Clevite brand bearings
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Clevite brand bearings in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Has anyone used Clevite brand main bearings? Rockauto has a set of main bearings for the Northstar for about $59.00. ...
  1. #1
    KHE
    KHE is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Clevite brand bearings

    Has anyone used Clevite brand main bearings? Rockauto has a set of main bearings for the Northstar for about $59.00. Braisington's (gmotors.com) price for the set of 5 main bearings is around $160.00.

    Brasington's price for the GM rod bearings was very close to Rockauto's price so I am going to buy my rod bearings from them.

    Clevite's website states the bearings meet or exceed OEM specs. I wonder why the huge difference in price?

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    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: Clevite brand bearings

    Clevite has been making engine bearings and babbitt metal since before I was born. I use their products in my marine Olds455 conversions. Their mains should be perfectly fine. No idea why the large price disparity. Not sure if Federal Mogul makes Northstar bearing inserts..........

    Brasington Cadillac (Gainesville, FL) is now merged into Palm Chevrolet/Cadillac, NE Gainesville.

    The Northstar crank uses radiused journal shoulders, so make sure your rebuilder knows how to grind for any undersized bearing inserts. The GM manual recommends NOT grinding the crank, rather - replace it.

  4. #3
    KHE
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    Re: Clevite brand bearings

    That's what I thought - Clevite has been in business for a long time - who knows, they may even make the bearings for GM. I can't see spending another $100.00 for GM bearings in this case.

    The crank is fine - no need for grinding. I'll be using standard size main bearings.

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    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: Clevite brand bearings

    Prelube the bearings with a mixture of 30W oil and assembly lube.

    Because you have disassembled the entire engine, before you install/start it make up a rig to pump engine oil through the entire system using the oil pressure sending unit port on the filter adapter.

  6. #5
    KHE
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    Re: Clevite brand bearings

    The shop manual states to unplug the power to the ignition control module and crank the engine for 30 seconds to prime the system. Wouldn't that accomplish the same thing as pumping oil through the port in the oil filter adapter?

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    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: Clevite brand bearings

    Yes, but I'm old-school antsy about rolling over an engine with no oil in the system. If I were to do that there would be no spark plugs in the engine - no compression = less load on the new bearings until oil pressure comes up.

    I will soon start the Olds 455 engine in my boat that's been laid up since November, using the exact procedure you describe - BUT the engine was fogged and laid up with oil in the system, so no problem rolling it over until pressure comes up - then I hit the choke and off we go.

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    KHE
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    Re: Clevite brand bearings

    Cranking it without the plugs for 30 seconds sounds like a good idea to me - I'll do that when before I fire it up the first time.

  9. #8
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    Re: Clevite brand bearings

    When I did my HG project, I followed the FSM suggestion to simply crank with the ignition disabled - I did 3 10 second spurts, with a brief rest period between crankings...with the plugs in. Be prepared for some elevated valvetrain noise the first few minutes - it seems to take a little while to get everything pumped up and lubed up on the top end of these engines. I suppose Sub's suggestion might help quiet things down sooner - old farts do come up with good ideas sometimes!

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    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: Clevite brand bearings

    We can't do it with a Northstar, but many engines which use distributors let you pull the distributor and stick a 5/16" or 3/8" socket with long extension on the oil pump drive (the oil pump is driven off the lower end of the distributor cam gear) and use a drill to pre-lube the entire engine to 60 psi. Every Olds 455 I build is ready to run at first rollover.

    You can accomplish the same end result with a Northstar by making a pressure kit which attaches to the oil pressure sending unit (sensor) port.

  11. #10
    KHE
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    Re: Clevite brand bearings

    I think I am going to buy Sealed Power main bearings. Sealed Power is a trademark of Federal Mogul and Federal Mogul makes a ton of parts for GM. I wouldn't be surprised if FM was the OEM supplier of the bearings. Rockauto has the set for about $61.00.

  12. #11
    tateos's Avatar
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    Re: Clevite brand bearings

    I wouldn't be surprised if there is only one company in the US that actually makes all the bearings for the Northstar - Clevite - Sealed Power - GM - probably, they are the same

  13. #12
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    Re: Clevite brand bearings

    As far as I'm concerned Clevite makes about the best bearings available. I've used them exclusively in all the engine builds I've done over the years.
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    the recluse is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Clevite brand bearings

    Quote Originally Posted by submariner409 View Post
    We can't do it with a Northstar, but many engines which use distributors let you pull the distributor and stick a 5/16" or 3/8" socket with long extension on the oil pump drive (the oil pump is driven off the lower end of the distributor cam gear) and use a drill to pre-lube the entire engine to 60 psi. Every Olds 455 I build is ready to run at first rollover.
    I ran this procedure on my 4.9 HG repair before first crank and is what I've done on all my engine builds...

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