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Old 09-22-2010, 06:18 PM   #1
Outlaw Bill
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Default Connecting rod discussion of aluminum vs Steel

I have been thinking this over for a long time. My engine consists of a DRCE 2 9.400 deck block with a 2.100 rod journal 3.750 stroke. It will see 9000-9500 rpms. It will be fed by the F3-139 making 2500hp or more. I'm trying to decide if a steel rod can live, or if aluminum rods are necessary. I have called Oliver, they pretty much told me they had not done anything like that before, and would be expensive to design a rod to live. I like the idea of the steel rod life, but if aluminum is the only rod that live, so be it.
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Old 09-22-2010, 07:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: Connecting rod discussion of aluminum vs Steel

how many cubes? aluminum rods on this, with that much rpm. not to discourage from trying steel or anything new.
cube question had nothing to do with opinion, just asking?

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Old 09-22-2010, 07:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: Connecting rod discussion of aluminum vs Steel

If your going to build and run a motor like that you better figure into the expense a rod maintenance program. Personally, I would run a MGP aluminum rod and replace them after 100 runs.
Your piston speed is not unmanageable but will requirer attention.

For comparisons......at 9500 @ 3.75" piston speed will be 5937 FPM, a Pro Stock engine runs around 6300 FPM and a 632 with a 4.75 stroke @ 8000 runs 6333 FPM.

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Old 09-22-2010, 07:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: Connecting rod discussion of aluminum vs Steel

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Originally Posted by tomato View Post
how many cubes? aluminum rods on this, with that much rpm. not to discourage from trying steel or anything new.
cube question had nothing to do with opinion, just asking?
499 c.i.d. - 4.600 bore x 3.750 stroke.

Quote:
If your going to build and run a motor like that you better figure into the expense a rod maintenance program. Personally, I would run a MGP aluminum rod and replace them after 100 runs.
Your piston speed is not unmanageable but will requirer attention.

For comparisons......at 9500 @ 3.75" piston speed will be 5937 FPM, a Pro Stock engine runs around 6300 FPM and a 632 with a 4.75 stroke @ 8000 runs 6333 FPM
MGP and GRP are on my list.
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Last edited by Outlaw Bill; 09-22-2010 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Connecting rod discussion of aluminum vs Steel

BME's,,,, pretty sure thats what the top fuel guys run, id stick with bill millers, seen some bad machining allowing the pin to drop out of the grp's and numerous sets cracked up next to the rod bolts in a friend of mines super street outlaw car

Last edited by ssnova; 09-23-2010 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: Connecting rod discussion of aluminum vs Steel

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BME's,,,, pretty sure thats what the top fuel guys run, id stick with bill millers, seen some bad machining allowing the pin to drop out of the grp's and numerous sets cracked up next to the rod bolts in a friend of mines super street outlaw car
Mike Smith by chance?




Bill - You might talk with Mark Wolfe with the twin turbo T-Bird. I think he was running steel rods in his car. I assume it was probably in that same hp and rpm range. He might have some valid input from the steel rod perspective.



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Old 09-24-2010, 02:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: Connecting rod discussion of aluminum vs Steel

Why even consider the steel, the aluminum isolate harmonics from the crank, is it a maintenance issue?
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Old 09-24-2010, 03:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: Connecting rod discussion of aluminum vs Steel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Clevenger View Post
If your going to build and run a motor like that you better figure into the expense a rod maintenance program. Personally, I would run a MGP aluminum rod and replace them after 100 runs.
Your piston speed is not unmanageable but will requirer attention.

For comparisons......at 9500 @ 3.75" piston speed will be 5937 FPM, a Pro Stock engine runs around 6300 FPM and a 632 with a 4.75 stroke @ 8000 runs 6333 FPM.

