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Old June 17th, 2008, 04:23 AM   #1
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Custom forged connecting rods.

So about a year ago I met this tuner from Dubai that started a company with his brothers making custom H-bean and I-beam connecting rods. We've been chatting for a while and he shows me all these crazy car he tunes for the rich ass royal family.

Anyways his business is doing well and he offered to reduce minimum order from 5 to 3 sets or rods to get me buying from him. So what I want to know what would be a good oem Honda rod to beef up to benefit the J-Series. After doing some research I think making a stronger rod from the J32A2 motor would be best since it can be used with the A2 and A4 motors with different piston combinations. Let me know what you guys think.

Here are a few questions I hope the pros could help me out on. What is a J30A5? I thought the 7th gens had a J30A4. Is it possible to increase/decrease compression with a connecting rod. Would there be any clearance issues within the block caused by wider rods.
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Old June 17th, 2008, 04:32 AM   #2
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Uhh, there is no J32A4, the J32A3 was in the 04-06TL. The FRM sleeves of the J30 make that block a waste to build for higher boost that you would use the forged rods for.
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Old June 17th, 2008, 06:12 AM   #3
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Uhh, there is no J32A4, the J32A3 was in the 04-06TL. The FRM sleeves of the J30 make that block a waste to build for higher boost that you would use the forged rods for.
j30 has FRM sleeves? learn something new everyday . FRM sleeves are no-good for even moderate boost without re-sleeving the motor.

not to mention higher mileage motors that implement FRM sleeves tend to have piston ring/oil burning issues (I.E h22, b21, etc..)
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Old June 17th, 2008, 06:18 AM   #4
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paul, how about some j35 forged rods, since you build them often?
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Old June 17th, 2008, 06:24 AM   #5
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If I had to pick two rods to go after it would be J32A2(can fit all J32 Apps) and J35A5(can fit all J35 apps), If richie is serious about moving forward with this I can probably mock up the J35 low end using some scrap parts I have around here to check side clearences on the rods, I know it is tight in there, but I beleive with a I-Beam desighn a significantly stronger rod can be made.
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Old June 17th, 2008, 06:32 AM   #6
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yeah it would be nice to have h beams, but the clearance..
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Old June 17th, 2008, 07:24 AM   #7
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I am a Connecting Rod R&D engineer at the largest Tier 1 supplier of connecting rods in the world. Currently my specialty is doing R&D projects for optimization, but I also work with design from time to time. 3 things:

1) H Beam connecting rods are garbage compared to I-beam, period (edit: unless we're talking about compression only loading). On a performance v cost basis forged steel is the superior choice, but powder metal is also getting up there. However most of the good PM blends are highly proprietary.
2) There is always room for improvement with any OEM connecting rod. Every rod is made to strict weight tolerances while achieving a minimum bogey safety factor. Our SF is typically 1.2 (combined loading) and the rod is designed to fail in the I-beam at these loads. If you look at any OEM connecting rod, you will find subtle curves on the bolt shoulder, small weight pads, countoured surfaces, tapered small end, etc etc etc. Every micrometer of design is intentional and serves a purpose. A minimum requirement OEM connecting rod project costs approx. $200k in engineering time and $100k in technicial service to adequately test the conrod, to give you an idea. We've had projects recently well over $5million - just for engineering and design of a single connecting rod for a demanding customer. At the minimum you would need an engineer familiar with the field who can do kick ass computer simulation work to give you a top notch FEA and a hydropulsator to verify (MTS, Shenck-Pegasus, etc). I'm not trying to dissuade you, but it's not as simple as people think and it's not all about the pretty ARP bolts. They won't do squat when you have oil film thickness issues, oil cavitation, bending, whipping, etc. Fatigue failure is an interesting thing in that it can start with a microscopic fatigue crack and take millions and millions of cycles to fail.
3) If you really want to do anything with rods, PM me.

Last edited by 99VTECCoupe; June 17th, 2008 at 10:35 AM..
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Old June 17th, 2008, 10:10 AM   #8
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J30A5 is in the 06-07 7th gens
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Old June 17th, 2008, 10:36 AM   #9
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Yeah, the j30a4 motor is in the 03-05 7th gens and j30a5 is in the 06-07 7th gens.
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Old June 17th, 2008, 11:08 AM   #10
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J30A5 is in the 06-07 7th gens
Yes and exactly the same as a J30A4 as far as the low end.
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Old June 17th, 2008, 11:23 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by JBLAccord View Post
j30 has FRM sleeves? learn something new everyday . FRM sleeves are no-good for even moderate boost without re-sleeving the motor.

not to mention higher mileage motors that implement FRM sleeves tend to have piston ring/oil burning issues (I.E h22, b21, etc..)
So I guess the J30 block will fail long before any type of forged rod will. Unless it is resleeved.

