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Is it ok to sand thrust bearings

Working on an 89 Subaru justy. Had the crank ground .02 under. Got the bearings for it. Clearances are all good except the thrust bearing is way too tight. It wedges into the crank and won’t turn. Should I bring it back to the machine shop or is sanding the bearings the proper fix?

I would prefer not to sand the bearings. The thrust clearance on the crank could not have gotten smaller so the thrust bearing is thicker than standard. I would call your crank grinder, tell them the problem and see what solution they might offer. Maybe there is a thrust bearing available that will fit.

Measure the clearance with a feeler gauge to determine what size bearing is needed. It is likely that a correct size is available. It is very unlikely that thrust bearings can be dressed down uniformly by hand sanding them.

You can sand the thrust bearing.

Clamp the two halves of the thrust bearing together with a worm clamp.

Place a sheet of 600 grit sandpaper on a sheet of glass, and rub the thrust bearing in a circular motion over the sandpaper until the proper crankshaft end play is achieved.


Thanks for the replies. I contacted the machine shop and they are going to grind the crank to accept the bearings.

So the machine shop told me is is too risky to regrind the crank so they recommend sanding the bearings. Another 4 hour drive wasted. I’ve read that sanding should be done on the front side of the bearing. Is that the side opposite the transmission?