As an engine builder person, it is important to select the right connecting rod for your engine. And you cannot just pick one out of the lot. You need to pick a top one. Basically, a connecting rod determines the power of your engine and its longevity.
Choose the wrong rod and you’ll be causing a premature failure, that may damage the entire engine. Finding the best connecting rod do can be challenging, especially when there are numerous options available. It is important to understand how rods are made, what type of material they’re made from, and which ones will work with your particular engine type before you make a purchase. Below we provide 5 of the top engine connecting rods for you to choose from.
#1. Demotor I-Beam Connecting Rods
If you are looking for the best connecting rods, look no further. The Demotor I-Beam is one of the better options as it is of very good quality and these rods have been rigorously tested under stressful conditions. More importantly for the price, these rods are a steal at this level of quality.
What Does A Connecting Rod Do?
A connecting rod is an essential component of an internal combustion engine. It connects the piston to the crankshaft. The rod converts the reciprocating motion of the piston into the rotary motion of the crankshaft, which powers the vehicle. The steel connecting rod is a crucial link that transfers energy between these two critical parts of your engine.
The end of the rod opposite to that which attaches to the piston connects with a bearing surface on the crankshaft known as a journal. This allows for smooth rotation and less wear on both components. Connecting rods come in various lengths, determined by factors such as stroke length, cylinder bore, and compression ratio, among others. Longer rods reduce side-loading on pistons while shortening their travel distance. Note that some rods are better than others as the material is better and can provide an optimized transfer of energy with their length.
Note that without a connecting rod, your engine would not operate.
What Are Connecting Rods Made Of
The materials used for connecting rods have evolved over time, with manufacturers experimenting with different alloys to achieve the best performance.
One popular material used for connecting rods is aluminum. Aluminum connecting rods are lightweight and offer excellent strength-to-weight ratios, making them ideal for high-performance applications. They also dissipate heat quickly and reduce overall engine weight, which improves fuel efficiency. However, aluminum rods can be more expensive than other options.
Another material that has been gaining popularity for connecting rods is titanium. Titanium rods offer even better strength-to-weight ratios than aluminum while still being light enough to improve engine performance.
Bronze is a popular material used for making some parts of a connecting rod because it has excellent thermal conductivity properties that help dissipate heat generated during engine operation. It helps reduce reciprocating mass which results in less stress on other components such as bearings and pistons.
On the other hand, steel is known for its toughness and durability which make it ideal for use in high-performance engines. The type of steel used for making the rods change from manufacturer to manufacturer. You need to check the type for great heat transfer and strength.
What is a billet rod
A billet rod is a high-performance engine part made from billet steel rods. The term “billet” refers to the type of material used to make these rods, which is a solid block of metal that has been machined down into the desired shape. Billet steel rods are known for their superior strength and durability, making them an essential component in any high-performance racing engine.
In essence, any billet connecting rod is manufactured from a single piece of flat forged steel. Usually, they are designed using a CAD-type computer program. They are then individually cut from a billet material. A water jet or other CNC-controlled machine is used to cut the rod to a highly precise end product.
Billet rods are commonly used in drag racing and other forms of motorsports where engines need to withstand extreme conditions. These types of engines often produce a lot of heat and stress on the internal components, so it’s important that all parts are able to handle the strain. Billet steel rods can hold up to this stress much better than traditional cast or powdered metal counterparts, making them a popular choice among serious racers looking for an edge.
Difference between forged and billet aluminum rods
The main difference between forged and billet aluminum connecting rods is their lifetime. Billet aluminum rods will most of the time have a longer lifespan than forged ones.
Measuring Connecting Rod Length
Engine builders and mechanics need to know the connecting rod length in order to properly assemble and balance an engine. Measuring connecting rod length is a straightforward process that can be done quickly with some basic tools. First, remove the connecting rod from the engine and take off any caps or bearings that are attached.
Next, find the center point of the piston pin by measuring its diameter and dividing it by two. Use calipers or a micrometer to measure this distance accurately. Then, measure the distance between the center points of the piston pin bore and the crankshaft journal bore. This measurement will give you the overall connecting rod length.
