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Thread: '56 Golden Hawk

  1. #1
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    '56 Golden Hawk

    Did the 352 engine have Babbitt bearings?

    Thanks for the info.

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    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    No; inserts. BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

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    President Member RadioRoy's Avatar
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    Were there any engines made with Babbitt bearings after WWII, other than maybe small one cylinder engines for lawn mowers and such?
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

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    IIRC, the Chevrolet 216 still had babbit bearings as well as a drip oil system as late as 53. I used to own one and had to work on it once.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RadioRoy View Post
    Were there any engines made with Babbitt bearings after WWII, other than maybe small one cylinder engines for lawn mowers and such?
    Hi, Roy,

    Yes, the most common engine of that era was the Chevrolet 6-cyl and it had babbit bearings up through the early '50s.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

  6. #6
    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RadioRoy View Post
    Were there any engines made with Babbitt bearings after WWII, other than maybe small one cylinder engines for lawn mowers and such?
    The venerable Hudson Straight Eight last available in the 1952 Commodore used poured rod bearings and insert main bearings...and dippers and an oil trough for piston and cylinder wall lubrication! (They don't call 'em antiques fer nothin', ya' know!) BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
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    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

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    This brings back memories of watching my father fit bearings with the use of his pocket knife.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

  8. #8
    President Member tsenecal's Avatar
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    The 216 Chev with the babbit bearings, came new, with shims that could be removed as the crank and the bearing wore. My brother in law just restored a 47 pickup, and when he freshened the engine up, he pulled the last of the shims out.

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    What BP says about the Hudson is all true, but the engines did last. High nickle content block, so I've heard. They also seemed vary proud of their "dipper," oiling system. I remember reading that they stuck with the system, in spit of other choices. The argument for it, seemed to be, that since most engine wear takes place on startup, and since every start of a cold engine included a brief oil pressure lag before all parts were lubed, that their system was superior, because with the first engine revolution, the dippers begins the lubrication process. They also stuck with a wet clutch.

    Maybe "modern' is just another course that engineering has chosen to take. in the early days of motoring engineering was not a straight line process, leading to uniformity. There were many parallel engineering paths. In our world, modern seems to equate to to complex, but does it always result in reliability, simplicity in servicing, and long service life?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hallabutt View Post
    What BP says about the Hudson is all true, but the engines did last. High nickle content block, so I've heard.
    And you'll hear it about every other engine if you hang around the internet and club meets. In fact, a search here will bring up several incorrect assertions Studebaker used "high nickle blocks." Not true either.
    They also seemed vary proud of their "dipper," oiling system. I remember reading that they stuck with the system, in spit of other choices. The argument for it, seemed to be, that since most engine wear takes place on startup, and since every start of a cold engine included a brief oil pressure lag before all parts were lubed, that their system was superior, because with the first engine revolution, the dippers begins the lubrication process.
    Hudson and Chevrolet stuck with the obsolete babbitt rod/dipper not because it had any benefits, but because it had been there so long, it was cheaper to keep it than change it. Hudson just discontinued the old I8, but Chevrolet finally went to insert rods in '53 and built the Stovebolt until 1962.
    They also stuck with a wet clutch.
    The wet clutch is actually the smoothest, most durable of all and is still used in a few industrial applications today. AFIK, Hudson was the last US manufacturer to use it.

    Maybe "modern' is just another course that engineering has chosen to take. in the early days of motoring engineering was not a straight line process, leading to uniformity. There were many parallel engineering paths. (Even GM did and still does go down some wrong paths - Cadillac 4-6-8) In our world, modern seems to equate to to complex(For true!), but does it always result in reliability,(YES) simplicity in servicing,(NO) and long service life?(YES - today's engines outlast any of the old iron by several lifetimes)
    jack vines
    PackardV8

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    Everything is a trade off. No arguments from me, I like the reliability of newer cars, but I sure hate to pay the price when they break down. I wouldn't want to go back to the old days, but I think that an understanding of history is an important part of what we car guys are about.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hallabutt View Post
    Everything is a trade off. No arguments from me, I like the reliability of newer cars, but I sure hate to pay the price when they break down. I wouldn't want to go back to the old days, but I think that an understanding of history is an important part of what we car guys are about.
    FWIW, I was there back in the '50s when there were a dozen different automatic transmission designs; none of them were yet reliable. Going on a long road trip, max load, a breakdown was as likely as not. GM went through many different auto trans designs before getting it right with the TH350 and TH400. Another FWIW; in constant dollars it cost more to repair/replace a 1950s automatic than it does today. Just because the dollar figure is ten times larger, doesn't mean it's more money. ;>)

    jack vines
    PackardV8

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