What I got in the shop this week was a set of Procomp Small Block Chevy connecting rods which are basically a knockoff of the Scat rod. When it comes to the Chinese they honestly can't make threads to save their lives and when it comes to a connecting rod the threads in the rod and on the bolt is what keeps it alive.
Let me start from the time I opened the box. As far as any engine builder goes the first thing to look for is the spec card so you know the rod weights for balancing and bolt specs for getting the correct torque / stretch on the bolts. Don't bother looking for this critical piece of information because its not in there and don't bother looking for the moly lube either because you don't get any. Ok, not a big deal because I have my own moly lube and I always re-weigh everything anyway. Lets move on to the bolts shall we.
So, take the rods out of their boxes, clamp the first one in the rod vise, I start loosening the bolts and I get a cold chill right down the back of my spine... WHAT THE BLEEP IS THAT SOUND!!!??? It sounded like grit and a lot of it in the threads. Oh yes, it was grit or to be more specific tiny metal chips, dirt, debris God knows what else all in the threads. These rods were also torqued up and honed to spec with this crap in there. wt....!!?? I honestly can't say that they were torqued to spec because there was no spec card that tells you what the Chinese rod bolt torque spec is and the bolts weren't really that tight anyway. Oh, did I not mention that these aren't ARP rod bolts like you would get in Scat or Eagle rods?? Oh no, they are genuine Chinese "black" rods bolts of the same caliber that you can find in any Harbor Freight.
Let me continue... after removing the bolts from two rods, because I thought MAYBE the first rod just didn't get a cleaning after they cut the threads, I realized I was mistaken. They were all like that. So, I get the brake clean and spray the bolts off, clean out the threads in the rod, blow everything off and to my wondering eyes did I see nice chipped up threads like you can see when using a dull tap or don't bother using oil when tapping or both. I'm just about to puke after seeing this. I screw the bolt back in to check the fit and there it is, the same slop in the threads that you get from a Harbor Freight gear puller set. I reference Harbor Freight only because I do go in there to buy some things like de-greaser, cleaning brushes, heat shrink... you know the s*** they can't really screw up and I check out the other laughable crap in the store while I'm in there. I guess if you have no real concern for your safety or the safety of those who might get their hands on your tools OR actually being able to get the job done you could stock up on all that great Pittsburgh junk they sell.
Ok, where was I... Oh yes!! the bolts!! The bolts and the threads that are pretty much the most critical part of a connecting rod are complete and utter GARBAGE. To put this most accurately THEY SUCK tail!!! Furthermore these cheap Chinese knockoff bolts are suppose to have the small chamfers in each end for a stretch gauge, well they have a counter sunk hole bored into the socket end but those little Chinamen seemed to have forgotten to put one on the other end. I honestly doubt that a stretch gauge would do you any good with these rods anyway because I'm fairly sure you would pull the threads out before the bolt ever stretched.
I never bothered to check the big end housing bore to see if it was even close to spec because I was afraid to torque the cap bolts and pull the threads out. These are all nice and neatly boxed back up and ready to be given back to my customer to return them for a refund... or just throw them in the trash, whichever is easier.
After seeing these connecting rods I will say that there are levels of quality in the barrel. You have the heavy hitters like Crower, Lunati, Manley and then you get lower in the barrel like Eagle and Scat and then you get to these Procomp rods that I have to honestly say that I wouldn't even disrespect barrel by putting this junk in it, instead the barrel is sitting on top of them.
Well there you have it, my review of these "High Performance Racing Connecting Rods" so says Procomp, the Harbor Freight of performance parts.
Browse this site at your own risk...
Edited by brianpaul98, 22 May 2010 - 01:55 AM.