main and rod bearing help?

1evilregal

Comic Book Super Hero
Apr 23, 2009
2,972
113
Greensboro, NC
so, I'm back into my 327 that is going back into the Regal project, and need opinions on bearing brand.

back story on the little engine that hasn't:
originally sourced this out of a 68 chevy truck my buddy traded me, and the thing scared me badly enough, that I took the motor out and dropped it in the Regal, where the worn out slushmatic and restrictive exhaust pretty much killed it's pep. It had an oil pressure issue that eventually led me to wiped out cam bearings/ rear main bearing and #7 & 8 rod bearings... new cam bearings, attempted to clean up the crank (polished up with emery cloth) and thought was good enough, and threw new bearings on the crank. ran the engine long enough to break in the new cam, and a just firing it up from time to time to move it around the driveway, and then sat for a couple years due a oil pan & gasket issue.. fast forward a to earlier this year, where I finally bit the bullet and got a new oil pan and one piece gasket, and figured I'd check the crank bearings (the oil gap was at right at the maximum tolerance when I put it together) because after buttoning up up, I never felt right about them. turns out my feelings were right ant there was some scoring on the surfaces. I wanted to do the right thing, so off to the machine shop it went, just to find out they would've had to machine it to .040 over, and on a small journal crank, both the machinist and I were both not comfortable doing... I searched for a few months (even had a thread in here asking about 283 crank and 302 pistons), and was about to just pull the trigger on a fleabay crank totalingup to about $500 and still needing machining, when I figured I'd do one last search on marketplace & CL. I ended up finding one about 120 miles away, that the guy had just machined, and while his block was being machined, they'd found a crack just off the front corner by the stampings. he was only asking enough to cover the machining costs, and I was able to come away for $160 with a .010 main/.020 rod small journal crank. def feels like I stole this thing. he hadn't bought bearings for it, so this is where I need your help.

He and I were talking, and I had planned to go with clevite bearings, and he told me his machinist had been getting alot of negative feedback over the last couple years on them. I've always used sealed power, and was going with the clevite on advice from one of my scca buddies, but he admittedly hasn't built an engine up for anyone for several years now. the guy I got the crank from said his machinist was recommending KING bearings, but couldn't remember the part # for the small journal. I've checked their website, but they seem to list the bearings in with the large journal stuff, and I can't seem to be able to nail down #'s on jegs or summit.

have any of you had any dealings with some bad clevites, good/bad with king, or have another brand you'd recommend highly? the block is a '64 that's been bored .040, high volume oil pump, and mild cam (only around .488 lift with 270/282 duration IIRC). I don't plan on drag racing it, and would like to take it to a road course a time or two in the future, and will be backing a wc t-5 trans/3.42 7.5 rear.

any help you guys can give, or advice towards a certain brand, is always appreciated. I know that there's a wealth of knowledge in here, and I've been out of the parts game too long now to really trust myself, or know what's good/bad anymore. thanks in advance!

Darin
 

500/600

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
Nov 17, 2018
1,170
113
West Virginia
Anything that isn’t made in China. That stuff has been sold, re-marketed, re-named so many times it’s hard to keep up with the fact that they are the same. Federal Mogul, TRW, Sealed Power, Perfect Circle, blah, blah, blah.

Buy whatever is most expensive. That would make them best, right?
 
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500/600

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
Nov 17, 2018
1,170
113
West Virginia
I forgot Michigan 77, Clevite, Vandervell, ....................
 
Oct 14, 2008
6,926
113
Melville,Saskatchewan
Yeah, bearings are a tough one now. I picked a box of Clevite Olds cam bearings for $10 on Amazon, say Made in the USA. Mahle now owns Clevite, being a German company, you would think the quality would be better if anything. I need the same rod bearings on my small journal sbc Scat rods. They look good except for very fine lines, I was thinking of reusing them. If I don't, curious what you end up with as I will use the same rod bearing, just in standard size.
 

500/600

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
Nov 17, 2018
1,170
113
West Virginia
I have ACL in my 519. They are stamped Clevite. I have Michigan 77 in my 500. They are stamped Clevite. I had Vandervell in my Buick 455. They were stamped Michigan 77.
 
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500/600

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
Nov 17, 2018
1,170
113
West Virginia
I just found some old ACLs on the shelf, made in USA, part number cross references to Clevite.
Not made in Australia? False advertisement!
 

mccormack944

Apprentice
Mar 31, 2018
58
18
Ohio
Discuss with your machinist what bearing is correct. People forget not all bearing manufacturers are the same, and they have different lines of bearings, for different driving conditions. So what bearing to use comes down to what you will be doing with the engine, rpm, heat, load, etc. I will say I know a lot of people putting clevite and king bearings in race engines to this day and not seeing a change in quality, but it’s all about application and bearing line.
 

64nailhead

Goat Herder
Supporting Member
Dec 1, 2014
2,481
113
Upstate NY
Be prepared to by 2 sets to fit them. Don’t be surprised if you end up using .001 over or under to get clearances that are happy.

If you don’t want to do that, then haul your block and crank off to your ‘trusted’ machinist and have him measure each journal and bore. If you don’t have a trusted machinist then reread 1st paragraph :)

I use Clevite Trimetal. Local machine shop and speed shop keep them in the shelf and their prices are very good. Makes it easy to grab an extra single shell if needed.

Have to ask - are you measuring clearances with plastigage? And did you get the block cleaned?
 

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