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Old 08-10-2018, 05:52 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Russell James View Post
Just make sure you have good crank end play...on the engine stand, after driveline install, and then again after some driving. Many check it on the engine stand... but never again. Checking it after clutch and trans install, you'll know right away if something is wrong if you lost all the end play. Same with after driving it some... if that end play is growing like crazy, problem.

Thrust bearings should experience very little wear if everything is installed correctly. In an auto trans car, wiping out the thrust bearing is a common result from too high trans line pressure shoving the torque converter forward. Or a cheap TC can balloon under extreme use. In my BBC drag car I had the trans shop that built my Powerglide do some pump mods that reduced line pressure. That stopped my thrust bearing wear on that car. The shops that build drag racing Powerglides and TH400s know exactly what to do to prevent excessive trans line pressure.

In a manual trans car, just have to be real careful... using the correct pilot bearing, bellhousing is centered to the crank and nothing is forced together. Recheck end play a few times and if it is staying stable, you're golden.
Do I check it with a prybar and a rubber mallet? Just see if there is some movement? On engine stand it was good but now it's in the car so I will check again. Is there a certain method that works best to install it? Should I just keep trying to put the transmission in until it slides in nice and easy?

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Old 08-10-2018, 05:58 PM   #16
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So if you have have no endplay do you pull the engine apart or just try to reinstall the transmission? Sorry for all the questions. Most people probably know this stuff but I need to be 100% sure it's right or it will be my 4th rebuild with only 50k miles. Plus my wife will kill me

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Old 08-10-2018, 07:03 PM   #17
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The way I do it is put a dial indicator on the balancer front face. And using big pry bars try to pry on the balancer and or flywheel. May need a helper to watch the dial indicator. Should be able to pry a few thousandths end play back and forth. If there is none, and the crank won't budge either way, something is wrong. The spec is .002 to .007". Ideal is around .004 to .006".

Takes a little experimenting with different pry bars and finding a good spot on a crossmember to pry against. Avoid measuring just the flex by having the dial indicator on the opposite end of the crank. If prying on the balancer back and forth, put the dial indicator on the flywheel/ring gear. Or other way around.

If absolutely no end play, I'd push the trans back and try again. Get a close look in at the pilot bearing. I had an LS3 driving me nuts once, turned out to be roller needles came out of the pilot bearing and were jammed in the the end of the crank in the space ahead of the pilot bearing.
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Old 08-11-2018, 12:14 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Russell James View Post
The way I do it is put a dial indicator on the balancer front face. And using big pry bars try to pry on the balancer and or flywheel. May need a helper to watch the dial indicator. Should be able to pry a few thousandths end play back and forth. If there is none, and the crank won't budge either way, something is wrong. The spec is .002 to .007". Ideal is around .004 to .006".

Takes a little experimenting with different pry bars and finding a good spot on a crossmember to pry against. Avoid measuring just the flex by having the dial indicator on the opposite end of the crank. If prying on the balancer back and forth, put the dial indicator on the flywheel/ring gear. Or other way around.

If absolutely no end play, I'd push the trans back and try again. Get a close look in at the pilot bearing. I had an LS3 driving me nuts once, turned out to be roller needles came out of the pilot bearing and were jammed in the the end of the crank in the space ahead of the pilot bearing.
Makes sense now. I had to screenshot that so I can remember. I definitely know I have endplay as of now. So the test will be coming up in the next week or two. You always have some excellent info. Thank you

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Old 08-18-2018, 09:31 AM   #19
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Engine is back in. I had right at .004 end play.
I've noticed with the new .001 added clearance bearings the oil pressure is down 8-10psi running 10w40.
Cold start is 54psi
Warm idle is 33psi (190* oil temp)
Hot idle is 27psi (220* oil temp)
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Old 08-18-2018, 10:51 AM   #20
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With the higher volume pump I have those are a little low readings, cold I am at 70- at start up and usually in the 50 area warm and 40-50 hot driving and idle varies some. I run though LS30 oil and don't have twin turbo too feed but that should not make squat for oil pressure change. I would say your safe anything below 30 I always considered on hot road that it had better be close. I think the best advice I can give you is this...……

http://www.drivenracingoil.com/

They have specifically blended state of the art for your car blends with MPAO and correct sheer and of course ZDDP...… And testimonials of guys running dry on the track...and not loosing on or off...… http://www.drivenracingoil.com/dro/p...ngine-oilshtml
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Old 08-18-2018, 12:15 PM   #21
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Russel has provided some very good and insightful information....

