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Aluminum connecting rods?? Where'd they go??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fat Hack, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. Fat Hack
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 7,709

    Fat Hack
    Member
    from Detroit

    Yes, of course I'm likely a 'few' years out of date, as always...but in the process of looking into connecting rods for my 305 engine build, I've discovered that aluminum rods seem to have gone the way of the brontosaurus and the Bee Gees, and vanished into obsurity!

    It's looking like the old Manley aluminum rods have been discontinued, and the push seems to be towards imported steel rods of the same basic design, with the notion being that "they're almost as light, and they don't stretch".

    Yeah, that's great for Ricky Racer, but in a predominantly STREET engine, where my quest is for lower rotating and reciprocating weight (along with reduced friction) anywhere and everywhere possible in order to maximize performance AND economy. I was ready to pull the trigger on a set of trusty Manley rods, but everyone keeps pointing me to the aforementioned steel rods, primarily from the likes of Eagle, although Callies makes real nice ones on THIS side of the ocean, too.

    So...what's the word 'round the campfire these days? Aluminum rods a thing of the past? 'Cheap' imported steel ones all the rage? Just go with the steel Callies? Make a set out of paper mache'???

    Input welcome!
     
  2. Willy301
    Joined: Nov 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,426

    Willy301
    Member

    I see GM is using the "powdered metal rod" in their stock crate engines. Might be a good replacement for the stock build you have in mind. I expect they are lighter than steel, and they are probably more economical. They were used in some of GM's performance engines from the factory as well.
     
  3. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,129

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    Aluminum rods are expensive compared to whats available in steel, also less bulky when running strokes and large cam profiles. I have a brand new set of Howards 6" profiled (not for blown apps) I will let you have for $600 (reg. $750) plus shipping. send PM if interested
     

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  4. henryj1951
    Joined: Sep 23, 2012
    Posts: 2,304

    henryj1951
    Member
    from USA

    try http://www.crower.com/connecting-rods/titanium/stroker-titanium-crowerods-sb-chevy-5-700-2-125.html

    money money money times 8= WOW
    give a whole new meaning to reciprocating weight...
    :cool:




    ]click that iggie, can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen
    bye bye wanabes

    see there it works
    now they can't be better than you...

    now that i'm the top dog again and there's nobody to question my authority
    lets get back on subject

    See how self centered that sounds?

    its a sad world we live in that we must hold our selves to
    trying to make people believe that there the only ones that KNOW any thing.


    and in closing (like the shark tank ) for that reason i'm out.

    click

    ah i'm so master full

    disclamer: the above is not of my making it is the expressed views of some pm/im's of others expressing what they would like to say but were afraid to say it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012

  5. All due respect, there is just no reason to run those rods anymore, other than bench racing and bragging rights.

    Callies, Crower, and Carrillo can all furnish you with light, top of the food chain rods, period.

    Scat and Eagle can furnish you with middle of the road, decent and light enough rods for your 305. Unless you have a serious forced induction system or tons of Nitrous, you won't break them in a 305.

    Remember too, that UNLESS you are going the FULL lightweight Rotating and Recipricating route, just a light set of rods isn't really giving you all that end result that one might think.

    I'm not busting chops, and yes I have been balancing race engnes for years and years. Just the wrong set of pins can throw off most of the gains of a light set of rods on the small end, see what I'm saying.

    My advice sir is pick one of the names mentioned, and then go with what your wallet will allow. If you want a complete crank, rod, piston, pin, and ring stack in super light, tell me what you can spend and we will see what we can come up with, TR
     
  6. mechanickeith
    Joined: Mar 9, 2009
    Posts: 470

    mechanickeith
    Member

    last set I installed,,C&A deep cycle nitro rods,,, $2700 for a set of 10!!! They went into a 1960 Pontiac 389 running 96% nitro!! Car runs in the 6's at over 200mph.
     
  7. snaptwo
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 696

    snaptwo
    Member

    Many have gone over to the steel rod , more cycles , tighter tolerance control are just a couple reasons.Some billet aluminum are pretty brittle pieces, forged not so much. I wouldn't think a 305 more than a well prepped set of "pink" rods with good bolts. Me dose centavos.
     
  8. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,487

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Aluminum rods seemed like a good idea at one time. Then they found out aluminum does not have the fatigue strength of steel. In other words they might be strong enough on the first day but the metal fatigues and loses strength a lot faster.

    To compensate for this you can make the aluminum rod thicker and heavier but then you end up with a rod that weighs practically as much as a steel rod.

    Plus as engines get more powerful you need stronger rods. The newest steel rods are a lot stronger than the best aluminum rods.

    For a street 305 probably the lightest practical rods would be stock rods, ground smooth and polished with the balancing pads ground off.
     
  9. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,695

    56sedandelivery
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Lightweight rotaing assembly? Light pistons and pins, plus light aluminum rods, plus lightweight, profiled crank, equals EXPENSIVE MALLORY METAL to balance it all. And in a 305 to boot (I'm guessing SBC 305)? If it's for "economy", it'll take an awful long time to see the reward, and for "performance", it just won't last. I think you can get pretty close to your intent with stock, over-the-counter, Chevrolet parts, with a little aftermarket thrown in here and there. The biggest varitable, will the the vehicle weight it's asked to push around. Butch/56sedandelivery.
     
