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Old 01-22-2004, 10:35 PM
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stroke to rod ratio

I've read somewhere that the stroke to rod ratio in a 327 is closer to what the the perfect ratio is for optimum performance.
Not sure exactly how that works... It's just something I read a coupld years ago

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Old 01-23-2004, 06:10 AM
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the rod ratio in a gasoline engine determines the piston dwell at TDC. the longer the rod, the less downwards piston motion will be the result of the rod angle changing.

if the crank rotates 10 dergees, then a very short rod will be at a greater angle than fi the rod is very long. since the rod doesnt change length then some of the pistons downwards motion will be a result of this phenomenon, so the longer the rod, the longer the "dwell" and the longer the dwell the more complete combustion and higher cylinder pressure. The rod length is limited by other engineering conserns, like bloch deck height, piston height, and thus inherrent stability, and resultant wear. and so on.


In most large cubic inch engines it is hard to get a very high ratio. A Stock 350 Chevy has a 1.64:1 RL/S ratio, which is not very good. By increasing the rod length to 6" the ratio increases to 1.72:1, which is much better. You can squeeze a 6.1" rod in a 350 with little trouble, but longer than that requires plugging the piston pin bores after assembly to support the oil rings. It is not worth the extra expense for the little gains, so a 6" rod in a small-block Chevy has become common because everything fits right in. With endurance engines, longer rods are always better. Most endurance engines are using a RL/S ratio of at least 1.9:1 and some as high as 2.2:1. Before you go out and buy longer rods, let me just say that the gains are very small. This debate has been argued for years and will not end anytime soon. In my opinion, if are building an engine and need new rods and pistons, a longer rod will cost about the same. That makes the small benefits worth it. I would not waste my money buying longer rods if you have a good set of rods that you can use. Use that money to make more power elsewhere in the engine.

Rod Angularity

A longer rod reduces the maximum rod angle to the cylinder bore centerline. Less rod angle will reduce piston side loading; there will be less friction and less bore wear. Less rod angle also gives better average leverage on the crank for a longer period of time. A 5.7" rod with a 3.48" stroke (stock Chevy 350), will have a maximum of 17.774 rod angle. Switching to a 6" rod will reduce that to 16.858, assuming that the wrist pin has no offset. (on a ford small block, installing the pistons backwards will actually gain almost 20 Hp. since the piston acts like it was mounted on a longer rod, as the ofset is reversed, at the price of increased noise and wear)

Piston Pin Height

A higher pin height will reduce piston rock and aid ring seal. please no screaming and name calling about anything about a tighter ring pack, we are talking about pin height and pin height only. Moving the pin closer the the center of gravity of the pistons makes the piston more stable.

Rings

As the compression height is reduced, the space for the ring pack also get reduced. This can be a problem on some engines. It is good for power to have the top ring as close to the top as possible, but this is limited to the strength of the top ring land. As it becomes thin, it becomes weak. High output engines (especially nitrous engines) need a thicker ring land to keep the cylinder pressure from pinching the top ring. In my opinion, if you have to compromise ring location, it would be better to run a slightly shorter rod.

Skirts

Shorter skirts are usually combined with a shorter piston for a longer rod, but they are not really related. There is no reason to reduce the size of the skirts just because the pin location changed. A shorter skirts are used to reduce friction and lighten the piston. The cost is a little less stability, but it is arguable that a lighter piston with a higher pin height does not need the extra stability. For a street car, I would increase the rod length if it meant a reduction is skirt size. Most of the things listed here are for competition motors to gain a few hp, not worth a lot of effort for most street engines.

Piston-to-Valve Clearance

A longer rod decelerates toward TDC and accelerates away from TDC slower than a shorter rod, so piston-to-valve clearances are tighter with a longer rod. This may require deeper valve relief's in the piston (but probably not). A short rod is just the opposite, there is more clearance because the piston decelerates toward and accelerated away for TDC faster.

Piston Velocity

A longer rod reduces peak piston speeds slightly and delays peak piston velocity until the piston is further down the bore, which gives the intake valve more time to open more. Peak piston velocity is usually somewhere around 75 ATDC and since most cams cannot fully open the cam until at least 106 ATDC, it leaves the valve as a major obstacle when airflow demand is at its greatest. By delaying peak piston velocity, even if it's only 1 or 2 crankshaft degrees, it can allow the valve to open another 0.010-0.015", before peak airflow demand is reached. Not a huge help, but a step in the right direction. With a 350 Chevy, switching to 6" rods from 5.7" ones will delay peak piston velocity from 74.5 to 75.5.

Piston Acceleration / Deceleration

Reducing piston acceleration / deceleration from and toward TCD will reduce tensile loading of the rod, the number 1 cause of rod failure. A Chevy 350 with 5.7" rods will have a peak piston acceleration rate of 101699.636 ft/sec/sec at 7000 rpm. Swapping in 6" rods will reduce that to 100510.406 ft/sec/sec at that same rpm. That is a reduction of 1189.23 ft/sec/sec.

Intake Runner Volume

Since it is easier for an engine to breath with a longer rod, less runner volume is needed. This allows more room for an intake system (this is a very small gain, but is real).

Exhaust Gas Scavenging

A longer rod is moving slower at TDC, which reduces the speed of the exhaust gasses during the overlap period. This reduces the scavenging effect at low rpm and reduces low rpm power slightly (makes the engine run more cammie). A short rod on the other hand moves faster past TDC and increases the scavenging effect and help low rpm power.

