and don't stop in the middle......and don't spill it on your nylon tennis shoes or down your boot top.
I have an original thermocouple for checking babbitt temperature and usually pour ~750°F. The pine stick works just fine, too. Once the babbitt is melted and near pouring temperature, stir it well. Right before the pour, I throw a small piece of beeswax in, stir it around and skim the dirt off. When you're stirring, scrape the inside of the ladle to release any dirt that might be sticking to it beneath the surface of the babbitt.
The whole process isn't difficult; it's just common sense. Success is all about planning and preparation. It takes a couple of hours to set up and five seconds to actually pour the metal.
Things to keep in mind: Molten babbitt will run into and out of the tiniest of holes. When the babbit is flowing into a space, the air has to get out. Babbitt is dense and puts significant pressure on the dammed areas during the pour. Moisture and oil are NOT your friends. Babbitt doesn't normally stick to cool surfaces, but it will wrap around them and not let go. If it doesn't work the first, second, or third time, melt it out, clean up the mess, and have another go at it. Regardless of what you do, someone else has already done it.
Remember to have fun at some point along the way.

Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Kirk Taylor For This Post:
Old 01-05-2017, 07:05:20 PM
con-rad con-rad is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Guilford, Connecticut
Posts: 410
Thanks: 55
Thanked 261 Times in 132 Posts
Default Re: Repouring crosshead babbitts?

excellent advice, thank you again! I think i'll be saving the good half rather than melting it out like Skidmore suggested, it's the cap side so there's very little wear since it was just "along for the ride". It should make alignment a lot easier! Glad to know I can pour on the crank without too much issue. Hopefully i'll get to this bearing soon! Then i'll tackle the x-head next.

Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

F o r u m Jump

Similar Threads Chosen at Random
Thread Thread Starter F o r u m Replies Last Post
Bessemer crosshead gw765 Oil Field Engines 3 11-11-2012 07:22:16 PM
repouring a rod bearings ehpower2 Antique Gas Engine Discussion 3 07-25-2011 05:20:30 PM
Crosshead Shoes JBoogie Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines, Steam Boats 0 11-03-2010 12:27:25 PM
Babbitts turning to powder and wont come off Christopher Underwood Antique Gas Engine Discussion 1 09-09-2009 11:15:18 PM
Need New Babbitts Christopher Underwood Antique Gas Engine Discussion 1 08-27-2009 06:26:28 PM

Use "Ctrl" mouse wheel to change screen size.
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:08:40 PM.

Smokstak and Enginads site search!

All use is subject to our TERMS OF SERVICE
SMOKSTAK® is a Registered Trade Mark - A Community of Antique Engine Enthusiasts
Copyright © 2000 - 2016 by Harry Matthews P.O. Box 5612 - Sarasota, FL 34277