A new connecting rod design could increase the efficiency of internal combustion engines

What’s Shown in Vegas Shouldn’t Stay in Vegas: At the last SEMA Show, an automotive customization show held every November in Nevada’s largest city, a new company called Transcend Energy Group caused quite a stir.

The innovation it offers should allow internal combustion engines to gain in efficiency and performance, as stated by Interesting Engineering.

Utah-based Transcend Energy Group offers a simple and cost-effective way to dramatically increase internal combustion engine torque output (the power of the engine’s turning motion). The conventional connecting rods are replaced by a new, two-piece model.

Equipped with two joints (rotary or ball joint) at their ends, the connecting rods have the task of transmitting a movement, a force or a position. In internal combustion engines, this is the first of these three possibilities, since alternating rectilinear motion of the pistons is then converted into almost continuous rotary motion of the crankshaft thanks to the connecting rods.

The small end, named for the smaller of its two bores, grips around the piston pin, while the large end at the other end encloses a part of the crankshaft called the crank pin. The connecting rods take the power from the pistons, transfer it to the crankshaft, which converts it into torque.

The Transcend Energy Group proposes to modify the classic design of the connecting rods so that they have an additional degree of freedom. A menu change that allows the pistons to increase the amplitude and speed of their movements at the most opportune moments, resulting in better leverage at the level of the crankshaft. Result: 25% to 30% increase in “dynamic compression”.


This new type of connecting rod, named “Thunder Rod” (pun on “rod”, which means “connecting rod” in English, and thunder road) would also prevent the cylinders from eventually becoming more oval in shape, which would loosen the piston ring support and eventually lead to loss of compression. The part has also been designed to harmonize the pressure exerted on the sides of the cylinder.

However, specialists are asking to test this system and see how it works with your own eyes, as they believe that the results presented by the Utah company are still too opaque.

One of the problematic elements is, for example, that these new connecting rods are heavier than the standard parts, which creates additional inertia forces that are likely to increase sharply when the engine is loaded.

Indeed, the caveats are still numerous, reports New Atlas, but they come chiefly from Saint Thomas. In other words, skeptics who definitely only believe what they see and who will no doubt need a good demonstration and testing in optimal and unbiased conditions before they are fully and completely convinced of this system, which in some ways already resembles this one used by certain steam engines.

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