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MX-5 Miata Forum > NA/NB (1990-2005) Miata > NA/NB Power Mods > Stock 1.6 rods, how much power? and other Q


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SVOno5oh

25th May 2003, 17:56

I tore down my used inexpensive 1.6 shortblock yesterday. I have a few questions about it, since I've never rebuilt a Mazda engine. All looked really good. I'll borrow a mic from work tomorrow and check the crank, rods, bores, and a steel rule to do the block deck.

Anyway, how much power can the stock rods handle? Should I upgrade to the GTX rods (which I think I can get used from someone), or should I just bite the bullet and get aftermarket rods (Crower most likely if they make them)? How much power / rpm can the GTX rods take? I'm not worried about busting the aftermarket offerings.

I trashed the pistons as I was already planning on replacing them for lower compression ones.

On the stock rods... On the back of the bearings where they sit on the rod there is a black stain left on the rod. Did Mazda put some sort of goop on there? If not, how did oil get between the rod and bearing and burn.... Are the rods out of round from the rpm? I'll measure them to check. The bearings looked good where they met the crank, but I've never seen backs that have a black stain and also the stain was on the rod. I can take a picture of the rod. I trashed the bearings.

The crank has a slightly widened keyway at the very tip. It is a big nose 1.6 crank. Is it reuseable? Loc Tite fix? Anyone ever weld up the keyway and remachine it? What about a metal epoxy to fill in the small gap at the tip with a new keyway?

And one last thing. How do you rebuilders pull the rear main seal from its flimsy aluminum housing without destroying the housing? I have a press at work to put in a new one. I'm worried about busting the housing taking out the old one though.

Thanks in advance for helpful answers.


SVOno5oh

27th May 2003, 06:29

ttt


jessmx5

27th May 2003, 09:03

Interesting question. I have a set of brand new rods, a block, a short nose crank (like brand new) and also a complete big nose builder.

I was talking with ken from Flyin Miata this weekend. Neither one of us remembers a 1.6 breaking or bending a rod. I have friends that have detonated the hell out of 1.6's. I have detonated mine many many times in the course of my FI education. Skip Cannon spun his 1.6 on a missed shift to about 13K rpm. Never threw a rod.

Not sure that this says anything, but for what you are planning on doing to the engine FI wise, there is no reason to not stick with the stock rods. The only reason to replace them would be for the warm fuzzy peace of mind.

Jess


Jess,

What about for 12+ PSI? If I wanted to run 15PSI, I assume I would need forged pistons, but the stock rods would be OK? Any history on this scenario?

Tim.


celldoc

27th May 2003, 10:01

I spun my 1.6 to 12.5 on a missed shift about 8k ago with no problems yet.
I have run 17 psi with no problems.


Andy Floyd

27th May 2003, 15:01

It really amazes me how much abuse the 1.6 can take. I have about 30K turbocharged miles on mine (GReddy) nad have run it hard since the day the turbo went on. I have run as much as 15psi, and use 11-12psi on a daily basis. I love the miata engine, I just wish the head flowed better.

-Andy


2TWISTY

27th May 2003, 15:25

I thought that the 1.6 rods were the same as the 1.8s..

Could this be another "weakening" like we saw in the 99+ 1.8 rods?

Chad


Keith

27th May 2003, 16:05

No, it's that the 1.6 makes less power and torque at a given boost level. So the loads are smaller. The myth that the 1994-97 1.8 is not as strong as the 1.6 is just that - a myth.

Keith
Flyin' Miata


darth maulata

27th May 2003, 16:19

Originally posted by Keith:
No, it's that the 1.6 makes less power and torque at a given boost level. So the loads are smaller. The myth that the 1994-97 1.8 is not as strong as the 1.6 is just that - a myth.

Keith
Flyin' Miata not to mention...it seems like the guys going for *big* power tend to start with 94-7 1.8L. Prolly why you see those motors grenading more...

YMMV...

