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Thread: Rod bearings

  1. #1
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    Rod bearings

    So.. in my quest to repair lifters (which has turned into a mass maintinence and replace session) ive pulled the oil pan prior to putting the front case back on. I decided to remove the crank scrapper/tray and check number 3 rod bearing to see where things sit. The car has 68k miles on it and im a 5th owner basically. The suspension looks like its been run on a track before or maybe not well kept so i figured it was worth checking the condition of the lower engine internals while re-assembling everything and before putting the cylinder heads back on.

    Here are a couple photos of the lower half of rod bearing 3. I havn't pulled any more caps just yet, but wanted opinions.

    5FE2C417-D968-426F-91AC-82328DEF4205.jpgB8483C8C-433F-4BAD-B131-6850C85ED1CB.jpgF09D0E6A-205A-4FC4-9973-5D3E2D59A45D.jpg

    The close up looks bad obviously. Part of it looks like copper but there isnt any showing in the close-up, this is an issue with the photo as the far away shot shows there isn't copper showing.

    I cant feel anything on the rod journal on the crank itself with my fingernail and i dont really see any grooves. It looks like maybe the bearing took most of the beating itself as it should.
    Im probably going to take the rest of the rod caps off, mark them and then upload more pics here soon.

    Is it possible i could get away with a new set of std size bearings assuming that stock motors were pretty consistent on journal sizes for rods and mains? I realize this is going to require probably using plasti-gague and patience but figured id ask because some engines are pretty consistent in their manufacturing process and tolerances are consistent while others aren't

  2. #2
    Enthusiast GTS Dean's Avatar
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    This was my #3 at rebuild time. Yours appear a bit more exercised. Look at the others and report back, but you may get away with rolling some new inserts in.
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  3. #3
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    Here are rods 1 and 2. Nothing really terrible. They both look much better in person than 3.

    First two pictures are rod 1, second two pictures are rod 2

    rod1_01.jpgrod1_02.jpgrod2_01.jpgrod2_02.jpg

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    First two here are rod 4, second two photos are rod 5.

    rod4_01.jpgrod4_02.jpgrod5_01.jpgrod5_02.jpg

    I didn't get around to pulling the remaining caps but this does give me a good picture so far. Is it common to see more wear on any other rod other than 3 generally?

    As with journal 3, all the other rod journals on the crank are good, nothing i can feel with my finger and no real scuffs or marks visible. These bearings genuinely just look a bit hammered on and like the oil itself had crap in it which the bearings took a beating from but did their job. These bearings look a bit gnarly though i have to admit, but i havnt found one showing copper at all... so i guess thats a plus!

    Anyhow, i don't want the motor to go back together until i've replaced all the rod bearings at a minimum. I may even do the mains as well. Is there any info on the main bearings? Any common journal that takes more wear than others?

    Also, what brand bearings are recommended? Id like to put something back in the car that is better than oem that might be a bit tougher if possible or have a better coating (if thats a thing).
    Last edited by Lunchbox; 10-12-2021 at 08:47 PM.

  5. #5
    Oof. You're making me nervous. I'm at 61k miles and am pretty confident that the first owner tracked the car.

    Curious to see what route you take with this. I'm taking notes for sure, lol.
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  6. #6
    So, what I'm hearing is you don't need the new mopar waterpump you recently got for a while :-)

    Sure wish you and Dean lived a little bit closer as I'd love to just come watch ya'll work on your cars to help me learn more about these beast. I'm pretty handy but rebuilding an engine is past my current skillset.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by 98RedGTS View Post
    I'm pretty handy but rebuilding an engine is past my current skillset.
    It can be intimidating, but it's honestly pretty straight forward. I've rebuilt a couple engines now and am getting the hang of it. I learned by watching "Jafromobile" on YouTube as he blueprinted 4G63's. Walks through every step of the process along the way, outlines good practices and good tools, etc.
    1997 Dodge Viper GTS || Matte Bentley Silver | 60k miles ||

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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by usmcfieldmp View Post
    Oof. You're making me nervous. I'm at 61k miles and am pretty confident that the first owner tracked the car.

    Curious to see what route you take with this. I'm taking notes for sure, lol.
    I would do a Blackstone oil analysis and see what it turns up. Might help ease your mind.

    Mine is at 93k but the last 2 oil analysis have shown great engine health.

    Its cheap and worth it.
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  9. #9
    Enthusiast GTS Dean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98RedGTS View Post
    Sure wish you and Dean lived a little bit closer as I'd love to just come watch ya'll work on your cars to help me learn more about these beast.
    It's cheaper now to watch/help me than it used to be. I don't drink as much beer as I used to.
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  10. #10
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    Agree that bearing shell replacements are warranted. At least the rods. Mains are a bit trickier to replace and may not be worth the effort. If a main was starting to fail there would be clear signs in the adjacent rod, which do not current appear.

