The engine block, which is the supporting structure for the entire engine, is made from gray cast iron or from cast or die-cast aluminum alloy. The gray color is result of the 3% carbon in the form of graphite in the cast iron.
The carbon in iron allows for easy machining, often without coolant. The graphite in iron also has lubricating properties. Newer blocks use thinner walls to reduce weight. All other engine parts are mounted on or in the block. This large casting supports the crankshaft and camshaft and holds all the parts in alignment. The monoblock design means that the cylinder, water jacket, main bearing supports (saddles), and oil passages are all cast as one structure for strength and quietness.
Large-diameter holes in the block casting form the cylinders to guide the pistons. The cylinder holes are called bores because they are made by a machining process called boring .
Figure 29–1 The cylinder block usually extends from the oil pan ralls at the bottom to the deck surface at the top. Combustion pressure loads are carried from head to the crank- shaft bearings through the block structure. The block has webs, walls, and drilled passages to contain coolant and lubricating oil and keep them separate. Continued
Mounting pads or lugs on the block transfer the engine torque reaction to the vehicle frame through attached engine mounts. A large mounting surface at the rear of the engine block is used for fastening a bell housing or transmission. The cylinder head(s) attaches to the block. The attaching joints are sealed so that they do not leak. Gaskets are used in the joints to take up differences that are created by machining irregularities and that result from different pressures and temperatures.
Block Manufacturing Cast-iron cylinder block casting tech-nology continues to be improved. The trend is to make blocks with larger cores, using fewer individual pieces. Oil-sand cores are forms that shape internal openings and passages in block. Before casting, the cores are supported within a core box. The core box also has a liner to shape the outside of the block. Special alloy cast iron is poured into the box. It flows between the cores and the core box liner. As the iron cools, the core breaks up. When the iron has hardened, it is removed from the core box, and the pieces of sand core are removed through the openings in the block by vigorously shaking the casting. These openings in the block are plugged with core plugs .
Core plugs are also called freeze plugs or frost plugs . Although the name seems to imply that the plugs would be pushed outward if the coolant in the passages were to freeze, they seldom work this way.
Figure 29–2 An expansion plug is used to block the opening in the cylinder head or block the holes where the core sand was removed after the part was cast. Continued
One way to keep weight as low as possible is to make the block with minimum wall thickness. Cast iron used with thin-wall casting techniques has higher nickel content and is harder than cast iron previously used. Engine designers have used foundry techniques to make engines lightweight by making the cast-iron block walls and bulkheads only as heavy as necessary to support their required loads.
Aluminum Blocks Used for some cylinder blocks; nonmagnetic and lightweight. Here is a core used to sand-cast an aluminum block.
Figure 29–3 A Styrofoam casting mold used to make the five-cylinder engine blocks for the Chevrolet Colorado and the Hummer H2. The brown lines are glue used to hold the various parts together. Sand is packed around the mold and molten aluminum is poured into the sand, which instantly vaporizes the Styrofoam. The aluminum then flows and fills the area of the mold.
Cast-aluminum blocks may have steel cylinder liners (Saturn, Northstar, and Ford modular V-8s and V-6s). The cast-iron cylinder sleeves are either cast into the aluminum block during manufacturing or pressed into the aluminum block.
Figure 29–4 Cast-iron dry sleeves are used in aluminum blocks to provide a hard surface for the rings. These sleeves are not in contact with the coolant passages and are called dry cylinder sleeves . Continued
Another aluminum block design has the block die cast from silicon aluminum alloy with no cylinder liners. Pistons with zinc-copper-hard iron coatings are used in these aluminum bores (some Porsche engines).
Some engines have die-cast aluminum blocks with replaceable cast iron cylinder sleeves. The sleeves are sealed at the block deck and at their base. Coolant flows around the cylinder sleeve, so this type of sleeve is called a wet cylinder sleeve (Cadillac 4.1-, 4.5-, and 4.9-L V-8 engines). See Figure 29–5.
Continued Cast-iron main bearing caps are used with aluminum blocks to give the required strength.
Figure 29–5 A dry sleeve is supported by the surrounding cylinder block. A wet sleeve must be thicker to be able to withstand combustion pressures without total support from the block.
Compacted graphite iron ( CGI ) has increased strength, ductility, toughness, and stiffness as compared to gray iron. If no magnesium is added, the iron will form gray iron when cooled, with the graphite present in flake form. If a very small amount of magnesium is added, the shape of the graphite begins to change to compacted graphite forms. Compacted graphite iron is used for bedplates and many diesel engine blocks. Its enhanced strength has been shown to permit reduced weight while still reducing noise vibration and harshness. What is Compacted Graphite Iron?
Bedplate Design Blocks A bedplate is a structural member that attaches to the bottom of the block and supports the crank-shaft.
Figure 29–6 A bedplate is a structural part of the engine that is attached between the block and the oil pan and supports the crankshaft. Continued Under the bedplate is the oil pan, which in most cases is also part of the structure and support for the block assembly. Continued
Casting Numbers Whenever an engine part such as a block is cast, a number is put into the mold to identify the casting. These casting numbers can be used to check dimensions such as the cubic inch displacement and other information, such as year of manufacture. Sometimes changes are made to the mold, yet the casting number is not changed. Most often the casting number is the best piece of identifying information that the service technician can use.
Block Deck The cylinder head is fastened to the block deck . The deck has a smooth surface to seal against the head gasket. Bolt holes are positioned around the cylinders to form an even holding pattern. Four, five, or six head bolts are used around each cylinder in automobile engines.
Figure 29–7 The deck is the machined top surface of the block. Note all of the passages and holes that are part of the typical block. These bolt holes go into reinforced areas within the block that carry the combustion pressure load to the main bearing bulk-heads. Additional holes in the block are used to transfer coolant and oil. Continued
Cooling Passages Cylinders are surrounded by cooling passages. These coolant passages around the cylinders are often called the cooling jacket . In most skirtless cylinder designs, the cooling passages extend nearly to the bottom of the cylinder. In extended skirt cylinder designs, the cooling passages are limited to the upper portion of the cylinder. Some engines are built with Siamese cylinder bores where the cylinder walls are cast together without a water jacket (passage) between the cylinders. This design improves the strength and stability but can reduce the cooling around the cylinders.
Here is a typical V-8 engine cutaway that shows the coolant jackets and some of the lubrication holes.
Figure 29–8 Cutaway of a Chevrolet V-8 block showing all of the internal passages.
Some turbocharged gasoline engines and many diesel engines have an oil jet which directs a shot of oil directly to the underside of the piston crown. The spray of oil not only lubricates, but helps reduce piston temperatures. Combustion chamber temperatures are always higher in turbocharged and diesel engines.
S What is an Oil Jet? Figure 29–9 Oil jets are often used in some turbocharged, and many diesel, engines to cool the pistons.
