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Old 11-12-2009, 07:10 AM
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Lanolin on journal faces?

Here's an odd one I heard on Tuesday.

We went down to a local VW repair shop because my buddy had some questions about a case he was thinking about rebuilding. Had some serious end thrust on the case and we wanted to see if it was worth trying to line bore to correct it and use the case for a mild 1641 or 1700 build on his '64 bug. We got to talking motors and general building with the shop owner, exchanging methods, ideas, what to use to seal the bug case, assembly tips, etc..

He mentioned something that he learned from a bunch of circle track racers back in the 70s. They used lanolin (plain old beauty store lanolin) on the backs of all their main and rod bearings to ensure they seat and reduce the risk of them spinning. Apparently the properties of lanolin make it desirable in this application. At ambient temps, its viscosity is pretty gooey (technical term), however when it heats up, it gets really sticky, helping keep the bearings in place at high revs. He was having trouble with his SBC spinning bearings at high revs and noticed all these circle track guys spinning their motors to 8000 RPMs, running the piss out of them, and never having that problem. Once he started doing the lanolin thing, he never had that problem again and he's been assembling his motors with it ever since without any problems.

Well, I googled my tush off and didn't find that trick anywhere out there in internet land, so I figured I would ask ya'll if this technique was something anyone has heard of. Thoughts?

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Old 11-12-2009, 08:03 AM
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Sorry I don't believe a word of it. There is no way anything can go between the main bearings and block that will not affect clearances or squeeze completely out when torqued down. Anecdotal evidence about what he did to his SBC to keep it from spinning bearings is pure nonsense IMHO.

Vince
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:12 AM
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I agree with Vince.

Been building engines on a commercial level since the sixties.

About the only thing lanolin could do is contaminate the oil
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:50 AM
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I actually have heard of it, BUT I have never tried it myself.
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:15 AM
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Good to know folks, thanks!
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedfoos
Here's an odd one I heard on Tuesday.

We went down to a local VW repair shop because my buddy had some questions about a case he was thinking about rebuilding. Had some serious end thrust on the case and we wanted to see if it was worth trying to line bore to correct it and use the case for a mild 1641 or 1700 build on his '64 bug. We got to talking motors and general building with the shop owner, exchanging methods, ideas, what to use to seal the bug case, assembly tips, etc..

He mentioned something that he learned from a bunch of circle track racers back in the 70s. They used lanolin (plain old beauty store lanolin) on the backs of all their main and rod bearings to ensure they seat and reduce the risk of them spinning. Apparently the properties of lanolin make it desirable in this application. At ambient temps, its viscosity is pretty gooey (technical term), however when it heats up, it gets really sticky, helping keep the bearings in place at high revs. He was having trouble with his SBC spinning bearings at high revs and noticed all these circle track guys spinning their motors to 8000 RPMs, running the piss out of them, and never having that problem. Once he started doing the lanolin thing, he never had that problem again and he's been assembling his motors with it ever since without any problems.

Well, I googled my tush off and didn't find that trick anywhere out there in internet land, so I figured I would ask ya'll if this technique was something anyone has heard of. Thoughts?
This is older than me and I'm damn old. It goes back to the days of crude machining by the factories and even cruder repair methods in the field. The lanolin bakes at a fairly low temp into a sturdy but thin in section adhesive of considerable strength and will hold bearing inserts in place. For 8000 RPM I don't know, but I do know it takes a hammer and chisel to get the insert out after it's seen a few thousand miles. This dates back to the days when "align boring" bearings and setting clearances was achieved with shims not machining. The shim lifted the insert which could prevent the alignment/retention tang from fully engaging its notch in the saddle. This could, and did, lead to spun bearings, so the assembly of bearing shell and shims was glued together and to the saddle with lanolin.

Bogie
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