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Originally Posted by NVA-AV6 View Post
If I had to pick two rods to go after it would be J32A2(can fit all J32 Apps) and J35A5(can fit all J35 apps), If richie is serious about moving forward with this I can probably mock up the J35 low end using some scrap parts I have around here to check side clearences on the rods, I know it is tight in there, but I beleive with a I-Beam desighn a significantly stronger rod can be made.
So basically the rods matched with the crank? I guess that explains why I-Beam rods cost so much more to make. If you could mock one up that would be great.

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I am a Connecting Rod R&D engineer at the largest Tier 1 supplier of connecting rods in the world. Currently my specialty is doing R&D projects for optimization, but I also work with design from time to time. 3 things:

1) H Beam connecting rods are garbage compared to I-beam, period (edit: unless we're talking about compression only loading). On a performance v cost basis forged steel is the superior choice, but powder metal is also getting up there. However most of the good PM blends are highly proprietary.
2) There is always room for improvement with any OEM connecting rod. Every rod is made to strict weight tolerances while achieving a minimum bogey safety factor. Our SF is typically 1.2 (combined loading) and the rod is designed to fail in the I-beam at these loads. If you look at any OEM connecting rod, you will find subtle curves on the bolt shoulder, small weight pads, countoured surfaces, tapered small end, etc etc etc. Every micrometer of design is intentional and serves a purpose. A minimum requirement OEM connecting rod project costs approx. $200k in engineering time and $100k in technicial service to adequately test the conrod, to give you an idea. We've had projects recently well over $5million - just for engineering and design of a single connecting rod for a demanding customer. At the minimum you would need an engineer familiar with the field who can do kick ass computer simulation work to give you a top notch FEA and a hydropulsator to verify (MTS, Shenck-Pegasus, etc). I'm not trying to dissuade you, but it's not as simple as people think and it's not all about the pretty ARP bolts. They won't do squat when you have oil film thickness issues, oil cavitation, bending, whipping, etc. Fatigue failure is an interesting thing in that it can start with a microscopic fatigue crack and take millions and millions of cycles to fail.
3) If you really want to do anything with rods, PM me.
Yikes! So do most performance rods out there go through this process? Or is this just to build the most cost effective and efficient rod. What are somethings to be look out for in before pursuing this project? Would it be possible to make a rod worst then OEM?

Last edited by Richie V6; June 17th, 2008 at 11:34 AM..
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Old June 17th, 2008, 11:31 AM   #12
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So I guess the J30 block will fail long before any type of forged rod will. Unless it is resleeved.



So basically the rods matched with the crank? I guess that explains why I-Beam rods cost so much more to make. If you could mock one up that would be great.
You don't have to match to the crank, honda took care of that by making 6 different thickness bearings, just get a single rod from them (preferably a bearing code 2) and have them use that for the template.

Also you have PM on a different issue.....
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Old June 17th, 2008, 12:50 PM   #13
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Yikes! So do most performance rods out there go through this process? Or is this just to build the most cost effective and efficient rod. What are somethings to be look out for in before pursuing this project? Would it be possible to make a rod worst then OEM?
My company has a Motorsports/Aftermarket division and they do just as much engineering. Typically this is how design works (cutting out all the beauracracy and such and the giant PITA that it is to actually get a model approved)

1) 3D Modeling
2) FEA Validation
2.5) Repeat 1 and 2 for weeks on end until you're satisfied, then do 3-5 to verify
3) Fatigue Test at a 3rd party vendor- $60k-$200k+ depending on hows much custom equipment has to be made
4) Complete fastener study - $5000
5) Environmental study to test effects of temperature and moisture changes on fastener clamp load

There are far too many things to look out for to list. I'd pretty much be telling you my job It's not an easy thing by any means. We've actually tested aftermarket rods internally that are inferior to the OEM rod we make for 1/20th the cost in every respect. A lot of these companies just do an FEA model and a quick fatigue test (taking only compressive loading, no tension or combined loading) and throw in $15/piece ARP bolts. Whereas we can get away with a 20 cent bolt because the structure of the rod is strong enough such that the bolt sees no bending, shear or tension.

I don't know what to tell you. You're an EE so you have some idea of how involved a lot of this stuff gets. I wouldn't touch a project like this unless I had a Mechanical Engineer with conrod testing and modeling experience at my disposal...and a Hydropulsator so you don't have to pay out $100k+.

And of course it's possible to make a rod that doesn't perform as well as OEM. My company becnhmarks Honda rods all the time (Honda designs all of their own rods) and we are always amazed at how well they are designed for strength, cost and durability. The biggest problem I see is oil film thickness...you'll never ever match the OEM oil film thickness and you'll be running the risk of bearing damage. But again, I always think of a mainstream application that will last infinitely, motorsports is a little more forgiving

What kind of peak cylinder pressure are you looking at?
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Old June 17th, 2008, 04:39 PM   #14
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I wish I knew what you guys were talking about, but it looks good and makes me want to take apart an engine again!

