Peak oil film pressure is cited as the parameter controlling the fatigue life of a sleeve bearing. Variables affecting peak film pressure, and the freedom to control them, are discussed. Bearing clearance is the variable most readily controllable, and has the greatest impact on film pressure.Through a simple design change to the conventional sleeve bearing, substantial improvements in fatigue life can be realized for any bearing alloy. Tests in both engines and bearing fatigue rigs have confirmed the validity of the theory on which the design is based. Advantages and implications of the new bearing design with respect to heavy-duty diesel engines are discussed.