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Select The Right Connecting Rod For Your Engine

by | Aug 27, 2021 | Business, Technology | 0 comments

When assembling your next engine, one of the essential considerations you will make is which piston connecting rod to use. Any time you boost output, the first thing that is tested is the strength of the connecting rods, whether it is a little warmed-over stock rebuild or an all-out strip-stormer. 

Aside from weight considerations, most connecting rod improvements do not considerably increase power output. What they do is even more critical: selecting the right connecting rods for your engine is based on several criteria. Here are some of the factors to consider when choosing a piston connecting rod for your machine.

Rod Length And Rod Ratio

The rod ratio is calculated by dividing the length of a connecting rod by the crankshaft’s stroke. Power, torque, engine efficiency, and piston wear may all be affected by this value.

Off-The-Shelf or Custom-Made?

Many rod manufacturers provide conventional rod lengths for the most popular engine applications and rods in different incremental lengths within their forging range. These off-the-shelf rods are often targeted at the engine builder developing a standardised performance motor rather than a one-of-a-kind motor. Because there are so many vendors, off-the-shelf rods are likewise reasonably priced.

On the other hand, custom-made rods are for engine builders who create something unique, distinctive and need one-of-a-kind components built to their precise requirements.

I-Beam vs H-Beam

I-beam piston connecting rods make up the majority of stock connecting rods. The connecting rods of a stock V8 engine can take up to 400 horsepower and 6,500 rpm. When you reach such levels of performance, you’ll need to look at aftermarket connecting rods. Aftermarket I-beams can bear heavy compressive loads, have strong tensile strength, and are typically lighter than H-beams, depending on the kind of steel used.


Though the casting technique is economical and produces near-net forms that need little machining, brittle products are absent from a coherent grain pattern and have poor molecular binding. In a high-performance engine, fragile piston connecting rods are the last thing you want.

Forged Steel 

Forged steel rods from original equipment manufacturers are the next step up the strength and dependability ladder. OE-forged rods from Detroit start as carbon steel bars that are rolled through a die. The rolling process compacts the molecular structure and creates a longitudinal grain flow that is homogeneous. After being heated to a plasticized condition, the bars are put into a female die and pushed into a near-final form while a punch locates and knocks out the big end bore.

Aftermarket Forged Steel

Aftermarket forged steel rods are known for their attention to detail and superior parent material. Despite the forging technique being similar, aftermarket rods are often constructed from high-carbon SAE steels, which are significantly superior to the low-carbon 51-series steel used in most OE-forged rods. 

True Billet Steel

In today’s market, true billet steel rods are quite scarce. Rough forms are flame-cut from a plate of premium grade forged high-carbon steel before being finish-machined to the final requirements. True billet rods save producers money by eliminating the need for costly forging dies, similar to cutting a design from a piece of fabric.

Fully Machined Forged Steel

Fully machined forged steel rods are precisely what their name implies. Simply put, they’re premium-grade forged piston connecting rods that have been shaved and given a high-tech shower. The machining process removes unwanted surface imperfections and improves the shape for increased strength and mass reduction.

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