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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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I spent a lot of time considering the available main and rod bearings available for the modular engine and in the end I decided to go with Clevite. Shown above are the bearings I ordered right after I took them out of the box.

I ordered the bearings in the standard sizing because I'm the original owner of my 2001 Teksid Cobra and since I've maintained the engine, I'm assuming that I should be OK with using standard sizing.


One of the reasons I decided to go with Clevite Mahle is that Mahle is a global leader in powertrain components and is a tier one automotive supplier. Furthermore, I was able to consult directly with Mahle on selecting bearings for my engine so that further solidified my reasoning to use Clevite bearings.

Male is extensively involved in Formula one as a partner with the Ferrari F1 team so I have no doubts that the Mahle Levite bearings I will use in my Tekisid build will be of the highest quality.


I believe that most people here use another brand of bearings and have done so with success. However, I have already chosen many parts for my engine build that go against what is commonly used with bearings being one of them.
 

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I have been using the same main and rod bearings for about 5 years with no issues so far. At the time of building my motor I liked extra layer of protection the bearing coating provided. As long as you are using a quality bearing and the clearances are correct I don't think you will have any issues. A quality oil lubrication and filtration system being used is just as if not more important to engine durability and longevity in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I agree that as long as the bearing are of high quality and the clearances are correct then the engine should have trouble free life. Furthermore, a tech representative from Mahle, Cevite mentioned that the number one cause of bearing failure is usually dirt or other forms of contamination when a hobbyist assembles an engine so the importance of having a clean engine through out assembly cannot be overlooked.

Now some people will mention that another brand of main bearing allows you to eliminate the thrust washer and use a a one-piece flanged upper for #5 and if that it an important feature for you, then you can use another bearing brand. I don't see the need to spend more money on two sets of main bearings just to use a fully flanged thrust bearing for my Teksid build. I know that folks who run automatic transmissions have experienced thrust bearing issues in the past. However, I will never ever run an automatic trans in my cobra so again I don't see the need to make modifications with the trust bearing on my Teksid engine build.
 

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Bearings and bearing selection, like a few other topics, can and frequently does deteriorate into a religious like belief system instead of a rational, fact-based decision process. Most of us have heard the representations about the higher load bearing capabilities of a tri metal bearing or the antifriction attributes of a coated bearing. The representations are not incorrect however, the important reason for the feature and it's target market usage are frequently lost in the blizzard of emotional and hero bearing banter that follows.

I have attached a research paper and a recommendations paper from King Bearings at the bottom of this post, for those interested, to read. The papers are factually based and represent tangible reasons for the presence and use of specific bearing features based on environment, application, power level and operational hazards. They are excellent because they are fact based. If you read them with an open mind and set aside any preconceived notions of the usual what, why and when attributes associated with bearing selection you will find a wealth of knowledge.

A couple of excerpts from the papers …

  • The durable operation of an engine bearing is achieved if its materials combine high strength (load capacity, wear resistance, cavitation resistance) with softness (compatibility, conformability, embeddability.)
  • Bi-metal Al-Si bearings bring more "added value" to rebuilt engines, due to their superior handling of adverse conditions such as misalignments, oil starvation, rough journal surface and heat.
  • … tri-metal material works very well at all times during the presence of the overlay. However, the overlay is thin and may be easily removed from the surface. Even partial exposure of the intermediate layer will cause dramatic lowering of the bearing properties. Tri-metal bearings are more sensitive to misalignments and distortions than bi-metal bearings.
  • … (The) excellent soft anti-friction properties of tri-metal materials CP, SX and XP are limited by the overlay thickness. They have excellent embeddability and conformability but for particles and misalignments with dimensions below 0.0005".
Rather than rewrite the papers in excerpt form I encourage you to read them carefully and use critical thinking skills in your bearing selection process. It is certainly also well worthwhile to look at similar engines (i.e. n/a, supercharged and turbocharged gas, methanol etc) to see what the race versions of those engines are using. Most of the bearing materials that have risen to the top in terms of performance, longevity and usage have arrived there through 60 plus years of real-world usage.

For example, the supercharged gasoline, alcohol or nitromethane engines almost exclusively use a babbitt bearing material for it’s embeddability, high shock loading capacity and importantly for supercharged applications, crankshaft distortion under power.

In the end it is your motor, your parts and your money that will be used to repair the damaged pieces so the final decision, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder. It is always helpful if/when people who have been there before are willing to share their research / experience and results. That can save you lots of time. money and untold piles of broken parts that did not need to break.

It is worthwhile remembering that lab experiments carried out in your engine under the hood of your car are expensive and frequently boondoggles. You don't need to go there to get the right pieces. That said, if you still want to do the product research and development, who is better positioned to do that than the guy who writes the checks for the borken parts — in this case that would be you ...


Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I took a peak at the those attachments and its good information for sure. Here is more bearing information from Mahle Clevite that discusses bearing failure analysis and it's a good read if you wish to avoid bearing failures with your engine build.
Engine bearing failure analysis

And here is a video from Mahle explaining why a stock production bearing is not the best choice for a high power/ race engine
Why Stock bearings may not be best for you race engine.
 
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