Connecting Rod: Do I need to upgrade?

Do I need to upgrade connecting rod?


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arnoldo

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My car is Honda Civic 1.5T hatchback. We don’t have manual option & we don’t have SI. The closest thing to SI in terms of internal durability is CR-V.

In my country, we have many tuned Gen. 10 Civic experience connecting rod failure. The cause of failure does vary from bad tuning on flex fuel, excessive boost (26 psi), & owner careless act filling up a tuned car with 87 octane.

However, there are tuned cars with ots map experienced rod failure without apparent reason.

I have my car custom tuned and I specifically ask for 20.5 psi max. This decision was made because I want the tune to suit with my engine characteristics.

The Quest
My knowledge in engine tuning is basic. My knowledge about gen 10 Civic is kindergarten.

Yet, I would like to tune and keep the car for at least the next 15 years. Point is, I won’t sale it

I browse Civic X forum & found what we need to worry for our CVT & connecting rod is high torqe at low rpm.

Should I upgrade my rod with this level of torque & hp?

Torque at crank
5-E2-C6-D84-9-DD8-4015-8-BFE-136-E0-F26422-B.jpg


BHP at crank
BEF55-D28-1-D04-436-E-8669-9-E977-C671-F85.jpg


If I should upgrade the rods, should I get CR-V rods or BC? I have no plan to upgrade the turbocharger & likely only increase the boost to 23 psi max if I do the rod upgrade

Thank you.



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jayy_swish

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Your more likely to kill the CVT than the rods. The weak link here is the CVT more so than the rods. Not saying it’s not possible, but I have more confidence in the rods than the transmission
 

kytos

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There are base 1.5 engines with big turbos touching the 300hp bar. The problem for the rods could be too much torque too soon too abruptly and not top end power. On CVT engines torque should be limited to help CVT longevity, I doubt that torque levels could do anything to a stock rod. My engine dynoed almost 400 nm, you should not be worried with a quality tune.

Just change oil earlier and dont abuse the engine.
 
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Hondanickx

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You have 300nm at the crank or at the Wheels? That's not too high most are much higher then that .
All the generic tunes for the 1.5t engines over here all give 300- 310nm at the crank.
If you're going to do the rod upgrade you might as wel put in aftermarket rods.
The cost for OEM rods is almost the same .
Only downside is most aftermarket rods are not made for press fit Pistons pins.
 
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arnoldo

arnoldo

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Your more likely to kill the CVT than the rods. The weak link here is the CVT more so than the rods. Not saying it’s not possible, but I have more confidence in the rods than the transmission
I had the same taught as you but strangely more tuned Civic gen.10 experience rod failure than CVT failure. I never power braking so CVT should last if properly maintained. I also follow Hondata suggestion to keep torque 250 nm at max in the torque limiter.

There are base 1.5 engines with big turbos touching the 300hp bar. The problem for the rods could be too much torque too soon too abruptly and not top end power. On CVT engines torque should be limited to help CVT longevity, I doubt that torque levels could do anything to a stock rod. My engine dynoed almost 400 nm, you should not be worried with a quality tune.

Just change oil earlier and dont abuse the engine.
Thank you. That's great to hear. I am confused why tuners whom I showed my dyno graph told me that the boost should be limited to 1.3 bar range.

You have 300nm at the crank or at the Wheels? That's not too high most are much higher then that .
All the generic tunes for the 1.5t engines over here all give 300- 310nm at the crank.
If you're going to do the rod upgrade you might as wel put in aftermarket rods.
The cost for OEM rods is almost the same .
Only downside is most aftermarket rods are not made for press fit Pistons pins.
That is 300 nm at the crank. Does this mean I also need to change the piston if I upgrade conrod to BC?

The reason I'm considering CR-V connecting rod is availability. The parts available in the country. I need to pre-order for BC that takes about 1 month the soonest.

Some dynos in my country seems to read low. This is dyno graph from KTuner 21 PSI tune. Please note this is CVT.

