BME Rods. Numbers prove they Dominate Drag Racing
That's where the Bill Miller Engineering Forged Aluminum Connecting Rod is in the aluminum rod market.
That's the number of Nitro Funny Car Champions since 1990 who have used BME Rods.
That's how many years the Bill Miller Engineering Forged Aluminum Connecting Rod has been the standard by which all other aluminum rods are judged.
Sixteen Titles with BME Rods
John Force is the most recognized drag racer in the World. He's won the National Hot Rod Association Mello Yellow Funny Car Championship 16 times as a driver, most recently in 2013, and 18 times as a car owner. With 16 titles, 148 event wins, 248 final round appearances and well over 1000 round wins, Force is, also, the most successful drag racer. One reason for John Force's amazing record is the Bill Miller Engineering Forged Aluminum Connecting Rods he puts in his engines.
The most distinguished Top Fuel Dragster in the sport is the U.S. Army car. Its driver, Tony Schumacher, is an eight-time NHRA Champion. Seven of those titles were won with BME Rods. In 2016, J.R. Todd drove the BME Rod-equipped SealMaster Dragster to a win at Sonoma and five runner-up finishes. Obviously, Bill Miller runs his own parts in the BME T/F car he fields for Troy Buff. Miller's Top Fuel Team is consistently a top performer among NHRA Top Fuel teams running partial schedules.
A/Fuel Dragsters are normally-aspirated running on nitromethane, but are allowed to run NHRA's Lucas Oil series as Top Alcohol Dragsters. Bill Reichert, an acknowledged master of injected-nitro drag racing, used BME Rods to win the TAD Championship five times, from 2006-2010. Reichert still holds the TAD National Record with an A/FD at 5.103, a number which has stood for over a decade.(803.10, 803.11)
The Bill Miller Engineering Forged Aluminum Connecting Rod is catching on in Pro Mod. Top drivers, such as Troy Coughlin and Mark Woodruff, use engines from Pro Line Racing, a longtime BME Rod customer. Melanie Troxel is the only drag racer to win in Top Fuel, Nitro Funny Car and Pro Mod. Troxel, though now retired, still holds the National Record at 258.71-mph, set in 2011 with a BME-equipped, Pro Line-powered '53 Corvette. Dwayne Mills, currently the talk of the 1/8th-mile community for his running in the 3.80s at 208 on drag radials, also, relies on BME-equipped Pro Line engines.
BME Goes 400 and Change
The Bill Miller Engineering Forged Aluminum Connecting Rod is the quickest in drag racing. It's also one of the fastest?and not just 320-mph or so in a dragster. We're talking 400+ in a Bonneville streamliner.
On 21 August 2016, Danny Thompson set the SCTA AA/Fuel Streamliner National Record at 406.769-mph driving the twin-engine, all-wheel-drive "Challenger 2". The engines are 500-inch, Brad Anderson Hemis. Each is fuel-injected, burns 72% nitromethane and produces 2500-hp. Both are equipped with BME Aluminum rods which help insure the performance, reliability and durability needed to produce a sustained, 5000-hp and do it run after run.
Two weeks later, Thompson was back at the Salt with the BME-equipped Challenger 2 to try for a World Record in FIA Category A, Group II Class 11. Fun fact: almost sixty years before, Danny's Dad, Mickey, famed racer of the 1950s-1980s, set a 345.33-mph record in the same class with the four-engine, Challenger 1.
Early morning 16 September: running against an existing 414-mph record, Danny came oh-so-close. At 413-mph, the BME-equipped, Challenger 2 blew both rear tires. Thompson got the "C2" stopped safely but the rear driveshaft was ripped out of the car and the body was damaged, so hopes for a record in 2016 were dashed. In 2017, Danny Thompson plans another try at a World Record. The same two sets of BME Forged Aluminum Connecting Rods will be in his pair of Hemis.
Rods for Import Engines
The racers in import drag racing, half-mile drag racing and 1500-ft "roll racing" look to BME for aluminum rods for their four- and six-cylinder racing engines.
