5.4l aluminum rods

96blak54

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Here i am again with my bright ideas!!

Honestly i think my mind has become my nemesis. I start these projects with hopes of finishing them in a reasonable time frame, knowing i have little to no time. Full time nightshift job, small machining business, wife, 4kids...list goes on. The reasonable time frame evolves into years of tidbits of progress. PERSEVERANCE!

Some of you may remember an engine build i did. A 2valve 5.4l with 18:1 static compression, ran on E85.

The 5.4l pistons are not zero deck, meaning the piston at max height isnt level with the engine blocks deck surface. Instead its almost a quarter of an inch below deck. Either longer rods or taller piston is needed to get that zero deck.

New pistons are $700. Aftermarket aluminum rods are $2000. Both having added material increases the weight of the rotational assembly and are typically 50gram over stock weight. Im wanting to keep the weight at or less than stock.

So my big idea is to make my own "extended" connecting rods.
 

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96blak54

96blak54

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Ideally the rods should make it though a few of my hair brained idea engine builds, eventually into a high compression 4v....possibly carbureted.

$500 for the materials, $300 for some tooling and to making chips i went.

A stock 5.4l rod...if my memory serves me is over 700grams. My target weight is at or less than stock, although i truly believe these rods i make we be less.

Ive made the rod caps and base with grooved and dowel mating surfaces. We dont want any playing around in that area. This should lock it together good. Ill be using new stock rod bolts.
 

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96blak54

96blak54

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I got the rod holding fixture built. This will hold the rod while its being machined. I still need to drill and tap holes for work holding clamps
 

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96blak54

96blak54

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Project put on hold for another few weeks. I got a ton of shop work to finish up. I cant disagree with money! Sadly though the work my father started out doing nearly 40yrs ago, that i eventually took over is nearing the end. The company has been bought out by it's only competitor. Its still uncertain if this competitor company will still use me to machine this product. Ive been told they only wanted to aquire a select few items of the brand product which is none of what i produce, but who knows. Everything is changing!

Ill post all rod update progression so stay tuned!
 
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96blak54

96blak54

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I finished up all the work, got sick for a couple of weeks, dragged around for another week and now back at it again.

Here is where im at now. Ive got the base fixture completed to machine the rods shape and some of the details.

Ive got all 10 rods wrist pin and crank pin holes machined to size. I opted not to have them honed, but instead machine close to size and polish the size in. I will never do this process again!! I will machine close to size and then shell out the $200 to have them honed. Each rod has roughly 4hrs each of machining close and then polishing to size. Its kind of sketchy, but im gonna run it!!!

This rod has "bad" written on it because the wrist pin size is to big, so it perfect as a guinea pig for the other 9 rods.
IMG_20210901_120830_01.jpg
 
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96blak54

96blak54

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20210902_125301.jpg20210902_125347.jpg
The rods still need more machining, but here is where the weight is as of now. Material wise, these rods have 3x the material over the stock rod. The main rod structure needs more machining and im debating if adding an I beam would be worth it.

Now to disassemble, add a bearing and test fit into an engine.
 
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96blak54

96blak54

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And here is where im at. I need to get it mounted up in all 8 spots to be sure no clearance issues. Im confident their wont be any issues, but to be 100% sure, i gotta put that work in.20210908_135306_HDR.jpg
 
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96blak54

96blak54

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Next i need to make the bearing pin that keeps the bearing from spinning on cold start ups. This pin goes into the lower cap. I also need to purchase a few sets of bearings. Drill hole into the bearing where the pin will be. Also drill and chamfer 2 holes at the wrist pin to allow oil to get to the pin.

The rod now sits at 530grams. Remember stock rod is 661grams. Combined weight of rod, piston, rings, bearings, and wrist pin should be considerably less than stock. My wrist pins are thin walled tool steel to be reduced weight and ill be using stock pi 5.4l pistons which are severely dished and very light.

Ill keep the updates coming
 
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96blak54

96blak54

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Thanks guys! Im proud of my work. Im always pushing myself to see what i can come up with. The success of using these rods may or may not end well, but im sure having fun. At some far off distant future, these rods will be installed and regardless of the end results, you guys will know about it. Fingers cross
 

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Very cool, I have always appreciated the skills to shape metal like that, props.
 

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