My car has a manual transmission and with the power we run, some would say the check of end play periodically is just good practice. I say it is a good policy to periodically check the crank end play on any build project. Checking the end play during a build of the engine, and then after installation into the car will give you a baseline and verification it didn't change due to assembly of the drive train. Periodic checks against the baseline will clue you into possible trouble developing prior to scrapping a motor....

Here is a link to a relatively short article with some good information... Much of it supporting the information provided by Russel.

http://www.4secondsflat.com/Thrust_b..._failures.html

As well, below is an article with lots of good information....

Prior to getting to the end of the following article....Especially for those doing a lot of their own wrenching....

You may scoff at the idea of a bad ground causing issues with crankshaft end play... I work offshore on 60 + foot tall 1.2 million pound chunks of iron with huge rams controlled by hydraulics. Periodically for myriad reasons, we have to have welding work performed on these monsters. There are very strict and specific procedures for grounding the work so that the power is not passed through ram areas where the ram block can be weld/bonded to the bonnets and or bodies of the stack... It seems ridiculous to the uninitiated but it has and can happen, and it can happen in cars as well....


THRUST BEARING FAILURE PREVENTION & ANALYSIS
By Mike Mavrigian

Diagnosing the root cause of a thrust bearing failure can be simple, but often is tricky. The easiest course of action is to take the necessary steps during engine assembly and installation to prevent the failure from ever occurring.

Crankshaft thrust bearings provide a fore/aft gap-control for axial movement (or endplay) of the crankshaft. These thrust bearings are located at a specific main bearing location, generally at the center main or rear main, depending on engine design. A thrust bearing is either integrated with a specific main bearing assembly or independent of the main journal bearing. If integrated, the thrust bearing area is present in the form of flanges that extend from the front and rear of the main bearing shells. If independent, the half-moon-shaped thrust bearings are inserted separately into shallow reliefs on the front and rear of the main bearing saddle, and sometimes with the cap.

In either case, the thrust surfaces are located on each side of the designated main bearing saddle and cap, intended to maintain a specified fore/aft location of the crankshaft, so that the crank doesn’t walk too far forward or rearward. If there’s too little thrust clearance, the thrust bearing surfaces can’t maintain a sufficient oil film and will overheat and be destroyed, potentially allowing the crankshaft’s main journal fillets to walk into the saddle and cap areas, quickly resulting in severe crank damage. If too much clearance exists, the much-needed oil film can’t be maintained, eventually leading to thrust bearing failure as the crank is thrust forward during converter or clutch operation, pounding the thrust face and applying unwanted loads on the rod bearings and even piston wrist pin/rod/piston surfaces.

Radial bearing surfaces (main bearings, for example) provide a slight out-of-round taper at the bearing parting line areas to create an oil wedge that supports the crank journals. However, thrust bearing faces are generally flat, facing a flat thrust area on the crank. In order for oil to be delivered to the thrust bearing-to-crank gap, the thrust bearing will generally feature grooves that allow oil from the radial bearing to seep onto the thrust bearing face, providing a film of lubrication. Some thrust bearings now feature tapered edges that help to promote an oil wedge. We see this in some diesel and late-model passenger car engines.

When a thrust bearing failure is discovered, it’s usually too late. The damage has been done, to the thrust bearing itself and likely to the crankshaft as well. The causes of a thrust bearing failure can be traced to a single problem or a combination of problems.

Naturally, improper assembly—selecting the wrong thrust bearing thickness, contamination during assembly, etc.—can lead directly to thrust bearing failure. In general, though, one or more associated problems are usually to blame, including poor crankshaft surface finish, bearing overloading or bearing surface misalignment.

Current transmission designs have been known to contribute to thrust bearing failure due to the greater thrust loads—often in excess of 2000 lbs. Because of the original equipment manufacturers’ efforts to improve fuel economy and minimize noise, vibration and harshness, many automatic transmissions feature increased forward thrust loads that are delivered through the converter.