-jac


SVOno5oh

27th May 2003, 17:43

Well most rods I've seen just come apart tend to pull apart at the thinnest section. The thinnest section on the 1.6 rods (visual; haven't mic'ed them yet) appears to be where the beam meets the big end in the corners. The 1.6 GTX rod widens at the bottom at this point. Unforunately, it appears that the GTX rod (based on photos from Randy S's site) has a little more thickness in this point. I'd love to micrometer both of them to find the thinnest point on the big end. Rods can fail on the piston end, but that is less common. I've also seen end caps fail, where both bolts and nuts are still attached and the rod cap is just blown apart.

I'm starting to think I can get by with 1.6 rods, and most likely GTX rods. I have crazy plans, but I won't be able to run crazy boost for about 18 months (I'll be onto my next job and well established by then). For now I'm going to run my stock motor, but I want to have my other one going together for when the stocker goes boom. It will go boom at some point, just hopefully later than sooner.

I think I can get a set of used GTX rods. I bet if I polish the beams on them, they'll be just fine. I could probably polish the stock rods and do pretty well too. I guess I could be the guineau pig for stock rod power if a piston doesn't come apart first ;) .


Keith

27th May 2003, 20:27

Boost isn't going to induce tensile loads in the rods. Compressive, yes. High rpm use is a lot harder on rods than boost is. Hardest of all is detonation, of course.

Keith
FM


jessmx5

27th May 2003, 21:54

Most of the 1.8 Link'd and FMII'd Miatas that I have tuned (and there have been MANY) have averaged around 230-250 hp with no knock. Most of the 1.6's that I have tuned (mine included) have come in at about 230-240 hp. The 1.6 makes a bit more torque. I don't see anything to indicate that the 1.8 is stronger due to more power. This is at 12 psi. Skip has run 15 psi for years. I have run 15 psi for months at a time. I am just convinced that the 1.6 is a tougher motor.

Jess


bbirdwell

27th May 2003, 22:18

For years I ran a never-opened 1.6 liter engine, boosted to 12 to 15 psi for 120,000 miles (of a total of 145,000 on the engine) using first a IHI RH5B (190 rwhp) and then a T25/28, (220-230 rwhp). Rev limiter set for 7400 rpm (and I bumped it a few times), never ran a knock sensor, tuned it conservatively. Pulled the engine to install a '99 1.8 liter (in which I did install aftermarket rods). In a 1.6 liter, even if starting over, I would still use the stock rods.

FWIW,
Barry


SVOno5oh

28th May 2003, 00:50

bbirdwell, jess, thanks for the info. I guess I'll just polish the beams on the stock rods to remove any areas of stress concentration. I'll order the pistons, get everything machined and see what happens.

What bearings does everyone use? Any particular brands to look for?

Anyone ever have any problems with stock rod bolts or stock main bolts on a rebuild? All of them look to be in great shape. I was actually surprised because the rod bolts are larger than many small block V8 rod bolts. The rod itself is tiny in comparison. The bolts though... wow. Is it worth it to replace the mains with studs? I'm all for using stock stuff if possible, but I have busted one main bolt before, and really really don't want to go through that again. I've also had failed main bearings due to an elongated main bolt. Ever see a paper thin main bearing?

So I'm gonna order new pistons, pins, and rings at 8.5:1 compression from Flatlander Racing's import arm. They sell Top Line and Toga bearings? Never heard of 'em personally. Or maybe I should just order Mazda bearings from Mazda South?


miatex

28th May 2003, 14:12

OK, this topic is very interesting and very on my path.

I was thinking about replacing the rods and pistons with the Carillo and wiseco from FM.

But for what I see, it is not so crazy to go with the pistons only.

I'm looking to have 10 psi daily, and somedays 14psi (ok, 16psi) my target RWHP is from 210 (10 psi) to 260 (16psi)

Am I crazy??

Thanks for the help

miatex


candela

28th May 2003, 15:16

So then what is the most power that you guys have seen from stock rod/piston combo's in eith a 1.6 or 1.8?

