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      06-17-2016, 06:10 PM   #1
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Just bought a set of VAC/CALICO rod bearings

And they are not marked top/bottom specific so to those who have installed these, is is indeed acceptable to use them in any orientation?

I called VAC about this and was told that these and the "newest OEM bearings" are not top/bottom specific "like the old OEM bearings", and that I can install them in any orientation. 702/703 red/blue bearings are still current, are they not?

Last edited by deansbimmer; 06-17-2016 at 06:17 PM.
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      06-17-2016, 06:18 PM   #2
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My BE bearings were 100% symmetrical and had no labels.
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      06-17-2016, 06:22 PM   #3
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My BE bearings were 100% symmetrical and had no labels.
Indeed, no labels per se, however the set's I've installed from BE had each shell scribed with a number and "C" for cap, i.e. 1, 1C, 2, 2C, etc.

According to the wiki made by forum members, BE bearings and the VAC set's are the same and top=bottom.
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      06-17-2016, 09:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
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My BE bearings were 100% symmetrical and had no labels.
Likewise.
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      11-16-2017, 11:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MFL View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by nholmes View Post
My BE bearings were 100% symmetrical and had no labels.
Likewise.
Hi guys, does anyone know what the latest status on VAC's main and rod bearings is? That is, what clearances are they shooting for? How are the mains not color coded like the oems? Are they symmetrical now? I tried calling them but didn't get very good technical answers from the guy who answered.

I'm guessing they opened up the mains enough where the crazy .00012 increments bmw shells came in became irrelevant.

Thought? Anyone have answers they feel confident in or got in their research?
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      11-17-2017, 09:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duk996 View Post
Hi guys, does anyone know what the latest status on VAC's main and rod bearings is? That is, what clearances are they shooting for? How are the mains not color coded like the oems? Are they symmetrical now? I tried calling them but didn't get very good technical answers from the guy who answered.

I'm guessing they opened up the mains enough where the crazy .00012 increments bmw shells came in became irrelevant.

Thought? Anyone have answers they feel confident in or got in their research?
Wow, blast from the past. This just reiterates how difficult it is to get any intelligent info from VAC.

I explained to you the color situation on the mains. VAC expects you to adjust the crank journals if the assembled dimensions are off with their bearings. If someone else in here with firsthand experience can chime in I'd be curious to hear what they have to say as well. Mains are not a topic that many have experience with.
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      11-17-2017, 09:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deansbimmer View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duk996 View Post
Hi guys, does anyone know what the latest status on VAC's main and rod bearings is? That is, what clearances are they shooting for? How are the mains not color coded like the oems? Are they symmetrical now? I tried calling them but didn't get very good technical answers from the guy who answered.

I'm guessing they opened up the mains enough where the crazy .00012 increments bmw shells came in became irrelevant.

Thought? Anyone have answers they feel confident in or got in their research?
Wow, blast from the past. This just reiterates how difficult it is to get any intelligent info from VAC.

I explained to you the color situation on the mains. VAC expects you to adjust the crank journals if the assembled dimensions are off with their bearings. If someone else in here with firsthand experience can chime in I'd be curious to hear what they have to say as well. Mains are not a topic that many have experience with.
I guess that's what I was hoping to hear, maybe even from VAC themselves as I have seen them post before. I haven't seen anyone show VAC bearings fail and would love to buy them and use them. I just want to be sure I understand their intent.
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      11-17-2017, 09:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duk996 View Post
I guess that's what I was hoping to hear, maybe even from VAC themselves as I have seen them post before. I haven't seen anyone show VAC bearings fail and would love to buy them and use them. I just want to be sure I understand their intent.
I haven't seen anyone post anywhere with details after having used VAC main bearings. Only their rod bearings. Their mains are coated OEM bearings. The problem is that there is NO one-size-fits-all solution for mains. Not only is journal clearance important, but bore alignment is a critical component and overlooked by many. Slapping in a set of VAC bearings without making the necessary adjustments elsewhere will be a recipe for disaster.

The people using these products or who have the necessary experience to be able to teach are usually too busy working in the shop cranking out engines to take the time to post on internet forums. Sadly, when they do the keyboard warriors chime in and pick apart their input until the experts have enough and leave again. I see it happen all the time.
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      11-17-2017, 09:58 AM   #9
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VAC Bearings are indeed the same top and bottom.

As far as their main bearings go, they are just OEM bearings with a coating. Not a custom bearing with extra clearance.

I don't know which bearing color they're choosing to use either. I'd have to assume they use smallest.
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      11-17-2017, 10:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deansbimmer View Post
The people using these products or who have the necessary experience to be able to teach are usually too busy working in the shop cranking out engines to take the time to post on internet forums. Sadly, when they do the keyboard warriors chime in and pick apart their input until the experts have enough and leave again. I see it happen all the time.