In addition, on manual transmission vehicles, the use of starter lockout systems (where the clutch pedal must be depressed in order to start the engine) adds to the problem, since this places forward pressure to the crankshaft during starting, when there’s little or no oil lubrication on the thrust bearing surfaces. Bearing manufacturers have tried to address these OE-inherent problems by adding a fine dispersal of silicon to the bearing matrix and by designing angled ramp areas on the thrust faces that help to promote oil delivery to the thrust areas.

Overloading
The thrust bearing must be able to absorb forward thrust loads that are delivered by the transmission, torque converter or clutch. Thrust bearing overloading can be caused by any number of problems, including poor crankshaft surface finish (too rough and/or wavy), excessive “riding” of the clutch pedal, improper clutch release bearing adjustment, excessive torque converter pressure or an improperly mounted front crank-driven accessory (a/c compressor, power steering pump, supercharger, etc.).

If a failed thrust bearing is found, don’t automatically blame the engine builder. It’s very possible that the transmission or a transmission-related area is the culprit. If the action of the clutch, torque converter or automatic transmission hydraulic force applies constant or frequent forward pressure on the crankshaft, certainly the front thrust bearing surfaces are going to take a beating. In the case of a manual transmission, this can be caused by driv*er error, as a result of continuously riding the clutch. In the case of an automatic transmission, if the converter constantly pushes forward, the same problem will occur.

If the transmission cooler lines have been pinched or crimped, excess pump pressure can cause the converter to act like a hydraulic ram, continuously jamming the crank forward. If the vehicle in question has undergone an engine replacement, make a point to closely examine the transmission cooler lines for any signs of kinking, collapse or other problems.

When beginning to diagnose a thrust bearing failure, instead of suspecting improper engine assembly, first consider the transmission-related issues that can introduce undue forward loading against the crankshaft. Check to see if any external changes were made, such as replacement of or installation of an additional cooler. Ask the customer if any performance modifications were made to the transmission. Verify that the correct flexplate and flexplate bolts were installed, and that the transmission was installed with proper alignment to the engine block (dowel pins in place). If transmission-to-cooler pressure is too high, and the return line pressure is lower, inspect for restricted cooler and cooler plumbing.

In the case of a manual transmission, also check the clutch release bearing for proper adjustment. If the release bearing shows signs of extreme wear and/or overheating, this is a clear indication that the driver has been routinely riding the clutch pedal and/or slipping the clutch.

Torque Converter Issues
All too often, performance enthusiasts who encounter thrust bearing failure tend to blame a “ballooning” torque converter. Yes, a converter body can balloon (expand) under excess pressure, which would force the flexplate and crank forward, but this is rarely the case in a street-driven vehicle. Other converter-related issues should be considered first, such as the wrong flexplate bolts being used, the wrong converter for the application, improper converter installation or the transmission pump gears installed backward.

As CEO Dennis Madden noted in an ATRA report, although all of these problems will cause undue force on the crankshaft thrust surface, they will also cause the same force on the pump gears, since all of these problems will put equal force in both directions from the torque converter. So any of these conditions should also cause serious pump damage very quickly—within minutes or hours.

Quoting from the ATRA report:

The force on the crankshaft from the torque converter is simple. It’s based on the same principle as a servo piston or any other hydraulic component: Pressure multiplied by area equals force.

The pressure part is easy; it’s simply the internal torque converter pressure. The area is a little more tricky. The area that’s part of this equation is the difference between the area of the front half of the converter and the rear half. The oil pressure does exert a force that tries to expand the converter like a balloon (which is why converter ballooning is often blamed); however, the forward force on the crankshaft occurs because the front of the converter has more surface area than the rear (the converter neck is open). This difference in area is equal to the area of the inside of the converter neck.

As noted in the ATRA thrust bearing report, the most common example is the THM 400 used behind a big-block Chevy. General Motors claims this engine is designed to sustain a force of 210 lbs. on the crankshaft. The inside diameter of the converter hub can vary from 1.50 to 1.64 in. Therefore, the area of the inside of the hub can vary from 1.77 to 2.11 sq. in.; 210 lbs. of force divided by these two figures offers internal torque converter pressures of 119 to 100 psi, respectively.

