Rod bearing inspection/verification

Erik Halvorson hammer_down at
Tue Mar 17 14:46:15 CDT 2009

If you pull the caps, spend the $ (not much in the big scheme) and install new Nissan bearings.  The crank journals are incredibly hard and even if you have "lightly" spun a bearing (dented oil pan!!!) the crank journal surface is most likely in good shape.  Last time I tried to buy plastigage in the range that cooresponded to the Nissan factory clearances, I had no luck, but that was at least 7 years back, so things may have changed.  On my Dad's SE-R (engien still in car) I pulled all for rod caps, pushed the piston up the bore and then measured the crank journal with a dial caliper.  They were ALL within spec of the FSM.  I visually inspected all four journals and compared them with the corresponding bearings that I just reomoved.  Even the journal with the spun bearing looked prefect (thought he bearing had surface scuffs along witht eh tangs being all flattened out....  I coated the new bearings with assembly lube, torqued to spec, pounded the pan back into shape, reassembled...  The car has 50k additional and still running strong.  If this was a hot turbo engine or a race engine, I would pull the crank and do a more thorough inspection, maybe have the crank repolished and then checked for size.

Erik Halvorson 


From: ben at
To: timprogers at
Subject: Re: Rod bearing inspection/verification
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 2009 11:15:54 -0700
CC: se-r at

Yeah I have both pans and both oil baffles already removed.  I went ahead and put in the ES motor mounts I had been putting off once I could not find any visible confirmation of bearing failure and called it a day.  I am leaning towards replacing the bearings and putting it back together, but was wondering if I pull the bearing and it's ok is it safe/smart to put it back in or once it's out it needs to be replaced anyway.  Any opinions on the Cleavite 77 trimetal bearings vs OEM Nissan ones?
On a related not has anyone had luck repairing the crack in the primary joints on a HS header?  Is it just a matter of time till it cracks again?  Does Greg V still deal in OEM Nisan parts with his new business, I don't think he's on this list anymore.
Ben '92 SE-R
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