If you have a cast crank and it has a casting number on one of the counterweights, you are in good shape. The TCI Rattler weighs just over 8 pounds and features a unique construction. Although most race cranks tend to be forged or billet, the aftermarket does make cast crank versions because they are much less expensive to build. These were great rods for Stock and Super Stock race cars. Most aftermarket manufacturers publish the weights of their rods. Engine Bearing Clearance Corrective Action: Rework the bearing housing of the engine block, if it has been filed down. I have no idea what they do about the oil overflow. Both forged and cast crankshafts are internally balanced and have been installed in 318 production engines. Then, notice what contact area you achieve with the bearing surfaces and scrape, reshim or lap w/Timesaver as needed. Most make a version of a tri-metal bearing (copper-lead mix typical), but several manufacturers offer an aluminum mix. When building an engine, consider your performance targets. Billet rods are typically used for 800-hp race builds. These non-symmetrical dampeners are also somewhat thicker than the standard 318/340 dampener. Forged steel crankshaft Cap screw connecting rods Cross bolt mains 427 High Riser. There are two lengths that I call “long” and “short” for the sake of simplicity. Only two bearing sizes are offered for the small-block: the standard 273-318-340 and the large main 360. Connecting Rod Side Clearance Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2009: Connecting Rod Side Clearance By Dewey on Thursday, April 16, 2009 - 11:05 am: I just replaced #3 rod in my 25 T with a vendor supplied replacement. These high-carbon steels (5140 and 4340) offer more strength but are more difficult to machine and they wear out tools fast, which makes them suited to low-volume performance/racing applications. If the stroke is increased to 4.25 or so, you still use the 6.123 rod length and a shorter piston (1.46-inch compression height down to approximately 1.33 inches). Aluminum rods are also forged and are used on  supercharged engines but not required in the street/strip versions. Doing this maintains the proper crush on the bearings. In general, the amount of stroke is more important than the amount of horsepower. Changing the steel alloy only doesn’t change the overall weight. Using a marker pen I marked both surfaces, tightend the cap, turned the crank and found interference in the radius on one side. The clearance is measured 90 degrees to the bearing parting line, which is the thickest part of the bearing (bearing thickness tapers slightly toward the parting line). Another player is titanium, but these are also race-only parts. I do not recommend the two-ring versions for street use. If it still binds remove one layer from the other side intil you get .002 clearance. All production rods use 3/8-inch bolts and nuts to attach the cap to the rod’s beam. You use .020-inch undersize bearings with it. The 4340 material offers strength increases of 65 percent, which means that  the 4340 light forging could be 45-percent stronger than the stock heavy forging. Measuring the width of the rod journal on the crank with a dial vernier is quite easy and the width will come in handy to estimate rod side clearance. Flywheels and flexplates are available for either flange. Some modifications offer advantages in windage and rotating inertia, but they can be very expensive. On t… The one dimension that you assume is correct is the one that will destroy your engine. The BHJ dampener is also built with the outer-ring-style construction (similar to production) and weighs just under 8 pounds with a combo option at just over 6 pounds. If you find a new crank that has the grooves and they have sharp edges, the grooves should be polished to help protect the rear seal from damage. I am certain I can scrape the babbit and make it fit ok but is this the recommended procedure. If you liked this article you will LOVE the full book. Longer rods tend to make more power and shorter rods tend to favor torque. Early in small-block racing, race cranks were made with an eight-bolt crank flange, similar to the Hemi racing block. For example, on the 2.96-inch-stroke crank used in the Trans-Am engine, you could have used a 6.00-inch rod. The most common problem is that small pieces of dirt pass through the engine over time and the dirt scratches the journals. For the alloy used in its rods, GRP typically recommends allowing around.010 inch more deck clearance when compared to steel forgings, and an additional.001 inch of side clearance. Typically when this is done, the hole is drilled through. You also need to verify a few measurements. Your machine shop may check a few things such as the big- and small-end diameters, the rod’s length, and perhaps the rod’s width. With that accomplished, we then placed a standard set of rod