ICEs (internal combustion engines) are very inefficient, and after years of doing the same thing, engines have stagnated. People look at oils to improve their engines’ efficiency. However, Woodard and his team have found a simple solution that could change how we look at ICEs.
In normal internal combustion engines (ICE), a connecting rod attaches the engine’s crankshaft to the piston and is responsible for transforming the energy from the piston into rotational energy that spins the crank. The piston is a pivot point on the connecting rod. However, in Woodard’s new design of a two-piece connecting rod, dubbed Thunder Rod, they moved the pivot location to the arm of the connecting rod, creating a more linear motion for the piston and thus increasing the efficiency of the motor.
Woodard’s design allows the piston to remain neutral on the load side and engage only when it is on the other side. This design change allows you to use the piston without a thick skirt. However, it has also increased the overall weight of the piston. Woodard isn’t bothered much by this, as his team is confident that it does not affect overall piston speed in any way, even though it moves through different parts of the stroke at different rates.
The team also found improvements in the compression ratio for a Thunder Rod-equipped 6.2-liter LS engine, which recorded 198 psi, while a stock engine only manages 155 psi.
While these numbers are impressive on paper, experts are not sure how they will translate into real-world conditions. Changes made to the connecting rod design also require changes to the piston head and camshaft designs. Until these changes are made and tested, the real effects of the design changes won’t be completely known, Road and Track said in its report.