Lubricating Passages An engine block has many holes that carry lubricating oil to required locations. During manufacture, all oil holes, called the oil gallery , are drilled from outside the block. When a curved passage is needed, intersecting drilled holes are used. In some engines, plugs are placed in the oil holes to direct oil to another point before it comes back to the original hole, on the opposite side of the plug. After oil holes are drilled, the unneeded open ends may be capped by pipe plugs, steel balls, or cup-type soft plugs, often called oil gallery plugs . These end plugs in the oil passages can be a source of oil leakage in operating engines. See Figure 29–10.
Figure 29–10 Typical oil gallery plugs on the rear of a Chevrolet small-block V-8 engine.
The abbreviation LHD means left-hand dipstick , which is commonly used by rebuilders and remanufacturers in their literature describing Chevrolet small-block V-8 engines. Before about 1980, most small-block Chevrolet V-8s used an oil dipstick pad on the left side (driver’s side) of the engine block. Starting in about 1980, when oxygen sensors were first used on this engine, the dipstick was relocated to the right side of the block. Therefore, to be assured of ordering or delivering the correct engine, knowing the dipstick location is critical. An LHD block cannot be used with the exhaust manifold setup that includes the oxygen sensor without major refitting or the installing of a different style of oil pan that includes a provision for an oil dipstick. Engine blocks with the dipstick pad cast on the right side are, therefore, coded as right-hand dipstick (RHD) engines. What Does LHD Mean?
NOTE: Some blocks cast around the year 1980 are cast with both right- and left-hand oil dipstick pads, but only one is drilled for the dipstick tube. Figure 29–11 Small-block Chevrolet block. Note the left-hand dipstick hole and a pad cast for a right-hand dipstick.
Production engines usually use two bolts to hold the main bearing cap.
Figure 29–12 Two-bolt main bearing caps provide adequate bottom end strength for most engines. Main Bearing Caps Cast separately from the block. Machined and installed on the block for a final bore finishing operation. Caps installed, main bearing bores and cam bearing bores are machined to the correct size and alignment. Caps are not interchangeable or reversible because they are individually finished in place. Main bearing caps may have cast numbers indicating block position. If not, they should be marked.
Heavy-duty and high-performance engines use additional main bearing support bolts. A four-bolt, and even six-bolt, main cap can be of a cross-bolted design in a deep skirt block or of a parallel design in a shallow skirt block.
Figure 29–13 High-performance and truck engines often use four-bolt main bearing caps for greater durability. Continued Expansion force of combustion chamber gases will try to push the head off the top and the crankshaft off the bottom of the block.
Figure 29–14 Some engines add to the strength of a four-bolt main bearing cap by also using cross bolts through the bolt on the sides of the main bearing caps.
The engine is held together with the headbolts and main bearing cap bolts screwed into bolt bosses and ribs in the block. The extra bolts on the main bearing cap help to support the crankshaft during high combustion pressures and mechanical loads, especially during high-engine speed operation.
ENGINE BLOCK SERVICE
The engine block is the foundation of the engine. All parts of the block must be of the correct size and they must be aligned. The parts must also have the proper finishes if the engine is to function dependably for a normal service life. Blueprinting is the reconditioning of all the critical surfaces and dimensions so that the block is actually like new. After a thorough cleaning, the block should be inspected for cracks or other flaws before machine work begins.
If the block serviceable, the block should be prepared:
Continued Operation 1 Align boring or honing main bearing saddles and caps. Operation 2 Machining the block deck surface parallel to the crankshaft. Operation 3 Cylinder boring and honing. Main Bearing Housing Bore Alignment The main bearing journals of a straight crankshaft are in alignment. If the main bearing housing bores in the block are not in alignment, the crankshaft will bend as it rotates, leading to premature bearing failure and possibly a broken crankshaft.
Figure 29–15 The main bearing bores of a warped block usually bend into a bowed shape. The greatest distortion is in the center bores. Original stress in the block casting is gradually relieved as the block is used. Slight warpage may occur as stress is relieved. In addition, the continued pounding caused by combustion will usually cause some stretch in the main bearing caps. Continued
Figure 29–16 When the main bearing caps bow downward, they also pinch in at the parting line. The main bearing bores gradually bow from the cylinder head and elongate vertically. This means that the bearing bore becomes smaller at the center line as the block distorts, pinching the bore inward at the sides. Continued
The first step in determining the condition of the main bearing bores is to determine if the bore alignment in the block is straight. These bores are called the saddles . A precision ground straightedge and a feeler gauge are used to determine the amount of warpage. Variation along the entire length of the block should not exceed 0.0015 inch (0.038 mm).
CAUTION: When performing this measurement, be sure that the block is resting on a flat surface. If the engine is mounted to an engine stand, the weight of the block on the unsupported end can cause an error in the mea- surement of the main bearing bores and saddle alignment. If the block saddles exceed one-and-a-half thousandth of an inch distortion, then align honing is required to restore the block. Continued
Using a telescoping gauge, measure each bore in at least two directions. Check the service information for the specified main bearing bore diameter. The bearing bore should vary by more than one-half of a thousandth of an inch or 0.0005 inch (0.0127 mm).
Figure 29–17 The main bearing bores can be checked using a precision straightedge and a feeler gauge. A dial bore gauge is often used to measure the main bearing bore. Check service information for the specified main bearing bore diameter. Continued
Machining the Deck Surface of the Block An engine should have the same combustion chamber size in each cylinder. Each piston must come up an equal distance from the block deck. The connecting rods are attached to the rod bearing journals of the crankshaft. Pistons are attached to the connecting rods. As the crankshaft rotates, the pistons come to the top of the stroke. When all parts are sized equally, all the pistons will come up to the same level. This can only happen if the block deck is parallel to the main bearing bores. See Figure 29–18.
Figure 29–18 (a) Checking the flatness of the block deck surface using a straightedge and a feeler gauge. (b) To be sure that the top of the block is flat, check the block in six locations as shown. ( a ) ( b ) Continued
Figure 29–19 Grinding the deck surface of the block.
The block deck must be resurfaced in a surfacing machine that can control the amount of metal removed to match sizes of the combustion chambers. This procedure is called decking the block .
The block is set up on a bar located in the main bearing saddles, or set up on the oil pan rails of the block. The block is leveled sideways, and then the deck is resurfaced in the same manner as the head is resurfaced. Continued
Cylinder Boring Cylinders should be measured across the engine (perpendicular to the crankshaft), where the greatest wear occurs.
Most wear will be found just below the ridge, and the least amount of wear will occur below the lowest ring travel.
Figure 29–20 Cylinders wear in a taper, with most of the wear occurring at the top of the cylinder where the greatest amount of heat is created. The ridge is formed because this very top part of the cylinder is not worn by the rings. Continued
Figure 29–21 Using a dial bore gauge to measure the bore diameter at the top just below the ridge and at the bottom below the ring travel. Take the measurements in line with the crankshaft and then repeat the measurements at right angles to the center line of the block in each cylinder.