Boost isn't going to induce tensile loads in the rods. Compressive, yes. High rpm use is a lot harder on rods than boost is. Hardest of all is detonation, of course Exactly...

What bearings does everyone use? Any particular brands to look for? I have had plenty of good luck with Clevite rod and mains :)


jessmx5

29th May 2003, 02:27

Originally posted by jessmx5:
Most of the 1.8 Link'd and FMII'd Miatas that I have tuned (and there have been MANY) have averaged around 230-250 hp with no knock. Most of the 1.6's that I have tuned (mine included) have come in at about 230-240 hp. The 1.6 makes a bit more torque. I don't see anything to indicate that the 1.8 is stronger due to more power. This is at 12 psi. Skip has run 15 psi for years. I have run 15 psi for months at a time. I am just convinced that the 1.6 is a tougher motor.

Jess Edit. I meant to say that the 1.8 has more torque.

Jess


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CARRILLO A BEAM ROD: MAZDA MIATA 1.6L/1.8L N/A WMC

CARRILLO A BEAM ROD: MAZDA MIATA 1.6L/1.8L N/A WMC(SET) - MA-323-1

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CARRILLO H BEAM ROD: MAZDA MIATA 1.6L/1.8L CARR BOLT

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MANLEY H-BEAM ROD: MAZDA MIATA 1.6L/1.8L

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MOLNAR H-BEAM BILLET ROD: MAZDA 1.6/1.8 BP MX5

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Mazda Miata Connecting Rods H Beam MX5 B6 BPZE and BP Rods

Molnar Technologies

Molnar Technologies H Beam Miata connecting rods are machined from billet 4340 steel, and then heat treated to provide improved strength. To make the rods even stronger, they are shot peened to which also increases fatigue life. All Molnar Mazda MX5 B6 B6ZE BP engine connecting rods are fitted with highly durable premium bronze bushings for use with floating pin type pistons. Each rod set for the Miata engines includes ARP fasteners, lubricant and installation guidelines.

All Molnar MX5 connecting rods are finished in the United States at the Molnar Technologies shop in Michigan. Critical rod dimensions are are held to very precise tolerances of +/- .0001 of an inch, which is the tightest tolerance you will find in the performance and racing aftermarket. These rods are an excellent upgrade component for high performance and racing Miata MX5 engines.

H Beam Mazda MX5 B6ZE 1.6L and 1.8L BP Connecting Rods

Molnar Mazda connecting rods

Mazda Miata Connecting Rod

Molnar Mazda Miata MX5 Connecting Rod Specs Part Numbers and Application Info

  • Length Length of the connecting rod, as measured center to center, in inches.
  • Notes Additional information about specific applications
  • Wt Weight in grams, of one complete connecting rod assembly
  • Bolt Size 3/8 diameter Rods come with ARP2000 fasteners installed
  • Jrnl Crank rod journal diameter
  • Pin Piston pin diameter, in inches or millimeters
  • BE Width of the crankshaft end of one rod
  • PE Width of the piston end of one rod
  • Part Number Molnar Technologies Connect Rod set part number
  • Price The price shown is for a complete set of rods for the engine.
Part Number LengthNotesWt JrnlPinBEPE

Mazda

ZH5234CCB4-A5.234Miata MX5 B6, B6ZE and BP engines482Stock20mm0.8600.860

 

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Miata 1.8L Forged Engine Build Part 1 Prep

Manley H-Beam Connecting Rods for Mazda Miata

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Manley H Beam Rods for Miata

Miata Connecting Rods

Manley H-Beams are a great rod for 99.9% of all Miata engine builds, and is what we used in our Project Streetfighter 1999 Mazda Miata engine build. The quality is top notch, they come with ARP Bolts, the quality control is industry leading, the brand is proven, and the price is totally reasonable and cheap insurance in our opinion for any engine build, as they'll support any power you'll throw at your engine in the future up till around the 600-700hp mark. We always recommend these rods considering all the above!
Availability: Dependent on suppliers inventory
USD473.08473.081473.08

