When the time comes to tear apart your mill for a rebuild, regardless of whether it’s a daily driver or a performance powerplant, several decisions need to be made beforehand to help prioritize your build and budget. If it’s a basic rebuild and you’re planning to retain most of the hardware, such as the rods, then you’ll want to have them checked out and reconditioned by a competent machine shop.
If this is a project you would like to tackle yourself, then we’ll go ahead and tell you that it’ll require a sizable investment in specialized machinery. Rather than focusing on the equipment, we wanted to showcase the steps it takes to recondition a set of rods and help give you a better understanding of where your hard-earned greenbacks are going.
While you’re at it, and depending on your long-term plans for your mill, you may want to consider a rod bolt upgrade. If you didn’t already know it, rods of any given internal combustion engine are subjected to extremely volatile environments. Think of it this way: It’s the rod bolt that’s holding the rod cap in place and expected to accelerate on command, all the while forcing the rod to push and pull throughout the entire rpm band.
Again, any rod bolt upgrade should be contingent on the final designation of your mill. If there are any plans to tickle the throttle at various functions, then you’ll be wise to spend a little more up front for the added insurance. If your build is nothing more than a basic rebuild for a driver, then forgo the bolt upgrade and save the money for other expenses. However, if we can make one suggestion, never opt out of the reconditioning rod option from the machine shop. Sure, it may save you a Benjamin now, however if longevity is a factor then this is one place you don’t want to skimp out on. Follow along as Rocco Acerrio of A.R.E. Performance & Machine gives us an inside look at the rod reconditioning process.