AMS Performance out of Chicago is famed for its achievements in drag racing and ?-mile "roll racing," which is a longer drag race from a 60-mph, rolling start. "Alpha Omega" the company's Nissan R35 GT-R has run 7.48/193 in the quarter mile making it World's quickest/fastest GT-R. In a ?-mile roll race, Alpha Omega has run 224.91-mph. The AMS Performance's GT-R was the 2014 and 2015 King of the Streets winner at the Texas Invitational, the top roll race event in North America. The car's 4-liter, turbocharged, DOHC Nissan V6 makes 2000+hp and it is fitted with Bill Miller Engineering Forged Aluminum Connecting Rods.
It's one thing to win a few drag races and a season title or two, but it's a far greater accomplishment to be a consistent winner in a diverse range of racing classes for more than four decades. Other connecting rod makers may brag about racers who run their parts, but look at the facts--here is little doubt that BME Forged Aluminum Connecting Rods dominate drag racing.
Until 1995, Bill Miller Engineering Forged Aluminum Connecting Rods were made of 7075 aluminum, heat-treated to the T6 specification. In the early-1990's, Alcoa developed a revolutionary aluminum alloy for Boeing to use for wing spars and other high-strength, lightweight structures in its military and commercial aircraft.
In 1996, after a comprehensive, joint research and development program with metallurgists at Aluminum Precision Products Corporation, a specialty foundry in California; Bill Miller Engineering introduced connecting rods made of this advanced, aluminum alloy. Compared to 7075-T6, BME's new material was capable of a 15% average increase in tensile and yield strength, equal or better elongation and other mechanical qualities but, most importantly--no increase in weight. In short, rods made of the unique Bill Miller Engineering aluminum alloy offered racers higher strength and longer fatigue life from a part of the same weight.
In 2010, after experiencing significant increases in raw materials cost during the '00's, Bill Miller Engineering began researching materials and processes which would give racers more value in the BME Aluminum Rod. Once again, in cooperation with specialty foundry APP, Bill Miller Engineering introduced yet another new alloy for aluminum connecting rod applications based on the material they developed fourteen years before. As always, when it introduces a new material, connecting rods made of it were exhaustively tested, both in the lab and on the racetrack in BME's Top Fuel Dragster, to validate their performance, reliability and quality. The result was BME Aluminum Connecting Rods with the same strength and durability as the 1996 design but with a more attractive price point.
The premium, specialty aluminum BME uses to make its rods is not available in the lesser-quality, flat-stock used by its competitors to manufacture other aluminum rods. BME's raw material is aluminum bar stock which is, first, subjected to a minimum, 6:1 extrusion ratio. It's important to note that his extruded raw material is, indeed, a billet, because it?s "a semifinished, hot-worked aluminum product" but, while a billet is the final form of the competition?s rods; it?s only the start of a Bill Miller Engineering Rod.
Forged for Ultimate Strength
Other brands of aluminum rods are machined from flat-stock, so their grain length is cut by tapering process and again by the rod bearing and pin bores, exposing the grain ends in all those locations. In contrast, the forging process used by Bill Miller Engineering forces the grain into the taper and around the rod bearing bore. These advantages are impossible to attain with connecting rods cut out of aluminum plates. Those advantages are, also, why a BME Forged Aluminum Connecting Rod has an exceptionally long fatigue life.
BME Rods are available in a variety of architectures, such as: Chrysler 426 Hemi, 440 Wedge and 340 A-Block, Chevrolet Small- and Big-Block V8s, Ford V8s and traditional Pontiac V8s. Bill Miller Engineering can custom-make aluminum rods for virtually any engine. Recent custom connecting rod projects were for a late model Mercedes V8, a 1925 Mercer Raceabout six-cylinder, an Nissan DOHC V6 and a single-cylinder speedway motorcycle engine. For more information, see our rod prices page or call BME for pricing on custom work.
About 30 years ago, a few resourceful engine builders, led by H-O Racing's, Ken Crocie, began using BME Rods in very-high-performance street engines. Crocie, a racing and street/strip Pontiac V8 specialist, faced with a shortage of acceptable steel rods for Pontiac V8s, began to use BME Aluminum Rods in some engine builds. While, since then, other engine builders followed Crocie's lead, admittedly, use of the Bill Miller Engineering Rod in street engines has not been widespread?but that's only because of the stubborn belief that any aluminum rod is unsuitable for street use.
