Are Subaru Crankshafts Forged?

If you are a Subaru enthusiast, you might be wondering whether the crankshafts in Subaru engines are forged or cast. After all, the crankshaft is one of the most critical components of an engine, and its material can have a significant impact on performance and reliability. In this article, we’ll explore the world of crankshafts and take a closer look at Subaru’s engine components to answer the question: Are Subaru crankshafts forged?

Key Takeaways

  • A crankshaft is a vital engine component that converts reciprocating motion into rotational motion.
  • Subaru has a reputation for building reliable engines that can last for hundreds of thousands of miles.
  • Crankshafts are typically made from steel alloys, with cast and forged varieties being the most common types.
  • Forged crankshafts are generally stronger and more durable than their cast counterparts, but they are also more expensive.
  • Subaru crankshafts are generally cast, but some high-performance models may use forged versions.
  • Crankshaft material can have a significant impact on engine performance, including power output, torque, and reliability.

What are crankshafts and why are they important?

Before we delve into the specifics of Subaru crankshafts, let’s first take a closer look at what crankshafts are and why they are essential. The crankshaft is a vital engine component that converts reciprocating motion into rotational motion. In an internal combustion engine, the pistons move up and down in a linear motion, which is converted into rotational motion by the crankshaft. The crankshaft is attached to the engine’s connecting rods, which move the pistons up and down. The resulting rotational motion is then transferred to the transmission and ultimately to the wheels, propelling the vehicle forward.

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Crankshafts are subjected to enormous stresses and must be incredibly strong and durable to withstand the rigors of high-performance driving. A poorly designed or weak crankshaft can lead to engine failure, which can be both costly and dangerous.

Subaru’s history and reputation for reliability

Subaru is a Japanese automaker that has been producing vehicles since 1953. The company is known for its commitment to all-wheel drive and its reputation for building reliable vehicles. Subaru has won numerous awards for its vehicles’ reliability and longevity, with many Subaru owners reporting driving their cars for hundreds of thousands of miles without encountering any major issues.

Subaru has also built a reputation for building high-performance engines, with models like the WRX and STI being favorites among car enthusiasts. These engines are designed to deliver exceptional power and torque, and they require strong, durable components to handle the stress of high-performance driving.

The metals typically used for crankshafts

Crankshafts are typically made from steel alloys, which offer excellent strength and durability. Steel alloys are also relatively lightweight, which helps to reduce the overall weight of the engine. There are many different types of steel alloys used in crankshaft manufacturing, each with its unique properties and characteristics.

The differences between forged and cast crankshafts

There are two primary methods used to manufacture crankshafts: forging and casting.

Forged Crankshafts

Forging involves heating a billet of steel to a high temperature and then shaping it using a press or hammer. The resulting crankshaft is incredibly strong and durable, with excellent fatigue resistance. Forged crankshafts are also more expensive than cast crankshafts, as the manufacturing process is more complex and time-consuming.

Cast Crankshafts

Casting involves pouring molten metal into a mold and allowing it to cool and solidify. Cast crankshafts are less expensive to produce than forged crankshafts, and they can be manufactured in larger quantities. However, they are generally not as strong or durable as forged crankshafts, making them less suitable for high-performance applications.

Are Subaru crankshafts forged or cast and why?

Most Subaru crankshafts are cast, as this manufacturing method is less expensive and can be used to produce large quantities of parts quickly. However, some high-performance Subaru models, such as the WRX STI, may use forged crankshafts to handle the additional stress and strain of high-performance driving.

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Benefits and drawbacks of forged vs. cast crankshafts

Both forged and cast crankshafts have their unique advantages and disadvantages, depending on their application.

Benefits of Forged Crankshafts

  • Exceptional strength and durability
  • High fatigue resistance
  • Improved power output and torque
  • Longer lifespan

Drawbacks of Forged Crankshafts

  • More expensive to manufacture
  • Time-consuming production process
  • Limited availability

Benefits of Cast Crankshafts

  • Lower cost of production
  • Suitable for mass production
  • Can be used in a wide range of applications

Drawbacks of Cast Crankshafts

  • Less durable than forged crankshafts
  • Susceptible to fatigue failure under high stress
  • Limited power output and torque

How forged crankshafts are made

Forged crankshafts are made using a complex and time-consuming manufacturing process that involves multiple stages:

  1. Heating – The steel billet is heated to a high temperature to make it more malleable and easier to shape.
  2. Forming – The heated billet is placed in a forging press or hammer, where it is shaped into the desired form.
  3. Trimming – Excess material is trimmed away using a cutting tool or saw.
  4. Heat treatment – The forged crankshaft is heated again to a high temperature and then cooled slowly to improve its strength and durability.
  5. Machining – The final step involves machining the crankshaft to its final dimensions and surface finish.

The impact of crankshaft material on engine performance and lifespan

The material used to manufacture a crankshaft can have a significant impact on engine performance and lifespan. Forged crankshafts are generally stronger and more durable than cast crankshafts, making them better suited for high-performance applications. They also have a longer lifespan and are less likely to suffer from fatigue failure.

Cast crankshafts are generally less expensive to produce and are suitable for use in a wide range of applications. However, they are generally not as strong or durable as forged crankshafts, and they may be more susceptible to failure under high stress.

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Common myths about crankshaft materials

There are many misconceptions and myths about crankshaft materials, including:

  1. Myth: Forged crankshafts are always better than cast crankshafts.

    • Reality: The best crankshaft for a particular application depends on many factors, including the engine’s power output, torque, and intended use.
  2. Myth: Cast crankshafts are always weaker than forged crankshafts.

    • Reality: While cast crankshafts are generally less durable than forged crankshafts, they can still be suitable for many applications.
  3. Myth: All Subaru crankshafts are forged.

    • Reality: Most Subaru crankshafts are cast, although some high-performance models may use forged crankshafts.

FAQ

Q. Are forged crankshafts worth the extra cost?
A. If you are building a high-performance engine or plan to subject your engine to extreme stress and strain, a forged crankshaft may be worth the extra cost. For everyday driving or moderate performance applications, a cast crankshaft may be sufficient.

Q. How can I tell if my Subaru has a forged or cast crankshaft?
A. Unless you have access to detailed technical specifications or can physically inspect the crankshaft, it can be challenging to tell whether your Subaru has a forged or cast crankshaft.

Q. How can I improve my Subaru engine’s performance?
A. There are many different ways to improve your Subaru engine’s performance, including upgrading the air intake, exhaust system, and engine management system. Upgrading the crankshaft may also improve engine performance, but it can be an expensive and time-consuming process.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Subaru crankshafts are generally cast, although some high-performance models may use forged crankshafts. Both forged and cast crankshafts have their unique advantages and disadvantages, and the best crankshaft for a particular application depends on many factors, including engine power output, torque, and intended use. By understanding the differences between forged and cast crankshafts and how they impact engine performance and reliability, you can make an informed decision when selecting engine components for your Subaru or any other vehicle.

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Joseph Weaver

With a background in engineering and a passion for cars, Joseph brings a unique perspective to our blog. He's particularly interested in the technology and innovation behind Subaru's advanced safety features, and his articles on this topic are always insightful and informative. When he's not writing, he enjoys playing video games and spending time with his family.

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