Honda engine bearings......OEM versus ACL?
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  1. #1
    Junior Member Toy Civic's Avatar
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    Honda engine bearings......OEM versus ACL?

    Wanted to get some opinions about which bearings to use.

    I will use an OEM LS crankshaft that will probably mic out at the proper specs, meaning no previously spun bearings and the journals never turned.

    I have been told that OEM Honda bearings have different color codes to specify the different tolerances.........but most of the time, the green color code is used. I've also been told that ACL bearings are just as good, but are always a standard tolerance that matches the OEM green tolerance. I need to know if this is a correct statement. If correct then continue reading. If not correct, then what would be the correct statement?

    If my crankshaft mics out properly to meet the OEM "green" tolerance, then which bearing would you use? ACL bearings are about half the price of Honda bearings. Are ACL bearings the same quality as OEM Honda?

  2. #2
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    Assuming none of the journals need anything besides the standard size bearing, ACL makes quality bearings that many guys use for their motor builds.

    Personally, I would use OEM bearings.

  3. #3
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    Your information on ACL bearings is correct, I just went through this about 2 months ago. If you are taking measurements yourself, be sure you have a micrometer that is accurate between ten-thousandths and one hundred-thousandths of an inch. Most commercially available micrometer's aren't accurate to this degree of precision. I got mine for $220 a piece. Link: http://www.mytoolstore.com/starrett/microndx.html


    After lots of thought, measuring, and talking to various builders, I decided to stick with OEM only. I am sure ACL makes quality engine bearings, but unless you have your crankshaft precisely ground to mate with "green" bearings, they aren't up to par with OEM.

    I have yet to see a "virgin" Honda crankshaft with identical measurements all the way across, calling for "green" bearings. Depending on the measurement variance (between journals), using the same size bearing on all can result in a variance oil pressure. I just feel that Honda must have fine tuned everything for a reason. 8500 +/- RPM's isn't something to underestimate.

    IMO, you shouldn't cut corners on bearings for anything other than an economical box. With the amount spent already, I doubt the extra cost for OEM will brake the bank.

    In the end, I doubt you would have any major issues with ACL bearings as they have been used countless times.

    This is just my opinion, take it or leave it.




    Main Bearing thickness by color
    Blue 2.013-2.010 mm 0.0793- 0.0791
    Black 2.010-2.007 mm 0.0791- 0.0790
    Brown 2.007-2.004 mm 0.0790- 0.0789
    Green 2.004-2.001 mm 0.0789- 0.0788
    <- ACL Size
    Yellow 2.001-1.998 mm 0.0788- 0.0787
    Pink 1.998-1.995 mm 0.0787- 0.0785
    Red 1.995-1.992 mm 0.0785- 0.0783




    Rod bearing thickness by color
    Blue 1.510-1.507 mm 0.0594- 0.0593
    Black 1.507-1.504 mm 0.0593- 0.0592
    Brown 1.504-1.501 mm 0.0592- 0.0591
    Green 1.501-1.498 mm 0.0591- 0.0590
    <- ACL Size
    Yellow 1.498-1.495 mm 0.0590- 0.0589
    Pink 1.495-1.492 mm 0.0589- 0.0587
    Red 1.492-1.489 mm 0.0587- 0.0586

  4. #4
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    Moved to Engine Tech and Tuning.

  5. #5
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    No matter what bearings you use, you really, really, really should plasti-gage them to make sure your tolerances are correct when the main caps are torqued.

    Given the relatively cheap price of bearings, you can take your time and order several sizes to match up the sizes you need, checking and re-checking with plasti-gage.

    In the process of building engines, crank and rod bearing sizing is one of, if not THE most critical steps you need to take. If you want to try a different brand of bearing, just take your time, and do it right. I typically measure and torque the main caps 2-3 times when guaging the bearings before finally lubing them up and leaving the lower end assembled.
    -Harry
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  6. #6
    stock booster 18crx's Avatar
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    oem all the way baby.
    ya myspace.com/mistermademan2 crx pics in trueHD

  7. #7
    Senior Member Buyimports2's Avatar
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    Is anything better than OEM Honda? lol I think Honda has definetely proven themselves to be reliable.

  8. #8
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    acl has the advantage of being trimetal

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceboy View Post
    acl has the advantage of being trimetal
    so are oem gsr/itr/ctr bearings. oem LS/B20/B16A are bimetal.
    this is my signature. there are many like it but this one is mine.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1stGenCRXer View Post
    Given the relatively cheap price of bearings, you can take your time and order several sizes to match up the sizes you need, checking and re-checking with plasti-gage.
    Great info, but I think it only applies to OEM. Not really any choices with the others, see below...


