Babbitt material for Howell V4 oil bushing

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Aug 21, 2011
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Gold Coast, Australia
I am in the process of building the Howell V4. The engine incorporates an oil pump which forces oil through passages to places where it is required.
One such passage "crosses" the crankshaft. This is achieved by used an oil bushing that has an internal groove, directing the oil from a hole in one side to a hole at the opposite side of the shaft.
This oil bushing should be machined form a material called "Babbitt".
A quick search on the internet will reveal all about this interesting alloy which was used extensively in days gone by to manufacture bearings by casting it around the shaft.
An attempt to source some this material yielded only one source - in Germany - but at ridiculous cost.
Can I ask the experienced model builders: What alternative material can be used? Would pure tin or copper be suitable?
Thank you
Cor Rademeyer
forget babbitt its pretty obsolete, use high leaded bearing bronze,
in the US its copper alloy C-932 aka SAE 660, has about 7% lead
I came up with the same concern when I built my Howell. Moved on and machined it from a piece of bronze per the drawing details. Have not experienced any problems as the oiling system seems to take of every thing. Hope this belays your concern.
I have babbitt bars, and use them to pour babbitt bearings, since this is how it was done in the old days, and I like to replicate that.

You can buy babbitt in various grades, depending on how hard you need it.

Bearing bronze is a good alternative, and much easier than pouring babbitt, but not as authentic, if you are going for an exact replica.

This is where I get my babbitt:
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Thank you for the valuable information and advice. This specific oil bushing is simply used to direct oil around a shaft and serve no purpose as a bearing as it sits between two roller bearings. Therefore, the advice makes lots of sense.
Babbitt is not obselete , almost every multi cylinder vehicle engine uses babbitt crankshaft bearings , now it is on steel shells but the bearing metal is still babbitt , or white bearing metal if you prefer.
Looks like it is available on both Amazon and eBay - at least in the US. As I understand it from what some of you have shared over the years, availability in Australia can be very different. :(

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