Babbitt bearings are a specialty with us. Many older engines have limited availability of rod and main bearings. We are able to custom make bearings for almost any engine, even if the engine had inserts that are no longer available.
Above is a connecting rod from an American LaFrance 900 CI Type 12E 6 cylinder engine and below are the main bearings being line bored for the same engine.
Most people believe babbitt is lead based, a misconception perpetuated by old timer's tales of melting bullets to make emergency repairs. But if there is as little as 1/10 % lead in the metal, it will not last. There are many formulas for babbitt depending on their intended use. We have researched old records and found the exact formula used by Ford Motor Company in the Model T. It is a tin based babbitt with copper and antimony. We use this metal for all our bearing work.
Model T and Model A Ford powerplants are our specialty. Over the years we have accumulated many of the specific fixtures and jigs required to rebuild these engines and transmissions. Some of this tooling was made contemporary to these engines, but most is newly designed and built especially for the task at hand. As an example, K.R. Wilson made many of the tools that were supplied to Ford dealers in the 1920's and 30's, and as such those tools are highly sought after by restorers. But tooling can wear out as well. And much of the Wilson tooling was useful only for "standard" dimensions. After all, at the time they were in service, you could buy a new crankshaft from Ford for under $5.00! Our purpose designed tooling allows us to manufacture bearings to any size necessary, and therefore be able to re-grind crankshafts to make them usable again.