  10. murfman
    Joined: Nov 6, 2006
    Posts: 539

    murfman
    Member

    I think most of the aluminum rods went out the side of the block....:eek:
     
  11. GOATROPER02
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,059

    GOATROPER02
    Member
    from OHIO

    Butch your thinking backwards..... A lighter rotating assemble(rods,pistons,pins)require lighter counter weights on the crank when balancing ......heavy metal is for when we need to add weight to a crank
     
  12. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    CutawayAl
    Member
    from MI

  13. fms427
    Joined: Nov 17, 2006
    Posts: 864

    fms427
    Member

    In my road race engines, I've had really good luck with Eagle cranks and rods - these are 600+ horse plus SBC at 7000 rpm. Used to use Carillo, but broke too many !! But for your usage, good stock Pinks would do. Forget the aluminum rods !!:eek:
     
  14. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 19,916

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    Just say no to aluminum connecting rods.....
    Those ain't worth the "explosive" headaches....
     
  15. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    CutawayAl
    Member
    from MI

    There are two Carrillo lines, the budget ones and the good ones. The good ones are arguably the best that can be had. The grade of the material they are made of, the special care with which they are processed, an the accuracy of their machining, doesn't make them look different than cheaper rods, but there are only few other rods of similar quality. If the good Carrillos are breaking it's a good sign something isn't right.

    Pink rods are "ok". But if you want the most from them they need polishing, shot peening, re-sizing, and better bolts. After doing all that you are almost at the cost for a set of significantly better 4340 Scat/Eagle rods.
     
  16. JC Sparks
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 724

    JC Sparks
    Member
    from Ohio

    I don't have much experience with steel rods at all, but a few years ago I helped a guy with a mild sb Chevy in a dirt track car. He saved up and got 2 sets of eagle steel rods ( made in china on the box ). Went out the first week to just get some laps on it. Then next week he goes out to race it. Well 10 laps into it and out comes a rod. It broke rite in the middle. Next week he puts in the other engine with the other set of eagles. About half way through the race out comes a rod. This one broke just under the little end. If I had to run a steel rod in something I'd look for a old set of HP rods from the factory (GM, Ford, Mopar) and polish, resize and balance. Personally I would not even consider a eagle. JC
     
  17. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    CutawayAl
    Member
    from MI

    Not that an Eagle rod couldn't have a defect of one kind or another, they are well proven to be better than any factory rod. If I was breaking Eagles I would spend the extra money for an even better Carrillo, or Oliver, or Crower, Pauter, or Cosworth, rather than moving backward to an upgraded stock piece.
     
  18. Revhead
    Joined: Mar 19, 2001
    Posts: 3,027

    Revhead
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    Titanium rods are the new thing. A lot less bulky, very light, AND they last.
     
  19. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    CutawayAl
    Member
    from MI

    ....... and they make everything else seem cheap.:)
     
  20. OoltewahSpeedShop
    Joined: Oct 18, 2007
    Posts: 3,103

    OoltewahSpeedShop
    Member

    Titanium rods aren't a new thing, we've been running them in dirt engines since the mid 90's. SUPER expensive and light, but bullet proof.

    Aluminum rods in a street engine is just a waste of money. Spend your money on a good steel rod and you will get years of flawless performance.

    The 305 is gonna cost you a fortune for pistons and then there is the bore size issue with big valves. Get you a good 350 block to build, and you will be happier in the long run.
     
  21. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    CutawayAl
    Member
    from MI

    Two production engines I know of with titanium rods; the Accura/Honda NSX, and the Corvette LS7 engine. But I agree, the titanium rods in those engines/cars is about coolness factor rather than necessity.
     
  22. whiskerz
    Joined: Jul 7, 2011
    Posts: 148

    whiskerz
    Member
    from Ga.

    Aluminum rods are like playing with a basket full of rattlesnakes says Smokey and he was dead on. In the 80's I had a friend who used them drag racing , the back room of the show was full of blown up 10,000 rpm small block chevies with rod holes. he liked shifting at 10,000 rpm and knew the cost of going fast , street driving does not seem to be a good home for them
     
  23. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Sat back and watched this crock of un-informed BS roll for long enough. I've used BME aluminum rods in big hp street/strip motors, my #1 choice. Last longer than the rest of the engine will, and save stress on the rest of the bottom end. I'd be willing to bet money that 99% of the guys on this thread have never actually run aluminum rods. Just repeating what they read in magazines.
    But why in the hell would you even CONSIDER $1000 rods for a street driven 305???
     
  24. henryj1951
    Joined: Sep 23, 2012
    Posts: 2,304

    henryj1951
    Member
    from USA


    +1:cool:
     
  25. coupemerc
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 406

    coupemerc
    Member

    X2! There are a couple of manufacturers (BME is one) that are presently building some light and real durable aluminum pieces.
     
  26. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 19,916

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    I thought Bill Miller Engineering went belly up...
     
  27. mechanickeith
    Joined: Mar 9, 2009
    Posts: 470

    mechanickeith
    Member

    GRP & Childs & Albert.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012
  28. JC Sparks
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 724

    JC Sparks
    Member
    from Ohio

    I agree with the Bill Miller rods. We ran them for years in top fuel. **A note to my first post about the eagles, after he broke 2 of the eagles he put what they use to call pink rods that came over the counter at a GM performance dealer and ran them for at least 3 years. JC
     
  29. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 19,916

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    ....... And how much are the "pink" rods for a set of 8???...
     

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