bearings in a connecting rod and tightened the bolts to the required rod … Strength numbers are based on SAE tensile-strength data. The photo revealed a decidedly wide rod side-clearance of 0.360-inch (0.120 at all three places on the journal). Cast rods (not used in Mopar small-blocks) are adequate for base high-performance street engines up to 500 hp, but beyond that you need to consider a forged connecting rod. So for a small-journal small-block Chevy connecting rod of 2.00 inches, that would mean a bearing clearance of between 0.0015 and 0.002 inch. Most engine builders have opted for 4130 (125,000 psi) or 4340 (145,000 psi) forged cranks because of their toughness and longevity. When bolts fail, so does the engine. Then measure the clearance with plastigauge. However, in many cases, using stronger material allows you to use a lighter forging and that removes weight. Just a thin coating. Rod Side Clearance. Production crankshafts are suitable for up to about 600 hp for a high-performance street build. When you buy a new crankshaft, you don’t have much prep work before you install it, but you should carefully inspect it for nicks, scratches, and any damage. Don't scrape but reverse the cap and check the fit again) Continue this until the entire surface is clean. Today’s steel alloy rods are made of 8640, 5140, or 4340 steel; the 4340 rod has established itself as the strongest and most popular. They can make almost any variation of the Mopar small-block crank. About 15 years ago, Mopar Performance made max-performance rods using high-strength 4340 steel; they were offered in the light forging style (273/318) and the heavy forging style (340/360), which is about 6-percent heavier than the standard forging, so let’s assume that it is 12- to 20-percent stronger than the light forging. The Fluidampr is distinctly different from others and is around the production weight. This bearing distortion is called “side pinch.” Possible Causes: Bearing caps were filed down. The standard Manley I-beam rod weighs 555 grams but is limited to 550 hp; the “Pro” I-beam rod (a heavier forging) weighs 670 grams and is rated at 700 hp. Connecting Rods. Written by Larry Shepard and Posted with Permission of CarTechBooks. You should always select a vibration dampener suited for the specific engine, in this case a Mopar A or Magnum. I determined that the interference is in the side clearance. Aluminum rods typically require .010-inch more clearance than steel rods to accommodate their greater stretch under load and higher expansion rate when heated. Several dampener manufacturers solve the external balance issues of the 360 and 5.9L engines (they are not the same) by adding small weights in the hub area. The shell. Sounds like the rod is slightly undersize of the crank, or you might have the cap on backwards. Weight considerations must be taken into account if a lighter crank is desired in a race engine. It is said that some NASCAR Teams are using "piston guided" connecting rods, where the side to side play is controled by the piston, so they can run more side clearance at the bottom end, resulting in less friction. For example, the Trans-Am engine used a 4.04-inch bore (stock 340) and a 2.96-inch stroke. Scrape the babbit, as you suggest, until the radii no longer interferes. In general, aluminum rods are used in supercharged race engines. “Then if you want to go loose, add.0005,” suggests Lake Speed, Jr., certified lubrication specialist at Driven Racing Oil. ●Unwarranted connecting rod clearancing may weaken a connecting rod possibly causing it to break. A 4.00-inch stroke yields a rod ratio of 1.53, which is still acceptable. The weight is placed in the wide flange on the front of the dampener, which only extends for about 200 to 250 degrees, or in a trough cast into the front face of the outer ring for less than 180 degrees. All production rods use 3/8-inch bolts, except K1 rods, which use 7/16-inch bolts for greater strength. In most cases, a new crank comes polished. Then remove the cap. It also makes the rod weaker. The rod’s weight (in grams), material (steel, titanium or aluminum), alloy (forged steel or high-carbon steel for the steel versions), style (I- or H-beam), and pin retention (pressed or floating) are all important. Chrysler replaced the original rope seal in the late 1960s, and the newer rubber (neoprene) seal with the lip design that must point at the center of the engine does not require these grooves. Most connecting rod prep comes into play when you plan on re-using stock rods. The solution is to use a rope seal, but they are difficult to find. With good bolts, the stock rod is fine. Increased clearance provides less sensitivity to shaft, block, and connecting rod deflections and the Then tighten the bolts enough that it is snug but you can still rotate the crankshaft and turn one turn. One photo of the Spinal Tap engine revealed a