Keep up the good talk smart peoples!
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Old June 18th, 2008, 05:22 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by 99VTECCoupe View Post
My company has a Motorsports/Aftermarket division and they do just as much engineering. Typically this is how design works (cutting out all the beauracracy and such and the giant PITA that it is to actually get a model approved)

1) 3D Modeling
2) FEA Validation
2.5) Repeat 1 and 2 for weeks on end until you're satisfied, then do 3-5 to verify
3) Fatigue Test at a 3rd party vendor- $60k-$200k+ depending on hows much custom equipment has to be made
4) Complete fastener study - $5000
5) Environmental study to test effects of temperature and moisture changes on fastener clamp load
There are far too many things to look out for to list. I'd pretty much be telling you my job It's not an easy thing by any means. We've actually tested aftermarket rods internally that are inferior to the OEM rod we make for 1/20th the cost in every respect. A lot of these companies just do an FEA model and a quick fatigue test (taking only compressive loading, no tension or combined loading) and throw in $15/piece ARP bolts. Whereas we can get away with a 20 cent bolt because the structure of the rod is strong enough such that the bolt sees no bending, shear or tension.

I don't know what to tell you. You're an EE so you have some idea of how involved a lot of this stuff gets. I wouldn't touch a project like this unless I had a Mechanical Engineer with conrod testing and modeling experience at my disposal...and a Hydropulsator so you don't have to pay out $100k+.

And of course it's possible to make a rod that doesn't perform as well as OEM. My company becnhmarks Honda rods all the time (Honda designs all of their own rods) and we are always amazed at how well they are designed for strength, cost and durability. The biggest problem I see is oil film thickness...you'll never ever match the OEM oil film thickness and you'll be running the risk of bearing damage. But again, I always think of a mainstream application that will last infinitely, motorsports is a little more forgiving

What kind of peak cylinder pressure are you looking at?
I understand for the mass production, a connecting rod it has to be perfect, efficient and cost effective. But since OEM rods can not hold the power levels some of us are seeking this would be the next best thing. There aren't too many people building J-Series engines. Having to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, is simply not a option for this crowd. It doesn't have to be perfect just work.

Anyways does anyone know how strong the pistons are.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 06:16 AM   #16
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LOL, I have J32A2 one that shattered in the cylinder under 28lbs of boost. So yeah, pgraded pistons would be nice for 15lbs or more.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 06:45 AM   #17
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yeah im going with a set of je or cp pistons, and crower billet rods that wont cost me 100k lol
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Old June 18th, 2008, 07:49 AM   #18
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A good rod shop can take the design elements as far as the chafers on the rod ends, the oil jetting to blow oil onto the bottom of the piston (J35A3) and incorporate them into a stronger forged rod that although not for 10+K constant reving like a nascar or F1 engine is still very adequite for our amature track use.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 08:56 AM   #19
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billet = LOL

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I understand for the mass production, a connecting rod it has to be perfect, efficient and cost effective. But since OEM rods can not hold the power levels some of us are seeking this would be the next best thing. There aren't too many people building J-Series engines. Having to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, is simply not a option for this crowd. It doesn't have to be perfect just work.

Anyways does anyone know how strong the pistons are.
Then all you're doing is making educated guesses. Would you be comfortable selling something to people that wasn't physically tested? If so, go for it. If you're just going for strength, you need to add material everywhere and balance the reciprocating masses.

Also you'll be chewing through big end bearings at a much higher rate. It's going to be unavoidable with the higher masses, higher pressures and undernengineering.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 11:32 AM   #20
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...It doesn't have to be perfect just work.
Unfortunately, when rods are the issue, the difference between "perfect" and "just working" is mighty slim.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 12:52 PM   #21
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It doesn't have to be perfect just work.
Remind me not to buy anything from you. When it comes to any part for the motor, it better be perfect!
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Old June 26th, 2008, 12:59 PM   #22
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Remind me not to buy anything from you. When it comes to any part for the motor, it better be perfect!
What I meant was performance rods don't have to be designed to the same specs as mass produced production rods. It would be great if they could be but no one is going to drop 100k+ to develop a rod that would sell less then 10 sets a year.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 02:07 PM   #23
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Remind me not to buy anything from you. When it comes to any part for the motor, it better be perfect!
Relax man, Richie has done a lot of things for this community. He's taken alot of time and effort to get us things that were never available in quantity to 7th gens and the items are damn near perfect if you ask me. What he meant is that he's not a rocket scientist and he can't get everything perfect like it would be if it was from the factory. But at least he's trying which is more than I can say for any major tuning company.
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Old July 6th, 2008, 08:49 AM   #24
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In a lot of cases aftermarket rods are a good idea. But you guys should look to some of the results that some of us have had with the stock rods. Here is my take and it's opposite of what I'm reading here with regards to if it's needed or not. I had 464whp which for all practical purposes equated to about 500 at the crank. Never busted a rod and since being back to stock, still no issues. If someone were to squeeze more out of this motor, definetly do something to the rod. The earlier rods in the j are forged, the later ones may be of powder metal. so take the earlier rods, you could get more strength out of them by polishing the sides, shot peen and then CRYO them, this would be at a fraction of the cost of new aftermarket ones. BTW,Pauter already makes a rod for the j motor, but they are pricey.
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Old July 6th, 2008, 09:47 AM   #25
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In a lot of cases aftermarket rods are a good idea. But you guys should look to some of the results that some of us have had with the stock rods. Here is my take and it's opposite of what I'm reading here with regards to if it's needed or not.
Surprise surprise

