I figured the reduction in big end width would be done using a conventional mill; however, machinists never seem to miss a chance to humble engineers as they transform ideas into a reality. Due to some challenges fixturing the connecting rod securely on the mill table and also the need to better preserve the perpendicularity between the rod face and bore, our machinist friend Julio Solis, decided to use a lathe for the job instead. Julio reduced the big end width by facing off the vertical face of the lathe chuck to insure good perpendicularity and then fixtured off of the inside diameter of the connecting rod bore. To protect the finish hone of the big end bore, Julio also made an expandable aluminum sleeve. Machinists, how could nerds live without 'em?
With our B18C1 crankshaft, K1 connecting rods, and QR25DE rod bearings all playing nice together, we shipped them off to the WPC day spa for a friction reducing micro-peening massage and surface treatment. WPC also improves the load bearing capacity of sleeve type bearings by about 25% and improves fatigue and tensile strength. The Honda factory uses WPC treatment so we figured we should too. Once they return, we’ll finally be ready to put our money where our mouth is and start assembling our long rod B18C1 engine.
Will the reduced scavenging effect at low RPMs of our long rod engine make our B18C1 even more gutless and lacking in low-end torque than it was from the factory? Or, will this build yield a reasonable daily driver, which opens up a can of whoop ass at high RPMs when we return to Button Willow Raceway? I have no idea, but you can live vicariously through my successes or failures by staying tuned to MotoIQ and the next installment of Project EJ Civic. Now, off to go work on Project Land Speed Racer 240SX