So, depending on the inside diameter of the hub, it takes between 100 and 119 psi of internal converter pressure to achieve a forward thrust of 210 lbs. The best place to measure this pressure is at the outgoing cooler line at the transmission, because it’s the closest point to the internal converter pressure. The pressure gauge must be teed in, to allow the cooler circuit to flow. Normal cooler line pressure will range from 50 to 80 psi under a load in Drive—far too low to create a forward thrust of 210 lbs.

If line pressure is unequal and hydraulic force is readily available to push the converter, the simple act of placing the transmission in a forward gear can be enough to jam the crank forward, placing a direct load against the rear thrust bearing.

One step for combating restrictions in the cooler circuit is to run larger diameter cooler lines (to increase volume and reduce pressure). Another is to install an additional cooler in parallel with the original, rather than in series. This will increase cooler flow considerably and reduce the risk of overcooling the oil in winter. The in-parallel cooler may freeze up under very cold conditions; however, the cooler tank in the radiator will allow free flow.

Modifications that can result in higher-than-normal converter pressure include using an overly heavy pressure regulator spring or excessive cross-drilling into the cooler charge circuit. Control problems such as a missing vacuum line or stuck modulator valve can also create high pressure.

When installing an automatic transmission, pay attention to the basics. Before securing the converter-to-flexplate bolts, check for converter freeplay fore/aft. Typically, the converter should be able to move about 1⁄8 to 3⁄16 in., to allow for expansion. If this clearance is too tight, the converter will place unwanted forward pressure on the crankshaft, which can wipe out the thrust bearings in a matter of days or even a few hours of driving.

Rebuilding an Engine? Always Check Crankshaft Thrust Clearance
If you’re performing an engine build or rebuild, once the crankshaft (along with main bearings and caps) has been fully installed, don’t automatically begin to install rods and pistons. Use a dial indicator to check crankshaft endplay and thrust. With the block positioned upside down, place a dial indicator, mounted to a magnetic base stand, onto the block pan rail or other suitable flat ferrous surface. Orient the dial indicator plunger horizontally, parallel to the crankshaft length. Place the plunger against one of the crank counterweights. Using a lever, push the crankshaft fully rearward and preload the indicator by about .050 in., then zero the indicator gauge. Next, push the crankshaft fully forward, noting the amount of movement on the indicator.

Perform this check a few times to verify consistency. Compare your recorded distance to the factory specification range. If too tight or too loose, you may be able to replace the thrust bearing with a proper thickness to achieve the desired specification. Check with your bearing supplier for optional thrust bearing thicknesses.

Thrust Bearing Installation: Take Your Time
Before installing the crankshaft and main caps, be sure to thoroughly lubricate the exposed main bearing and thrust bearing surfaces with a quality engine assembly lubricant or, at the very least, a clean 30-weight nondetergent engine oil.

Instead of simply installing the main bearings and thrust bearings and tightening the main cap fasteners to the factory-specified torque value (or torque-plus-angle value), spend a few extra minutes in an effort to maximize thrust bearing life.

Once all main bearings and caps have been positioned, tighten the main cap bolts (or nuts, in the case of main cap studs) to a minimal value of about 10 to 15 ft.-lbs., following the factory-recommended tightening sequence. This initial snugging of the fasteners will seat the bearings into their respective block and cap saddles.

Next, loosen all of the main cap fasteners, but don’t disturb the main caps. Using a rubber or plastic mallet, tap the crankshaft rearward to close up the front thrust clearance. Finger-tighten all main cap fasteners.

Next, use a clean pry bar, such as a long flat-blade screwdriver, to force the crankshaft fully forward. This will help to align the rear thrust bearing faces.

While holding the crankshaft in this pushed-forward position, once again tighten all of the main cap fasteners to 10 to 15 ft.-lbs. You may now release pressure by removing the pry bar. Finish tightening all of the main cap fasteners to their final specification, in two or three equal steps. In the case of a factory specification that calls for a torque-plus-angle tightening, apply the recommended torque value in two steps, followed by the additional angle rotation in two or three steps. You’ll need to closely note the number of degrees of rotation during each step to make sure you end up with the total number of degrees of specified rotation.

