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Old 12-16-2005, 02:24 PM
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bearings - aluminum vs tri-metal

i'm in the process of building another motor. several different engine shops have professed the idea of using aluminum bearings instead of tri-metal. it is to my knowledge that tri-metal is better for higher horsepower motors, is more forgiving, can be order is different thicknesses, etc. i'd like to hear some other opinions - got any?

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Tri-metal bearings tend to be easier on cranks and more forgiving of contaminants in oil. I always use tri-metal bearings in street motors and moderate hp race motors. Always on dirt track motors!
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Old 12-16-2005, 03:22 PM
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I don't like aluminum bearings. No embeddibility with them.

Some factory engines are now using the aluminum bearings. Tight clearances and the bearing itself is a little more precise, but with most of the types of engines rodders are building, tri-metal bearings with their embeddable babbit coating is still the best choice in my book.

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Old 12-16-2005, 04:10 PM
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The OEMs have been switching to the aluminum design for some time now. I'm sure there are issues with lead being used in the production of tri-metal designs. Also, the tri-metal designs seem to out-last tri-metal types in production engines. If the crank is ground properly, with no taper, and the connecting and main bearing bores are round, on-size, and have no taper, I see no problems with the aluminum bearings in mild street engines. I had a problem with an installer not priming engines before starting. The tri-metal bearings I was using were pounded out by this problem. I think maybe the aluminum type may have held up better.

In engines that are highly stressed, or in which the mains haven't been align honed or bored and in which the rods aren't in perfect shape, tri-metal bearing may be a better choice.

For my high-performance builds, I prefer the Federal-Mogul high performance series of bearing. These us a super-duty H-14 alloy. I don't know what the hell it is, but it seems to work very well.

BTW, just because a bearing is labeled Clevite 77, it doesn't mean it's a high-performance bearing. For instance, the CB663P is just a stock replacement 350 Chevy rod bearing. The CB663H is just one of the many high performance bearing numbers that Clevite has for the SBC. Check the info out thoroughly.

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