Installation and Maintenance of BME Forged Aluminum Connecting Rods

We take great pride in manufacturing our connecting rods. A little care during installation will result in extremely long service life. If you have any questions about the installation or proper use of BME connecting rods, please Bill Miller Engineering (775) 887-1299.

Please, note the following information:



Minimum main and rod bearing vertical clearance: .003"
Minimum side clearance, per pair: .016"
Minimum wrist-pin clearance: .0006"
Minimum piston-to-head clearance: .060"
Minimum rod-to-block and rod-to-camshaft clearance: .060"



Inspect BME Forged Aluminum Connecting Rods before installation. If you have any questions about their condition, call Bill Miller Engineering at (775) 887-1299.

In BME Rods, use only high quality rod bearings intended for aluminum connecting rods. Bill Miller Engineering recommends Clevite 77 high-performance, rod and main bearings.


During assembly of a BME rod, proper rod bolt lubrication is absolutely critical. Use only high-quality racing engine oil for for this purpose. Do not use moly-based assembly lubricants. Do not use antiseize. Do not use any lubricant other than racing oil or rod damage may occur.

Bill Miller Engineering recommends Red Line SAE30 Race Oil or Red Line Liquid Assembly Lube for rod bolt lubrication. BME is not responsible for damage due to use of improper lubricants.





Disassemble each rod. Blow the parts clean of contaminants with shop air. Pay special attention to the serrated mating surfaces and rod bolt holes. If the connecting rod or bolts must be cleaned, use only a solvent bath. DO NOT use any aqueous cleaning process, aerosol "brake clean" products, MEK, acetone, lacquer thinner or any caustic cleaning process, such as "hot tanking", as all of these will cause the connecting rod bolts to corrode which may lead to stress-corrosion cracking and bolt failure.

(2) If serrated surfaces are slightly damaged during installation or usage they may be dressed with a small, jeweler's file.
(3) Apply lubricant to all serrated surfaces, all bolt threads, all washer seats in rod caps, all threads in the rod's big end and both sides of washers
(4) Install washers on the bolts with the chamfered, inside-diameter toward the bolt head.
(5) Assemble the rod cap to the beam and lightly snug the bolts making sure that large chamfer on the rod faces the crankshaft cheek.
(6) As an aid for cap alignment and bolt tightening, two feeler gauges of the proper thickness should be inserted between the pair of rods at the parting lines.
(7) Tighten all rod bolts to the torque specifications listed below in one smooth pull. Do not tighten in steps or increments. Doing so will produce improper bolt elongation and reduce clamping force.


Recommended rod bolt torque:

#265 Forging (3/8-24 x 1.800 bolt): 55 ft./lbs. or .0055" bolt stretch

#396 Forging (7/16-20 x 2.000 bolt): 75 ft./lbs. or.0060" bolt stretch

#426 Forging (7/16-20x 2.000 bolt): 75 ft./lbs. or .0060" bolt stretch)

#426 Forging for blown fuel or blown alcohol applications: (7/16-20 x 2.250 bolts, 2K-2 material) 100 ft./lbs. or .0080" stretch

#500 Forging (7/16-20 x 2.000 bolt): 75 ft./lbs. or .0060" bolt stretch.


Actual bolt stretch can exceed recommendation by .0005".

With rods bolts used in blown fuel or blown alcohol engines, call BME for special instructions.  (775) 887-1299. Ask for Bill




(1) Do not hot torque bolts on BME rods. If you do so, as the rod cools; the bolt will lose some of its preload. If you over torque the bolt you may permanently damage it.
(2) Under no circumstances should you re-serrate the mating surfaces. If bearing housing distortion should occur, return the rods to BME for resizing.

If the intended application is endurance racing, we strongly recommend that oil temperature be maintained between 160 and 180�F.

(4) Repairs to connecting rods should be performed by BME.

If the engine is to be stored for any period of time (over winter, etc.) it is recommended to remove the rods, clean thoroughly in solvent, oil all parts and store with the bolts at least one turn loose.

If you have any questions about maintenance of our rods, please call us.


Due to the extreme stress to which BME parts are subjected, Bill Miller Engineering does not offer any warranty, either expressed or implied, for any of its products. Bill Miller Engineering neither represents nor warrants any of its products as to their merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Bill Miller Engineering expressly disclaims, without limitation, any and all liability for consequential or incidental damages of any nature with may arise out of the use of its products.

Bill Miller Engineering, Ltd, 4895 Convair Drive, Carson City, Nevada 89706
Phone: 775.887.1299 FAX: 775.887.0390
Last Updated: April 09, 2017  Copyright © 2017 Bill Miller Engineering
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