Maximum of 0.003 inch (0.076 millimeter) out-of-round
No more than 0.005 inch (0.127 millimeter) taper
No deep scratches in cylinder wall
Most cylinders are serviceable if: NOTE: Always check the specs for the engine being surfaced. E.g.: the GM 5.7-L, LS-1, V-8 has a maximum out-of round of only 0.0003 (3/10 of one thousandths of an inch). Normally this specification is about three times that dimension or about 0.001 inch.
The most effective way to correct excessive cylinder out-of-round, taper, or scoring is to rebore the cylinder. The rebored cylinder requires the use of a new, oversize piston. The maximum bore oversize is determined by cylinder wall thickness and size of available oversize pistons. An ultrasonic test should be performed on the block to determine the thickness of the cylinder walls. All cylinders should be tested. Variation in cylinder wall thickness occurs because of core shifting (moving) during the casting of the block. For best results, cylinders should be rebored to the smallest size possible.
An easy way to calculate oversize piston size is to determine the amount of taper, double it, and add 0.010 inch (Taper x 2 + 0.010 in. = OS piston). Common oversize measurements include 0.020 inch, 0.030 inch, 0.040 inch, and 0.060 inch. Use caution when boring for an oversize measurement larger than 0.030 inch. How Can I Determine What Oversize Bore is Needed? HINT: The pistons that will be used should always be in hand before the cylinders are rebored. The cylinders are then bored and honed to match the exact size of the pistons.
The cylinder must be perpendicular to the crankshaft for nor-mal bearing and piston life. If the block deck has been aligned with the crankshaft, it can be used to align the cylinders. Main bearing caps should be torqued in place when cylinders are being rebored. In precision boring, a torque plate is also bolted on in place of the cylinder head while boring cylinders. In this way, distortion is kept to a minimum.
The boring bar is set up so it is perpendicular to the crankshaft. It must be located over the center of the cylinder, found by installing centering pins in the bar. Once the boring bar is centered, the boring machine is clamped in place to hold it securely.
Figure 29–22 A cylinder boring machine is used to enlarge cylinder bore diameter so a replacement oversize piston can be used to restore a worn engine to useful service or to increase the displacement of the engine in an attempt to increase power output.
Rough cuts remove a great deal of metal on each pass, and is followed by a fine cut for a much smoother, more accurate finish. The last cut is made to produce a diameter that is at least 0.002 inch (0.05 mm) smaller than required diameter.
Figure 29–23 A dry cylinder sleeve can also be installed in a cast-iron block to repair a worn or cracked cylinder.
Sleeving the Cylinder Cylinder blocks with deep gouges can be salvaged by sleeving . The cylinder is bored to a dimension greatly oversize to almost match outside diameter of the cylinder sleeve.
The cylinder can be sized to use a standard piston when sleeved. The sleeve is pressed into the rebored block. Continued
Cylinder Honing Some manufacturers recommend breaking hard surface glaze on the cylinder wall with a hone before installing new piston rings. The cylinder wall should be honed when the wall is wavy or scuffed. If honing is being done with the crankshaft remaining in the block, the crankshaft should be protected to keep honing chips from getting on the shaft. Two types of hones are used for cylinder service.
A deglazing hone removes the hard surface glaze remaining in the cylinder. It is a flexible hone that follows the shape of the cylinder wall, even when the wall is wavy. It cannot be used to straighten the cylinder. A brush-type ( ball-type ) deglazing hone is shown in Figure 29-24
Figure 29–24 An assortment of ball-type deglazing hones. This type of hone does not straighten wavy cylinder walls. Continued
A sizing hone can be used to straighten the cylinder and to provide a suitable surface for the piston rings. The cylinders must be honed a minimum of 0.002 inch (0.050 mm) after boring to cut below the rough surface and provide an adequate finish. Honing leaves a plateau surface to support the oil film for the rings and piston skirt, achieved by first using a coarse stone followed by a smooth stone. The process of using both coarse and fine stones is called plateau honing .
Figure 29–25 After boring, the cylinder surface is rough, pitted, and fractured to a depth of about 0.001 inch. Continued
The honing stones are held in a rigid fixture with an expanding mechanism to control the size of the hone. The sizing hone can be used to straighten cylinder taper by honing the lower diameter more than the upper diameter. As it rotates, the sizing hone only cuts the high spots so cylinder out-of-round is also reduced. The cylinder wall surface finish is about the same when the cylinder is refinished with either type of hone.
Figure 29–26 Honing enlarges the cylinder bore to the final size and leaves a plateau surface finish that retains oil. Continued
Without torque plates, cylinders can be out-of-round (up to 0.003 inch) and distorted when the cylinder heads are installed and torqued down. Torque plates do not eliminate all distortion, but their use helps to ensure a truer cylinder dimension.
Figure 29–27 A torque plate being used during a cylinder honing operation. The thick piece of metal is bolted to the block and simulates the forces exerted on the block by the head bolts when the cylinder head is attached. Torque plates are thick metal plates that are bolted to the cylinder block to duplicate the forces on the block that occur when the cylinder head is installed. Though not all shops use torque plates during boring their use during the final dimensional honing operation is very beneficial. Always Use Torque Plates
The hone is stroked up and down in the cylinder as it rotates. This produces a crosshatch finish on the cylinder wall.
Figure 29–28 The crosshatched pattern holds oil to keep the rings from wearing excessively, and also keeps the rings against the cylinder wall for a gas-tight fit. The angle of the crosshatch should be between 20 and 60 degrees. Higher angles are produced when the hone is stroked more rapidly in the cylinder.
The minimum amount recommended to be removed by honing is 0.002 inch to remove the fractured metal in the cylinder wall caused by boring.
Many engine rebuilders and remanufacturers bore the cylinders to the exact size of the oversize pistons that are to be used. After the block is bored to a standard oversize measurement, the cylinder is honed. The rigid hone stones, along with an experienced operator, can increase the bore size by 0.001 to 0.003 inch (1 to 3 thousandths of an inch) for the typical clearance needed between the piston and the cylinder walls. Bore to Size, Hone for Clearance Actual piston diameter Bore diameter Diameter after honing Amount removed by honing 4.028 in. 4.028 in. 4.030 in. 0.002 in.
Cylinder Surface Finish Size of abrasive particles, or grit size , in grinding and honing stones controls surface finish. The grit size is the number of wires in each square inch of the mesh used to sift the abrasive. A low-numbered grit has large pieces of abrasive material; a high-numbered grit, small pieces. The higher the grit number, the smoother the surface finish. A given grit size produces the same finish when cutting pressure is constant. With the same grit size, light cutting pressure produces fine finishes, and heavy cutting pressure produces rough finishes.
Typical grit and surface finish standards include:
Chrome—#180 grit (25 to 35 microinches)
Cast iron—#200 grit (20 to 30 microinches)
Moly—#220 grit (18 to 25 microinches)
After cylinders have been honed and before the block is cleaned, use a sandpaper cone to chamfer the top edge of the cylinder. Cleaning the honed cylinder wall is an important part of the process. If any grit remains on the cylinder wall, it will rapidly wear the piston rings, and cause premature failure of the reconditioning job.
