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Username Post: Babbit motor or not?h        (Topic#277213)
loser77 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 32

Age: 47
Loc: Weston Missouri
Reg: 02-26-12
02-29-12 08:38 PM - Post#2196952    

Just picked up a 53 Bel Air over the weekend and had a question. Is there any way short of dropping the oil pan to identify a babbit motor? I've heard that the side covers are different. I've also heard that manual cars have a babbit motor and powerglide cars don't. Of course the latter is only helpful if the car is all original.

Thanks everyone
Stephen

Stephen Sullins
53 Bel Air 30 years in storage
owner Free Spirit Photography


 


rrausch 
"16th Year" Silver Supporting Member
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rrausch
Loc: L.A, Cal. & St. Louis...
Reg: 04-07-03
02-29-12 09:52 PM - Post#2196981    
    In response to loser77

All the '53 cars had insert motors, but the 235 sticks had the low-pressure engine with splash oiling. The PG engines had full-pressure oiling.

Can you post the head casting number? It's easy to find and that might help identify the engine. How many bolts hold down the valve cover and where are they?

1953 210 Convertible, 261 with dual Carter YF 966S carbs, P.S., Remote Bendix P.B. Booster... shade-tree restoration about done.




 
2blu52 
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2blu52
Age: 86
Loc: Montana
Reg: 03-12-02
03-01-12 05:57 AM - Post#2197078    
    In response to loser77

If you have a 53 with 3 spd manual and 235 engine that is original to the car it will be a babbit engine. Look under the exhaust manifold on the drivers side, if there is a small triangular shaped plate there then you have a babbit engine. The plate covers the oil distribution.

"PEACE IS THAT GLORIOUS MOMENT IN HISTORY WHEN EVERY ONE STANDS AROUND RELOADING"

THOMAS JEFFERSON


 
rrausch 
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rrausch
Loc: L.A, Cal. & St. Louis...
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03-01-12 10:13 AM - Post#2197139    
    In response to 2blu52

2Blu, by a babbit engine do you mean an engine that doesn't use modern crankcase bearing inserts? Do you mean the type where you have to melt the babbit and pour molten babbit into the rods and then machine the babbit? If so, I don't believe that's correct.

The stick-235 I pulled out of my 210 is out behind my barn, but unfortunately I'm away from home on a job and can't get to it to pull the oil pan and see. But I did look in the Shop Manual and found this:

"In the 235 cubic inch engine used in 1950-52 models equipped with Powerglide transmissions, and the standard 1953, 235 engine... (paragraph goes on to talk about oil rings.)
Camshaft bearings are... (paragraph goes on to describe camshaft bearings)
Main bearings are precision interchangeable, thin-wall babbit type with dual advantages of longer life and simpler installation.
The precision interchangeability feature of the bearings facilitate engine repair as well as engine assembly because the bearings are accurately machined to tolerances of .0003" and are ready for installation."

1953 210 Convertible, 261 with dual Carter YF 966S carbs, P.S., Remote Bendix P.B. Booster... shade-tree restoration about done.




 
2blu52 
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2blu52
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Loc: Montana
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03-01-12 03:02 PM - Post#2197236    
    In response to rrausch

Please note the information you posted refers to the 235 in the power glide equipped car. There were two engines in 1953, the other was the old power glide 235 which was the low pressure splash system with hydraulic lifters. It is identified as I mentioned above. This engine did not have insert bearings.

"PEACE IS THAT GLORIOUS MOMENT IN HISTORY WHEN EVERY ONE STANDS AROUND RELOADING"

THOMAS JEFFERSON


 
hussey 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 91
hussey
Age: 42
Loc: Overland Park
Reg: 12-13-11
03-03-12 04:14 PM - Post#2198050    
    In response to 2blu52

Patricks has a great article on these.

http://www.patricksantiquecars.com/articles.html

I think a few too many people knock, no pun intended, the babbit pounders. My 52 has the original motor at 100k miles and it runs strong. I intend to run it until it craps but I really don't expect that to happen.

