Jay’s Tech Tips #2 – Thrust Bearings and Avoiding Crank Walk – Real Street Performance
Jay’s Tech Tips #2 – Thrust Bearings and Avoiding Crank Walk – Real Street Performance


So today we’re going to show you real quick how to seat your thrust bearing. If you have an engine that the main caps are not doweled or if it’s not a bed plate style engine, then this is something that can help you. Basically the thrust is located in a main saddle in the block and off if it’s hardware. But there’s some wiggle room and how the cap can locate into the block. So it’s important that you seat the thrust bearing before you operate the engine. So when you load the bearings in for the first time I always load them in dry on the thrust and check my end play. And before I check my end play, you just get a rubber mallet and kind of beat the crank back and forth in the block to get the cap seated against the thrust of the crank shaft. And then what you’ll do is you’ll get a screwdriver or a small pry bar. And basically pry the cap in the forward position. And then go ahead and torque the cap down. And once you’ve torqued the cap down, then you’re going to use your dial indicator to check and make sure that the end play meets the specification that your factory service manual recommends. So go ahead and pull this cap up. Let’s give the crank a little tap. Then go ahead and fix the dial indicator somehow. If you have an aluminum block you can use a small piece of steel plate bolted to the to the block to get the embedded base to stick. If you don’t have a bolt in and then just go ahead and measure the crank and play. I’m going to shoot for three or four. It looks like we got four. So we’ll let it ride. You’ll want to do this. It’s an important step. If the thrust is not seated correctly and it’s not square to the thrust surface of the crankshaft, the thrust bearing will wear unevenly. And you’ll develop what most refer to as crank walk.

6 thoughts on “Jay’s Tech Tips #2 – Thrust Bearings and Avoiding Crank Walk – Real Street Performance”

  1. Boosted01R says:

    sweet…. hope this is a regular thing 🙂

  2. Dale justice says:

    Hi, so do i just hand tighten the main caps and thrust bearing n then pry it forward and back and torque them to spec and then use the dial for end play? I am building a 2 g dsm. Thank's..

  3. D.j. B says:

    HEY JAY, IM INSTALLING NEW MAIN & ROD BEARINGS! After starting on the main bearings, I realized that my main bearings were ok but, since I have new one"s, why not install them? im working on a 03 ford focus 2.0 dohc vin 3 zetec, I have all of the mains in except the thrust bearing, I am having trouble rolling it out! I am doing this job from under the car, outside laying on a concrete pad, in the frezing cold & now its night time & below freezing in the north east_ OHIO… ANY SUGGESTIONS? I STARTED W/#1  THEN #5 THEN WENT# 2,#4 ACTUALLY IM DOING MY #4 NOW & THEN GOING BACK TO THE #3 THRUST BEARING! THE EXHAUST IS IN MY WAY BUT IM FINAGALING ARROUND IT.. ANY IDEA"S??????

  4. D.j. B says:

    ALSO MY MOTOR SPINS CLOCKWIZE! HOWEVER, IN ORDER TO GET THE MAIN BEARINGS OUT, IT WOULD BE EASIER TO TURN THR CRANK COUNTER CLOCKWIZE TO ASSIST IN REMOVING MY THRUST BEARING BUT, I JUST DID MY TIMING BELT 2 MONTHS AGO & I HAVE BOTH, MY UPPER & LOWER OIL PAN OFF & I DONT OWN A ENGINE HOIST SO, THE ONLY WAY TO DISCONNECT MY TIMING BELT WOULD BE TO DROP MY MOTOR MOUNT & SUPPORT THE ENGINE WHICH WOULD BLOCK THE BEARING WORK & ITS LATE & FREEZING & ID RATHER NOT DEAL WITH MY TIMING AGAIN TONIGHT OR AT ALL IF AT ALL POSIBLE. IM WONDERING WHAT I CAN DO 2 GET MY UPPER PART OF MY THRUST BEARING OUT? HOW TO ROLL IT OUT? COUNTER CLOCKWIZE? THE TANG PREVENTS ME FROM SPINNING CLOCKWIZE!!!

  5. Kryndon64 says:

    Would this apply to the 7 bolt 4G63s which use a full size main girdle for the end cap (one piece) and has the main thrust washer which is one piece (flanged bearing)? My thinking is, that flanged bearing really has nowhere to go once put onto the block, and since the main girdle is a full piece, you can't really wiggle it much. I'm about to assemble my shortblock, that's why I'm asking.

  6. Allen Johnson says:

    @mike notorious

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