Degreasing and decarbonizing will only remove honing oil, not the abrasive. The best way to clean honed cylinders is to scrub the cylinder wall with a brush using a mixture of soap or detergent and water . The block is scrubbed until it is absolutely clean, determined by wiping the cylinder wall with a clean cloth, which picks up no soil when the cylinder wall is clean.
BLOCK CLEANING AND PREPARATION FOR ASSEMBLY Continued
Block Detailing Before the engine block can be assembled, a final detailed cleaning should be performed:
Figure 29–29 Notice on this cutaway engine block that some of the head bolt holes do not extend too far into the block and dead end. Debris can accumulate at the bottom of these holes and it must be cleaned out before final assembly. Continued
All oil passages (galleries) should be cleaned by running a long bottle-type brush through all holes in the block.
All tapped holes should be chamfered and cleaned with the correct size of thread chaser to remove any dirt and burrs.
Figure 29–30 A thread chaser or bottoming tap should be used in all threaded holes before assembling the engine.
Coat the newly cleaned block with fogging oil to prevent rust. Cover the block with a large plastic bag to keep out dirt until is time to assemble the engine.
Lifter bores in a block can be out-of-square with the camshaft, resulting in premature camshaft wear and variations in the valve timing from cylinder to cylinder. To correct for this variation, the lifter bores are bored and reamed oversize using a fixture fastened to the block deck to ensure proper alignment. Bronze lifter bushings are then installed and finish honed to achieve the correct lifter-to-bore clearance. Install Lifter Bore Bushings
Figure 29–31 High-performance engine builders will often install bronze sleeves in the valve lifter bores.
CRANKSHAFT PURPOSE AND FUNCTION
Power from expanding gases in the combustion chamber is delivered to the crankshaft through the piston, piston pin, and connecting rod. The connecting rods and their bearings are attached to a bearing journal on the crank throw. The crank throw is offset from the crankshaft centerline . Force is applied to the crank throw after the crankshaft has moved past top center. This turning effort or torque rotates the crankshaft. The crankshaft rotates on the main bearings. These bearings are split in half so that they can be assembled around the crankshaft main bearing journals.
The crankshaft includes the following parts:
Figure 29–32 Typical crankshaft with main journals that are supported by main bearings in the block. Rod journals are offset from the crankshaft centerline.
Main bearing journals
Rod bearing journals
MAIN BEARING JOURNALS
The crankshaft rotates in the cylinder block on main bearings, which support the crankshaft and allow it to rotate easily without excessive wear. Number of cylinders usually determines number of main bearings.
Continued Figure 29–33 The crankshaft rotates on main bearings. Longitudinal (end-to-end) movement is controlled by the thrust bearing.
Four-cylinder engines and V-8 engines usually have five main bearings.
Inline 6-cylinder engines usually have seven main bearings.
V-6 engines normally have only four main bearings.
Figure 29–34 The longer the crankshaft, the more main bearing journals are needed. Continued
The crankshaft also has to be able to absorb thrust loads from the clutch on a manual transmission vehicle or the torque converter on a vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission. Thrust loads are forces that push and pull the crankshaft forward and rearward in the engine block. A thrust bearing supports these loads and maintains the front-to-rear position of the crankshaft in the block. See Figure 29–35. The thrust surface is usually located at the middle on one of the end main bearings. On most engines, the bearing insert for the main bearing is equipped with thrust bearing flanges that ride against the thrust surface.
Figure 29–35 A ground surface on one of the crankshaft cheeks next to a main bearing supports thrust loads on the crank.
ROD BEARING JOURNALS
The rod bearing journals, called crankpins, are offset from the centerline of the crank.
Figure 29–36 The distance from the crankpin centerline to the centerline of the crankshaft determines the stroke, which is the leverage available to turn the crankshaft. The amount of offset of the rod bearing journal determines the stroke of the engine. The crankshaft with throws that measure one-half of the stroke has a direct relationship to the displacement of the engine. Continued
All crankshaft journals are ground to a very smooth finish. Surface finish is measured in micro-inches and the smaller the number, the smoother the surface. Where the surface finish of a machined block deck or cylinder head may range from 60 to 100 RA (roughness average), the typical specification for main and rod crank-shaft journals is between 10 and 20 RA. This very smooth surface finish is achieved by polishing the crank journals after the grinding operation.
To improve wear resistance, some manufacturers harden the crank-shaft journals. One method called case hardening , where only the outer portion of the surface is hardened, involves heating the crankshaft and adding carbon to the journals. This causes the outer surface to become harder than the rest of the crankshaft. If the entire shaft was hardened, it would be too brittle to absorb the torsional stresses of normal engine operation.
Continued Another form of case hardening is called nitriding . The crankshaft is heated to about 1000°F (540°C) in a furnace filled with ammonia gas, and then allowed to cool. The process adds nitrogen into the surface of the crankshaft to a depth of about 0.007 inch (0.8 mm) Another variation involves a molten cyanide salt bath. GM uses this process referred to by the trade name Tuftriding .
Crankshafts may be forged or cast. Forged crankshafts are stronger than the cast but are more expensive. Forged crankshafts have a wide separation line.
Figure 29–37 Wide separation lines where the flashings have been removed from this forged crankshaft show that it has been twisted to index the crank throws. Most high-performance forged crankshafts are made from SAE 4340 or a similar type of steel. Forging makes a very dense, tough crankshaft with the metal’s grain structure running parallel to the principal direction of stress. Continued
The crankshaft is formed from a hot steel billet through the use of a series of forging dies. Each die changes the shape of the billet slightly. The crankshaft blank is finally formed with the last die. The blanks are then machined to finish the crankshaft.
Continued Two methods are used to forge crankshafts.
One method is to forge the crankshaft in place . This is followed by straightening. The forging in place method is primarily used in four- & six-cylinder crankshafts.
A second method is to forge the crankshaft in a single plane . It is then twisted in the main bearing journal to index the throws at the desired angles.
Cast crankshafts are used in most production automotive engines. They may be cast in steel, nodular iron, or malleable iron. The major advantage of the casting process is that crankshaft material and machining costs are less than they are with forging.
The crankshaft can be made close to the required shape and size, including all complicated counterweights. The only machining required on a carefully designed cast crankshaft is the grinding of bearing journal surfaces and the finishing of front and rear drive ends.
Figure 29–38 Cast crankshaft showing the bearing journal overlap and a straight, narrow cast mold parting line.
Metal grain structure in the casting is uniform and random throughout; thus, the shaft is able to handle loads from all directions.
Counterweights on cast crankshafts are slightly larger than counterweights on a forged crankshaft because the cast shaft metal is less dense and therefore somewhat lighter. The narrow mold parting surface lines can be seen on the cast crankshaft pictured here. Continued
V-8 ENGINE CRANKSHAFTS
The V-8 engine has four inline cylinders in two blocks, placed at a 90-degree angle to each other. Each group of four inline cylinders is called a bank .
