New Babbitt Bearing for #3 Connecting Rod

As previously discussed, our Buda engine tried to kill itself by destroying the #3 connecting rod bearing and then trying to knock the engine apart. All this happened on January 6, 2017 (see prior posts). I checked with numerous folks in the antique auto community about who and where to have our engine looked at and the #3 bearing replaced. Some locations, though highly recommended were very far away (like Minnesota) others were close by, but health and other issues of the business owners’ mitigated against that choice. We eventually chose to take our engine (and all the bearings, gears, crank shaft, cam shaft, connecting rods, pistons & wrist pins) to a highly recommended fellow in Tucson, Arizona — Mr. Jim Blair. Jim had done some very nice bearing work on several cars for some of our San Diego area Horseless Carriage Club members. While Tucson isn’t close. It isn’t 2/3’s of the continent away either. We have since discovered that we can make the trip one-way in just over 6 hours. So, on July 29, 2017 we delivered the lower half of the engine to Tucson, where Jim & I went over the condition of the various bits to see what needed fixing and what looked pretty good.

Jim Blair examines front cover as Craig unloads the crank case.

Craig & Jim examine the infamous #3 connecting rod & bearing cap.

The upshot was that Jim’s initial reaction was that other than the disintegrated #3 bearing, the engine was in remarkably good shape and the bearings and other bits should be just fine — as is. He would go through everything to make sure and check the shims for each of the bearings and pour a new bearing for #3 connecting rod.

And……. that’s exactly how things went down when we picked up the motor on October 21, 2017. Jim was at the shop to meet us and we examined the rods & re-set crank. Everything looked very nice and ready to assemble.

Jim Blair at the shop with our engine ready for pickup.

#3 connecting rod – rebabbitted and ready for service.

Jim & Craig load the engine into our pickup for the trip back to Carlsbad.

And now it is time for Craig to get busy and put it all back together. Our several month hiatus on the restoration is over.

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