Ignition Timing Requirements

Due to the fact that the longer rod moves past TDC slower, it gives the charge a longer time to burn. So you need less timing for peak power. Using less timing also reduces the chance of detonation; so higher compression ratios can be used. Switching from 5.7" to 6" rods on a 350 Chevy can allow as much as 1 full point increase in compression. In other words, if you could only run 9.5:1 with 5.7" rods, you could run 9.6:1 with 6" rods.


Longer Rod Pros

Less rod angularity
Higher wrist pin location
Helps resist detonation
A lighter reciprocating assembly
Reduced piston rock
Better leverage on the crank for a longer time
Less ignition timing is required
Allow slightly more compression to be used before detonation is a problem
Less average and peak piston velocity
Peak piston velocity is later in the down stroke
Less intake runner volume is needed

Longer Rod Cons


Closer Piston-to-valve clearances
Makes the engine run a little more cammie at low rpm
Reduces scavenging at low rpm

Shorter Rod Pros


Increased scavenging effect at low rpm
Helps flow at low valve lifts (a benefit if the heads are ported with this in mind)
Slower piston speeds near BDC
Allows the intake valve to be open longer with less reversion
More piston-to-valve clearance
Can allow for a shorter deck height

Shorter Rod Cons


More rod angularity
Lower piston pin height (if the deck is not shorter)
Taller and heavier pistons are required (again, if the deck height is not reduced)
More ignition timing is required for peak power

some of this must be attributed to grape ape racing...

Last edited by deuce_454; 01-23-2004 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 01-23-2004, 06:37 AM
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rod ratio

Please go to www.rehermorrison.com

Then go to tech article

Then read #10

keith
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Old 01-23-2004, 07:42 AM
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Damn Deuce, You working on a dissertation?

Great information. This needs to be added to the Knowledge Base. Very thorough and well said.

Chris
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Old 01-23-2004, 08:04 AM
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it is in the knowledge base.
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Old 01-23-2004, 12:48 PM
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Wow! Thanks a lot Deuce
That was awesome
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Old 01-23-2004, 09:11 PM
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Given that a higher rod ratio will allow higher RPMs why are 383 so popular? Aren't they .30 over 350s with a 400 crank? Wouldn't the larger stroke lessen the rod ratio and thus lower the motor's ability to reach higher RPMs?

Also is it possible to use 6" rods on a 383?
Thanks for the info guys
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Old 01-24-2004, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jacobm99
Given that a higher rod ratio will allow higher RPMs why are 383 so popular? Aren't they .30 over 350s with a 400 crank? Wouldn't the larger stroke lessen the rod ratio and thus lower the motor's ability to reach higher RPMs?

Also is it possible to use 6" rods on a 383?
Thanks for the info guys
Higher RPM is not really needed for street engines. Longer stroke engines tend to make more low end torque which makes a street car feel faster which people like. Also, it is possible to run 6 inch rods in a 383 and in fact very common. It is not uncommon for race built 383's to turn in the 7500-7800 range. Big cam, heads and a rock solid bottom end and they are very happy there.

There is also another theory I have heard concerning SHORT(edited:I typed "long" earlier) rods and power. The theory was that increased piston acceleration at TDC area increases the airflow due to an increase in the speed of vacuum generation on the intake stroke. I have also heard the same piston speed at TDC exhaust stroke is more efficient at exhaust scavenging.

I wish I could remember where I read this, but it is kindof funny how it is a direct contradiction. You have to keep in mind that one way or another, the longer rods are only going to account for a very small increase in power. It is not going to make a 50 HP difference.

Chris

Last edited by TurboS10; 01-24-2004 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 01-24-2004, 04:03 PM
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http://www.speedomotive.com/391_all_forged_6.htm
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Old 01-24-2004, 04:16 PM
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is there any easy way to tell what length rod you have? How is the rod measured, from middle of hole to middle of hole? The reason I ask (and not to thread-jack, I think it might be useful info) is I have a 388 already built but I (ignorantly) do not know which length rods I have. Any obvious methods to tell?

Thanks-

K
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Old 01-24-2004, 05:29 PM
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a stock sbc has .927 small end, and 2.100 big end diameter, so the easiest way to measure would probably to remove the oil pan and measure from the exposed part of the pin, to the parting line between the rod and rod cap. and add .46 of an inch. this wont be totally accurate as the distance you are measuring actually is the hypotenuse of a triangle and with the long side being the rod length and the short half for the rods total width, but having done some assumptions the measurement you will get is around 5,5 inches from the underside of the pin to the mating surface for a 5.7 rod, and 5,8 inches for a 6 inch rod.
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Old 01-24-2004, 10:46 PM
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Hey Killer, do you know what pistons you have? If they are a 350 design then you are using the 5.565" (400) rods. Most 383 pistons are designed for 5.7" or 6.0" rods. (But not all!) If you can track down what pistons you have, you will be able to figure out your rod length. Yes, rod length is measured center to center!
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:51 PM
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I am sorry to bump this old thread. I like it and would you guys to read it.
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:19 AM
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I'm reminded of when a person very first "finds" religion, or quits smoking. They're a real pain until they mellow some... Same thing when someone "finds" rod ratios, I guess.

HERE is yet another study done by someone, somewhere, sometime ago- I do not know who, where or when- nor if the info contained therein is accurate or not. More grist for the mill ( pun intended).
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