The crankshaft for the V-8 engine has four throws. The connecting rods from two cylinders are connected to each throw, one from each bank. This results in a condition of being only minimally unbalanced. The V-8 engine crankshaft has two planes, so there is one throw every 90 degrees. A plane is a flat surface that cuts through the part.
These planes could be seen if the crankshaft were cut lengthwise through the center of the main bearing and crankpin journals. Looking at the front of the crankshaft with the first throw at 360 degrees (up), the second throw is at 90 degrees (to the right), the third throw is at 270 degrees (to the left), and the fourth throw is at 180 degrees (down). In operation with this arrangement, one piston reaches top center at each 90 degrees of crankshaft rotation so that the engine operates smoothly with even firing at each 90 degrees of crankshaft rotation.
FOUR CYLINDER ENGINE CRANKSHAFTS
The crankshaft on four-cylinder inline engines has four throws on a single plane. There is usually a main bearing journal between each throw, making it a five-main-bearing crankshaft. Pistons also move as pairs in this engine. Pistons in #1 and #4 cylinders move together, and #2 and #3 move together. Each piston in a pair is 360 degrees out-of-phase with the other piston in the 720-degree four-stroke cycle. With this arrangement, the four-cylinder inline engine fires one cylinder at each 180 degrees of crankshaft rotation. A four-cylinder opposed engine and a 90-degree V-4 engine have crankshafts that look like that of the four-cylinder inline engine.
FIVE CYLINDER ENGINE CRANKSHAFTS
The inline five-cylinder engine has a five-throw crankshaft with one throw at each 72 degrees. Six main bearings are used on this crankshaft. The piston in one cylinder reaches top center at each 144 degrees of crankshaft rotation. The throws are arranged to give a firing order of 1-2-4-5-3. Dynamic balancing has been one of the major problems with this engine design, yet the vibration was satisfactorily dampened and isolated on both the Audi and Acura five-cylinder engines.
THREE CYLINDER ENGINE CRANKSHAFTS
A three-cylinder engine uses a 120-degree three-throw crankshaft with four main bearings. This engine requires a balancing shaft that turns at crankshaft speed, but in the opposite direction, to reduce the vibration to an acceptable level.
Checked the spark plugs
Checked the spark plug wires
Disconnected the torque converter from the flex plate (drive plate) to eliminate the possibility of a torque converter or automatic transmission pump problem
Removed all accessory drive belts one at a time
A Buick-built, 3.8-liter V-6 engine vibrated the whole car after a new short block had been installed. The technician who had installed the replacement engine did all of the following: The Mysterious Engine Vibration The vibration still existed. Another tech checked the engine mounts and found the left (driver’s side) engine mount was out of location, ripped, and cocked. The transmission mount was also defective. After the technician replaced both mounts and made certain that all mounts were properly set, the vibration was eliminated. The design and location of engine mounts are critical to elimination of vibration, especially on 90-degree V-6 engines.
A 90-degree V-6 engine uses a three-throw crankshaft with four main bearings. Throws are 120 degrees apart. As in typical V type engines, each crank throw has two connecting rods attached, one from each bank. This V-6 engine design does not have even-firing impulses because the pistons, connected to the 120-degree crankpins, do not reach top center at even intervals. The engine has a firing pattern of 150°–90°–150°–90°–150°–90°, as illustrated in Figure 29–39. This firing pattern produces unequal pulses that have to be isolated with engine mounts that have been carefully designed.
ODD FIRING 90-DEGREE V-6 ENGINE CRANKSHAFTS Continued
Continued Figure 29–39 The firing impulses of this odd-fire V-6 are unequally spaced because two cylinders share a common crankpin.
The crank throws for an even-firing V-6 engine are split, making separate crankpins for each cylinder.
EVEN FIRING 90-DEGREE V-6 ENGINE CRANKSHAFTS This is called a splay angle . A flange left between split crankpin journals provides a continuous fillet or edge for machining and grinding This flange is sometimes called a flying web . Figure 29–40 A splayed crankshaft design is used to create an even-firing 90-degree V-6 . Continued
60 DEGREE V-ENGINE CRANKSHAFTS
The 60-degree V-6 engine is similar to the even-firing 90-degree V-6 engine. The adjacent pairs of crankpins on the crankshaft used in the 60-degree V-6 engine have a splay angle of 60 degrees. With this large 60-degree splay angle, the flange or flying web between the splayed crankpins is made heavier than on crankshafts with smaller splay angles. This is necessary to give strength to the crank-shaft. The crankshaft of the 60-degree V-6 engine also uses four main bearings.
Crankshafts are balanced by counterweights , cast or forged as part of the crankshaft. A crankshaft that has counter-weights on both sides of the connecting rod journal is fully counterweighted . A fully counterweighted crankshaft is the smoothest and most durable design, but is also heaviest and most expensive. Most manufacturers do not use fully counterweighted crankshafts in an effort to lighten the rotating mass of the engine.
Figure 29–41 A fully counterweighted four- cylinder crankshaft.
To reduce side loads, some vehicle manufacturers offset the crankshaft from center. For example, if an engine rotates clockwise as viewed from the front, the crankshaft may be offset to the left to reduce the angle of the connecting rod during the power stroke. The offset usually varies from 1/16 inch to 1/2 inch, depending on make and model. Most gasoline engines used in hybrid gasoline/electric vehicles use an offset crankshaft. What is an Offset Crankshaft?
Figure 29–42 The crank throw is halfway down on the power stroke. The piston on the left without an offset crankshaft has a sharper angle than the engine on the right with an offset crankshaft.
Each time combustion occurs, force deflects the crankshaft as it transfers torque to the output shaft. This deflection occurs in two ways, to bend the shaft sideways and to twist the shaft in torsion.
The crankshaft must be rigid enough to keep the deflection forces to a minimum. When back-and-forth deflections occur at the same vibration frequency (number of vibrations per second) as that of another engine part, the parts will vibrate together. When this happens, the parts are said to resonate . These vibrations may become great enough to reach the audible level, producing a thumping sound. If this type of vibration continues, the part may fail. See Figure 29–43.
Figure 29–43 A crankshaft broken as a result of using the wrong torsional vibration damper. HINT: Push on the rubber (elastomer sleeve) of the vibration damper with fingers or pencil. If rubber does not spring back, replace the damper .
Figure 29–44 This Chevy V-8 harmonic balancer also has a line cut into the outer ring that is used to indicate top dead center to set the ignition timing on engines that are equipped with a distributor ignition.
Harmful crankshaft twisting vibrations are dampened with a torsional vibration damper. It is also called a harmonic balancer. This damper or balancer usually consists of a cast-iron inertia ring mounted to a cast-iron hub with an elastomer sleeve.
Figure 29–45 The hub of the harmonic balancer is attached to the front of the crankshaft. The elastomer (rubber) between the inertia ring and the center hub allows the absorption of crankshaft firing impulses.
Elastomers are actually synthetic, rubber-like materials. Inertia ring size is selected to control the amplitude of the crankshaft vibrations for each specific engine model.
