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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 10-14-2010, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argess
I was sorting out some trash and came across bearings discarded after my last 428 rebuild.

Here's a pic of two main bearing halves that both show copper from wear. One is obviously #3 and appears to be the bottom half based on rotation marks on thrust face and bearing tang orientation. The other is the rear bearing, #5. I'm not sure wether it's a top or bottom half any more. All other main bearings (and the other half of the ones shown) look fine, and all rod bearings look fine.....well, rod bearings had no wear....there were some minor longitudinal chatter marks from detonation.

These bearings had only 3000 miles on them and came out of an engine that had a piston break due to detonation. There was some scratching from debris.

The crank had been bought already ground, but my machine shop found taper on the journals and reground it. It was also checked for straightness. A reputable place and I know the owner.

So I'm wondering what caused the odd wear pattern. Some things come to mind:

1/ too many cold start-ups

2/ low oil pressure

3/ crank bent or journal taper

4/ misalaigned bellhousing

Any thoughts?

428's are externally balanced, in such engines there is allowed a certain amount of bending in the crank, while the thing as a whole runs balanced there are at the same time local imbalances between the main bearings which cause a twist or bend in the shaft. You see this in the bearings where the shaft isn't pressing with equal force across the bearing which tends to wear one place on one side a few millionths of an inch more than the rest of the bearing surface. This is considered inconsequential for a street or moderate competition engine.

You also see this with shaft deflections from power strokes on engines that are run at higher power settings a lot. This, also, introduces a "local" imbalance on the shaft which bends it.

These events are why it's important to run a high quality damper, it's job is to soak up some of this energy. These twists travel thru the shaft till they hit the ends. At that point they are reflected back into the shaft. Like waves in the ocean they can pile on top of each other making several small waves into a big one which will cause a lot of deformation in the shaft. The damper on the front and the clutch or torque converter on the rear soak up these waves preventing them from being reflected back into the shaft thus, hopefully, preventing the waves from packing on each other and make a big one that could bust something.

But what I see in your pictures looks like a pretty normal 428 bearing. If I had to guess as to position my votes would be that this is #1, 2, or 4 in that order, the other obviously is #3. the center of the engine is where another activity is taking place, you will see the throws here are not counterweighted. Instead the weight of throw 2 and 3, which are 180 degrees apart, is used to balance each other. But there is a distance between them, This sets up what's called a "rocking couple" which causes a lot of distortion in the shaft where it passes thru the #3 bearing. It also causes a bending moment in the #2 and #4 journals. The Y block cranks were countered here to prevent this, but starting with the FE and MEL engines Ford followed everybody else's practice of beefing the journal diameter and eliminating the counterweights to save material cost.

Bogie

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Last edited by oldbogie; 10-14-2010 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbogie
This, also, introduces a "local" imbalance on the shaft which bends it.

These events are why it's important to run a high quality damper,

If I had to guess as to position my votes would be that this is #1, 2, or 4 in that order, the other obviously is #3.

Bogie
Now that's quite interesting. Did I mention why the detonation took place? Because my old damper slipped and my timing marks were off, so I set the timing to those marks....way advanced. But the point here is the damper was an old Ford unit that evidenlty was in bad shape.

Did I also mention I over-revved the engine once? Just once.....probably over 6500 rpm. Strange things might have happened.

No, sadly, that other bearing is #5....the rear main that gets oil last and has all the flywheel weight on it. It alone would make me think low oil pressure, but it's that #3 being bad, yet #4, 31, and #2 and all rod bearings were fine that I find weird.
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Old 10-14-2010, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argess
Now that's quite interesting. Did I mention why the detonation took place? Because my old damper slipped and my timing marks were off, so I set the timing to those marks....way advanced. But the point here is the damper was an old Ford unit that evidenlty was in bad shape.

Did I also mention I over-revved the engine once? Just once.....probably over 6500 rpm. Strange things might have happened.

No, sadly, that other bearing is #5....the rear main that gets oil last and has all the flywheel weight on it. It alone would make me think low oil pressure, but it's that #3 being bad, yet #4, 31, and #2 and all rod bearings were fine that I find weird.
Number 5 sits after a restrictor in main oil galley, this needs to be enlarged, it's there to improve oil pressure to hydraulic lifters, They seem to do just fine without it. If the engine's been converted to solids, the feed passages can be tapped and plugged to remove running oil where it isn't needed.

I didn't realize you twisted this engine so high, 6500 is getting on the upper end for the FE which is one reason why it was replaced by the 429. The FE is a detonation prone engine the rear cylinders seem the most susceptible which appears to me to be a mixture distribution problem more than a temp problem, but the real issue, I think, is that the Ford head just doesn't have enough of a squish/quench deck as a percent of total bore area.

The FE has a lot of bearing oiling issues the decision to reduce block length led to large diameter but narrow journal and bearings both at the rods and mains. This results in high surface speeds for the RPMs and high oil leakage rates resulting in a difficult time maintaining the hydrodynamic wedge. For high performance applications this proved to be an increasing problem for Ford, the 360 horse 352 was OK but by the time they got to the 375/401 horse 390 the crank was showing signs of displeasure. The 385/405 horse 406 just got into more and more trouble as the racers found more and more power. The 427 got into really deep yogurt, though it an the late 406's had cross bolted mains, life above 6000 just became increasingly untenable. The NASCAR and LeMans cranks were additional fixes but the block length prevented the fix that was needed which were smaller diameter and wider journals and bearings.

