When we were out at the Big 3 Swap Meet in San Diego, Product Manager, Neil Matranga, met Dick from the South Bay Touring A's. Dick was interested in the babbitting process and what better way to quench his interest then to invite him and the rest of the South Bay Touring A's for a tour at Egge Machine Company.
On Monday, April 26, the club parked their Model A's out front and met up with Bob Egge for the grand tour. Although the guys weren't into the nostalgic performance products lining the shelves, it was the vintage restoration products that piqued their interests. Babbitt bearings, stainless steel valves, newly cast pistons, upgraded suspension and steering components were the types of things that interested these driven enthusiasts.
Through the aisles and racks of inventory - our next stop was the machine shop. Literally located right behind the showroom and administration offices, the 20,000 square foot facility houses three machining cells, an aluminum foundry, pump remanufacturing facility, valve manufacturing and the babbitt department.
First up was the babbitt department. "Babbitt King" Michael Kirwin poured insert bearings with our special nickel babbitt mix. After he pours the bearings in a special jig, he heats the bearing to remove any porosity. Then he presented a straight 8 Buick motor, which he is pouring the babbitt directly into the block to later have align-bored. An early flathead came in the shop allowing Michael to show the inner workings and the differences between an early and late Ford Flathead V-8.
Bob then led the group to the foundry and guided them through the manufacturing process of our pistons. From there Bob toured the fuel, oil and water pump remanufacturing facility and valve manufacturing, then back to the showroom where Neil pointed out the benefits of using a zinc additive to their engine oil. As they departed they headed down to our neighbor Electronic Chrome for a tour of his facility as well. If your interests lie with Model A's you may want to look up this group in the South Bay area of Los Angeles.