The owner had made some engine modifications, but did not change the stock harmonic balancer even though the other changes allowed the engine to rev to much higher speeds than stock parts normally would permit.
Do not go racing with stock parts. The harmonic balancer came apart and the resulting vibration broke the crankshaft when the owner attempted to race with his stock engine. High Engine Speeds Require High Performance Parts Figure 29–46 Harmonic balancer that separated at high-engine speed.
Most crankshaft balancing is done during manufacture. Holes are drilled in the counterweight to lighten it to improve balance. Sometimes these holes are drilled after the crankshaft is installed in the engine. Some manufacturers are able to control casting quality so closely that counterweight machining for balancing is not necessary.There are two ways manufacturers balance an engine:
EXTERNALLY AND INTERNALLY BALANCED ENGINES Continued
Externally balanced Weight is added to the harmonic balancer (vibration damper) and flywheel or the flex plate.
Internally balanced All rotating parts of the engine are individu ally balanced, including the harmonic balancer and flywheel (flex plate).
There are two ways manufacturers balance an engine:
CRANKSHAFT OILING HOLES
The crankshaft is drilled, as shown in Figure 29–47, to allow oil from the main bearing oil groove to be directed to the connecting rod bearings. The oil on the bearings forms a hydrodynamic oil film to support bearing loads. Some oil may be sprayed out through a spit or bleed hole in the connecting rod. The rest leaks from the edges of the bearing. It is thrown from the bearing against the inside surfaces of the engine. Some oil thrown from the crankshaft bearings will land on the camshaft to lubricate the lobes. A part splashes on the cylinder wall to lubricate the piston and rings.
Figure 29–47 Crankshaft sawed in half, showing drilled oil passages between the main and rod bearing journals. Continued
Stress tends to concentrate at oil holes drilled through the journals. These holes are usually located where loads and stresses are the lowest. The edges of oil holes are carefully chamfered to relieve as much stress concentration as possible.
Figure 29–48 Typical chamfered hole in a crankshaft bearing journal.
A cross-drilled crankshaft has two outlet holes for oil to reach the drilled passage that supplies oil to the rod journal.
A cross-drilled crankshaft means that there are two instead of only one oil hole leading from the main bearing journal to the rod bearing journal. Oil is supplied to the main bearing journals through oil galleries in the block. What Does a “Cross-Drilled Crankshaft” Mean? Figure 29–49 A cross-drilled crankshaft is used on some production engines and is a common racing modification.
Shaft damage includes scored bearing journals, bends or warpage, and cracks. Damaged shafts must be reconditioned or replaced. The crankshaft is one of the most highly stressed engine parts.
Continued The stress on the crankshaft increases by four times every time the engine speed doubles . Any sign of a crack is cause to reject the crankshaft. Most cracks can be seen during a close visual inspection. Crankshafts should also be checked with Magnaflux, which will highlight tiny cracks that would lead to failure.
HINT: If your fingernail catches on a groove when rubbed across a bearing journal, the journal is too rough to reuse and must be reground. Another test is to rub a copper penny across the journal. If any copper remains on the crankshaft, it must be reground.
Bearing journal scoring is a common crankshaft defect. Scoring appears as scratches around the bearing journal surface. Generally, there is more scoring near the center of the bearing journal, as shown here.
Figure 29–50 Scored connecting rod bearing journal. Continued Crankshaft journals should be inspected for nicks, pits, or corrosion. Roughness and slight bends in journals can be corrected by grinding the journals.
Crankshaft journals that have excessive scoring, out-of-round, or taper should be reground. See Figure 29–51. Crankshafts may re quire straightening before grinding. Both crankshaft ends are placed in rotating heads on one style of crankshaft grinder. The main bearing journals are ground on the centerline of the crankshaft. In another type of grinder, the crankshaft always turns on the main bearing centerline. The head is programmed to move in and out as the crankshaft turns to grind the crankpin bearing journals. Setup time is reduced when this type is used. Figure 29–52 shows a crankshaft being ground.
Figure 29–51 Connecting rod journal badly worn from lack of lubrication.
Crankshafts are usually ground undersize. Common sizes are shown here.
Figure 29–52 A crankshaft being ground.
Figure 29–53 All crankshafts should be polished after grinding. Both the crankshaft and the polishing cloth are being revolved.
The finished journal should be accurately ground to size with a smooth-surface finish. The radius of the fillet area on the sides of the journal should also be the same as the original. The journal is polished after grinding, using a 320-grit polishing cloth and oil to remove the fine metal “fuzz” remaining on the journal.
Most crankshaft grinders grind in the direction opposite of rotation and polish in the same direction as rotation .
WELDING A CRANKSHAFT
Sometimes it is desirable to salvage a crankshaft by building up a bearing journal and then grinding it to the original journal size. This is usually done by electric arc welding or metal spray.
Figure 29–54 An excessively worn crankshaft can be restored to useful service by welding the journals, and then machining them back to the original size. Sometimes the journal is chrome plated, an excellent bearing surface when chrome is well bonded. If the bond loosens, it will cause an immediate bearing failure. Continued
RELIEVING STRESS ON A CRANKSHAFT
The greatest area of stress on a crankshaft is the fillet area. Stress relief is achieved by blasting the fillet area of the journals with #320 steel shot. Gray duct tape is commonly used to cover the journal to prevent damage. Stress relief procedures are usually performed after the grinding and polishing of the crankshaft.
Continued Figure 29–55 The rounded fillet area of the crankshaft is formed by the corners of the grinding stone.
Torque converter attaching bolts or nuts can loosen (this is most common in four-cylinder engines, where vibration is more severe than in six- or eight-cylinder engines). The torque converter can then pound on the holes of the flex plate, causing a loud knocking sound. However, if there is a load on the engine, as when the transmission is in drive or while driving under load, the sound should stop. At idle in park or neutral, the noise will be loudest, because the torque converter can float and will hit the sides of the holes in the flex plate.
The source of a knocking noise in an engine is often difficult to determine without disassembling the engine. Generally, a deep engine knocking noise means that serious damage has occurred to the rods or main bearings and related parts. A flex plate (drive plate) is used on automatic transmission-equipped engines to drive the torque converter and provide a ring gear for the starter motor to crank the engine. Two common flex plate-related noises and their causes are as follows: The Knock of a Flex Plate - Part 1
If the flex plate is cracked, the resulting noise is very similar to a connecting rod or main bearing knock. The noise also seems to change at times, leading many technicians to believe that it involves a moving internal part that is lubricated, such as a rod or main bearing. Drive belts can also make similar noise when they are loose. Belt-driven accessories can also produce similar noises.
… and their causes are as follows: The Knock of a Flex Plate - Part 2 During the diagnostic procedure , the tech should disconnect one drive belt at a time (if more than one) and start the engine in an attempt to isolate the noise. Noises can be transmitted through the entire length of the engine through the crankshaft, making the source of noise difficult to isolate. If the flex plate is cracked, the noise is most noticeable when there is a change in engine speed or load. To help diagnose a cracked flex plate, raise engine speed to a high idle (1500 to 2000 rpm), then turn the ignition off. Before the engine stops, turn the ignition back on. If a knocking noise is heard on restart, the flex plate is cracked.
