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Fasteners for con rods

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Bespoke race engines are festooned with purpose-designed fasteners, each of which carries out a specific task. We need specially designed fasteners for many reasons; every engineer has his preferences, so all engines are different and fastener designs reflect this. In general, bespoke fasteners are designed to higher standards than commercial parts. In minimising stress concentration and selecting high-quality materials, we seek to make parts that will prove more durable than a...

The importance of torsional stiffness

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I am a big fan of Kevin Cameron, the motorcycling journalist who has written for American motorcycling publications for what seems like ever. I don't often get to see a copy of Cycle World, but I have enjoyed reading his books immensely. In one of them, an article of his from 1984 is reprinted, on the subject of con rods. The subtitle reads, "A well-designed connecting rod is a steel or titanium image of the stresses it must carry. A kind of art". Certainly the latest con rods...

DLC coatings

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There has been mention of coatings and other surface treatments for con rods in previous RET Monitor articles, and in the articles on con rods in Race Engine Technology magazine (see issues 40 and 58). At the recent Autosport Engineering show in Birmingham, England, I discussed the matter of rod coatings with a supplier, who showed me a couple of con rods he had to hand. The supplier explained to me that the con rods were coated with diamond-like carbon (DLC) with the aim of reducing...

Bushless small ends

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When we come to describe a 'traditional' racecar con rod for a four-stroke engine, we would imagine a split rod with a bushed small end (or at least many of us would). The bushed small end has been with us for many decades, but the bushless steel con rod is becoming more popular, and bushless rods are a possibility in a number of other materials. As reported in the con rods 'Focus' article in Race Engine Technology (issue 48, August 2010), some rod suppliers have been...

Joint face serrations

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The matter of how to positively locate the two halves of a conventional split con rod together is one to which there doesn't appear to be a single solution that everyone has adopted. In terms of production cars, the approach of using a controlled fracture is now very popular, and is being applied to stronger grades of material. Traditionally, racing rods have had their mating caps located by either the use of small dowel pins, or by ring dowels. To accurately and repeatably locate the...