• When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.

Copper color connecting rods

John Hogan

Well-Known Member
Local time
3:13 PM
Dec 25, 2021
Reaction score
Deer Trail, CO
I've rebuilt more than a few big and small blocks and never seen copper color connecting rods. Tearing down my 1973 340 to go to the machine shop I found that #3,6 and 7 connecting rods are copper colored. The #3 and #7 rods have no markings on the machined pad while the #6 rod has what appears to be a + symbol in a circle. Since they are totally the same color and show no sign of bearing failure or overheating what the heck is the reason for the different color?



Needed more weight for balancing. Can't add weight back so copper dip does the trick
When a connecting rod comes down the line, and is just a smidge out of spec, the bad end is dipped in a pot of molten copper. The layer of copper reduces the size of the hole for a proper fit. The small end bore is reduced in size for a better interference fit on the piston pin, and the big end bore is reduced when honed too far over the spec. I have seen just the small end bore dipped, big end bore dipped, and the complete rod dipped. When they cannot be fixed this way, they get sent back to be melted down and start all over.
Searched FABO and found lots of differing reasons, most of which match 69Bee's explanation. However I'm still curious about the + in the circle that's not on the other two rods. The consensus at FABO seems to be they are fine to use.
Pull a cap and see what the year is on the bearing.
I found the copper plating on 2 different rebuilt crank/rod assemblies for the 2 different 1000 cc Rotax snowmobile engines I rebuilt. They came right from the dealer.
Normal thing. I have seen many and even more photos of them. There has been discussions here about them.
Chevy started that way Back in the 60s/70s as their quality control was horrible. It’s not uncommon to pull a Chevy apart and see all 8 rods coated. Nothing wrong with the rod now other than it bugs my azz. Kim