pink rods

79camaro327

Veteran Member
Jul 7, 2006
167
is it possible to tell if an engine has pink rods by looking at them? is there a number on them or do they have a certain look, thanks
 

Breese

Veteran Member
Jan 8, 2005
368
St. Louis, Mo
If the rods haven't been glassbeaded or shot blasted, you should be able to see some pink paint on the beams. They also have a X on the cap. Plus in the "Chevy Performance" book, it says the caps are forged out of 1053 steel. I have a set and you can see a difference in the material. But look for the "X" on the cap. X Rods..I've got a set out of a '71 LT-1 and the steel crank if your interested..
 

AJ_72

Veteran Member
Jul 3, 2003
5,129
Chebanse, IL USA
From Chevy High Performance....

Let’s make this simple: The Chevy pink rod is not what you think it is. First, all small-block rods produced for stock Chevrolet engines are forged from 1038 steel, with the exception of the new, powdered metal rods used in late-model engines and the aftermarket Bow Tie rod, which is forged from 4340 steel. The pink rod is merely a Magnafluxed and shot-peened version of the 1038 steel production rod with a pink stripe painted on it to distinguish it from standard rods.

There is also some confusion as to the width of the pink rod’s beam, because Chevrolet narrowed the beam of stock small-block rods beginning around 1989. The stock rod’s beam width was narrowed from an average 0.570 inch to 0.505 inch. Although the beam is narrower, this rod weighs the same with the weight added to the big end, which actually puts more stress on the rod at high rpm.

Often, when trying to find a set of pink rods, the late-model narrow-beam rod is compared side by side to a stock older rod. The natural assumption is that the rod with the thicker beam must be a pink rod when, actually, it is merely an early stock rod. You can create your own pink rod simply by shot-peening and Magnafluxing your stock rods (which is a good idea in any engine rebuild).

The smart plan is to have a set of rods Magnafluxed to check for cracks, and then polish the rod beams and press in a set of quality bolts. This will require the big end of the rod be resized to create the proper inside diameter for the rod bearings. Before resizing, have the rods shot-peened. This will compact the surface of the metal and improve surface strength, while minimizing the possibility of stress cracks forming. Finally, have the rods balanced; the result will be a low-budget set of rods that are stronger (because of the better bolts) than any Chevy “pink” rod.
 

blue 79 Z28

Veteran Member
Jul 25, 2006
404
Richmond b.c.
i can tell you the limit on them hahaha. my old 355 in my 79 with cast pistons, pink rods/arps, and stock crank, spun it 7300rpm in top gear and it blew up. ran the motor at 6500rpm shifts at the track for 3 years and it lived. motor dynoed 370hp open header.
 
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Marv D

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
I would SURE like to know exactly how many sets of 'pink' rods GM actually produced. Because there seems to be about a billion more available on the internet than you could ever find in the 60's, 70's, 80's.... However I do bet the sales of Duplicor pink paint is up!

Look, just like the article AJ posted says. Don't fall into the hype of yesteryear. Any true 'pink' rod you find these days is nothing but a used rod! It needs all the same attention and refurbishing that any other used rod needs. IMO your better off buying a new set of Scat I-beam rods than you are paying a penny for a (claimed to be) 'pink' rod.
 

79camaro327

Veteran Member
Jul 7, 2006
167
blue 79 Z28 said:
i agree though, forget about stock, just get some scat i beams, well worth the money

well I plan on less than 400 horse and turning less than 6000 rpm so I think a good stock rod would do just fine.
 

79camaro327

Veteran Member
Jul 7, 2006
167
Breese is this the X your speaking of, not on the end of the rod cap but right above the bolt, you can faintly see it in this picture. is this a good stock rod?

 

Breese

Veteran Member
Jan 8, 2005
368
St. Louis, Mo
Yes, That's an "X" rod. Maybe a pink rod. So AJ_72, your telling me this LT-1 shortblock, out of a 'Vette, I'm looking at, with the steel crank, 4-bolt mains, windage tray, VIRGIN shortblock, rods with a "X" and pink paint on them, are ?CLONES?? Dude...I've worked in a machine shop since '77. Back in those days, a fella would stop by the shop on Fridays, and you never knew what was in his paper grocery bags. One week, Valve springs, retainers,etc. Next week, rods, BB 7/16, dimple floaters, or PINKS. You never knew what he was going to have, but we all went fast with GM Performance parts. As fast as expected with those parts. BAGS of #754 cams, solid lifters, Those were the fun days..
 

Breese

Veteran Member
Jan 8, 2005
368
St. Louis, Mo
79camaro327, Sorry to get off the subject, does your engine have steel crank also? If your not sure, take another pic, a bigger pic of like yor #1-2 rod throw. Try to get the parting line. Rods haven't been balanced..Good Luck
 




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