Blessings.........Ron.
and most pro stock motors have steel rods in them now too

we run steel olivers in our 525 f3 combo at 8500 rpm, no issues
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Old 09-24-2010, 03:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: Connecting rod discussion of aluminum vs Steel

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and most pro stock motors have steel rods in them now too

we run steel olivers in our 525 f3 combo at 8500 rpm, no issues
Who did you get them from?. Oliver says they don't make a 6.200-6.250 rod with 2.100 journals with a .990 pin to withstand 2500 plus hp and 9000 plus rpms. They only make a 2.200 rod journal. I'm looking at $3000.00 for a custom designed rod from Oliver. They say the 2.100 journal will break over 2000hp.
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Old 09-24-2010, 03:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Connecting rod discussion of aluminum vs Steel

" I have called Oliver, they pretty much told me they had not done anything like that before, and would be expensive to design a rod to live"


Interesting, Oliver told my builder last week they have a"extreme duty" steel rod for up to 2500hp that are being run in twin turbo cars with no failures... This is what he ordered me for my blower project.... EDIT maybe they just dont make it in your length

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Old 09-24-2010, 04:08 PM   #11
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Default Re: Connecting rod discussion of aluminum vs Steel

4.600x3.750 - man we've been threatening to do with with a roots combo for some time now.

I would think the biggest thing with a steel rod would be to keep a very close eye on the bearings. Being more rigid they're going to transfer more harmonics and more "bang" to the crankshaft. - I would think in that kind of app steel rods would likely have a noticable duty/life cycle as well as aluminum, thus though they might go 200 runs instead of 100. With the "crazy custom" cost difference, I personally don't see a benefit.
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:59 PM   #12
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Default Re: Connecting rod discussion of aluminum vs Steel

Quote:
Originally Posted by seabass459d View Post
" I have called Oliver, they pretty much told me they had not done anything like that before, and would be expensive to design a rod to live"


Interesting, Oliver told my builder last week they have a"extreme duty" steel rod for up to 2500hp that are being run in twin turbo cars with no failures... This is what he ordered me for my blower project.... EDIT maybe they just dont make it in your length
They don't make it in a 2.100 rod journal or that short from what the guy told me. Maybe they do, or the person I talked to thought I was a stroke. Happens once in a while, I have a speech inpediment called stuttering. Looks like aluminum rods will be the way to go, plus I can buy multiple sets for the price I was quoted on steel rods.
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Last edited by Outlaw Bill; 09-24-2010 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 09-24-2010, 06:59 PM   #13
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Default Re: Connecting rod discussion of aluminum vs Steel

Outlaw Bill, Mark Wolfe does indeed run steel rods in his AA/T comp car. But the motor is something like 347"s which would have substantionally less reciprocating weight. Also the turbo's require considerably less gross power to produce the same power to the rear wheels. I think Mark is actually in the 2650+hp area.
You would certainly be on the fringes with a steel rod if you had one made for it. An aluminum rod would be a tried and true area and would serve you. Personally I prefer the MGP rods which use the A-1 rod bolts. If you order from them make sure you torque the bolt as they specify......one pull to full torque.

Have fun.........................Blessings............. Ron.
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:25 PM   #14
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Default Re: Connecting rod discussion of aluminum vs Steel

Thank you Ron. It appears aluminum rods are my only choice. I have plenty of room for a top fuel sized aluminum rod in my block.
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Last edited by Outlaw Bill; 09-24-2010 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 09-26-2010, 07:48 AM   #15
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Default Re: Connecting rod discussion of aluminum vs Steel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Clevenger View Post
Outlaw Bill, Mark Wolfe does indeed run steel rods in his AA/T comp car. But the motor is something like 347"s which would have substantionally less reciprocating weight. Also the turbo's require considerably less gross power to produce the same power to the rear wheels. I think Mark is actually in the 2650+hp area.
You would certainly be on the fringes with a steel rod if you had one made for it. An aluminum rod would be a tried and true area and would serve you. Personally I prefer the MGP rods which use the A-1 rod bolts. If you order from them make sure you torque the bolt as they specify......one pull to full torque.

Have fun.........................Blessings............. Ron.
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