I don't claim to be an expert but this is exactly the case. I try to help everyone out where I can but the arguments by people that don't know the difference between a crankshaft and a camshaft slowly push me away from bothering.
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      11-17-2017, 10:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doogee View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by deansbimmer View Post
The people using these products or who have the necessary experience to be able to teach are usually too busy working in the shop cranking out engines to take the time to post on internet forums. Sadly, when they do the keyboard warriors chime in and pick apart their input until the experts have enough and leave again. I see it happen all the time.

I don't claim to be an expert but this is exactly the case. I try to help everyone out where I can but the arguments by people that don't know the difference between a crankshaft and a camshaft slowly push me away from bothering.
Does VAC make a bearing that will allow the camshaft to be installed in place of the crank? I think it would have to be a custom thickness but I'm not sure. The rod would be easy to bolt to the cam lobes at least; those bearings have a lot eccentricity built in...

Good stuff, thanks guys!
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      11-17-2017, 11:24 PM   #12
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Install and drive away. Mine were the exact same bearings, same company and they were not labeled either. no worries.
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      11-18-2017, 02:18 AM   #13
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Not all BE Bearings are symmetric. Early ones were symmetric, later ones usually are not. All BE Bearings in the last year or so come with a label marking them uppers and lowers even if they are symmetric. Here's a link to more information on the subject:
http://www.m3post.com/forums/showpos...&postcount=267

VAC doesn't make main bearings. The main bearings they sell are coated OEM bearings. The coating removes the color codes. So it's a bit of a mystery what they started with and what you're getting. Assuming you use he same shells that were originally in the motor (without color codes, impossible to tell), the target clearance is OEM minus the ~0.0005 thickness of the coating itself. Assuming all things equal again, that means it reduces clearance.
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      11-18-2017, 02:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deansbimmer View Post
And they are not marked top/bottom specific so to those who have installed these, is is indeed acceptable to use them in any orientation?

I called VAC about this and was told that these and the "newest OEM bearings" are not top/bottom specific "like the old OEM bearings", and that I can install them in any orientation. 702/703 red/blue bearings are still current, are they not?
Yes, 702/703 is still the latest and the TIS we have from late last year still shows blue=upper, red=lower.
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      11-18-2017, 10:01 AM   #15
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When I ordered a a few sets of rod bearings last year from VAC, I inquired about the mains as well as I have two very unique motor builds going together. i was told they are all "greens" which makes logical sense to me to pick the middle target.

I'm guessing in their mind if someone is looking for a higher performance bearing than OEM, the block and bedplate would line bored to spec anyway with a custom crank and clearance verified via bore gage and mic anyway.
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      11-19-2017, 04:05 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doogee View Post
I don't claim to be an expert but this is exactly the case. I try to help everyone out where I can but the arguments by people that don't know the difference between a crankshaft and a camshaft slowly push me away from bothering.
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      11-19-2017, 08:40 AM   #17
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The pros who post, like deansbimmer and jcolley and a few others, are a great resource for those of us who DIY and for those who just want to learn how things work.
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      11-19-2017, 01:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doogee View Post
people that don't know the difference between a crankshaft and a camshaft slowly push me away from bothering.
that's me.
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      11-19-2017, 02:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon@ View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by doogee View Post
people that don't know the difference between a crankshaft and a camshaft slowly push me away from bothering.
that's me.
It's ok, so long as your not a jerk about it! The worst ones are the know nothing know it alls...
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      11-19-2017, 03:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duk996 View Post
It's ok, so long as your not a jerk about it! The worst ones are the know nothing know it alls...
I was looking at some engine builders small photos and got confused at what I was looking. I saw them using Redline Assembly Lube on the camshaft bearing bridge, and got mistake it was for the crankshaft/mains .

But that being said, Malek@MRF also advised me to use Redline Assembly Lube for even the rod bearings. So I bought a tub and had my mechanic use it on the mating surface of the bearing to the crank.
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      11-19-2017, 05:58 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon@ View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duk996 View Post
It's ok, so long as your not a jerk about it! The worst ones are the know nothing know it alls...
I was looking at some engine builders small photos and got confused at what I was looking. I saw them using Redline Assembly Lube on the camshaft bearing bridge, and got mistake it was for the crankshaft/mains .

But that being said, Malek@MRF also advised me to use Redline Assembly Lube for even the rod bearings. So I bought a tub and had my mechanic use it on the mating surface of the bearing to the crank.
It can't hurt, gotta avoid that dry start. I spoke with Malek at MRF recently too; he talks the talk, def. knows the diff between a cam and crank.
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      11-20-2017, 10:28 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duk996 View Post
It can't hurt, gotta avoid that dry start. I spoke with Malek at MRF recently too; he talks the talk, def. knows the diff between a cam and crank.
Certainly doesn't "hurt".

I think it's easier to use oil. Pull the fuel pump fuse and let it crank for a while before first start up.
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