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      03-13-2015, 08:49 PM   #2421
regular guy
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Drives: Sprint car
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Originally Posted by Malloy View Post
BTW VAC has already developed bearings with Clevite and they are in stock. Just sayin.
Originally Posted by Malloy View Post
Yea, def sure.

They posted them on Facebook, but they don't seem to be on their website. I know Tony has a long relationship with the Clevite guys and this was planned for a while.
Today I got to the bottom of this. I called VAC and spoke to the engine guy. He insisted they did not have any custom made bearings and insisted they use OE bearings and have them coated. I read to him these comments and he was saying the people who wrote them were wrong. He also said the Facebook guy doesn't know cars and probably posted wrong information without knowing it. However...

I kept asking challenge questions. In fact, I asked challenge questions for 20 minutes. I told him that the post above was very specific, and I usually believe comments that come with such great specificity. He eventually remembers they're no longer buying from BMW, and that's probably what people are talking about. I challenged again. I asked how could you buy from anybody besides BMW when Clevite (the only other supplier) stopped production of S65 rod bearings 4 years ago. That got him stumped enough that he promised to go ask somebody else (the owner?) and get back to me because he knew they were buying from Clevite, not BMW.

Engine guy calls me back a few minutes later and says it's true...they did contract with Clevite to make some custom rod bearings. The new bearings, as he explained, were designed with 0.0005 inch extra clearance. VAC still adds the Calico coating, which he acknowledged takes up the extra 0.0005 inch -- returning the new bearings back to stock clearance.

So the bearings start life with 0.0005 inch extra clearance, have Calico coating added (which reduces by 0.0005 inch), and you end up with factory rod bearing clearance again.

These new bearings are Clevite Tri-Metal bearings, with lead-copper and Calico coating over the top. This means you will get the benefit of tracking lead in your Blackstone oil reports again (with these bearings).

In my opinion, this is a great new development for the market. VAC is first to market with a replacement bearing and coating over the top. This will get your engine back to the softer lead-copper bearings than the newer tin/aluminum 702/703's. Anybody who is replacing bearings right about now, and doesn't really think clearance is an issue, then these are the best choice you can make (IMO). I wouldn't use the OEM bearings under any circumstances when these are now available. Caveat: I'm assuming they don't go back to the original 088/089 clearance. If they do, then I might have to re-think this.

So what does this do for the extra clearance bearings we've been talking about making? Short answer: nothing. I spoke to the engineering and business guys behind the extra clearance bearing today and explained this development. I got a very simple answer:
"We're doing it better in every way we can think of; we've got better designers, we've got better methods, we're adding the correct amount of clearance; we're using a far superior coating than CT-1, and we will open up our testing data and make everything available once the time is right (gigabytes of data). Basically, there's nothing here that will stop us from moving forward."
I think VAC's entry into this will put pricing pressure on these business owners (that's a good thing IMO). I like VAC in the market as well because now the market can decide which bearing they want: custom lead-copper bearings factory clearance and CT-1 coating, or custom lead-copper bearings with extra clearance with better coating and gigabytes of test results available to back it up. It's a win-win for the market IMO.

Don't be surprised if you see pictures and measurements of these new bearings very soon.

Last edited by regular guy; 03-13-2015 at 08:59 PM..
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