    Always hard to analyze via photos and I have been around engines for way too long and have seen many, may bearing issues over time. My first thought is that the dark wear area of #3 is in an area that is generally not lubrication or load related. Possibly cap shift or excessive bearing crush at installation. I see high wear on several others in a similar region. #4 looks strange with what appears to be edge wear. That shouldn't be possible with barrel shaped journals unless there is a bent or out of spec rod. That shell also has what appears like excessive crush related wear, eliminating bearing movement as a cause. The small pitting on several shells that looks to be healed does not bother me too much. Probably due to small debris present at engine assembly or in the galleries. Once they are healed and material transfer is unlikely it should not be a problem.

    Anyway if it was my engine I would probably remove the crank and have it polished and measured. Then with rod and main measurements select the appropriate shells.
    Last edited by ViperSRT; 10-13-2021 at 07:58 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98RedGTS View Post
    So, what I'm hearing is you don't need the new mopar waterpump you recently got for a while :-)

    Sure wish you and Dean lived a little bit closer as I'd love to just come watch ya'll work on your cars to help me learn more about these beast. I'm pretty handy but rebuilding an engine is past my current skillset.
    Well, I don’t have it yet still LOL. I’m not that far off from you distance wise I don’t think, just across town, but still across town is easily 45 mins or so.

    Really it’s all about knowing the motor and it’s quirks. I don’t personally know the quirks of the 8.0 viper engine, but if you asked me about the 4g63 or 6g72 I could tell you all sorts of things. Those motors had their fair share of bearing or oil pressure issues too but were somewhat narrowed down. Viper is all new to me in terms of that and I still don’t know all of its quirks (yet).

    Ive been toying with engines since I was 16, but they’re all different. Having another set of eyes is ALWAYS good. I consider myself to always be learning and never an expert. You always learn new things.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ViperSRT View Post
    Agree that bearing shell replacements are warranted. At least the rods. Mains are a bit trickier to replace and may not be worth the effort. If a main was starting to fail there would be clear signs in the adjacent rod, which do not current appear.

    Always hard to analyze via photos and I have been around engines for way too long and have seen many, may bearing issues over time. My first thought is that the dark wear area of #3 is in an area that is generally not lubrication or load related. Possibly cap shift or excessive bearing crush at installation. I see high wear on several others in a similar region. #4 looks strange with what appears to be edge wear. That shouldn't be possible with barrel shaped journals unless there is a bent or out of spec rod. That shell also has what appears like excessive crush related wear, eliminating bearing movement as a cause. The small pitting on several shells that looks to be healed does not bother me too much. Probably due to small debris present at engine assembly or in the galleries. Once they are healed and material transfer is unlikely it should not be a problem.

    Anyway if it was my engine I would probably remove the crank and have it polished and measured. Then with rod and main measurements select the appropriate shells.
    Yeah I have to admit the pictures make it look worse than they really are and it’s definitely hard to tell from photos. The wear on 3 bothers me that the bearing is “fraying” and worn like that.

    I guess now would be as good a time as any to pull the engine since it’s simply a shortblock sitting in the engine bay. I reeeeeeally don’t want to but. I guess it may require some more measurements before I make that call.

    Would be nice to get a stock forged short block in there and take this one out for rebuild.

  13. #13
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    I have zero experience building engines, but my intuition thinks the bearings are a wear item. Couldn’t you replace them
    The inspect again at a later date. Maybe ever 6 months or every 5000 miles and see if you’re doing better or worse?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by lane_viper View Post
    I would do a Blackstone oil analysis and see what it turns up. Might help ease your mind.

    Mine is at 93k but the last 2 oil analysis have shown great engine health.

    Its cheap and worth it.
    That is my plan for the upcoming oil change. I probably should have done it with my first oil change a month or two ago, but I didn't know the specifics about the oil that was in the car when I bought it. I guess it would have been a good check for the metals and such that could potentially have been in the oil though.

    I used to do them with every oil change on previous cars, but stopped when I moved to DFW for college. I really need to start doing it for all my cars again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFPILOT View Post
    I have zero experience building engines, but my intuition thinks the bearings are a wear item. Couldn’t you replace them
    The inspect again at a later date. Maybe ever 6 months or every 5000 miles and see if you’re doing better or worse?
    The more i've thought about it i might just do this after measurements. Id like to take the cast pistons out and replace them with forged since im starting to get into that realm now with looking at the lower end internals (bearings and such) but its also one of those cans of worms that once you open you have to do it all and cant get away with a simple change or two easily.

    The engine came with "std size bearings" which should be simply that, but you never know thus the reason for measuring to make sure. If they're standard size and journals are all clean and good, i would think another set of std size bearings would be no big deal and things should be ok and check it after a good 6k miles or so.

    The crank has never been out of the car and machined or altered from the looks of it and if it has this much wear after 5 owners and possible tracking, i cant REALLY complain that much as i'd expect it to be much worse based on the number of owners alone and the fact that they were probably not nice to the engine anyhow.

    I think measurements are in order on the rod journals and inspecting all of them to ensure they're all in good shape. if it all turns out this way then i think a standard set of bearings is whats going to go back in with assembly lube and proper torque.
    The only thing left would be to determine if i should use mopar bearings? or clevites? Any input is welcome! Would love to hear from people that have used the clevites to hear if they really are an improvement over stock or if stock is the way to go?
    Last edited by Lunchbox; 10-14-2021 at 11:51 AM.