Engine bearings are main supports for major moving parts of any engine. Engine bearings are important for the following reasons:
The clearance between bearings and crankshaft is a major factor in maintaining proper oil pressure throughout the engine. Most engines are designed to provide maximum protection and lubrication to engine bearings above all else.
Engine durability relies on bearing life. Bearing failure usually results in immediate engine failure.
Engine bearings are designed to support the operating loads of the engine and, with the lubricant, provide minimum friction This must be achieved at all designed engine speeds. The bearings must be able to operate for long periods of time, when foreign particles are in the lubricant.
Most bearings are plain or sleeve bearing type. See Figure 29–56. Most bearing halves, or shells, do not have uniform thickness. Wall thickness of most is largest in the center, called the bearing crown . The bearing thickness then tapers to a thinner measurement at each parting line. See Figure 29–57. The tapered wall keeps bearing clearances close at the top and bottom of the bearing, which are the more loaded areas and allow more oil flow at the sides of the bearing. Both need a constant flow of lubricating oil. In automotive engines, the lubricating system supplies oil to each bearing continuously when the engine runs. Bearings and journals only wear when parts come in contact with each other or foreign particles are present.
Figure 29–56 The two halves of a plain bearing meet at the parting faces. Figure 29–57 Bearing manufacturers refer to this bearing wall shape as an eccentric wall.
It is important the engine have large enough bearings that bearing load is within strength limits of the bearings. Load capacity is found by dividing bearing load in pounds by projected area of the bearing, which is bearing length multiplied by diameter.
Continued Figure 29–58 Typical rod and main bearing load diagrams. The circles on these polar diagrams indicate the amount of force on the bearing as it rotates. Notice that most of the forces on the connecting rod bearing are vertical (up and down), as you would expect; most of the forces on the main bearing are downward, again as expected.
The forces on the engine bearings vary with engine speed and load. These forces tend to stretch the big end of the rod in the direction of rod movement.
As engine speed (RPM) increases, rod bearing loads decrease because of the balancing of inertia and opposing loads.
As engine speed (RPM) increases, the main bearing loads increase.
Because the loads on bearings vary and affect both rod and main bearings, it is generally recommended that all engine bearings be replaced at one time.
As engine speed (RPM) increases, rod bearing loads decrease because of the balancing of inertia and opposing loads.
As engine speed (RPM) increases, the main bearing loads increase.
Because the loads on bearings vary and affect both rod and main bearings, it is generally recommended that all engine bearings be replaced at one time.
NOTE: This helps explain why engine blocks with four-bolt main bearing supports are really only needed for high-engine speed stability.
Bearings flex or bend slightly under changing loads, especially reciprocating engine bearings. Bearing metals tend to fatigue and break after being flexed or bent a number of times. Flexing starts fatigue, shows up as fine cracks in the bearing surface as the material is work hardened .
Figure 29–59 Shape of fatigue cracks in a bearing. If the bearing is subjected to continued high loads, the cracks expand and eventually cause the bearing material to flake off from the steel backing. These cracks gradually deepen to the bond between the bearing metal and backing metal. The cracks then cross over and intersect with each other.
Figure 29–60 Bearing material missing from the shell as a result of fatigue failure.
The length of time before failure is called the fatigue life of the bearing.
Figure 29–61 Bearing material missing from the bearing as a result of fatigue failure. Bearings must have long fatigue life for normal engine service.
The ability of bearing materials to creep or flow slightly to match shaft variations is called conformability . The bearing conforms to the shaft during the engine break-in period. Automatic processing has achieved machining tolerances that keep the shaft very close to the designed size.
Continued Figure 29–62 Bearing wear caused by a misaligned journal. A bent connecting rod could also cause similar bearing wear.
Figure 29–64 Foreign particles such as dirt embedded in the bearing material.
Some foreign particles get into the bearings, which must be capable of embedding them into the bearing surface so they do not score the shaft. To fully embed the particle, the bearing material gradually works across the particle, completely covering it. The property that allows it to do this is called embedability .
Figure 29–63 Bearing material covers foreign material as it embeds into the bearing. BEARING EMBEDABILITY
BEARING DAMAGE RESISTANCE
Under some conditions, the bearing will be temporarily overloaded. This will cause oil film to break down and allow shaft metal to come in contact with bearing metal.
Continued Figure 29–65 Bearing material starting to leave the steel backing. As the rotating crankshaft contacts bearing high spots, they become hot from friction. The friction causes localized hot spots in the bearing material that seize or weld to the crankshaft. The crankshaft then breaks off particles of bearing material and pulls them around with it, scratching or scoring the bearing surface. See Figure 29–66
Figure 29–66 Typical results of oil pressure loss; (a) extreme wear of the connecting rod journal, (b) overheating finally leading to failure of the bearing. Continued
Bearings have a characteristic called score resistance , which prevents bearing materials from seizing to the shaft during oil film breakdown. By-products of combustion form acids in the oil. The ability to resist attack from these acids is called corrosion resistance . Corrosion can occur over the entire surface of the bearing, will remove material, increase oil clearance and reduce bearing life.
Three materials are used for automobile engine bearings: babbitt , copper-lead alloy , and aluminum . A layer of the bearing materials 0.010 to 0.020 inch (0.25 to 0.50 mm) thick is applied over a low-carbon steel backing. An engine bearing is called a bearing shell , which is a steel backing with a surface coating of bearing material. The steel provides support needed for the shaft load. The bearing material meets the rest of the bearing operating requirements.
Babbitt Oldest automotive bearing material. Isaac Babbitt (1799–1862) first formulated this in 1839. Originally made from a combination of lead, tin, and antimony. Still used in applications in which material is required for soft shafts running under moderate loads and speeds. It will work with occasional borderline lubrication and oil starvation without failure. Tri-Metal Copper-lead alloy stronger and more expensive than babbitt. For intermediate- and high-speed applications. Tin, in small quantities, is often alloyed with the copper-lead bearings. Most easily damaged by corrosion from acid in engine oil. Many copper-lead bearings have an overlay , or third layer, of metal, usually babbitt. Babbitt-overlayed bearings have fatigue strength, good conformity, good embedability, and corrosion resistance.
Figure 29–67 Typical two-layer and three-layer engine bearing insert showing the relative thickness of the various materials.
The overplated bearing is a premium bearing. It is also the most expensive because the over-plating layer, from 0.0005 to 0.001 inch (0.0125 to 0.025 mm) thick, is put on with electroplating .
Aluminum Last of three materials used for automotive bearings, and has small quantities of tin and silicon alloyed with it. A stronger but more expensive bearing than babbitt or copper-lead alloy. Most of its bearing characteristics are equal to or better than those of babbitt and copper-lead. Aluminum bearings are well suited to high-speed, high-load conditions and do not contain lead, which is a benefit to the environment both at the manufacturing plant and for the technician who may be exposed to the bearings.
