Purpose of a Connecting Rod

By Jay Leone
Connecting rods for internal combustion engines
Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Reg Mckenna

Connecting rods are used in numerous situations, most commonly in the engines of automobiles. Connecting rods connect the crankshaft to the pistons and are necessary for the proper functioning of an internal combustion engine. The purpose of a connection rod is to provide fluid movement between pistons and a crankshaft.

Applications

Connection rods are widely used in vehicles that are powered by internal combustion engines. All cars and trucks that use this type of engine employ the use of connecting rods. Farm equipment like tractors and combines also use connecting rods. Even construction equipment like bulldozers use internal combustion engines, thus requiring connecting rods.

Facts

All connecting rods for automotive use need to be lightweight but strong enough to withstand and transmit the thrust from the pistons to an engine's crankshaft. Holes on both ends of a connecting rod are machined to perfectly connect to pistons and the crankshaft. Connecting rods are available in a variety of sizes and materials ideal for certain situations.

Suppliers

Currently, there are several manufacturers of various types of connecting rods. Windsor is a company that specializes in the manufacturing and distribution of all types of connecting rods. Omkar Motors is another company that manufactures engine parts including connecting rods. They mostly deal aftermarket spares for newer models of automobiles produced by Chevrolet, Hyundai, Ford, Toyota and Mitsubishi among others. GRP Connecting Rods produce connecting rods that are used in many race engines throughout the world.

Materials

There are a few materials that are commonly used in the creation of connecting rods. Connecting rods are usually drop forged out of a steel alloy. Rods manufactured under this method are capable of bearing very heavy loads without twisting, snapping or bending. Aluminum and titanium are both materials that are also used in the manufacturing of connecting rods for performance vehicles.

Warnings

Since an internal combustion engine depends on the proper function of its connecting rods, it is of utmost importance that the connecting rod is manufactured properly with a quality material. All connecting rods should include torque specifications. A connecting rod with improper torque specifications is liable to fail and cause extensive damage to an internal combustion engine.