Thrust Washer Replacement


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I've had my car for 13 years and I'm embarrassed to say that I've never checked my Thrust Washers (TW)! So this winter I decided to do a few things: replace the TWs, Check the main bearings, blueprint the oil pump and install Marc Goldblatts steel sealing block which I've had for 3 years.

Fellow 6-Pack member Bob Murray stopped by with his professional measuring tools. With the engine out of the car it's pretty easy to push/pull the crank back & forth to check the end float.

Bob Murray setting up his Dial Indicator with magnetic base

We pushed the crank back as far as it would go and zeroed out the gauge.

Repeated in & out movement of the crank returned 0.010 of float. The spec calls for it to be between .006 & .008 so it's a little off.

Arrows point to the two Thrust Washers - Both are under the Main cap on the flywheel side of the engine

Using a plastic wire tie to push the old TW out. The right arrow shows it coming around. If it doesn't easily slide out try the other TW. The crank location will make one side easy and the other side tight. Move the crank and the tight one will now be loose.

Measurement #1 shows 0.092 at every point measured
Different Tool but same results. And.........BOTH TWs measured exactly the same.
This is the front or inboard TW
Same TW, other side. The arrow points to the STD stamp.
The rear TW
And the other side, also with the STD stamp.

Now that I had the necessary information, I emailed Scott Helms who makes custom thrust washers out of a special alloy to get his advice on what sizes I should get. The goal is to get the end float to be from .006" to .008". Where it should be is an "argument" among guys over having a tight versus a loose engine and shooting for better oil flow versus oil pressure. Scott's reply to me was that we keep the front TW at the same .092" and go to .097" which will give me an end float of .005". He preference is to go a little tighter as the float will only get larger as the TWs wear.

Here's the two new TWs from Scott. Even though he marks them as +/- .001, they were spot on the measurement.

One noticeable difference is that Scott's TWs are wider which gives a greater contact surface and still fits with no problems.

This is the assembly lube we used.

We covered all friction bearing surfaces i.e. both sides with gobs of lube which has the consistency of honey.

And we did the same to the crank face and sides.

The blue arrow points to the rear TW which is already in place. The yellow arrows point to the groove and the direction this TW will face. The grooves face away from each other so the rear TW has the grooves facing to the rear of the engine and the front TW has them facing the front of the engine.

The blue arrows show the rear one in place while the yellow arrows point the the front TW half way in and the opening where it will wrap around to.

And that's it. Pretty easy to do with the engine out of the car and not too difficult to do with the engine in the car. The hardest part is probably removing the oil pan!