I wouldn't go rebuilding one unless you're trying to stay as stock as possible but I wouldn't pull a perfectly good one to put in a full pressure engine.



 
2blu52 
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2blu52
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03-04-12 06:59 AM - Post#2198234    
    In response to hussey

  • hussey Said:
Patricks has a great article on these.

http://www.patricksantiquecars.com/articles.html

I think a few too many people knock, no pun intended, the babbit pounders. My 52 has the original motor at 100k miles and it runs strong. I intend to run it until it craps but I really don't expect that to happen.

I wouldn't go rebuilding one unless you're trying to stay as stock as possible but I wouldn't pull a perfectly good one to put in a full pressure engine.


I agree, I hot rodded and abused 216s in the early 50s and have a lot of respect for them. My back up engine is an early 235 which I purchased from a hot rodder. He had put 7,000 miles on the engine after a complete rebuild and then decided that he wanted a small block in his 52.

"PEACE IS THAT GLORIOUS MOMENT IN HISTORY WHEN EVERY ONE STANDS AROUND RELOADING"

THOMAS JEFFERSON


 
VANDENPLAS 
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Reg: 07-29-09
03-04-12 07:38 AM - Post#2198259    
    In response to 2blu52

if it runs,keep running it,if and when it craps out find a high pressure engine to replace it with.

there are shops that do babbit bearing but it is very expensive, for about the same price to babbit an engine you can the proper machining process done and convert a babbit block to a high pressure block.



" The chain in those handcuffs is made of high tensile steel. It will take you ten minutes to hack through it with this, if your lucky. You can hack through your ankle in fivei



In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king 👑


 
BottleJack 
Contributor
Posts: 457

Reg: 02-09-12
03-04-12 09:38 AM - Post#2198299    
    In response to loser77

There is no such animal as a 1953 Chevrolet "Babbitt Motor".
{There is as much relative babbitt material in a 1953 Chevrolet as in 1951,1952, 1954, or even a 1955.}
Connecting rod inserts, and modified splash oiling versus full pressure lubrication, are the differing factors in the 1953 engines over prior models.





 
2blu52 
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2blu52
Age: 86
Loc: Montana
Reg: 03-12-02
03-04-12 10:16 AM - Post#2198316    
    In response to BottleJack

except for the 235 used with the 3 speed manual. It is the same as my 52 PG engine. Used just in the year 53.

"PEACE IS THAT GLORIOUS MOMENT IN HISTORY WHEN EVERY ONE STANDS AROUND RELOADING"

THOMAS JEFFERSON


 
BottleJack 
Contributor
Posts: 457

Reg: 02-09-12
03-04-12 10:53 AM - Post#2198332    
    In response to 2blu52

1953 was a particularly odd year for Chevrolet engines.
For the OP, the "engine block casting number" may help ID his model (often found on passenger side of engine block, near fuel pump, but locale can differ)--->
1952-53 #3835849 216 Passenger, Truck
1953 #3701946 235 Except Powerglide
1953 #3701481 235 Powerglide

AND the Chevrolet Engine serial number (passenger side of vehicle, on flat spot next to distributor)would pin the RPO stuff better (if the engine was original to vehicle)---> KHardy serial number link

Note: my brief post about the relative amounts of "babbitt" was made in reference to the internet myths about Chevrolet "babbitt motors" especially in the 1949-1954 vintages. The precision insert shells on big ends of the connecting rods had about same thickness of babbitt alloy as had the spun-cast rods. Mains were about the same too.



Edited by BottleJack on 03-04-12 10:57 AM. Reason for edit: brevity

 
rrausch 
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rrausch
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03-04-12 11:35 AM - Post#2198353    
    In response to BottleJack

Bottlejack, welcome to CT.

When I was posting about "babbit" engines, I meant the type that did NOT use modern insert-type bearings. I am still of the opinion (AND I MAY BE DEAD WRONG!) that the '53 stick engines had insert bearings.

1953 210 Convertible, 261 with dual Carter YF 966S carbs, P.S., Remote Bendix P.B. Booster... shade-tree restoration about done.