  16. #16
    Enthusiast GTS Dean's Avatar
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    The backside of the bearing shells should be stamped with info regarding the size.
    96 GTS. Viper Days Modified Class. Fresh motor 10-2020!

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Lunchbox View Post
    The more i've thought about it i might just do this after measurements. Id like to take the cast pistons out and replace them with forged since im starting to get into that realm now with looking at the lower end internals (bearings and such) but its also one of those cans of worms that once you open you have to do it all and cant get away with a simple change or two easily.

    The engine came with "std size bearings" which should be simply that, but you never know thus the reason for measuring to make sure. If they're standard size and journals are all clean and good, i would think another set of std size bearings would be no big deal and things should be ok and check it after a good 6k miles or so.

    The crank has never been out of the car and machined or altered from the looks of it and if it has this much wear after 5 owners and possible tracking, i cant REALLY complain that much as i'd expect it to be much worse based on the number of owners alone and the fact that they were probably not nice to the engine anyhow.

    I think measurements are in order on the rod journals and inspecting all of them to ensure they're all in good shape. if it all turns out this way then i think a standard set of bearings is whats going to go back in with assembly lube and proper torque.
    The only thing left would be to determine if i should use mopar bearings? or clevites? Any input is welcome! Would love to hear from people that have used the clevites to hear if they really are an improvement over stock or if stock is the way to go?
    Definitely good to measure your basic components. You should be fine with the standard size so long as everything measures out right, but you can also measure your gaps with plastigage. I didn't plastigage the last Cobalt engine that I assembled; just used all Std sized equipment, but my crank, rods, and their associated bearings were perfect in appearance when I took them out of the car, and the crank and rods measured well within spec.

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTS Dean View Post
    The backside of the bearing shells should be stamped with info regarding the size.
    Perfect, ill give it another look. Thanks Dean.

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    Pulled number 3 cap off again and checked the back of the bottom half of the bearing as Dean had suggested. i Don't see anything other than the following stamped on the lower half

    "5 01 D"
    "DA-49"

    Also popped the top out, and yes i see copper

    FA970FD5-44A2-4E33-8881-F21D1450660A.jpg

    Edit: made a call to Dan at ViperSpecialty and he recommended Clevite H series rod bearings and that it was very standard to see this happen with the bearings wearing and swapping them out assuming the crank was fine was no issue if they're standard size.
    Last edited by Lunchbox; 10-14-2021 at 05:44 PM.

  20. #20
    Enthusiast GTS Dean's Avatar
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    What year is your car - an '01? That may be a date clue for the first line.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTS Dean View Post
    What year is your car - an '01? That may be a date clue for the first line.
    Yeah its on 01.

  22. #22
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    For anyone potentially traveling down this path, I sourced a set of standard size bearings from https://motorsportsunlimited.com/
    Part number is CB481HN. These are the Clevite H series bearings. Rock-Auto normally carries these but they're out. They do have the P-series bearings currently however (Part number CB481P) which aren't at a terrible price.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunchbox View Post
    For anyone potentially traveling down this path, I sourced a set of standard size bearings from https://motorsportsunlimited.com/
    Part number is CB481HN. These are the Clevite H series bearings. Rock-Auto normally carries these but they're out. They do have the P-series bearings currently however (Part number CB481P) which aren't at a terrible price.
    Anyone whose messed with Chrysler's over the years recognizes those part numbers as small blocks used back into the 50's.

  24. #24
    That seems to make sense - doesnt the Viper V10 share much or its basic architecture with the LA series engines?

  25. #25
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    Swapped out the rod bearings with the standard size Clevite H series bearings and torqued everything down to factory spec. One of the bearings I received had some damage on the lower half so i chucked it into the trash and ordered another bearing set, thus the reason for me not showing bearing 9 and 10 as i'm doing them in sets at the same time.

    There was something interesting to note about the CB481HN Bearing and the stock bearing. On the opposite side of the locking tabs on the stock bearing have a hole! This hole apparently is used in conjunction with the machined rod cap to sling off oil out the side of the rod. I was told this was basically a cheap way of doing an oil squirter more or less and that if the bearings I used didn't have them, that it wasn't really that big of a deal. I thought this was a little odd, however the aftermarket connecting rods sure enough, don't have this provision to begin with!

    Anyway, here are rod bearings 1-8 and 9&10 are waiting on another bearing to show up.

    The pitting in these bearings, most likely is from sucking up crap in the oil or from break-in initially and someone beating on it before the oil filter could really catch everything is my guess. My understanding is that, at WOT the oil filter is being bypassed a bit, otherwise it would blow off and puke out all the oil due to the high pressure.

    Left of each set is lower half and right is top half. The bearings have 68,000 Miles on them and i'm the 5th owner with the car being tracked previously in its life (unsure how much track time however).

    0BAD39ED-09D9-4C6F-8E3F-DEEE1118E538.jpg 14955C75-C8D3-4784-BC69-ECC98E6A0B6E.jpg A314170A-AEAF-48D5-B230-26722C9B1D61.jpg
    Last edited by Lunchbox; 10-23-2021 at 12:16 PM.


 
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