Modern automotive engines use precision insert-type bearing shells , sometimes called half-shell bearings . The bearing is manufactured to very close tolerance so it will fit correctly in each application. The bearing must be made from precisely the correct materials under closely controlled manufacturing conditions. Figure 29–68 shows the typical bearing shell types found in most engines.
Figure 29–68 Typical bearing shell types found in modern engines: (a) half-shell thrust bearing, (b) upper main bearing insert, (c) lower main bearing insert, (d) full round-type camshaft bearing. (c) (d) (a) (b) Continued
Bearings are usually available in standard size, and measurements of 0.010, 0.020, and 0.030 inch undersize . Even though the bearing itself is thicker for use on a machined crankshaft, the bearing is referred to as undersize because crankshaft journals are undersize.
Figure 29–69 Bearings are often marked with an undersize dimension. This bearing is used on a crankshaft with a ground journal that is 0.020 inch smaller in diameter than the stock size. Factory bearings may be available 0.0005 or 0.001 inch undersize for precision fitting of a production crankshaft. Before purchasing bearings, use a micrometer to measure all main and connecting rod journals.
The bearing-to-journal clearance may be from 0.0005 to 0.0025 inch (0.025 to 0.060 mm), depending on the engine. Doubling the journal clearance will allow more than four times as much oil to flow from the edges of the bearing. The oil clearance must be large enough to allow an oil film to build up, but small enough to prevent excess oil leakage, which would cause loss of oil pressure. A large amount of oil leakage at one of the bearings would starve other bear-ings farther along in the oil system. This would result in the failure of the oil-starved bearings. See Figure 29–70.
Figure 29–70 Many bearings are manufactured with a groove down the middle to improve the oil flow around the main journal.
BEARING SPREAD AND CRUSH
The bearing shell has a slightly larger arc than does the bearing housing. This difference is called bearing spread and it makes the shell 0.005 to 0.020 inch (0.125 to 0.500 millimeter) wider than the housing bore. Spread holds the bearing shell in the housing while the engine is being assembled.
Continued When the bearing cap is tightened, the ends of the two bearing shells touch and are forced together. This force is called bearing crush. Crush holds the bearing in place and keeps the bearing from turning when the engine runs. Crush must exert a force of at least 12,000 psi (82,740 kPa) at 250°F (121°C) to hold the bearing securely in place.
Figure 29–71 The tang and slot help index the bearing in the bore.
The design also includes bearing spread and crush .
Figure 29–72 Bearing spread and crush. A lip or tang locates the bearing shell in the housing. Continued
A stress of 40,000 psi (275,790 kPa) is considered maximum to avoid damaging bearing or housing. Bearing shells without enough crush may rotate with the shaft. The result is called a spun bearing .
Figure 29–74 Spun bearing. The lower cap bearing has rotated under the upper rod bearing. Figure 29–73 Bearings are thinner at the parting line faces to provide crush relief.
Replacement bearings should be of a quality as good as or better than that of the original bearings. The replacement bearings must also have the same oil holes and grooves. Modified engines have more demanding bearing requirements and therefore usually require a higher-quality bearing to provide satisfactory service.
CAUTION: Some bearings may have oil holes in the top shell only. If these are incorrectly installed, no oil will flow to the connecting rods or main rods, which will result in instant engine failure.
Replacing cam bearings can be relatively straightforward or can involve keeping count of the number of oil pan bolts! For example, Buick-built V-6 engines use different cam bearings depending on the number of bolts used to hold the oil pan to the block. Count Your Blessings and Your Pan Bolts!
Fourteen bolts in the oil pan. The front bearing is special, but the rest of the bearings are the same.
Twenty bolts in the oil pan. Bearings #1 and #4 use two oil feed holes. Bearings #2 and #3 use single oil feed holes.
The camshaft in pushrod engines rotates in sleeve bearings that are pressed into bearing bores within the engine block. Overhead camshaft bearings may be sleeve-type bushings called full round bearings or split-type (half-shell) bearings .
Continued Figure 29–75 Cam-in-block engines support the camshaft with sleeve-type bearings. In pushrod engines, the cam bearings are installed in the block.
Figure 29–76 Camshaft bearings must be installed correctly so that oil passages are not blocked.
Replace the cam bearings when main bearings are replaced.
Continued The replacement cam bearings must have correct outside diameter to fit snugly in the cam bearing bores of the block. They must have the correct oil holes and be positioned correctly. Cam bearings must also have the proper inside diameter to fit the camshaft bearing journals.
In many engines, each cam bearing is a different size—the largest is in the front and the smallest is in the rear. The cam bearing journal size must be checked and each bearing identified before assembly. The location of each new cam bearing can be marked on the outside of the bearing with a felt-tip marker to help avoid mixing up bearings. Marking in this way will not affect the bearing size or damage the bearing in any way. Cam bearings should be installed “dry” (not oiled) to prevent the cam bearing from moving (spinning) after installation. If the cam bearing were oiled, rotation of the camshaft could cause the cam bearing to rotate and block oil holes that lubricate the cam.
Figure 29–77 Some overhead camshaft engines use split bearing inserts.
Camshaft bearings used on overhead camshaft engines may be either full round or split depending on engine design.
All engine parts should be stored in a safe location to help avoid damage prior to being installed in an engine. All camshafts and crankshafts should be stored vertically to avoid causing bending or warpage of these parts that could cause difficulty when the engine is being assembled. Do No Harm Figure 29–78 Crankshafts should be stored vertically to prevent possible damage or warpage. This clever bench-mounted tray for crankshafts not only provides a safe place to store crankshafts but it is out-of-the-way and cannot be accidentally tipped.
Engine blocks are either cast iron or aluminum.
Cores are used inside a mold to form water jackets and cylinder bores. After the cast iron has cooled, the block is shaken, which breaks up the cores so they fall out of openings in the side of the block. Core plugs are used to fill the holes.
The block deck is the surface to which the cylinder head attaches. This surface must be flat and true for proper engine operation.
All bolt holes should be chamfered and cleaned with a thread chaser before assembly.
Forged crankshafts have a wide separation line.
Cast crankshafts have a narrow mold parting line.
Even-firing 90-degree V-6 engines require that the crankshaft be splayed to allow for even firing.
Lubrication to the main bearings is fed through the main oil gallery in the block. Oil for the rod bearings comes from holes in the crankshaft drilled between the main journal and the rod journal.
Continued ( cont. )
A vibration damper, also known as a harmonic balancer, is used to dampen harmful twisting vibrations of the crankshaft.
Most engines are internally balanced. This means that the crankshafts and vibration damper are both balanced. Other engines use the vibration damper to balance the crankshaft and are called externally balanced engines.
Most crankshafts can be reground to be 0.010, 0.020, or 0.030 inch undersize.
Continued ( cont. )
Most engine bearings are constructed with a steel shell for strength and are covered with a copper-lead alloy. Many bearings also have a thin overlay of babbitt.
Bearings should have spread and crush to keep them from spinning when the crankshaft rotates.