It is essential to ensure that all measurements are precise because even a small error can cause significant problems for an engine’s performance. It is also important to check manufacturer specifications for your particular engine model since certain engines may have different requirements for their connecting rods’ lengths.
Best Connecting Rods
- #1. Demotor I-Beam Connecting Rods
- #2. Eagle Specialty Products Connecting Rods
- #3. Speedway Motors Small H-Beam Connecting Rods
- #4. Scat Crankshafts I-Beam Connecting Rods
- #5. Speedmaster Forged H-Beam Connecting Rods
#1. Demotor I-Beam Connecting Engine Rods – Best Overall
When it comes to the best connecting rods, we think that the Demotor I-Beam Connecting Rods really offer the best value in terms of performance and quality to price.
As the name implies, these are I-beam connecting rods that are manufactured from high-quality 5140 chromoly steel. They are also x-rayed and ultrasonically tested on all surfaces.
Additionally, they have a floating wrist pin style with a 12-point bolt head style. They are also precision machined, honed journals, and pin ends.
The fastener yield strength is 200,000 PSI. This is sold as a set of 8 and we can say for sure that for the price, you won’t be able to find another set with the same quality and durability as these.
#2. Eagle Specialty Products Engine Connecting Rods – Top Brand
Next, we have the Eagle Specialty Products Connecting Rods, which are the best connecting rods for those who want outstanding strength and reliability.
They’re 5140 forged steel. Also, these connecting rods come in both press-fit and bushed pin models. We like how its lightweight design places less stress than its competition on the rest of your rotating assembly.
This in turn helps increases engine life as well as being better at handling high-rpm use. Also, as a safety measure and stress relief, the rods are sonic-tested, x-rayed, magnafluxed, and shot-peened. Finally, we like the fact that the rods come with 12-point ARP Wave-Lok rod bolts. They are also weight-matched to within 2 grams.
#3. Speedway Motors Small H-Beam High Performance Connecting Rods
Another good option for the best connecting rods is the Speedway Motors Small H-Beam Connecting Rods. This is a weight-matched set of 8 heavy-duty H-beam rods in 5.7-inch lengths.
You can also get the same set with a 6-inch length also sold by Speedway Motors. This particular rod features a full floating wrist pin in silicon bronze bushing.
There is also a precision bolt bushing to positively locate the cap and it features 8640 PCE 7/16″ cap screws. Also, one thing to check to make sure is if it is legal in your state.
All in all, in our honest opinion, we think these connecting rods are pretty good quality. Sure there are more expensive ones out there but you just don’t get a crazy performance boost by paying more money.
#4. Scat Crankshafts I-Beam Connecting Rods – High Performance Engine with Light Weight Rod
If you run the numbers, these rods are a very good bargain and a much better alternative to having your old rods rebuilt. Overall, this set of 8 met all of our expectations and more.
The one thing we wish Scat had told us about is just providing a bit more information. For example, to get the right torque specification, you’ll have to figure out the name of your rod bolts.
But overall, this is a solid set of connecting rods with excellent durability. And we give their customer service two thumbs up as they are very responsive and have a lot of patience.
#5. SpeedMaster H-Beam Street/Strip Connecting Rods
Lastly, we have the Speedmaster H-Beam Connecting Rods manufacturer, which is great if you want something weight balanced with Chromoly 4340 steel rod construction bushed pin bores. It will give you near to max hp rating. In terms of specs, we have a rod journal with a 7/16″ connecting rod bolt diameter, dimensions 11.2 x 9.9 x 3.9 inches, and weighs 13 pounds.
The quality is very much top-of-the-line. They are easily fitted, and made with the most precise engineering and the best materials possible. This attention to detail is shown in its premium price tag.
Whether or not it is worth it for you to buy is a different story. You probably won’t get a wild boost in performance for paying the premium, but if you’ve got money to spend and want the best quality, this is it.
Final words high-performance connecting rods
The five connecting rods discussed in this article all have different advantages and benefits that can meet a variety of needs for your engine project.
The Demotor I-Beam Connecting Rods offer an economical solution, while the Eagle Specialty Products Connecting Rods are great for high-performance applications.