Description

Specs:
  • Manley Part Number: 14011-4
  • Includes: Set of 4 H Beam Rods
  • Big End Bore: 1.890"
  • Pin Diameter: .787" (20mm )
  • Weight: 533g
  • Big End Width: .860"
  • Center-to-Center: 5.233"
  • Pin Bore: .7881"
  • 3/8" ARP 2000 bolts

    Manufacturers Description:
    Manley "H" Beam connecting rods are manufactured from 4340 forgings to the same exacting standards developed and approved by our original equipment customers. There is a vast difference in quality between a Manley "H" Beam and the "other" inexpensive H-Beams on the market. Weight matched to +/- 1.5 grams. Perfectly round big and small ends. Bend and twist is tightly controlled.

    Features:

  • Manufactured from 4340 forgings
  • Heat treated, stress relieved, shot peened and 100% individually magnafluxed
  • Weight matched sets + 1.5 grams
  • Cap fasteners are 3/8" ARP 2000 for the”H” Beam and 3/8" ARP Custom Age 625+ for the H-Plus
  • Shipping Information

    • Item Requires Shipping
    • 7.0 lbs.
    • W8.0000” x H4.0000” x L12.0000”
    • Free U.S. Over $150

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    Rods miata

    Brand: Hurricane*
    Engine: Mazda Miata BP 1.8L B6 1.6L
    Part Type: Connecting Rods
    Center to Center Length: 133mm/5.236"
    Big End Bore Diameter: 48.00mm/1.890"
    Big End Width: 21.84mm/0.86"
    Small End Bore Diameter: 20mm /0.787"
    Small End Width: 21.84mm/0.86"
    Beam Style: H-beam
    Connecting Rod Bolt Diameter: 3/8"
    Approximate Connecting Rod Weight: 490g/piece
    Advertised Horsepower Rating: 750hp
    Quantity: Sold as 4 pieces /set
    Material: Forged 4340 steel
    Connecting Rod Finish: Shot-peened, Polished
    Pin: Bronze wrist pin bushings
    Wrist Pin Style: Floating
    Cap Retention Style: Cap screw
    Weight Matched Set: Yes ,Balanced +/- 1g
    Magnafluxed: Yes
    Private Label: Yes ,available
    Custom design: Yes, accept

    MAZDA MIATA 1.6L/1.8L H beam connecting rods Descripition

    As a general rule of thumb, H-Beam Rods should be suitable for an engine making up to 175hp per rod, which will cover all but a few Miata engines. With that in mind, these Hurricane rods are more than enough for your Miata, whether it's naturally aspirated or forced induction! The way we see it, installing H-Beam rods is a small investment that will ensure your engines bottom end is prepared for whatever you might throw at it in the future.

    And all Hurricane steel H-beam connecting rods for Mazda engine are made from forged 4340 steel alloy. Each rod set is weight-matched to matched to +/- 1g. They're packed full of performance features, such as a compact uniform-grain structure for ultimate strength, full machining, stress relieving, and magnafluxing. the wrist pins get a bronze alloy bushing and alignment sleeves are used for durability and precise cap location. Sizing is performed on the unique Sunnen Krossgrinding system for a perfect housing bore. These 1.6 Miata connecting rods compatible with the 90-05 Miata both 1.8 and 1.6L engines.  These are the perfect choice for engines up to 750 hp.

    Forged Connecting Rods for Mazda MX5 MX-5 Miata B6 BP 1.6 1.8 Production Pictures


    Note: This is a progress of mill MAZDA MIATA 1.6L/1.8L H beam connecting rods beam part and surface.


    Note: Forged H Beam Connecting Rods Set Mazda 323 MX-5 Miata B6 1.6L DOHC BP 1.8L incresed strength after shot peened.

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    Other Products
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