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Installing Connecting Rod Fasteners—Tips And Tricks To Get It Right

There is perhaps no more important component contained in the internal combustion engine than the connecting rod fastener. Regardless of whether a particular connecting rod uses a bolt/nut arrangement, or a capscrew configuration, the connecting rod fastener’s performance is critical. Understanding the details for proper installation is important for veteran engine builders and first-timers alike.

Technologies that Speed Up Custom Piston Design

Piston design used to be a tedious process: pen had to be laid to paper, mathematical equations required solutions and other processes needed to be completed before a single tool could be touched.

Sodium Bicarbonate – A User-Friendly Blasting Abrasive

Sodium bicarbonate blasting or soda blasting, is a user-friendly process for the removal of grease, oil, burnt carbon and many other contaminates experienced in engine building. There are many different processes for cleaning parts and components before engines can be rebuilt, however they are not all equal.

What Does the 2nd Ring Really Do?

Piston ring packages are as carefully engineered as any high-performance part, but the “middle child” might be the most misunderstood. Here’s a look at the science that goes into second ring design. The ring package has three primary goals: Keep pressure confined to the combustion chamber on both the compression and power strokes, transfer heat

What is Microwelding?

Microwelding is defined as the transfer of sporadic particles of aluminum from the piston ring groove to the bottom side of the top piston ring in an internal combustion engine. OEM and racing research have shown that power increases when the top rings are moved closer to the piston deck. But, as top piston rings

Eliminate Piston Slap with New Coating Technologies

As long as there have been forged pistons, there has been the problematic phenomenon of piston slap. However, a new, solid-film-lubricant coating is changing that up. The revolutionary, patented technology– including the formula, tooling, and application process – was developed in-house to eliminate piston slap.

Making The Case For Carburetors

Despite the proliferation of electronic fuel injection (EFI), carburetors are still a viable option for hot rodders and even some racers. Why? Because carburetors offer the purest form of fuel induction where fuel and air are mixed and pulled into the intake manifold. It’s easy to control the performance of a carburetor, which is why

When to Upgrade Wrist Pins

It has been said that the piston and connecting rod are the most tortured parts in a performance engine. Few engine builders dispute that notion, but what about the less glamorous piece of steel that mates them together through thick and thin? In a sense, the wrist pin is like the unsung soldier who throws

What Is A Spintron and How Does it Work?

The Spintron was developed by Bob Fox at Trend Performance in the ‘90s to improve pushrods for race teams. Engine speeds were increasing dramatically in those days, especially in NASCAR and Pro Stock, and Fox needed a deeper insight into the how, why, and when of pushrod failure. Working with Randy Dorton of Hendrick Motorsports,

Should I Reuse My Pistons or Order New Ones? How To Tell If Pistons Are Still Good

Freshening an engine has always been a game of careful disassembly and evaluating the components for wear followed by a series of judgment calls that balance the cost of new parts against further pushing the veterans. Evaluating pistons takes a practiced eye, but there are several checking points that any engine builder can use to

Why Do Piston Rings Keep Getting Thinner?

The classic Hollywood line is you can’t be too rich or too thin. While full-figured starlets may now be finding favor in tinsel town, the too-thin line is still in vogue when it comes to piston rings. It wasn’t all that long ago when state of the art racing piston ring thicknesses hovered between 1/16-inch

Three’s Company: Understanding Rod Length, Piston Compression Height and Crankshaft Stroke

The relationship between connecting rod length, piston compression height and compression ratio is often misunderstood, largely due to the misuse of the term “compression”. In all honesty it probably shouldn’t be applied to piston terminology at all except as it relates to the shape of the piston crown surface. Compression is a volume related term