"In a hot street application, using the aluminum rod is a no brainer," BME President, Bill Miller, said in an interview with an automotive magazine. "I don't know how the myth that aluminum rods can't be used on the street got started, but I'll guess that, back in the 60s and early-70s, they weren't making them using the process we're using today. With the material we've got and they way we manufacture the connecting rods, they'll live a couple hundred thousand miles on the street because a street application is, for the most part, low load. Our basic Aluminum Rod is made for an 1000-hp, 10,000 rpm race engine. The design criteria for the connecting rod is way overkill for what it's going see on the street. We been running aluminum rods on the street for more than two decades."
Standard BME Forged Aluminum Connecting Rods for most production Chevrolet, Chrysler and Pontiac V8s are reliable replacements for steel connecting rods in engines of up to 1000 horsepower. Aluminum Rods for some Ford V8s of similar power output are available on special order. A Big-Block Chevrolet style, Pro Stock rod, good to 1500-hp, is, also, available. If the application is a Chrysler 426 Hemi or big-block "wedge", BME's blown-alcohol rods can be used at levels well over 4000-hp with outstanding reliability/durability
Whether you call them "cap screws" or "bolts" doesn't matter that much. What does matter is that, keeping with Bill Miller Engineering's steadfast commitment to quality, BME installs nothing but the finest cap screws in its Forged Aluminum Connecting Rods. These fasteners are manufactured to BME's specifications by the world's top fastener manufacturer, Automotive Racing Products (ARP). BME/ARP cap screws come in two varieties.
The fasteners in most BME Rods are made of 8740 chromium-molybdenum steel, a quenched and tempered steel alloy having a yield strength of 180,000-psi and tensile strength of 200,000-psi. These fasteners have a excellent margin of strength for the vast majority of aluminum connecting rod applications.
The cap screws used in rods Bill Miller Engineering sells for supercharged drag racing engines which use methanol or nitromethane fuels are made of a special hybrid alloy, "ARP2000", which can be heat-treated to a higher level than 8740 steel. Fasteners made of this ARP-developed material receive a special, proprietary, BME heat-treating process designed specifically for connecting rod cap screws used in blown-alcohol and blown-fuel applications. These special BME ARP2000 fasteners have a yield-strength of 225,000-psi and a tensile strength of 250,000-260,000-psi. The increased strength results in as much as a 13% increase in clamping force.
Both types of BME/ARP fasteners are manufactured at Automotive Racing Product's Santa Paula, California facility using SDF or CHQ grade--both better than "aircraft grade"--materials. They are heat-treated in vertical racks which ensures complete, 360-deg. heat penetration. Like all ARP cap screws, the fasteners in BME Rods have rolled threads and the thread rolling is done after heat-treating which provides up to 10-times more fatigue life than cap screws having threads rolled before heat-treating.
The unique alloys used in BME/ARP cap screws are more susceptible to corrosion than run-of-the-mill bolts, thus, they require special care. Before use, normally, you only need to blow off the fasteners with shop air, however, if necessary, they can be cleaned with most any solvent- or aqueous-based cleaning process, then dried with shop air. In either case, after blowing off the cap screws, immediately immerse them in engine oil and we don't mean just "dip" them in oil. Fill a small tray with oil then submerge the fasteners and leave them there until you are ready to install them. Leave them coated with oil during the installation process. Never allow those cap screws to dry.
This special fastener care extends to storing your set of BME rods. You must store them with the fasteners well-oiled and finger-tight. Never store Bill Miller Engineering Forged Aluminum Connecting Rods with the bolts torqued.
BME Rods: The finest money can buy.
The five top reasons to choose BME Rods:
1) They outperform and outlast all other aluminum connecting rods.
2) BME puts overriding emphasis on quality through testing, inspection and manufacturing process controls.
3) Bill Miller has raced a Top Fuel car since the early 1980s. There is no better way to learn what it takes to make the best drag race connecting rod in the World than to regularly test it in your own Top Fueler.
4) In 42 years of manufacturing aluminum connecting rods, Bill Miller Engineering has earned for a reputation for innovative technology and continuous improvement.
5) Bill Miller Engineering Forged Aluminum Connecting Rods are made in America with the 100% U.S.-sourced materials and the best workmanship of any racing connecting rod available today.
Since 1975, Bill Miller Engineering has been dedicated to designing, developing, and manufacturing the finest aluminum connecting rods in the industry. Our commitment to the racer is total. We conduct continuous research and development to increase the performance and improve the reliability of our product. Rest assured, when you buy BME Forged Aluminum Connecting Rods; you get the best connecting rod modern technology can provide.