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Steel vs aluminum rods

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Post  Ford466 January 20th 2021, 1:05 pm

Hi I am putting parts together for my next pull truck motor build it will be a stock 3.85 stroke 470ci or so dome pistons and cast iron heads, and rpm will be 8500-9000, what would your choice of rods be steel or aluminum and why?
Thanks

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Post  dfree383 January 20th 2021, 1:17 pm

Billet Steel, long life as and better power
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Post  gt350hr January 21st 2021, 1:26 pm

Steel makes more power. NHRA Pro Stockers (10,000+ rpm) figured that out 20 or more years ago after 30 years of running aluminum rods.

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Post  2 wicked January 21st 2021, 7:03 pm

Well I pondered this situation for a year before we bought our aluminum rods. There are attributes to both I think. We have steel in our 557. Found one was bent when we tire down for inspection. #1 rod bearing worn shiny almost all overlay gone. 3/16 wide on inside edge of bearing. Took rod to machine shop- definitely bent. They were eagle rods hbeam. Ran them 4 years. I don't think any race parts are going to live a long life, when pushed to the limits. Just my thoughts.

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Post  cool40 January 22nd 2021, 1:26 am

I’ve ran both in my truck and aluminum is more forgiving. If it detonates you’ll need bearings with the steel rod. Aluminum is easier on the block if it lets go too. 🥴
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Post  Mark O'Neal January 22nd 2021, 2:44 am

dfree383 wrote:Billet Steel, long life as and better power

And oil temp becomes a non-issue.

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Post  wickettoby1 January 22nd 2021, 12:17 pm

Ford466 wrote:Hi I am putting parts together for my next pull truck motor build it will be a stock 3.85 stroke 470ci or so dome pistons and cast iron heads, and rpm will be 8500-9000, what would your choice of rods be steel or aluminum and why?
Thanks

The ultimate question is how much time and $$ are you willing to spend on maintenance? Aluminum rods are a consumable item, you have to be willing to remove a perfectly good part just in case.

I look at it this way, if Kenny Duttweiler uses steel rods in the Speed Demon streamliner engines (8000-9500 RPM for 5 miles) then that’s the way I’m gonna lean.

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Post  Mark O'Neal January 25th 2021, 3:02 am

It's not that hard. Just take them out one run before they break!.. Very Happy Very Happy


Last edited by Mark O'Neal on January 26th 2021, 3:59 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post  gt350hr January 25th 2021, 12:53 pm

Aluminum rods have their own applications. Nitro fueled engines being one. You sure as heck don't want a steel rod in a Nitro engine. The crank would crack on the warm up.

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Post  Busted Knuckles January 26th 2021, 8:34 am

I know that manufacturing and metallurgy have made big advancements over the past few years but I'd probably still be a little leary of 'em.

As big as they are, I'd think windage might be more of an issue with them as opposed to H-beam steelies.

The last one I used was for a steering column bracket in a street rod, they work great for that!

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