 
BottleJack 
Contributor
Posts: 457

Reg: 02-09-12
03-04-12 01:04 PM - Post#2198395    
    In response to rrausch

Thanks for the welcome ! Actually, I am an old zombie ChevyTalk member from the pre-2002 forum days.
I guess my main point is : here in year 2012, the internet nomenclature for the 1949-54 Chevrolet six engine has really gotten technically confusing if not downright wrong.

Phrases like babbitt motor, babbitt engine, splash lubed, line bored, melting/pouring babbitt ... well they don't accurately apply to any 1949-54 Chevy Six cylinder engine.

Since 1953 was such odd year for evolution of the Chevy Six , you almost have to have an engine serial number, or block casting number to decipher what may be the internal parts of 53' motor. Better yet, pull the oil pan and check the number cast onto the crankshaft.

Example: the Official Master Parts Manual of Genuine Chevrolet Parts 1929-1953 (April 1, 1953)
Says that ALL 1953 (except powerglide)connecting rods are forge number 3701890 and need the "dippers" (thus thin centrifugally spun babbitt on the big rod ends), BUT the 1953 Passenger car with powerglide is quote "insert bearing type",connecting rod forge number 3701491.

Skip a few years forwards and Federal-Mogul Bearing Service Manuals state that Chevrolet 1948-52 216?? POWERGLIDE 3-15/16 stroke Crankshaft forge number 3835709 uses an "insert type rod bearing that has been converted from babbitted type to insert type."

THEN: for the 1953 235 Chevrolet , 1950's Federal-Mogul catalogs have 2 listings --- The Powerglide 235 is listed as crankshaft number #38355709 3-15/16 stroke. And the other 1953 235 engine (with "dippers") connecting rods match to crankshaft forging #3701894.


YIKEs!!!, I am no expert on the 1953's, but what I suspect is that Chevrolet in late 1952 was using some "dipper style" rods and converting them to "insert type" for the powerglide motors. Maybe they were even drilling some old style cranks to except new oil passages for full pressure? By later year 1953 Chevy seems to have made the crankshaft and connecting rods more specific to the Powerglide equipped passenger cars.

In summary, 1953 was a weird year for Chevy engines, so start with the actual numbers on (and inside) the motor.




 
rrausch 
"16th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 14174
rrausch
Loc: L.A, Cal. & St. Louis...
Reg: 04-07-03
03-04-12 01:13 PM - Post#2198398    
    In response to BottleJack

I know... my Pop had a '53 Sedan Delivery that had a 216 in it from the factory. I rodded it pretty badly in the early 1960's. Got it up to 95 mph on a country road near our farm when I was 15.

1953 210 Convertible, 261 with dual Carter YF 966S carbs, P.S., Remote Bendix P.B. Booster... shade-tree restoration about done.




 
BottleJack 
Contributor
Posts: 457

Reg: 02-09-12
03-04-12 01:56 PM - Post#2198420    
    In response to rrausch

{53' Sedan Delivery was a fine car!! Hippy neighbors had one in 1969 San Francisco, CA; was a super cool "flower car". Strange smoke always billowed from the inside.... In 1970 I had a 49' Chevy Panel truck and always wished it was the lower profile (and softer ride) of the car-like Sedan Delivery.}

Anyways: here are some snippets of general trivial quotes from an author (Doug Bell -who wrote for Floyd Clymer in LA, CA.) written circa 1955-1961 about the 1950-53 Chevy engines. Keep in mind they were simply written, and may contain errors that today we know better of.

"1950 Series HJ (Special), HK (Deluxe)--This was the year that the now famous Powerglide automatic transmission was announced.... the engine for the Powerglide equipped cars was an adaptation of the Chevrolet 235 cubic inch truck engines first introduced in 1941.... for passenger car use , this engine had larger intake valves, and hydraulic lifters. The push rod cover extended only to the top of the block, greatly eliminating the chance of oil leaks when the head was removed. With this engine, rear axle ratio was 3.55, instead of standard 4.11".

