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Thread: Rod Bearing question

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2016-08-13 13:00:51
Rod Bearing question
I'm in the process of assembling a rebuilt VE short block that I ended up getting as a trade a couple of years ago. For whatever reason the block had DE pistons in it, but I will be running N1 cams so that had to change. While pulling the rods out to swap VE pistons I noticed the brand new rod bearing were scuffed. WTH!!

So my question is directed at all the engine rebuild gurus. Are my rod bearing still okay?:???: or should I replace them? here are some pictures of the worst one, the rest are not as bad.

2016-08-13 14:57:51
I would replace them...err on the side of caution.

Who'd you get the motor from?
2016-08-13 15:50:54
If someone changed pistons and the main bearings looked like that I wouldn't feel safe about the motor at all. I wouldn't use it until everything was cleaned out and clearance checked. It's just not worth a engine falling apart 1000 miles after you put it in IMHO
2016-08-13 16:45:34
Thanks for the feedback.
I got the block from a guy named David in Houston a couple of years a ago (It was a trade for a VE head). The block spun freely and it looked like he spent plenty of time cleaning and prepping it. I believe it has new de pistons/rings along with main and rod bearings.
2016-08-13 17:44:35
Those looks similar to new bearings that have had to absorb aluminum shavings from an upper oil pan drill/tapping (for turbo oil drain) gone wrong. I guess that's not your current situation, but they do look like new bearings that have had to suffer some damage to keep things copacetic. It seems to be classic signs of debris left in the passages upstream of the oil filter after opening the engine. Maybe they had to deal with a sandblasted valve cover, or the cylinder honing produced some grit, or oil passage cleaning loosened some casting sand... Something got past the oil filter somehow...
Hopefully they have finished absorbing the stuff they needed to and a new set will go in and not suffer the same fate. That's what I'd do. Toss in a new set and be relatively confident you're in good shape. Maybe feel the crank journals for anything poking up, but I doubt you'll notice anything abnormal.
Last edited by BenFenner on 2016-08-13 at 17-54-36.
2016-08-13 17:52:16
Well, the block is tapped for turbo, So it may very well could have been that, or as you said some grit from the honing process. I think I am going to pull the mains as well just to make sure.

I wonder if this could have been from me spinning the block by hand? I would every once in a while spin it just to make sure nothing was binding.... Maybe it wasn't such a good trade after all. lol
2016-08-13 17:57:01
Spinning the engine by hand is perfectly fine if you have some oil between the bearings and the journals (or better yet some assembly lube). Even if you only had oil and it'd been draining for days, you'd still be okay as long as no contaminants got in there. That's damage from contaminants, not bearing-on-journal contact.
Last edited by BenFenner on 2016-08-13 at 17-59-11.
2016-08-13 18:03:09
Well looks like I will be in the market for some new rod bearings. Thank you for the input.
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