BHP at crank
KTuner-21-PSI-BHP.png


Torque at crank
KTuner-21-PSI-TORQ.png
 
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arnoldo

arnoldo

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I checked pricing online and interestingly SI/CR-V/Accord connecting rod cost lesser than Civic 1.5T connecting rod. It is interesting because SI/CR-V/Accord connecting rod has higher hardness measurement and should be more durable than Civic 1.5T connecting rod.

While I was there, I also checked turbocharger assembly pricing. I found Civic 1.5T turbocharger assembly cost more than SI/CR-V turbocharger. I didn't check Accord turbocharger assembly cost.

If Civic 1.5T parts were inferior compare to the SI/CR-V/Accord counterpart, I wonder why Civic 1.5T internal costs higher.
 
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arnoldo

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gtman has a tuned survey and I don't think your mild tune puts you at high risk: https://www.civicx.com/forum/threads/the-tuned-civic-x-reliability-survey.42361/

If it were me and I insisted on upgrading the rods then I would go with the BC ones. The price difference with labor isn't that much in your area is it?
Thank you for the insight.

The price of the labor in my area is relatively lower than in US as lower as 50% less but parts cost 40% higher than US so total cost could be similar with US.
 

gtman

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Arnoldo, I don't think the power levels you're generating will cause any issues. But, it's your call on upgraded rods.

Now as far as the dyno results, just remember CVT's are notoriously difficult to get an accurate readout.
 
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arnoldo

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Arnoldo, I don't think the power levels you're generating will cause any issues. But, it's your call on upgraded rods.

Now as far as the dyno results, just remember CVT's are notoriously difficult to get an accurate readout.
Thanks for chiming in @gtman !

I have no intention to go full bolt on, leave alone a turbo upgrade. Rods upgrade came to mind because many tuners in my country telling stories of bend rods and the horror of the story is the damage could happened even with ots tune.

That's why I was thinking to swap with CR-V connecting rod because @D-RobIMW mentioned that CR-V/SI rods had higher hardness than Civic 1.5T. Thus, presumably more durable.

The cost to me could be lower than BC or Saenz. Plus, I don't need to wait for a month as the parts are available in my country, and I can do the swap immediately during my work from home period.
 

Myx

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Background
My car is Honda Civic 1.5T hatchback. We don’t have manual option & we don’t have SI. The closest thing to SI in terms of internal durability is CR-V.

In my country, we have many tuned Gen. 10 Civic experience connecting rod failure. The cause of failure does vary from bad tuning on flex fuel, excessive boost (26 psi), & owner careless act filling up a tuned car with 87 octane.

However, there are tuned cars with ots map experienced rod failure without apparent reason.

I have my car custom tuned and I specifically ask for 20.5 psi max. This decision was made because I want the tune to suit with my engine characteristics.

The Quest
My knowledge in engine tuning is basic. My knowledge about gen 10 Civic is kindergarten.

Yet, I would like to tune and keep the car for at least the next 15 years. Point is, I won’t sale it

I browse Civic X forum & found what we need to worry for our CVT & connecting rod is high torqe at low rpm.

Should I upgrade my rod with this level of torque & hp?

Torque at crank
5-E2-C6-D84-9-DD8-4015-8-BFE-136-E0-F26422-B.jpg


BHP at crank
BEF55-D28-1-D04-436-E-8669-9-E977-C671-F85.jpg


If I should upgrade the rods, should I get CR-V rods or BC? I have no plan to upgrade the turbocharger & likely only increase the boost to 23 psi max if I do the rod upgrade

Thank you.

Yes, you should upgrade your rods with that level of torque.

Yes, you should upgrade your rods especially if you plan on keeping the stock turbo.

