FFWD Al RACING RODS
We didn't set out to merely enter the aluminum rod market...we set out to destroy it.
Raising the bar once again, we give you some extremely durable, functional, and absolute sik-designed aluminum rods for your go-fast car. Not for the timid, not for the squeamish, and definitely not for those that think they can make mountains of horsepower and won't ever have to pop their hoods again. This is a REAL racer's rod.
FFWD Al Racing Rods have been CAD designed and CNC machined out of a proprietary aluminum alloy developed exclusively for FFWD.
What is this alloy??
OUR ALLOY IS 35% HIGHER IN YIELD STRENGTH OVER MOST OTHERS "HIGH PERFORMANCE" ALLOY AND IS ALSO HIGHER IN "STRENGTH-TO-WEIGHT" PERFORMANCE THAN GRADE 5 TITANIUM.
Oh people...it gets even better.
EACH ROD IS FULLY CRYO PROCESSED...a trusted and proven procedure we have done for the past 13 years to all of our turnkey race motors swinging the doors out of this shop. Hey...if it didn't work, we wouldn't be doing it. Period.
And yet, STILL even better.
Our rods feature an EXOTIC OIL SHEDDING COATING that allows the part to run cooler...resulting in a longer lasting rod.
Combined, what all of this will give you is an extremely tough, durable, and refined connecting rod that can take all the beating you choose to throw at it. And why couldn't it? If you're needing rods like these, you'll definitely be beating on them. We understand this. We've got your back.
IF WE WERE TO DESIGN A ROD...
That is the very same thing we mumbled years ago when we were sampling every rod out there on the market in our builds trying to find the perfect "builder-friendly" piece but still able to withstand copious amounts of HP. While assembling motors with these rod contestants, we found a number problems...including (but not limited to):
The block needing some MAJOR hogging for rod "swing" clearance, the pin end needing fitment to the chosen pin and/or the pin end needing width "adjustment" to fit between snazzy custom slug pin bosses, rods having to be installed (ridiculously) from the bottom because their widths were larger than the bores, or even perhaps the big end was honed such on the high side that a resizing was absolutely necessary. We didn't want that...see you at the hone machine...and in some cases, spending time at the good ol' Bridgeport to "make it work".
This is unacceptable and inherent with rod designs by individuals that don't understand what it's like to torque a bolt when installing a connecting rod. To put it more ghetto, it pissed us off so badly that the cat's ass hurt for a week.
Our rods are not designed by a tie-clad, Khaki-wearing CAD geek and/or a "cycle-start-button-pushing" monkey with no idea of what a rod should be, what a rod should be designed like, or how a rod should be installed. But by folks that actually build motors AND beat the Jesus out of what they build.
True...it is impossible to cover every single scenario when it comes to clearances and rotational setups. That is why builders are called "builders". It is the builder's job to blueprint the components to assure proper clearances as well as the correct fitment/matching of those components...LOTS of work. But we strived to decrease frustrations as much as possible for your build by understanding this assembly process.
It's easy to design a buff rod. Most designers just slap on the meat where stress analysis says to slap it on (if they even went that far with it)...call it "the strongest connecting rod out there" in their marketing campaigns...then kick back by the phones ready to take your cash. We don't subscribe to this haphazard approach. In a world where you'll be staring at the rod sitting on mom's coffee table while snapping pics to show-off in the forums like they were your first newborn, this mindset would be fine...but you are INSTALLING these suckers too. Whole different ballgame my friends. Especially with stroked configurations.
We feel that we have the best "strength per gram" ratio in the industry. Many many hours have been invested in finding the perfect balance between being "builder friendly" by strategic mass reduction while still maintaining all-out steroidal brute strength. A very delicate balance...but a balance that has been successfully achieved.
Our 6 bolt 4G63 Vader rod weighs in at a lean and mean 460 grams. To put this into perspective, a Manley "Turbo Tuff" series rod weighs a fat Albert 697 grams, and an R&R aluminum rod enters the arena at 487 grams.
That's an incredible 34% reduction in reciprocating weight over the Manley and a 6% reduction over the R&R.
We also match balance our rod sets within .5 grams so rest assured, nothing funky goes on when it comes to balancing. Yep...we put in the overtime at the gram scale. Not for distributing weed...but for you and your motor.
"The rods with the cap that snaps right on"
We didn't buy into the "serrated circle edge" concept of maintaining strict cap alignment. Dowel pins are where it's at in this club.