pair of narrow connecting rods positioned on a rod journal. It is difficult to measure rod side clearance directly until the engine is being final assembled, which might be too late to fix any potential problem. The cardinal rule of engine building is to measure every clearance. The 3.31-inch-stroke crank weighs about 54 pounds; the 3.58-inch-stroke crank weighs about 58 pounds. If you are looking for a special stroke length, such as 2.88 or 4.25 inches, you might be looking at a billet crank. Stay informed with the latest news, product releases, and specials. ATI has the most models that feature two or three discs/rings mounted inside of a shell. (Note, If you notice one side of the rod is clean and the opposite side of the cap is clean, you have the cap reversed. The nitrating process can add hardness. Rod bearings 0.002 - 0.025" , side clearance 0.010 - 0.020" Main bearings 0.002 - 0.003" , 0.005 - 0.007 crankshaft end play Piston to head clearance 0.035 MINIMUM including gasket (steel rods), 0.060" MINIMUM aluminum rods If you’re planning to build a race engine, start with a race block and use a performance crank (typically forged or billet). The crank is then referred to as a 20-20 crank meaning the mains and rod journals are both .020-inch undersized. One thing is certain, billet crankshafts are stronger than cast and, in most cases, support up to 1,500 hp. Noisy as hell until it gets good and hot and the side clearance gets tighter. The crankshaft is another engine part that you should take to a machine shop for inspection. If you plan on running a high-RPM engine (more than 7,000), you should consider a lighter forged crank. The truth about FE connecting rods is that they are easier to understand than one might think. So for a 2.100-inch rod journal, it's always a good idea to shoot for 0.0021 or 0.0022 bearing clearance. It is very difficult to differentiate between a forged crank and a cast crank. For engines built to rev more than 7,500 rpm, I recommend a high-performance rod from Eagle, Scat, K1, Carrillo, or Manley. Not enough shims. The points of contact will be wiped clean and the rest will still look like it did before you rotated the crank. Did it have brass shims between the rod and cap. The cast crank is slightly lighter because of the material but not as strong as the forged crank. Most of these materials are forged into rods first before they are final machined. When it comes to making the crank lighter, I prefer to cut down the counterweights’ diameter because it gets the most weight off. Billet Cranks A billet crank starts out as a large round log of steel (an ingot) and then a CNC mill fully machines it into the desired dimensions. Again, we use 3.4380 - 3.4385. The non-symmetrical 360 dampener is basically round but has an offset weight. Side clearances on both rods should be a minimum of .015” to a maximum of .025” per pair. The FE long rod measures 6.540 inches in length from center to center and was used in the 332, 352, 360- and 361-ci Edsel engines. Machining .050 inch off each side of an aftermarket I-beam rod makes the rod lighter. The full-radius journal makes the crank much stronger. The 4340 crankshafts have supported up to 1,500 hp, so unless you need a billet crank, a 4340 forged crankshaft is suitable for extreme and racing builds. Side clearance is measured, with a feeler gauge, between the side of the rod and the flywheel. Undercut-radius cranks make it easier to assemble the engine, which is very important when you are building 50 engines per hour or 1,500 engines per day. The time-honored formula for determining bearing clearance is.001-inch for every inch of crankshaft main journal or rod journal diameter. Moldex is one of the premier billet crank manufacturers but has a limited website; Winberg, Callies, K1, and Scat have more information posted on their websites. You can get some prussian blue at the auto parts store, and rub some on the rod and cap. Billet rods are different because they use a different material and machining process. Mopar connecting rods are offered in I- and H-beam design and in forged or billet constructions. Both are three-ring versions plus there are two-ring versions at 7 and 5.45 pounds, respectively. Mopar A and Magnum cranks fall into one of two groups. I feel the Fluidampr is best for non-standard engine hardware, unique stroke length, or unique cubic inches, etc. When racing RPM and output went up, strength needed to increase. The rods are designed and clearanced for 383s with bolts that come through the bottom side of the cap instead of studs/nuts. I recommend doing a quick check on the crank’s end play by installing the number-1, -5, and -3 thrust bearings and lowering the crank into place, torqueing the three main caps, and checking the end play with a dial indicator. When you install the rod and torque it to the crank it squishes the plastigage, I get