I have listened to what you stated and in your area/country, the rod failures seem more frequent than usual, despite whatever the reason may be. Upgrading your rods will help prevent you from experiencing this failure most likely, especially with you keeping the stock turbo.
I haven't read about piston failures but if you plan on changing out the rods, out of convenience, it may be in your best interests to change out the pistons as well.

Go with Saenz rods if you can get them. Also, go with JE Pistons if you plan on upgrading those as well. This was suggested to me after I blew my engine (Broken Connecting rods....my fault totally, tuning mishap). Just my personal input.
 

gtman

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Myx, Arnoldo's numbers are in Newton Meters. His peak torque number is 300nm (at the crank, not the wheels) which equates to roughly 220 ft lbs. at the crank.

So we're looking at much less peak torque than a TSP Stage 1 tune. Are you suggesting folks on TSP 1 should upgrade rods?
 
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Myx

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Myx, Arnoldo's numbers are in Newton Meters. His peak torque number is 300nm (at the crank, not the wheels) which equates to roughly 220 ft lbs. at the crank.

So we're looking at much less peak torque than a TSP Stage 1 tune. Are you suggesting folks on TSP 1 should upgrade rods?
Not at all. My suggestion is for Arnoldo and Arnoldo only. And my suggestion is based on his saying this --->
"In my country, we have many tuned Gen. 10 Civic experience connecting rod failure. The cause of failure does vary from bad tuning on flex fuel, excessive boost (26 psi), & owner careless act filling up a tuned car with 87 octane.
However, there are tuned cars with ots map experienced rod failure without apparent reason. "

I'm keeping it as simple as possible. With what he is saying, I think upgrading his connecting rods is in his best interest. It would be unlikely that he'd see a failure at all from it, irregardless of what his (or someone else's) dyno numbers say or what tune they are running.

I'd hate to hear him come back and say, 'I experienced rod failure, tuned on an ots map, for no apparent reason'. My suggestion most likely rules that out. Others will leave that option on the table. You know what I mean? :)
 
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arnoldo

arnoldo

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Not at all. My suggestion is for Arnoldo and Arnoldo only. And my suggestion is based on his saying this --->
"In my country, we have many tuned Gen. 10 Civic experience connecting rod failure. The cause of failure does vary from bad tuning on flex fuel, excessive boost (26 psi), & owner careless act filling up a tuned car with 87 octane.
However, there are tuned cars with ots map experienced rod failure without apparent reason. "

I'm keeping it as simple as possible. With what he is saying, I think upgrading his connecting rods is in his best interest. It would be unlikely that he'd see a failure at all from it, irregardless of what his (or someone else's) dyno numbers say or what tune they are running.

I'd hate to hear him come back and say, 'I experienced rod failure, tuned on an ots map, for no apparent reason'. My suggestion most likely rules that out. Others will leave that option on the table. You know what I mean? :)
@Myx I understand what you mean. If connecting rod upgrade can give peace of mind, just upgrade the rod.

If I could just keep my connecting rod, I would keep the stock rod and call it a day. It's a waste of time and money if the stock connecting rod is good for the amount of power that the car is making, and I have no plan to increase the power of the car or go full bolt-on.

I would spend the money from rods for suspensions upgrade, which was my original plan before the local tuners I met said Civic 1.5T conrod is prone to bend when tuned.

I went to 1 speed shop yesterday and the owner have different opinion. The shop owner suggested connecting rod replacement is not necessary with the amount of power for the car is currently making. The reason is that I'll never be driving beyond 3500 RPM daily given bad traffic in our city. We can only drive at high RPM during this COVID-19 pandemic when many people still work from home.

I'm closed to make my final decision and the decision tend toward to keeping the stock rod.
 
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Myx

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Well, good luck on whatever you choose to do. I wasn't saying that for peace of mind. I was saying it to pretty much guarantee you won't come back with a similar story as your countrymen (And women). If you feel confident that you won't fall in this category with a stock rod ----tuned cars with ots map experienced rod failure without apparent reason.---- More power too u. :)

I'm hoping it works out for you.
 

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