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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all.. I know this has been covered before but with all the new technology coming out these days I just thought I would bring it up again. I am finally trying to get my engine back together and have acquired a set of Garrett GTX5518R 88mm turbos so my potential power making goals have jumped up a bit over the PT 106mm that I had laying around. My engine will be in the 470 to 490ci range depending on if I decide on going with a 3.75 or a 3.91 stroke crank with my 4.50 bore. My heads are a small but tall port design that did flow in the high 490cfm range. It was set up originally for a BBC style 6.385 rod using a 2.100 rod journal and a .990 piston pin. My question is about the rods.. Old school train of thought was an aluminum rod at the power level this thing should be at but more and more I am hearing steel rods being used like Oliver's. What are your guys thoughts on the subject. Also any thoughts on the new BoostLine Connecting Rods by Wiseco since the size I need is available in their new line? Any insight would be greatly appreciated!!!
 

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I'm far far from a veteran engine guy or even racer. But I've been researching this subject a lot. Aluminum Vs. Steel rod seems to come down to the shock and resonance from combustion whether controlled or uncontrolled (detonation) being transferred more harmfully with a steel rod than with an aluminum rod. A tuning mistake or wiring issue or injector problem, etc... Situation an aluminum rod might make the difference between a junk block and crank or just junked bearings/piston. At this power level whether big block or small block it seems the aluminum Rod path seems to be the clear choice as long as you accept the fact that there's a service life of the rods and the higher the engine speed and piston weight the shorter the Rod life. The near zero tolerance mistake with aluminum rods is if something in the drivetrain breaks i.e. Transmission, rearend or driveshaft, don't make another single pass without changing the rods.

In regards to the Wiseco rod, seems like just a marketing scheme to me. Rods typically don't break in the area they've added mass. Seems to me they did something different to set their Chinese Rod apart from every other just for attention.
 

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I mean, this guy just went into the 3's, 1/8th mile at under 400ci LS-based motor. With GRP aluminum rods. I don't think there is an issue using aluminum rods. And just to be straight with you, if I was building a car like yours that had the potential to easily go bottom 4's, I would be consulting with reputable engine builders, not an internet forum.

 

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There is always talk about service life of an aluminum rod also. There is a lot of good info out there on this from big name builders and manufacturers. I personally know several people with aluminum rod engines ranging from 2000 to 3500 hp. I currently have billet steel olivers in my engine and they are going to get changed to aluminum first chance I get. I bring this up because I know a guy who has no less than 300 passes on an aluminum rod supercharged BBC on M5 making an easy 2500 hp. The trick is tune up and knowing when you possibly may have hurt something ie DATA LOGGING!!!!
 

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I mean, this guy just went into the 3's, 1/8th mile at under 400ci LS-based motor. With GRP aluminum rods. I don't think there is an issue using aluminum rods. And just to be straight with you, if I was building a car like yours that had the potential to easily go bottom 4's, I would be consulting with reputable engine builders, not an internet forum.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yqW5BruYf0&feature=youtu.be
He had steel rods before ( making about 2200 hp and went to aluminum ) when making over 2400 hp I would go with GRP Aluminum rods just my two cents . Also this form has some pretty knowledgeable people just saying
 

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Definitely go aluminum rods if it will truly be pushed to its max capability. If you rattle it the aluminum rods may save the engine and 9 times out of 10 they will remain straight. The steel rods can't make this claim. Don't get me wrong I am a steel rod fan but not in this instance. My rod pics would be BME, R&R and MGP. I went with aluminum rods in my billet SBC that has the same Gen 2 GTX5533R turbos.
 

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He had steel rods before ( making about 2200 hp and went to aluminum ) when making over 2400 hp I would go with GRP Aluminum rods just my two cents . Also this form has some pretty knowledgeable people just saying
Oh, for sure it does Prostock, but I was just being real with the guy. I mean putting myself in his shoes, if I was going to drop god knows how many tens of thousands of dollars into a motor, I would be talking to someone that I know for a fact could set me up good.
 

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My BBC had the best billet rod Oliver made and it served me well for over 300 passes. I contemplated aluminum but ended up with a Crower Maxbillet this time following the advise of my builder.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oh, for sure it does Prostock, but I was just being real with the guy. I mean putting myself in his shoes, if I was going to drop god knows how many tens of thousands of dollars into a motor, I would be talking to someone that I know for a fact could set me up good.
Sound advice for sure and trust me when I say that I have been in contact with some of the best in the business about this engine and there have been some different opinions shared. This why I always like to ask people who have actually spent their own hard earned money to make the kind of HP that I am reaching for. That is what makes this forum so awesome because where else are you going to find guys with firsthand knowledge like that! :)
 

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Don't get me wrong, I am a steel rod guy. However based on not only HP level but also tuning experience and more explicitly tuning experience with the specific engine family, head design etc. It can be an extremely expensive lesson if a tuning mistake is made at the power levels we are talking about. I went aluminum mostly for insurance not necessarily because I think they are the ultimate rod made. If all goes well I may even go back to steel rods during a future freshen up if I feel confident the aluminum rods are no longer needed. I have a bit of an advantage in that my billet SBC basically runs a 6.385" BBC rod that is just .050" thinner and uses a standard SBC 2.100" rod bearing. Oliver offers their BBC rods as a small journal (2.100") and then only needs to be narrowed down on her big end. Hope this helps.
 

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Oliver just came out (July 2019?) with an even stronger rod than the BB-MAX, it's called the BB-MAX PLUS. You'll also find quite a few Steve Morris builds using Oliver rods dynoing over 3000+HP on his YouTube channel.



 

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talked to the very nice people at Oliver today to inquire about these rods since I'm thinking about using them and they confirmed that while their standard BBMAX rods on paper are rated at 1600 hp on paper, they are indeed what Steve Morris and others have used on the 3000+ hp builds albeit with a CA625 rod bolt upgrade.


When I asked what the new BBMAX PLUS rods are rated at, the guy told me "2000+ hp, but as you know the standard BBMAX rods are rated at 1600 hp and has done 3000+ hp so you do the math..." So needless to say, the new BBMAX PLUS rods are very conservatively rated and likely handle whatever power you can make. They come with L19 bolts, but a CA625 bolt upgrade is available. He also told me the rod bolts are longer on the BBMAX PLUS rods to go further into the rod. Understand a steel rod at those power levels are not ideal but there are some other there that still wanna run them!
 

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I wonder how the new Callies Ultra Enforcers compare to these new BB Max Plus rods.. Any feedback on these new Enforcer rods yet?
 
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