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Thread: Steel Wool on Rod Bearings

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    Luke Skywalker KVH's Avatar
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    Steel Wool on Rod Bearings

    I used some medium grade steel wool to polish two little nicks out of a rod bearing. The steel wool did cause the bearing to look quite shiny. I was not very aggressive. Was that OK?

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    Jedi Trainee
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    Re: Steel Wool on Rod Bearings

    I don't see why it would hurt. I don't think steel wool would change it dimension wise, given how you have used it.
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    Yoda CJD's Avatar
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    Re: Steel Wool on Rod Bearings

    Believe it or not, many very old shop manuals recommended cleaning the bearing faces with steel wool until they were shiny. That shows that what you did can't be too bad!?!
    John

    1955 TR2

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    Obi Wan Rut's Avatar
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    Re: Steel Wool on Rod Bearings

    Quote Originally Posted by KVH View Post
    I used some medium grade steel wool to polish two little nicks out of a rod bearing. The steel wool did cause the bearing to look quite shiny. I was not very aggressive. Was that OK?
    Clean that bearing really well and go over it with a magnet...last thing you want is to have a piece of it cause damage to the bearing and crank!
    Rut
    Rut, '60 Bugeye, '70 MGB, '62 TR4, '66 TR4a IRS, '67 TR4a IRS, '68 TR4a IRS, '72 TR6

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    Luke Skywalker KVH's Avatar
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    Re: Steel Wool on Rod Bearings

    I love this hobby. It's because there's always a reason to do more. I took that one "steel wooled" bearing off to be sure I didn't leave any steel wool on it. It was free of steel wool, alright, but now has what appears to be a small "BB" depression on the surface. Like someone shot it with a Daisy Red Rider. Of course, that could only happen if despite all my care and coddling, I somehow got a spec of dirt or fine grit of some sort on the bearing shell. How careful must one be? I had rags, a light, a magnifying glass and my usual neurosis to go with it all. And, still, debris on the bearing.

    Oh, well. I just ordered a new bearing set, and I start all over again. Tonight I'll check the crank, too. Someone up there wants me to have fun. I'm sure of it.

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    Yoda poolboy's Avatar
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    Re: Steel Wool on Rod Bearings

    One of the desirable characteristic of rod and crank bearings is 'embedability' in it's overplate layer. I would not be too anxious to wear any of that layer away by trying to polish it....In fact this is the first I've heard of anyone polishing a bearing....journals and crank pins, yes, but bearings?
    You want them to be accurate in size within 0.0005" so why rub some away with steel wool ?
    DRIVE 'EM IF YOU GOT 'EM

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    Luke Skywalker KVH's Avatar
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    Re: Steel Wool on Rod Bearings

    My shop suggested it after I noticed a gouge in the new bearing. Slight but it was there. Maybe grit on assembly. They say they do that very carefully with a marred bearing.

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    Darth Vader Marvin Gruber's Avatar
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    Re: Steel Wool on Rod Bearings

    With large electrical motor babbit bearings, the journals were always steel wooled when they came out of the lathe.
    Marv

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    Luke Skywalker KVH's Avatar
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    Re: Steel Wool on Rod Bearings

    Great thx Marv

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    Yoda poolboy's Avatar
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    Re: Steel Wool on Rod Bearings

    If you have bimetal bearings or babbit thru and thru, polish away if you think it's the thing to do.
    If you have trimetal...the layer you are "polishing" is only 0.0005 to 0.0008" deep...so I wouldn't be too anxious to polish any of that away or you'll reduce it's effectiveness.
    I don't know as much about large electric motors as I do about gas engines but it does sound like an apple and oranges comparison to me.
    DRIVE 'EM IF YOU GOT 'EM

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