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    Cay anyone tell me if they have used The Babbit Pot in NY for babbitting connecting rods? Any experiences/recommendations would be greatly appreciated.



    Hi- one of the problems with babbit and old cars is, when the crankshaft is ground to smooth, the babbit gets thicker to make up the difference. Babbit, while a great bearing surface, is a very poor heat conductor. Thus, thicker babbit means more heat retained, shorter bearing life, premature failure.

    There’s a place in California (and I’m sure others could do it) that builds up the side of rods, and fits a modern bearing insert into the rod. The purists may be aghast, but it makes for a more reliable engine when rebuilding.

    I like keeping things original, but some things can be re-engineered with not affecting the original “feel”” of the car.”


    Thanks for the response David


    Dear Rodger,

    I have babbit that a mechanic characterized as original,in my 1912

    P.A.It’s not delicate stuff.My 1915 Overland 6 came with inserts from

    the factory(Continental 7H).When I had it rebuilt,I was handed a box of

    inserts.He had babbited to the rod.It’s still alive.

    The point is: early cars had cranks that whipped around a great

    deal.The babbit was softer then and adapted to the abuse.Todays cranks

    aren’t allowed flex like the earlier cranks,allowing the babbit to

    be thinner and transfer the heat generated at high revs.The problem

    develops when you put inserts on a whipping crank.The inserts have

    babbit measured in the thousandths and can’t take much flex.The factory

    babbit layed on with a trowel(just kidding).

    The P.A. eight has 9 mains,so is probably stiff enough to go both ways.

    If Overland (Continental built to Overland specs)engineers made use of

    inserts in 1915,wouldn’t P.A. use this technology if it was the best?

    When did P.A. first use inserts?

    I know,T Ford go-fast people love inserts.But,they invariably use a

    stiffer crank(Model A)and add pressure oil feed to make them live.

    Anthony Costa


    The Babbit pot did the rods in my 1936 some years ago. They faile (less than 3000 miles, some years later. I had the bad rods redone in Florida, they failed again. The car now has inserts, amen. I really don’t think workmanship is as much a factor as the material. I don’t think the guy pouring the babbit has control over the content of his material.


    I can understand the crank whipping around on some early cars, my 4 cylinder 1910 Hudson has two mains, that’s scary. On a 9 main 8 cylinder, it’s hard to envision much whipping, althought it’s a good point. The mains on my ’31 Pierce are babbit, by the way, of course being mains and being 9 of them, I haven’t seen any issues. I agree too with Tony’s comment on quality of babitt material these days….best to all David C.


    Zig at the Babbit Pot did my first engine in 1982, and it’s has 15,000 miles on it and no problems have come up. My 36 V-12 has babbit in it and has 13,000 miles of very hard driving and it’s 20 years old now ( Also done by Zig). On any Pierce 8 or 12 I would use inserts on the rods today as it is less expensive than babbit. Late model Seagrave 8 and 12’s all had inserts with no problems. The third generation Seagrave has a much larger crank and larger big end rod. Seems they had some reason to improve it.


    Thank you to all for the Information.




    Hey Ed, I know from experience that you drive the 36 Hard. I remember a rain storm in Mass one saturday, LOL



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