No Small Task: Machining Tiny Connecting Rods For A Miniature LS Engine Is Quite The Process


No Small Task: Machining Tiny Connecting Rods For A Miniature LS Engine Is Quite The Process

The world of miniature engine building, like the world of full-size engine building has been forever morphed and changed by the introduction and proliferation of advanced machine tools. What was once technology only had by defense contractors and massive industrial companies is now available to everyone at varying levels, prices, and sizes. Want a massive five axis station to create cylinder heads on? Done. Want a machine large enough a man has to stand on a platform to operate it making large parts for Earth movers? Done. Want a machining center that can basically sit on the counter or table and make you tiny connecting rods? This video proves that such a thing exists.

We’re picking up a series of tiny engine building kind of mid-stream here. We did not show you the first episode where the guys made the block from scratch but it’s there if you want to watch it. Here we see the design and construction of connecting rods to be used in the engine. These vary slightly from the typical rod in that they will have a slight interference fit on the crank as opposed to having a full cap to be bolted down as is the case in a typical engine.

What is neat here is that the machine tools being used are small and not some wildly advanced system. The in-depth explanation of how the machine is programmed to make the rods, how they created a fixture for final machining, and finally the whole idea behind the project.

This is some informative and fun stuff!

Press play below to see this video of making tiny connecting rods for a tiny LS engine –

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One thought on “No Small Task: Machining Tiny Connecting Rods For A Miniature LS Engine Is Quite The Process

  1. Bill Greenwood

    Not many people are aware that today’s ultra-high speed machining is directly tied to two very disparate engineering theories put forth and proven back in the 50’s and 60’s. Sochiro Honda theorised and proved that destructive harmonics could be overcome by accelerating the rotating assembly very rapidly through the rev range where destructive harmonics could occur. This theory was proven when he went to the Isle of Mann races and blew away the competition with 125 cc and 250 cc fours that revved to the moon.
    In the 60’s, an engineer working for an air force contractor did an experiment that had a high-speed steel tool make a substantial cut in work-hardened steel. At a surface speed of 600 mph +. The experiment was a success, but it wasn’t until a Cincinnati-Milacron engineer came across Honda’s thesis in the 90’s that the two concepts were married.

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