Originally Posted by Xtremjeepn
so I'm not overly worried about the discoloration part of it being weaker.
The hardness would relate to wear characteristics of the surface; not the actual strength of the crank. Once that surface is compromised, it'll disintegrate in a hurry, should there not be sufficient oil film for the bearing to run on. Maybe, you knew that and just misunderstood where my concern was.