This is a shot of the rod cap and rod. Notice the black alignment dowels in the rod end as well as the spin pin in the cap itself. This bearing aint goin' anywheres. Bearing fretting? Our rods have never heard of it.
These rods maintain precision alignment within .0002" even after hundreds of passes. Some have pounded on these babies by throwing over 500 dyno pulls at them with no failures and bearings that still look brand new! That is A LOT of abuse folks.
SPIN PINS AND BEARING MODS
Here is a good shot of one of our SST coated bearings with the spin pin peaking out...the only sure-fire way of making sure that the bearing stays put at extreme horsepower levels. This pin (which is pressed into the cap) is why modified bearings are needed in order for you to use these rods. You just can't slap in "normal" rod bearings into this rod.
We do the drilling of the bearings for you right in the CNC machine...deadnuts in the center where it needs to be...included in this gig...so no worries. This is a VERY important procedure to bestow upon us as if that spin pin hole isn't located accurately and/or drilled concentric, you will have a cocked bearing in the rod and possibly not even know it...until the rod goes punting out the block on its way to the red planet. You won't be happy...so we won't be happy.
Grab the phone and call other rod makers out there and you'll find that drilling the bearings for the spin pin is non-existent. Why? Because bearings aren't even included with your purchase for them to drill! We also call it shear laziness and for increased profit margins.
Then you can dial in some really good time wasters by having to ship your bearings to them for the drilling service (that you bought from XYZ Racing), pay for the drilling, then pay once again to get them returned to you. If you'd rather throw your hard-earned money away like that, we'll take it...we'll buy beer.
In the past, we can't tell you how many times we've fielded calls from folks that have purchased rods from other manufacturers and wanted US to drill their bearings for them. WTF?? This won't happen to you on our watch. Why would YOU need to take care of such a task?
In our opinion, that's like selling someone a computer without the power cord. Utter BS.
BOLT S 101
We outfit these rods with ARP2000 bolts, which are MORE than adequate for aluminum rods usage. Only in a steel rod a higher grade bolt is necessary (i.e. ARP L19) when pushing those stratospheric horsepower levels and even then, a very small percentage actually needs a grade of bolt that high. Why does steel ask mama for more? Because that steel rod is not only a heavy beater stick, a steel rod is less forgiving and needs those Superman bolts when it's being slammed up and down in the bore as opposed to these feather-weight aluminum billet rods. The less reciprocating weight you have...the less dynamic force that is put on those bolts.
How did we know which grade to run with? We're not just talking out of our bum here. Using ARP's proprietary software, we were able to calculate the exact grade of bolt needed for various extreme performance scenarios. Variables such as stroke, piston weight, rod weight, max RPM and C-C rod length were used in the equation. Through a little science, calc button pushing, and some magic, BAM...instant grade of bolt needed for the job.
Any wallet grabbers that try to sell you different, kick them in the Lance Armstrong, and walk away. We provide you with exactly the bolt you NEED. Not ill-directed marketing tactics.
One other interesting side
note...these bolts are not installed at "torque to yield" values...there is a
25% buffer in the amount of torque needed to match what we used when honing
these babies. This helps when really pounding on these rods with the higher
expansion rate of Al as opposed to steel. If the alloy expands too much
(imagine Mach 1 speeds and very high loads), the bolts don't like it...and they
will not return to their original length if they were already torqued at
yield values. Not good. Junk it...
That was another peeve we wanted to address when doing our own rod...matching torque during assembly to what the rod was actually honed at. Important stuff. Concentricity is your friend.
As a standard practice to do at this power level, the material has been cryogenically processed, heat tempered, bores are precision honed to precise "on split" standards, and the entire piece has been plopped into a vibratory machine to eliminate stress risers. Bling is good!
An amusement ride for rods...tumbling till their dizzy.
ALUMINUM VS STEEL CONNECTING RODS
Oh boy...the forever on-going debate and most discussed topic in the high performance world. Shall we even go there?
Sure...but we'll intro this section by saying this is OUR opinion on the subject.
Aluminum rods act much like a "shock absorber" under load and will suck up the pounding the piston is transmitting to both the crank and bearing during the power cycle. Especially on the exhaust stroke when the bolts are really being put to the test as they have to hang onto that rod for dear life. Aluminum is good!
It is for this very reason (along with a lighter rotational assembly) why EVERY blown car, nitro, Top Fuel, Modified or otherwise use aluminum rods...they relieve a lot of the stress the bearings see in these crazy HP steroid monsters because of the rod's shock absorbing qualities.