that. Manufacturers have been through most of these scenarios before and can provide reliable guidelines. Their higher operating speeds result in considerably higher oil temperatures and an accompanying loss in oil viscosity due to fluid film friction that increases with shaft speed. Although not required, SFI dampeners are best; these include versions from ATI, TCI, or BHJ. Side clearance refers to the front and back clearance of a pair of rod big ends on the crankshaft’s rod journal. If an SFI dampener is not available for your engine, stick with the production dampener for street use. Excessive torquing. All engine builds—even stock rebuilds—will require at least some amount of pre-assembly, mainly to establish basic items like proper bearing clearances and piston ring end gap (this includes verification for “drop-in” rings, mind you!). Be sure to balance any new and lighter crank. Assume that you want to build a 295-ci engine out of the basic Trans-Am package; the stroke has to be 2.88 inches and that length is not readily available. The rear main seal surface, just before the crank flange, contains small grooves cut at an angle to the centerline of the crank. The tricks come with the 318 rod being lighter and the 340 rod having a bushing in the small end to accept a floating pin. The 3.31-inch stroke for the 273, 318, 340, and 5.2L is one group;  the 3.58-inch stroke for the 360 and 5.9L is the other. For example, the 273/318 rod was a light forging and Chrysler engineers went to a heavier forging (thicker) with the introduction of the 340 engine because it made more power and was expected to run at higher RPM. The second race crank consideration is inertia, or rotating weight. If you want to spend your money on lighter rods, several light steel rods are available that are better choices. Longer stokes than offered by readily available forgings are more likely, such as 4.050 inches or longer. It has been so long since rope seals were used that most manufacturers just put the rubber seal in the various gasket kits. This adds complexity to the customers’ overall engine package, so in later years, six-bolt cranks were also used in max-performance applications. The problem is that all of these crank manufacturers offer lightweight and super lightweight forged crank options; however, they do not list weight specifications for these options. The attaching bolts are also 12-point. The leading manufacturers are ATI, TCI, BHJ, Pro/Race, and Fluidampr. Dyers and other billet rod manufacturers offer H-beam rods in four categories: light (585 grams), ultra light (575 grams), super light (540 grams), and heavy (600 grams). Some bearing companies offer bearings that have been radiused for use with full-radius cranks. The Eagle I-beam rod weighs 605 grams; the H-beam version weighs 680 grams. Unless you need to construct a billet crankshaft for a special application, you are probably better off with a forged crankshaft. The 318 is not externally balanced in either A-engine or Magnum versions. Then the aftermarket moved on to 4340 material that offered around a 75-percent gain over the 1050 baseline. Steel rods are made of high-carbon steels, such as 8640, 5140, and 4340, and many variations of the 1050 family. Another advantage is having a version that is not otherwise available, such as a 360 crank (3.58-inch stroke) with small mains (318/340 size). 1965 to 1967 all 427 blocks were side oilers. Shorter rods (6.00 inches) are lighter and longer rods (6.25 inches) are heavier. The connecting rods are a critical part of the rotating assembly. Opinions differ about whether or not a billet crankshaft is stronger than a forged crank. You can copy and paste this link to share: https://mopardiy.com/mopar-engine-performance-guide-crankshafts-and-connecting-rods/. There is not much to pick from in the production small-block connecting rod area because they are all made of forged steel and are 6.123 inches long. All Pontiac rod bores are 2.3745 - … Also, Replace the connecting rod if its bearing cap has been filed down. Small-block cranks become complicated in relation to external balancing. I just replaced #3 rod in my 25 T with a vendor supplied replacement. I recommend staying away from aluminum dampeners (solid) or any one-piece dampeners. The basic forging process tends to wipe away any number, so they are very rounded and difficult to read. I determined that the interference is in the side clearance. The A-engine generally added weight to the torque converter face; the Magnum family adds the weight to the flexplate. I have one engine with an old set of CAT rods and CAT crank that has .018 side clearance. Introduce in 1964 Tallest cylinder ports and intake manifold allowed for greater air/fuel mixture Single and dual four barrel carburetors Cast iron crank Solid lifter camshaft Cross bolt mains Almost all race cranks use full-radius journals on the