I have discussed off-brand connecting rods with several people in the B5 S4 community and many believe all H-beam rods come from the same Chinese source that supplies IE, VAST, Rosten and a few other companies. I found one source, Racing Parts Maximum (RPM), that sells these rods for $390 shipped with ARP 2000 bolts. I ordered them last week and yesterday they arrived from California.
A visual inspection shows these rods are very similar, if not the same. We will see how they work out in the engine. If they fail, oh well.
The rods came with a calibration sheet from RPM that included crankshaft and pin end weights. I will be rebalancing them myself to verify.
The RPM rods also come with ARP 2000 bolts. These bolts cost $140 if sourced independently so it is a big savings to have them included. There has been some speculation on the forums that these bolts were Chinese fakes but they have ARP markings and appear to be quality. A rep from ARP confirmed they were authentic.
I weighed two of the rods (without bolts). They were 522 grams and 523 grams.
This post has some comparison rod weights:
- Stock 2.7T rod/no rod bolt: 529 grams
- Pauter standard 2.7L rod/no rod bolts: 530 grams
- VAST standard 2.7L H-beam rods/no rod bolts: 515 grams
- VAST custom 3.0L stroker H-beam rod/no rod bolts: 479 grams
- Rosten Connection Rods/no rod bolt: 542 grams
- IE Connection Rods/no rod bolt: 555 grams
So far, so good. I’ll post more info after they’re balanced and installed.