1951 Series JJ (Special), JK (Deluxe)-- Mechanically,the change form Huck to Bendix brakes, was about the extent of it.

1952 Series KJ Special, Series KK De Luxe -- Mechanically, there was only a change in the engine mountings ....

1953 Series A One fifty, Series B Two Ten, Series C Bel Air --- Mechanically the car was quite similar to the 1949 through 1952. The engine for the cars equipped with standard transmission was the same basic engine used on the former Powerglide models, except for the fact that hydraulic valve lifters were NOT used... the 1953 Powerglide engine was completely new, and featured aluminum pistons, insert rod bearings and full pressure lubrication.... In the Light Stock Class of the Pan Americana road race C.D. Evans, driving a 1953 Powerglide, Two Ten Sedan, was the winner, covering the last leg at an average speed of nearly 100 miles per hour!"

I know this babble may be of little help to the OP, but the more you wonder , the deeper you dig.



Edited by BottleJack on 03-04-12 01:58 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Keith_Knox 
Member #189 Moderator and "18th Year" Gold Supporting Member
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Keith_Knox
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Reg: 04-02-00
03-04-12 02:11 PM - Post#2198434    
    In response to BottleJack

What was your old name on CT

29-41, 42-48, 49-54 Moderator
1948 Chevy Fleetmaster Coupe Purchased 6/2010. Stock with rebuilt 52 216 installed May 1966.
1946 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup, stock. Purchased 11/18/17.
2019 Ford Ranger Lariat Super Crew


 
rrausch 
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rrausch
Loc: L.A, Cal. & St. Louis...
Reg: 04-07-03
03-04-12 02:27 PM - Post#2198442    
    In response to Keith_Knox

I'm gonna go out behind my barn when I get back from this job and pull the oil pan and see what kind of bearings the '53 stick engine had--it was the original engine to that car, according to the title.

1953 210 Convertible, 261 with dual Carter YF 966S carbs, P.S., Remote Bendix P.B. Booster... shade-tree restoration about done.




 
brokenhead 
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Loc: seattke
Reg: 12-10-11
03-04-12 06:20 PM - Post#2198535    
    In response to rrausch

216's had 3 3/4" stroke, 235's had 3 15/16" stroke. I am fairly certain no 216's came with insert rod bearings.



 
2blu52 
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2blu52
Age: 86
Loc: Montana
Reg: 03-12-02
03-04-12 07:35 PM - Post#2198570    
    In response to brokenhead

The 216 for cars was literally phased out in 52, my 216 had babbitt bearings but it has been converted to inserts.

"PEACE IS THAT GLORIOUS MOMENT IN HISTORY WHEN EVERY ONE STANDS AROUND RELOADING"

THOMAS JEFFERSON


 
rrausch 
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rrausch
Loc: L.A, Cal. & St. Louis...
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03-04-12 10:07 PM - Post#2198623    
    In response to 2blu52

The 216 was phased out in '52 EXCEPT for the '53 Sedan Delivery... which got a 216.

1953 210 Convertible, 261 with dual Carter YF 966S carbs, P.S., Remote Bendix P.B. Booster... shade-tree restoration about done.




 
loser77 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 32

Age: 47
Loc: Weston Missouri
Reg: 02-26-12
03-06-12 04:22 PM - Post#2199336    
    In response to rrausch

I'll try to get the casting numbers next time I work on the car. It has 2 bolts in the center of the valve cover that hold it down. I thought this made it a 216.

Stephen Sullins
53 Bel Air 30 years in storage
owner Free Spirit Photography


 
2blu52 
"19th Year" Silver Supporting Member
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2blu52
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03-06-12 05:08 PM - Post#2199355    
    In response to loser77

Or an early 235.

"PEACE IS THAT GLORIOUS MOMENT IN HISTORY WHEN EVERY ONE STANDS AROUND RELOADING"

THOMAS JEFFERSON


Edited by 2blu52 on 03-06-12 05:08 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 


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