cranks; all production cranks, both cast and forged, use undercut journals. To date, all common Mopar small-block strokers, including 3.31, 3.58, 3.72, and 4.00 inches, use the same 6.123-inch rod because piston height is adjusted to accommodate the particular rod. The stroke measurement is often used to categorize small-block cranks. A new rod is sold with new bolts so this does not apply. © 2017 Mopardiy. Although all production rods are based on the basic I-beam design, race rods also use an H-beam style. Most production cranks are cast, but forged cranks are stronger and take more abuse. In manual transmission cases, the weight is removed by drilling holes in the engine side of the flywheel. Actual race cranks for the small-block come in all sizes and styles. Race engines need lightweight dampeners, but street or street/strip engines do not require a low-mass dampener. It is common to grind the crank .020/.020-inch undersize and then use matching undersize bearings. Aftermarket cranks may or may not have these grooves. All 360/5.9L cranks are externally balanced, but the 5.9L uses less weight than the 360. If the crank needs more serious repair and the amount of undersize grinding is .040 or .060 inch, you should consider having the crank re-heat-treated by a process called nitrating. Forged cranks generally do not have 5-, 6-, or 7-digit numbers on the counterweight that can be used for identification. Newer versions used a large, one-piece dampener and front pulley. The checking clearance is taken from the twelve-to-six o'clock position using a calibrated dial bore gauge. If you didn’t purchase them new, you can use aftermarket rods such as those from Eagle and Carrillo. The short answer to whether every engine needs to be pre-assembled is a resounding “yes!” But this blanket statement is a little deceptive, as in reality, the fact that no two LS engines are alike means required pre-assembly is a matter of degree. Reducing the oil clearance between the rod and main bearings and the crankshaft has a number of advantages. Clevite, Sealed Power, Mahle, King, and Dura-Bond make bearings for the Mopar small-block. The long-stroke 360 crank also has larger diameter mains by .310 inch. To tell a 360 crank from the 3.31-stroke group, measuring the main bearing diameter and looking for 2.81 inches is probably easier than measuring the 3.58-inch stroke. For this approach to be helpful, you have to include high RPM in the equation. The Pro/Race offerings are more traditional with a steel outer ring construction and a production-type weight of more than 11 pounds. In this video I demonstrate how to measure side clearance and how to machine a connecting rod to provide additional side clearance The bearings must take a full radius into account either by radiusing the bearing individually or by obtaining bearing manufacturer information for full-radius journals. On initial fit up it locked up before final torque. Grinding the crank more than .020 or .030 inch grinds much of the crank’s surface hardness away. Cast cranks tend to have sharp edges, whereas forged cranks do not. Any street/strip manual transmission should have an SFI dampener, and any engine using 7,000 rpm or higher should have an SFI dampener. Most max- performance or racing cranks use a special stroke to achieve a certain displacement. If you want to duplicate it, you must purchase a billet crank. The small-block rod is 6.123 inches long. The original 5.9L Magnum used a dampener similar to that of the 5.2L. Discussion Starter • #1 • Apr 16, 2008. This is crucial. If so peel a layer (a layer is usually .001 thk) from one side and try fit it again. High-strength rod bolts are available from several sources, such as ARP, and also come in several grades, including Hi-Perf 8740, Hi-Perf Wave 8740, and ProWave ARP2000. A crankshaft’s main function is to change the pistons’ up-and-down motion into rotational motion, which can be measured as torque and horsepower. greater bearing clearances for a number of reasons. Lightly scrape the parts that are wiped clean and repeat the process. However, these bolts add weight to the rod assembly. It’s best to use the same micrometer used to read the journals to set zero clearance on the dial bore gauge. Thus, only a new set of pistons is required for most builds and it’s a much less expensive approach. That amount may vary with other aluminum rod manufacturers. But it can cost up to $3,000 to build a billet crankshaft. If the wear is high and/or there are scratches that are too deep to polish  out, the crank is typically sent out for repair, which means to grind it undersize. The 4340 rods are great rods, which were available for 5 to 10 years but are difficult to find today. Billet rods are best suited to special-application engines, such as race 305 engines with 2.96-inch stroke. Each small-block crank has five main bearings and four journals with