But as with anything in making HP, there's always a price...the rods are changed out often. But at this extreme power level, the performance advantages gained are well worth the cost and maintenance for these guys.
Raw rod stock awaiting to be cut, sliced, diced, drilled, and contoured
into something wonderful.
Question: "How long will they last in MY car"?
Answer: "What is it that you DO with your car?"
Somewhat of a loaded question with many answers. We'll speak it as we see it.
This is the deal. The amount of life you can get from an Al rod is entirely up to the application you're using it in. Folks tend to group all of these apps into one. Not a fair nor accurate thing to do. Don't be an ignoramus.
A blown alcohol car will possibly get around 20 passes with a set of aluminum rods. A little bracket racer car uses them the entire season. A weekend tinker toy with quick jaunts to Foodland and the GF's past 3am for a quickie will last 20k plus miles. Bottom-line: it all really depends on how hard they are being pounded on.
The bottom bottom-line: With all factors being the same, be it a bracket car or a good ol' boy pick 'em up truck, these rods are THE industry leader when it comes to longevity for their chosen application. Period.
KITTIE YOGA STRETCH
Yes, these rods will stretch. Guess what? Steel rods do as well. Let's do a little record straightening here...
ALL connecting rods stretch when under load...albeit aluminum stretches about .010" more than steel. But both alloys will return to their original size when the load is removed. The point they don't return to their original size, is when the metal has been fatigued beyond its limitations. This is called deformation. Much like when a bolt has been stretched beyond its yield...the bolt will not return to its original length. Junk it...it can no longer do the job that it was designed to do.
So backing up a bit, why does a Nitro car change its rods only after 10 passes? That's because the rods has been stretched to the point of no return. Major pounding...major RPMs...Mach 1 speeds. The rod has now seen its limitations to maintain its dimensions. Junk it...it can no longer do the job it was designed to do.
This "stretch" is inherent to all extreme power makers...a known fact with builders and nothing new and/or mysterious. How to combat this? When we designed our rods, we accounted for this stretch by designing the C-to-C length .010" under, so when assembling, their expansion actually will NOT have to be accounted for when setting your piston-to-valve clearance. Viola! One less brain wrinkle made! Aint it cool?
Why does this rod look so villainous? Can good guys really wear black?
We'll start off by saying heat transfers more rapidly when there is a large difference in temperature. This coating disperses heat by shedding oil from off of the rod quicker. By shedding the oil more rapidly, cooler oil is splashed onto the rod more frequently. If oil "sticks" to the part longer, it absorbs less heat and blocks cooler oil from contacting the hot surface. We don't want that.
You have to remember...the longer hot oil sticks to a part, the more the part is going to increase in temperature. The hotter the part becomes, the more its yield strength goes down. Heat kills parts...heat likes your pocketbook. Vader will help prevent this from happening.
We don't just spray the rod, cure it, and call it done, No sir...we spray the rod, heat cure it, and stick it BACK into the machine for a few more necessary operations. This is why our rods look different from anyone else's on the market. It's the details my friends. This militant process is brute stuff for those that don't attend church regularly.
Sure, this takes more time, but we think it's well worth doing as we not only wanted to create a kick-dick performing product, but a product that looked like it was going to crush skulls and egos...pure esthetics...pure evil.
For those that prefer the bling with no heavy breathing, we can offer you our standard issue "Silver" Al Racing rod.
To recap, this gig includes:
We're not going to BS you and say that EVERYONE needs a rod like this. We're not going to even say this is perfect for your setup no matter what your application is. One must always pick the proper rod (aluminum or steel) for their application for optimum longevity and giddy factor. But we will say, if you want to be competitive, and if you don't want to get left behind, this is what you get.
Yes, there are cheaper alternatives out there...but borrowing from that wiseman adage:
The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten.
Lighter rotational assembly...shock absorbing qualities...a real racer's connecting rod possessing qualities not found in any other aluminum rod in the world.
We designed these rods to help you WIN...and to help you KEEP winning.
Only the best to offer you...only the best to use...when only the best will do.
Once the first batch of Al has been depleted, prices will raise. Why? We got an "introductory price" ourselves from our Al supplier...pass the savings down to you guys! We predict that supply will last until March or April...then after that, all bets are off.
$799.00 FFWD Al "VADER" Racing Rods (w/drilled bearings)
$729.00 FFWD Al "Silver" Racing Rods (w/drilled bearings)
(please allow 1-2 weeks for completion)
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