Taking the extra time to tighten the main bearing caps in this manner will help to align the thrust bearing surfaces with the crankshaft. Aligning the thrust bearings to the crank’s thrust surfaces results in maximizing the bearing contact area, which helps to ensure the thrust bearings’ load-carrying capabilities.

Poor Engine Grounding
This may sound like a fantasy at first, but it’s been noted that some thrust bearing failures have been caused, or at least promoted, by inadequate engine grounding. How can a poor ground result in trashing a thrust bearing? When the starter is engaged, the current flow wants to go somewhere. If the engine isn’t properly grounded, it’s entirely possible for the current to run through the crank, and potentially directly into the thrust bearing’s steel backing. If this occurs often enough, the thrust bearing faces can quickly erode, which then affects the thrust bearing. It’s like the thrust surface on the crankshaft isn’t finished properly.

How do you check for poor grounding? Following is an explanation of a test taken from a service bulletin written by ATRA’s Dennis Madden:

It’s easy to check for excessive voltage in the drivetrain: Connect the negative lead of your DVOM to the negative post of the battery, and the positive lead to the transmission. You should see no more than .1 volt on your meter while the starter is cranking.

For an accurate test, the starter must operate for at least 4 seconds. It may be necessary to disable the ignition system so the engine won’t start during the test.

If the voltage is excessive, check or replace the negative battery cable, or add ground straps from the engine to the frame, or from the transmission to the frame.

Some systems may reach .3 volt momentarily without incurring a problem. For added assurance, improve the ground with a larger battery cable or additional ground straps.

Although the greatest current draw usually occurs while the starter is cranking, current in the drivetrain can occur while accessories are operating. That’s why you should perform this voltage drop test with the ignition on and as many accessories operating as possible. Again, the threshold is .1 volt.

One final problem that may occur is current though the drivetrain without measurable voltage. If the grounding problem is in the chassis but the engine and transmission grounds are okay (or vice versa), the vehicle may pass the test. What happens here is the ground circuit can be completed through the driveshaft and suspension.

To test this, measure the voltage drop with the driveshaft removed. Both the drivetrain and frame must pass the .1-volt test. This is where a ground strap from the engine or transmission to the frame does its best work.

Diagnosing a thrust bearing failure can sometimes be simple, but often is tricky. Chances are the problem is more likely to occur with an automatic transmission setup. Check torque converter freeplay; beyond this initial check, start checking transmission line pressure and look for kinked and/or restricted cooler lines.

Try to eliminate the transmission-related variables first. Simply rebuilding an engine (and naturally verifying clearances and assembly in the process) and reinstalling it won’t cure the problem if the source doesn’t lie in the bearing/ crankshaft. If the cause is transmission-related, the thrust bearing will act like a fuse and fail again. In other words, don’t simply repair the engine and send the vehicle out the door. The root cause of the thrust bearing failure must be determined and remedied.
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Old 08-22-2018, 03:38 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by 2010_camaro View Post
Engine is back in. I had right at .004 end play.
I've noticed with the new .001 added clearance bearings the oil pressure is down 8-10psi running 10w40.
Cold start is 54psi
Warm idle is 33psi (190* oil temp)
Hot idle is 27psi (220* oil temp)
That's plenty. It's more important to measure hot oil pressure at 2000 rpm. Idle is not so important as there is no load. You basically have 30 at idle which is more than fine. If you only had 30 at 2000 I'd be wondering.

If truly running 26 lbs of boost with a stock block, stock LS3 heads.... it's not going to last anyway. That kind of boost to be anywhere near reliable needs a completely different setup.

Cut the boost in half and enjoy some reliability. Even the B15 uses an LSX block and 6 bolt heads to survive <15 lbs boost. At 26, you would need next level best money can buy aftermarket stuff. And even then it will need constant bearing replacement and stretched studs.

Your making COPO level hp, on production parts. It'll hold a few times. You can increase the play time with way better foundation parts, but still require tons of maintenance. When that gets old, go bigger engine on less boost. The constant tear downs of an uber high boost engine will get old after a couple.
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