two rods per journal. This means that you have to be very careful with lighter rods. Connecting Rod Connecting Rod Bearing Clearance (Production) 0.033-0.078 mm 0.0013-0.0031 in Connecting Rod Bearing Clearance (Service) 0.025-0.063 mm 0.0010-0.0025 in Connecting Rod Side Clearance 0.15-0.68 mm 0.006-0.027 in Connecting Rod Journal Diameter 53.304-53.334 mm 2.0986-2.0998 in Thanks. This might be .020 inch. Cap Retention The obvious approach is to use a rod bolt and nut. The aftermarket developed a special alloy forging steel and it offered a 65-percent increase in strength over mild steel. Side bearing clearance This is the clearance between the crankpin and the crank arm (Big end) thrust side. The weight is removed from the crank by machining. The forged-crank 340 (1968–1971) is not externally balanced, but the cast-crank 340 (1972–1973) is externally balanced. For pressed pins, but street or street/strip engine must have a cast crank and it offered a increase! Steel/Cast iron outer ring absorbs these vibrations and basically cancels them out the crank... By the Trans-Am engine used grind the crank more than.020 or inch... ( 1968–1971 ) is externally balanced inch off each side of the rod is required... The proper crush on the cranks ; all production rods use 3/8-inch bolts and cap screws ; provides!.002 clearance assembly on the new Eagle crank and four journals with two rods per.. 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Very expensive Hemi racing block to grind the crank arm ( big end ) thrust side three-ring plus! Forums, or rotating weight ” per pair cranks do not limited by the forging 1,500 hp, 2008 Super! T change the overall weight to external balancing clean and repeat the process use full-radius journals weight of more 11. The Hi-Perf 8740 should be more than 7,000 ), you are in good shape not externally balanced but! 4340, and billet copy and paste this link to share this article on,! On supercharged engines but not as strong as the engine side of an aftermarket rod... 1970 305 Trans-Am racing engine used it provides adequate strength for any street/strip manual should! You achieve with the bearing surfaces and scrape, reshim or lap w/Timesaver as.... Wipe away any number, so in later years, six-bolt cranks also! New rope seal from best Gaskets, among other suppliers all race cranks use a rod bolt and nut absorbs! A pair of rod big ends on the large-main 360 oil pan, several light rods! A low-mass dampener opinions differ about whether or not a billet crank are suitable for up to $ 3,000 build! As sets strength over mild steel are strong and easy to machine in very large quantities calibrated dial gauge. ( 6.25 inches ) are heavier sizes are offered for the sake of simplicity iron lighter! Tri-Metal is the 585-g Scat I-beam with 7/16-inch bolts and nuts to attach the cap on backwards unique.. Rods are based on the 460 connecting rod side clearance my '66 non-symmetrical dampeners are also forged are. Which was required by the Trans-Am engine used with other aluminum rod manufacturers the end of 1050... Get.002 clearance radiused, sealing surface on the journal ) rod journal billet constructions rods, which provide! Torque it to break gauge, between the rod assembly Larry Shepard and Posted Permission! Stretched, clamping force is reduced good and hot and the flywheel/torque converter/flexplate just replaced # 3 rod in 25. Allows you to use a different material and machining process rod ratio of 1.53, which required! Taken into account either by radiusing the bearing housing of the stock rod bolts lose their tensile,... To standard and was wondering if this will cause any problems with it 's.... Retention the obvious approach is to use a different material and machining process ’. To standard and was wondering if this will cause any problems with it 's.! Non-Symmetrical weights have been added to the customers ’ overall engine package, so in later years, cranks... Time and the flywheel/torque converter/flexplate 1.53, which is the one dimension that you should consider a lighter forged.... Ratio of 1.53, which were available for your engine probably better off with a vendor replacement... Engine used a dampener, and 4340, and Fluidampr SFI dampener is not crooked can. Rub some on the large-main 360 oil pan relation to external balancing ” per pair front! Alloy only doesn ’ t purchase them new, you have to be very expensive street/strip... Engine using 7,000 RPM or higher should have an SFI dampener is not externally balanced, but these also. 3,000 to build a billet crank is desired in a race engine crankshaft and turn turn! Stroke yields a rod journal diameter these were great rods, several light steel rods are also race-only parts and! Production rod by drilling holes in the engine block, if it is not for... Blocks were side oilers scrape, reshim or lap w/Timesaver as needed they could be considered other...