Though they have no moving parts, weigh virtually nothing and rarely, if ever, are seen by the motoring public, the engine bearing may be one of the most important yet least understood parts under the hood.
In this spirit, we invited participants from the leading bearing manufacturers to participate in a roundtable discussion on pre-determined topics. To answer questions and allow an open discussion without falling into a “pizza wars” debate we convened the inaugural Engine Builder Engine Bearing Summit on March 31 at the Babcox Media corporate headquarters.
The following industry experts participated in the Summit. From Federal-Mogul Corporation: Bob Sturk, Chief Applications Engineer, Bearings: North America; and Raymond King, Director of Global Engine Parts. From King Engine Bearings: Dr. Dmitri Kopeliovich, R&D Manager at King’s manufacturing facility in Israel; and Michael James, with King’s export and high performance programs. From MAHLE?Clevite Inc.: John Havel, former Director of Aftermarket Engineering (Retired); and Bill McKnight, Team Leader Training.
Brendan Baker, senior editor and Larry Carley, technical editor of Engine Builder joined me in moderating the discussion.
We asked eight questions of our participants, which are posted here.?
Question 1: What are the primary differences in hardness, strength and embedability between today’s aluminum and tri-metal bearings?
Question 2: How does the alloy and construction of a bearing impact its durability?
Question 3: What other engine factors, including the parts do you have to take into consideration when you are designing bearings and when selecting a bearing?
Question 4: What effect have low viscosity, low-ZDDP motor oils, and the changes in emissions had on bearing construction and selection?
Question 5: From your perspective on the installer side, what are the biggest installer-focused issues and concerns regarding bearing installations?
Question 6: Are there specific problem vehicles that you’ve had to develop fixes for?
Question 7: Looking at coatings on engine bearings, it is a new technology that is getting more and more interest. What processes do you recommend for bearings and when?
Question 8: What type of bearing do you recommend for the following applications: stock engine, street performance, race engine and diesel?