All your oil passages can be drilled at least 1/16th larger than they are. You should use the 427 oil filter adapter for it's larger passages as well. Never use fully grooved main bearings and never groove this engine's crankshaft. The narrow bearing has plenty of trouble hanging on to its hydrodynamic wedge, a fully grooved bearing or journal greatly increases that problem. Grooved uppers are OK, but never the lower. Also do not cross drill this crank a popular choice that just makes the crank oiling problem worse. Often the rods have a bleed hole to put an oil stream on the piston, shut that off as well, the rods need a lot of help keeping oil in the bearing. Check the main bearing oil holes, seldom does the insert line up with the hole in the saddle. With a Dremel grinder or a file make the insert hole open to the entire saddle oil hole, pressurized oil behind the bearing is of no use and the FE needs all the oil it can get in the bearing.

Use a good windage tray, crank scraper, and baffles in the oil pan to get the oil off the crank and into the pan and keep it by the pickup. Use forged pistons, this engine will detonate, that's life with an FE so put parts in that will tolerate that for a while. I'd recommend an electronic ignition with a detonation sensor that will pull out some timing when it hears pinging. This lets you run the engine to the edge with high compression and lots of advance and God knows the FE chamber needs a lot of advance.

Run the top end carburation a bit rich this will help knock down the detonation. If you're running a Holley put in richer jets on the power circuit and bring the power valve in earlier rather than just jacking up main metering jet sizes. Keep an outside source of cool air feeding the carbs, this also helps keep detonation at bay. If you're not running a Holley, get one, this engine and the Holley were originally made as a handshake combination and they work best together.

Remember this isn't a 427, it's going to have durability problems with revs and power output that occur sooner than you'd see them with a 427. The 428 is really a stretched 390 and brings all the 390/early 406 problems with it. These can be substantially worked but it takes a great detail care in the build.

Bogie
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Old 10-14-2010, 01:00 PM
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Well Bogie, you're quite the wealth of info on these old FEs. Cool!

I've looked for that restriction in 3 different blocks, and have never found it. The center gallery seems one shot from front to back with no steps, bumps, etc. But I agree......I would have removed it but never found it.

I have converted to solid lifters, and plugged the feeds to the lifter galleries.

I did groove out the mismatched bearing saddles and enlarged the pump to filter adapter galleries. I didn't enlarge the main gallery, but am using a HV pump set to 85 psi relief to compensate.

I was thinking of replacing the lower half of all the main bearings with non-grooved units (or the lower shells of 3/4 bearings)when I remove the oil pan to check things.

I'm using a 9 qt baffled oil pan.

The replacment Clevite rod bearings I installed, did not have that "V" groove for the oil jet to the opposite cylinder wall, so that part is OK. Crank is not cross-drilled either.

I'm also running 0.090" oil feed restrictors to the heads.

The detonation was definately my fault due to the timing, but the over-revving was too easy a mistake to make. I'm planning on installing a rev limiter.

My hot (210F) idle oil pressure isn't great, but it rises quickly and is as follows:

hot idle: 14 with Castrol 20W50, 12 with Mobil 1 15W50
@ 2000 rpm: 45 with the Castrol, 41 with the Mobil 1
@3000 rpm: 67 with the Castrol, 62 with the Mobil 1

When cold, the oil pressure hits the relief valve max of 85 psi at idle.
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argess
Well Bogie, you're quite the wealth of info on these old FEs. Cool!

I've looked for that restriction in 3 different blocks, and have never found it. The center gallery seems one shot from front to back with no steps, bumps, etc. But I agree......I would have removed it but never found it.

I have converted to solid lifters, and plugged the feeds to the lifter galleries.

I did groove out the mismatched bearing saddles and enlarged the pump to filter adapter galleries. I didn't enlarge the main gallery, but am using a HV pump set to 85 psi relief to compensate.

I was thinking of replacing the lower half of all the main bearings with non-grooved units (or the lower shells of 3/4 bearings)when I remove the oil pan to check things.

I'm using a 9 qt baffled oil pan.

The replacment Clevite rod bearings I installed, did not have that "V" groove for the oil jet to the opposite cylinder wall, so that part is OK. Crank is not cross-drilled either.

I'm also running 0.090" oil feed restrictors to the heads.

The detonation was definately my fault due to the timing, but the over-revving was too easy a mistake to make. I'm planning on installing a rev limiter.

My hot (210F) idle oil pressure isn't great, but it rises quickly and is as follows:

hot idle: 14 with Castrol 20W50, 12 with Mobil 1 15W50
@ 2000 rpm: 45 with the Castrol, 41 with the Mobil 1
@3000 rpm: 67 with the Castrol, 62 with the Mobil 1

When cold, the oil pressure hits the relief valve max of 85 psi at idle.
I'm surprised to hear that there isn't a restriction in the main oil galley between the taps to the lifters and the turn to the the number 5 cam and rod bearings. The only FE's I see without this are factory built center oiler, solid lifter engines. It isn't a big change just about 3/32nds to 1/8th inch reduction in the main galley diameter but it's usually there. I like to take the main galley out to 1/2 inch diameter all the way thru it. Sometimes 9/16 ths if it's an earlier block, pre 1966, as these have more meat in them and some of the later blocks I stop at 7/16ths if they look thin.

I prefer to modify the bearing to chase alignment with the oil holes in the main saddles rather than modify the saddle's oil hole. For some reason occasionally you get a crack in the saddle when modifying the oil hole location.

Bogie
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:35 PM
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428 brgs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argess
LOL.....I'm going to take that as a compliment, but the fact is, I should have done more checking when I saw those worn bearings. So if you're being facetious, that's OK......I did slip up.
you may or may not be aware the lead tin overlay for break-in is not always consistent,could be the cause of copper showing re pictures. I took a failure analysis at cat years ago and they show similar pictures.they also stated wear on bearings closest to oil supply will show distress 1st due to aeration from loss of oil pressure momentarily. good luck cliff
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