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I had 464whp which for all practical purposes equated to about 500 at the crank. Never busted a rod and since being back to stock, still no issues.
For how long were you at what PSI, how many miles?

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If someone were to squeeze more out of this motor, definetly do something to the rod. The earlier rods in the j are forged, the later ones may be of powder metal.
Yes they are forged, but for weight reductuion, not stregnth, yes they are stronger than the powder metal rods, but still not enough to handle sustained high boost IMO.

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So take the earlier rods, you could get more strength out of them by polishing the sides, shot peen and then CRYO them, this would be at a fraction of the cost of new aftermarket ones. BTW,Pauter already makes a rod for the j motor, but they are pricey.
Cryo treating is primarily to help wear with friction surfaces not overall stegnth from the type of loading you see on a rod. Shot peening again would only yeild minimal improvements in stregnth of the already forged metal.
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Old July 6th, 2008, 07:53 PM   #26
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Surprise surprise



For how long were you at what PSI, how many miles?



Yes they are forged, but for weight reductuion, not stregnth, yes they are stronger than the powder metal rods, but still not enough to handle sustained high boost IMO.



Cryo treating is primarily to help wear with friction surfaces not overall stegnth from the type of loading you see on a rod. Shot peening again would only yeild minimal improvements in stregnth of the already forged metal.
Of course there is no surprise, that's what this forum is for, sharing ideas, experiences. Some things you've done are a plus to the mods we do to this motor, but to attack me with your sarcasm because I disagree with some of the points on this topic is out of line and pisses me off. So I'll address your concerns and thoughts.

I was safely at 10psi for about 25-30k miles. I ended up tuning down a bit to the 450whp. Can you say you've put one of these motors up to 450ish whp? Oh, I forgot, your one and only experience with this motor under boost pooped all over the dyno and NA pooped in Hawaii and possibly another's rings didn't seat. I lost track.

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Cryo treating is primarily to help wear with friction surfaces not overall stegnth from the type of loading you see on a rod. Shot peening again would only yeild minimal improvements in stregnth of the already forged metal.
Your understanding of Cryo can be changed. if you yahoo or google "Cryo" the results for information are astounding. Cryo will benefit the stock rods.

http://www.onecryo.com/motorsport-prijune98.htm
http://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=UT...s=1&fr2=rs-top

Read up on that, it's informative. Cheers.
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Old July 6th, 2008, 08:50 PM   #27
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Of course there is no surprise, that's what this forum is for, sharing ideas, experiences. Some things you've done are a plus to the mods we do to this motor, but to attack me with your sarcasm because I disagree with some of the points on this topic is out of line and pisses me off. So I'll address your concerns and thoughts.

I was safely at 10psi for about 25-30k miles. I ended up tuning down a bit to the 450whp. Can you say you've put one of these motors up to 450ish whp? Oh, I forgot, your one and only experience with this motor under boost pooped all over the dyno and NA pooped in Hawaii and possibly another's rings didn't seat. I lost track.



Your understanding of Cryo can be changed. if you yahoo or google "Cryo" the results for information are astounding. Cryo will benefit the stock rods.

http://www.onecryo.com/motorsport-prijune98.htm
http://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=UT...s=1&fr2=rs-top

Read up on that, it's informative. Cheers.
Yes, there was some sarcasim, but it is fact backed since you always seem to have a "oppisite" opinion, so , get over yourself...

I also have many more motors out there than the ones that you conspicuously listed, so if you want to sling $hit, go right ahead, but as you said this is supposed to be for differing information, so you then drop to the level you did, nice...

As we both know 10psi seems to be the safe limit for these motors, I was just curious as to the details of your experience.Oh, and why did you back down and eventually remove the FI?

Also I have personally visited a cryo treatment facility and talked directly with one of thier engenners to gat the understanding I have of the subject, not just a simple internet search which I did previous to my visit.
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