Measuring Wall Thickness of Main and Rod Bearings - Engine Builder Magazine
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Measuring Wall Thickness of Main and Rod Bearings


To measure the wall thickness of a main or rod bearing correctly the
location on the bearing that you measure and the tool you use will
determine the level of accuracy of the measurement. A micrometer with a
ball anvil must be used to fit the curvature of the bearing I.D., as
shown in Figure 1. Standard flat anvil micrometer, shown in Figure 2 will bridge across the curved I.D. and give false readings.

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Micrometers with pointed or blade anvils and dial calipers should not
be used as they can give false readings and damage the bearing surface.
Obviously using an accurate, recently calibrated micrometer is a must
for reliable measurement.

Just as important as using the correct tool is the location on the
bearing that is measured. Crankshaft bearings should be measured 90° to
the parting line. By design most crankshaft bearings have an eccentric
design, which means the wall thickness at the parting line is not equal
to that at the 90° centerline.

The purpose of the eccentric design is
to compensate for casting distortion during operation, create a “wedge”
affect that promotes the formation of oil film, and for slight
tolerance differences of the jointing components. To determine the
amount of eccentricity, measure the bearing at the centerline and then
at approximately 3/8” above the parting line since some bearings may
also have an additional “relief” near the parting ends.


The amount of
eccentric dimension and the presence of a relief cut vary by engine
make and/or model. The centerline measurement determines the amount of
clearance between the bearing and crankshaft and is the common
dimension given when wall specifications are stated.

–Tech Tip courtesy of IPD ( 1figure 2Figure 3

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