    Quote Originally Posted by iceboy View Post
    acl has the advantage of being trimetal
    But they only offer one standard size, and a few over/under size bearings. The over & under sizes are intended for use on a crank that has been "turned" or a block that had the main's "line honed". With most engine manufactures, this is common practice. Honda, however, chooses to run more precisely specified oil clearances.

    Take this for instance...
    Say you purchased ACL Standard bearings, for a Virgin, OEM Crankshaft & block. (Bearing surfaces are still original, Never line honed etc.) When you test fit & plasti-gauge, main #2 and rod #4 are out of tolerance by .00xx". What do you do then?

    The only options I see are:
    Order the next step "oversize" main's, and have the entire block "line honed".Then order the next "undersize" rod bearings, and have the rod journals turned. And after all this, you probably still wont have even clearances on every journal.

    At that point, you've already bought 2 sets of ACL's, paid for a crank resurface and main "line bore/hone". By then you have exceeded the cost of OEM bearings anyway. Honda OEM bearings are available individually, and give you the option to fine tune at each individual journal. You can even use the "half step" method, which is 2 different colors on the same journal.

    Ok, i'm officially done trying to persuade people to use Honda Engine Bearings. Sorry to sound like a broken record, maybe I am just too picky.

  11. #11
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    Gonna have to disagree with you there, I've gone through this every time I do a honda lower end.

    You're matching the bearings to the crank, that's it.

    In my experience, if the crank is damaged and needs to be polished or otherwise cut, replace it. Honda's hardening process on their cranks only gives a few thousandths of hardening, and then you get into the softer inner material. If you cut too much, you compromise the strength of the crank, and you'll have tuning and reliability issues down the road [been there, done that].

    Also, you shouldn't consider line honing the mains on the block unless you really want headaches.

    So, what you do is match up your main bearings based on how they clearance out, and go with slightly over or under sized accordingly PER main. You're not going to get the same size bearing at every location without a lot of work and luck. Rods are the same way, match the bearing needed with the journal it's going to ride on for proper clearance and don't worry about trying to get them all the same size.

    For the record, this is the method I've used with OEM honda bearings, and, as with my car which I rebuilt the engine 7 years ago, aftermarket bearings.
    -Harry
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1stGenCRXer View Post
    Gonna have to disagree with you there, I've gone through this every time I do a honda lower end.

    You're matching the bearings to the crank, that's it.

    In my experience, if the crank is damaged and needs to be polished or otherwise cut, replace it. Honda's hardening process on their cranks only gives a few thousandths of hardening, and then you get into the softer inner material. If you cut too much, you compromise the strength of the crank, and you'll have tuning and reliability issues down the road [been there, done that].

    Also, you shouldn't consider line honing the mains on the block unless you really want headaches.

    So, what you do is match up your main bearings based on how they clearance out, and go with slightly over or under sized accordingly PER main. You're not going to get the same size bearing at every location without a lot of work and luck. Rods are the same way, match the bearing needed with the journal it's going to ride on for proper clearance and don't worry about trying to get them all the same size.

    For the record, this is the method I've used with OEM honda bearings, and, as with my car which I rebuilt the engine 7 years ago, aftermarket bearings.
    I'm, not always the best at trying to put my thoughts on paper, but what you said is exactally what I've been trying to describe in all theese bearing threads latley. I agree that you should only use an OEM, un-molested crank. I was only explaining crank-resurfacing to show the reason that ACL manufactures larger & smaller thicknesses.

    My issue with ACL is that they only make one std. size main & rod bearing. They only have "green" bearings. Honda OEM offeres 7 different sizes with plenty of possible combinations to get your clearances exact, with mix & match. When I built my B18C1, I established a "goal" clearance, and every journal was right where I wanted it. I had to order bearings 2 seperate times, however.

  13. #13
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    YOU CAN'T HAVE DIFFERENT BEARING AT DIFFERENT LOCATIONS! It is like trying to make a curved line straight. I have asked everyone from parts people to engine rebuilders to clear up this misconception. NOONE has been able to answer to my satisfaction why would anyone change a bearing thickness in an engine. It throws the geometry of a balance by the wayside. The only reason I can find is that the hardness might a factor. Besides even the factory manual says plastic-guage everything. But I found that the process marks the bearing and it cannot be removed from the babit of the bearing with some disruption of the material. Soooo just make sure everything is measured accurately and plastic guage as little as possible. Mrbeenjamin By the way the weight of the rods on the hondas is within a few grams. That is the closest to the same as I have seen in many engines from all manufactures.

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