Rod bearings, in general, reduce friction between the crankshaft and the piston. Friction is the number one enemy of moving metal components, so you need to have the right rod bearings installed to prevent damage. In addition to their friction-reducing quality, rod bearings also support the engine crankshaft. Finding the right rod bearings for your vehicle is important to ensure smooth engine operation. They come in different types and sizes, so you have to carefully choose which set will best fit your vehicle.
Types of rod bearings
- Oval beam
This is the most common type of rod bearing and has a large, flat surface that is perpendicular to the side beams. Although the I-beam is lightweight, it provides high compressive and tensile strength that is particularly useful for performance builds and stock applications. Aside from this, it can also handle high revolutions per minute (RPM) tension and large horsepower loads. If you want high bearing strength minus the weight, the I-beam is highly recommended.
For increased rigidity and strength, oval beams are used. They're a notch higher than the basic bearings, so you'll get improved performance minus the bending and failure that's common in I-beams. Oval beams can cut replacement costs in half because of their durability.
Superior compressive power and light weight are the qualities that differentiate the H-beam from the other two types. It is recommended for applications generating increased torque and power of up to 6,000 RPM.
Finding the right rod bearing size
Rod bearings and ball joints are marked with identical numbers. Some ball joints are even color-coded to match the numbers on a rod bearing. If you can't find any numbers, consult your owner's manual first for further information. You may use these identification numbers when purchasing new rod bearings. If there's no identification system to match the ball joints and bearings, measure the size of the rod bearing hole with a tape measure instead.