What Are Rod Bearings?

Posted on March 8, 2022 James Williams What Are Rod Bearings?

The average automobile is made up of nearly 30,000 components, many of which are hardware products like nuts and bolts. While many pay the most attention to grander assemblies, it is often the smallest of parts that serve the most important roles. For instance, the rod bearing is an often overlooked component due to its simplicity and size, yet it plays a critical role in the performance of the engine. In this blog, we will discuss rod bearings in more detail, allowing you to better understand their design, comparison to conventional bearings, and application.

In general, bearings are hardware components placed within assemblies to constrain motion and reduce the amount of friction produced between moving surfaces. Bearings can vary in the complexity of their design, and rod bearings are split-sleeve components that feature two separate semicircular shelves. With their use, the crankshaft and connecting rod of the automobile engine can be kept in place while their rotation is facilitated. With a pinhole situated on the top half of the rod bearing, lubrication can be maintained with ease so that the assembly can rotate without an excessive amount of heat being generated.
Rod bearings are often compared to main bearings as the two have similar appearances and are both located near the engine and crankshaft. While rod bearings allow for connecting rods to rotate the crankshaft without breaking, main bearings simply manage the positioning of the crankshaft within the engine block. Additionally, a rod bearing is placed between the crankshaft and connecting rod, while the main bearing is placed between the engine block and crankshaft. The two components share lubrication, as oil flows from the main bearing to the rod bearing to keep the assembly lubricated.
Due to the importance of the connecting rod bearing, it is important that it is well maintained to save time and money that would otherwise be spent on repairs. There are a few common reasons for rod bearing failures, and it can be useful to understand each so that they may be avoided. Low lubrication is the number one reason for connecting rod bearing failures, and it can be caused by a faulty oil pump or low oil levels. Pipe clogging is also an issue, and regular cleaning and inspection can promote reliable operations. It is important that the lubricating oil chosen is compatible with the connecting rod and all other components, as a sub-par oil may lead to bearing failure as a result of increased wear and tear. Alongside such examples, one should keep an eye out for misassembled items, fatigue, dirt build-up, and corrosion.
If issues have already begun to affect rod bearings, it is crucial that one is able to determine if the part is faulty and requires replacement. When a connecting rod bearing begins to become damaged and the clearance between the rod and crankshaft adjusts, there will be a knocking noise. Additionally, oil lights may activate as a result of low oil pressure if the rod bearing is loose, and the engine light may light up as well. Whenever such issues come about, it is important that the automobile is serviced right away to prevent issues from becoming worse.
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