As part of MAHLE’s many educational efforts, Bill McKnight, training manager for MAHLE Aftermarket Inc., has a wealth of engine component knowledge and offers insights via his Technical Tuesdays Facebook posts, including proper engine bearing lubrication.
“Bearings will last nearly forever if they’re riding on an adequate film of clean oil. A properly maintained gasoline engine can easily travel 250,000 miles, and it’s common to see diesel engines with over a million miles,” McKnight said.
McKnight said the following points on engine bearing and oil interaction are important to remember while planning or assembling an engine:
- Tight engine bearing clearances are best as they create a desirable thin oil film on engine parts for good oil flow control
- Bearing clearance should be a thousandth of an inch per inch of shaft diameter
- An extra half thousandth of an inch should be added for a high performance engine
- Buy the best engine oil you can afford, and then some
“If the barrier of oil disappears or becomes thinner than an engine part’s protrusions, scouring can occur resulting in nearly instantaneous engine failure. This is especially important in high performance engines with their increased pressures,” McKnight said. “Following the above guidelines will help ensure your engine lasts as long and reliably as possible.”