Federal Mogul Main Bearings - protective varnish? - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Federal Mogul Main Bearings - protective varnish?

So a couple weeks back the cam in my motor wiped out. Bad news. Good news is it didn’t hurt any hard parts... block, crank, pistons are all fine. Mains number 3 and 4 both has bearing damage, but the crank is fine. Cam bearings 3 and 4 also damaged... well the cam was too. A lobe on cylinder 7 (intake) and one on 8 (exhaust) wipes, causing all kinds of metal in the engine.

Block is still at standard bore, and doesn’t need bored. I’m going to do a rering (and hone)and new bearings. I received my bearings today, and they look good except the mains, particularly the thrust bearing, have this brownish/amber varnish on them. Is that normal? I assume I should clean that off, right?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 09:49 PM
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I recall reading somewhere that you should hit new bearings with a Scotchbrite pad before installation to remove any protective coating that may have been applied.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 10:02 PM
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I would triple research that...AND call the manufacturer...

Allen
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 10:04 PM
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IDK about using a Scotchbrite but wiping that stuff off using some lacquer thinner and a clean soft rag would be my plan

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 10:33 PM
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Tongue no to the scotchbrite

Canted, no to the Scotchbrite. Your bearing company spent millions figuring out to make bearings, they don't need you to unintentionally add abrasives to the bearing with Scotchbrite. Clean lint free cloth. No scotchbrite, no steel wool. LSG
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 12:22 AM
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I use old cotton/poly tshirt rags (no lint) and lacquer thinner on new bearings. Be sure to wipe down the backs with equal care too. It's important for proper heat transfer.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 12:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GypsyR View Post
I use old cotton/poly tshirt rags (no lint) and lacquer thinner on new bearings. Be sure to wipe down the backs with equal care too. It's important for proper heat transfer.
Serious question...what happens if you don't? Or, better, what could happen?

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 01:14 AM
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The flashing you see is a vestige of the manufacturing process, do not Scotch Brite it. It is very common in tri metal style bearings, and virtually eliminated in the newer aluminum silicone bearings. Performance bearings have even more of that. What could happen? You contaminate the bearing, ruin the clearances, damage the surface, introduce contaminates into your engine etc. Remember, under ideal (most) conditions, there should never be any journal to bearing contact. Rather, your crank is riding on a layer of hydraulic oil film which is why you have bearing to journal clearances. That clearance is one of the factors that creates oil pressure. Save yourself the call to the tech line and don't modify the bearing. DO check clearances and ensure you are within spec based off of the build of your engine. Many moons ago what used to be known as Clevite 77 used to include a note in their performance bearings basically saying the same thing I mentioned above. They stopped that practice many years ago. Good luck with your build.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 04:06 AM
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If they all have a brown coating on the inside surface that is a polymer coating they call IROX. You don't want to take that off. They have another newer coating that is black I believe. I am not sure exactly what sort of crank journal prep these polymer coated bearings need. It would be something to find out about.



I still run the old tri-metal Clevites. I've never had one fail but Clevite also has some new proprietary gun metal looking coating on some of their bearings. I guess since we are coating everything else in there might as well coat the main bearings too.


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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I had no intention of sanding the bearings. I figured it was something that would come off with a solvent.

I’ll call the manufacturer. Easy enough.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 08:38 AM
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I work for Tenneco, about a year ago we purchased Federal Mogul. A few of the catalog guys work in our building now. Just talked to one of them, he wants to know what bearings you have, maybe C129M? They discontinued any bearings with coatings on them 5 years ago, so if they are coated they are old stock. New ones are just plain aluminum. Regardless, do not attempt to remove the coating. If you want to talk to a tech call Mark Wagner 314-977-0485

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Attached is a picture of one of the main bearing halves. the varnish is that dark, uneven coating. It looks like it was dipped.

I'll still call FM/SP today, but wanted to give you guys a visual.

Thanks!
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File Type: jpg IMG_0236.jpg (397.5 KB, 4 views)
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GypsyR View Post
I use old cotton/poly tshirt rags (no lint) and lacquer thinner on new bearings. Be sure to wipe down the backs with equal care too. It's important for proper heat transfer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turnall View Post
Serious question...what happens if you don't? Or, better, what could happen?

Allen
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmbergloConvertible66 View Post
What could happen? You contaminate the bearing, ruin the clearances, damage the surface, introduce contaminates into your engine etc.
How can you contaminate the bearing by not doing anything to it? My question is, what could happen if you don't do anything to the bearing. There are suggestions that people are doing things to the bearings before they install them, I'm just asking are there any consequences for not using lacquer thinner or such on the bearing.

To the OP, please post back the information you find out. I'm just curious. I make sure the bearing surfaces are clean, but I'm interested in knowing if more needs to be done. On the engine I'm building as we speak, I certainly didn't take any kind of coating off the bearings. I used the Clevite MS590HX and Clevite CB634HN FWIW and they had the same look to them.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malarson View Post
I work for Tenneco, about a year ago we purchased Federal Mogul. A few of the catalog guys work in our building now. Just talked to one of them, he wants to know what bearings you have, maybe C129M? They discontinued any bearings with coatings on them 5 years ago, so if they are coated they are old stock. New ones are just plain aluminum. Regardless, do not attempt to remove the coating. If you want to talk to a tech call Mark Wagner 314-977-0485
These are 146M bearings (Sealed Power or Speed Pro). See picture for what I see. I’ll give Mark a call.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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On the phone with Mark now... he was surprised to get my call on that number. Best not to contact him there.

He said it is probably just the appearance of the bearing... I have a problem with that, as it doesn't appear to be uniform. Looks more like a fluid that dried onto the surface. He said to try some brake cleaner and see if it wants to come off, but that it wouldnt affect the bearing performance and that I could run them as is.

I am going to see if I can get it cleaned off... but right now I'm going home to get my roller cam and lifters, which was just delivered!
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