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Video: How to Polish a Thrust Bearing (and Why You’d Want to in the First Place!)

In an earlier video, we covered the process of checking crankshaft end play.  As our partners at Summit Racing explained, crankshaft end play, or thrust, is a delicate balance. Too much crankshaft thrust caused by the forward force of the transmission can lead to engine damage, but too little thrust bearing clearance can cause problems as well.

The good news is tight clearance is relatively easy to fix.

In this installment of Engine Building 101, the Summit guys show you how to polish your thrust bearing to gain clearance and increase oil film strength on the bearing. After checking initial crankshaft end play using a magnetic dial indicator deck bridge, the thrust bearing and crankshaft are removed from the engine. Using an emery cloth and oil, a small amount of surface area is removed from the thrust bearing using a figure eight pattern on the cloth.

After cleaning the bearing with acetone, a micrometer is used to measure bearing thickness and then some additional work is done to achieve the final clearance needed for the high-load engine.

Watch the whole process here:


  1. Pingback: Video: How to Polish a Thrust Bearing (and Why You’d Want to in the First Place!)

  2. Mike Brown says:

    That’s a great tip on what to do if you have clearances that are too tight. Is there a way to fix clearances that are too loose other than trying a different set of bearings?

  3. Excellent video. I have an LS Dart block that is 427 with the LS 7 large square port heads. It’s in a 98 corvette with twin 70mm rear mount turbos that I drive on the street regularly. The drive line uses a torque tube and the rubber couplers have been replaced with aluminum spacers which gives the drive shaft no in or out movement except heat expansion. I lost the thrust bearing but found it soon enough to not do massive damage to the crank. The crank was cleaned up but I now have .017 end play. Since the drive shaft goes in a splined flex plate and is clamped tight so the crank doesn’t exactly float, do you think this high amount of end play will work. After I warm up the motor I then lightly push the crank rearward and then tighten the clamp. Thanks

  4. Thanks for posting this great tutorial. Keep it up! | Central Albert Towing

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  8. Rhainne Coles says:

    How often should I clean and lube them and what lube should I use? Open here fore more

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