SEMA 2013: Oliver’s Three Rod Choices From One Piece Of Billet Steel

From the photos one can see that the far left (Speedway) rod is wider in the beam and contains more material on the big end than the Ultra Light rod (right).

When you have the technology and machines to make badass racing parts like Oliver, it’s easier to give consumers options. From one piece of billet steel, Oliver can create three different connecting rod options – the Speedway, Standard Light, and Ultra Light Series.

Oliver's Rod Bolt Stretch Technique

Also unique to Oliver is their stretch technique used on their ARP 2000 rod bolts. “Our goal with all of our rod bolts is to give people enough information to use the torque and angle method and the stretch,” says Keating. “The fastener is trying to maintain the parting line between the cap and the rod face – that’s the whole goal. So when you’re torquing the fastener, your loading that parting line to make sure it doesn’t move. You need to manage that stretch because that rod bolt is a spring and you want to make sure you are not over-yielding it.”

 

“The better engine builders can get away with running a lighter weight rod because they run the engine easier by using a lighter rotating mass assembly,” says Ted Keating of Oliver. “Though, if someone is building a blower or extreme turbo combination, we try to push them towards the Speedway rod, which is typically 40 to 50 grams heavier, meaning there’s more material to make it more stable.”

Oliver’s Speedway Series rods are designed for severe applications where engines are subject to high-RPM endurance racing or high loads over a wide variation in RPM. These rods are often used in large cubic inch late model dirt cars and forced-induction applications. This rod features premium 7/16” bolts.

The Standard Light Series rods are designed to be used in naturally-aspirated high horsepower, high-RPM engines and also features 7/16” bolts.

Finally, the Ultra Light Series rods are designed to be used in moderate horsepower applications where RPM in the 8,200 range are common.  7/16” bolts are still used on these rods except for 1.889” journal rods will have 3/8” ARP 2000 bolts. The Ultra Light actually requires more machining time to cut the weight out of the rod, though it’s sold at the same price point as the Speedway and Standard Light rods.

 

 

 

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About the author

Mark Gearhart

In 1995 Mark started photographing drag races at his once local track, Bradenton Motorsports Park. He became hooked and shot virtually every series at the track until 2007 until he moved to California and began working as a writer for Power Automedia. He was the founding editor for its first online magazines, and transitioned into the role of editorial director role in 2014. Retiring from the company in 2016, Mark continues to expand his career as a car builder, automotive enthusiast, and freelance journalist to provide featured content and technical expertise.
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