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Bill Miller Engineering
Bill Miller Engineering (BME) has a very impressive reputation when it comes to racing. Their aluminum connecting rods, pistons and wrist pins have been part of championship winning teams including Jeff Gordon, John Force and Dale Earnhardt. This racing pedigree makes them a top choice when building an engine.

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Description: Connecting Rod, I Beam, 6.385 in Long, Bushed, 7/16 in Cap Screws, Forged Aluminum, Big Block Chevy, Set of 8 More Details »
Item #: BME396250
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Description: Connecting Rod, I Beam, 6.535 in Long, Bushed, 7/16 in Cap Screws, Forged Aluminum, Big Block Chevy, Set of 8 More Details »
Item #: BME396400
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Description: Connecting Rod, I Beam, 6.700 in Long, Bushed, 7/16 in Cap Screws, Forged Aluminum, Big Block Chevy, Set of 8 More Details »
Item #: BME396565
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Description: Connecting Rod, I Beam, 6.800 in Long, Bushed, 7/16 in Cap Screws, Forged Aluminum, Big Block Chevy, Set of 8 More Details »
Item #: BME396665
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Description: Connecting Rod, I Beam, 6.000 in Long, Bushed, 7/16 in Cap Screws, Forged Aluminum, Small Block Chevy, Set of 8 More Details »
Item #: BME302300
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More About Bill Miller Engineering

Bill Miller Engineering (BME) has a very impressive reputation when it comes to racing. Their aluminum connecting rods, pistons and wrist pins have been part of championship winning teams including Jeff Gordon, John Force and Dale Earnhardt. This racing pedigree makes them a top choice when building an engine.

Bill Miller Engineering's roots in the hard-core race engine parts business go back more than a generation. In 1970, fresh out of the Navy, Bill Miller worked as Warehouse Manager at National Speed and Marine in Los Angeles. This speed shop campaigned a Top Fuel Dragster. In his early years in the automotive aftermarket, not only did Bill Miller get to know the sales and distribution end of the business, but he learned about drag racing by crewing on a Top Fuel car.

In 1982, in a major expansion of its racing engine parts business, Bill Miller Engineering purchased the old ForgedTrue Piston company. ForgedTrue was started by hot rodding pioneer, Art Sparks, at the end of World War II. Sparks was the inventor of the manufacturing process used to make a forged aluminum piston. When war production ceased in 1945, all of a sudden, Sparks' friend, aircraft manufacturer Donald Douglas, had a lot of unused forging presses in his aircraft plant at Santa Monica, California. Art Sparks made a deal with Douglas to use those presses to make forged pistons for the Offenhauser, four-cylinder, race engine.

ForgedTrue went on to become a major brand in the premium racing piston field during the '40s, '50s and '60s. Not only did Sparks have his own successful business, but TRW paid him a lucrative royalty to use his forging process in its volume-market, forged pistons which were both used by O.E manufacturers and widely sold in the aftermarket. Art Sparks retired a very wealthy man.

During the 1970s, ForgedTrue Pistons changed hands several times. Successive corporate owners, more interested in quick profits than good products and service, ran the once famous and respected name into the ground.

At today's BME, quality and teamwork are two key themes. At left, a BME Team Member runs a quality control check on a Sprint Cup piston using a coordinate measuring machine and, above, Bill Miller discusses quality and manufacturing process with another Team Member who works on aluminum rods.

Upon ForgedTrue's acquisition in 1982, Bill Miller had another herculean task ahead of him. Sales had tanked and the company's reputation was in shambles. First, the name was changed to "BME Forged Racing Pistons". Then, Bill applied the same business plan and commitment to excellence that made his Aluminum Connecting Rod a drag racing benchmark. A key marketing decision concentrated the business mainly on the piston needs of hard-core drag racers. Later, that would change but, for the time being, BME needed to narrow its focus to free-up time and resources to solve other problems. Next, stringent quality control processes were instituted. Finally, the same good labor relations that bred dedication and enthusiasm in the employees on the connecting rod side of the business were applied to the new, piston operation.

Three years later, as the BME Piston situation began to improve and with the increasing difficulty of spreading his management team between two distant locations in the Los Angeles area, Bill Miller combined the rod and piston operations in a new, even larger factory in Harbor City, California.

During the remainder of the 1980s and the early '90s, Bill Miller and the hardworking BME employees, brought the piston business to a point where its reputation equaled that once enjoyed by ForgedTrue, then they exceeded it. In addition, the company continued its quest for excellence with the BME Forged Aluminum Rod. More team members were hired. New machinery, including the first of BME's computer numeric-control (CNC) machining centers, was installed allowing additional increases in quality and production rates for all BME products.

In 1992, after eight years of solid growth, Bill Miller Engineering, once again struggled for working space and began yet another search for more spacious quarters. This time, though, it went farther than just up the freeway. In the early '90s, the State of California's increasingly hostile business climate forced an out-of-state relocation.

In 1993, BME selected Carson City, Nevada as its new home. Once again, a move to larger quarters enhanced BME's growth and its products. Revitalized by a less restrictive regulatory environment, a skilled labor force and a pleasant climate, Bill Miller Engineering continued to thrive.

Bolstered by his company's growth in its first few years in Carson City, Bill Miller made a significant investment which would result in a major improvement in the BME's mainstay product, the Forged Aluminum Rod. In 1996, after a comprehensive research and development program, Bill Miller Engineering introduced rods made of an new, advanced, aerospace-derived, aluminum alloy. This new type of aluminum provided an average, 15% increase in tensile and yield strength along with equal or better elongation and other mechanical qualities with, most importantly, no increase in weight and no significant increase in price.

The "new" Bill Miller Engineering Forged Aluminum Connecting Rod design saw rapid success in the market and, since then, sales have continued to be strong. Fifteen years after its introduction, the revised Connecting Rod remains Bill Miller Engineering's core product and continues to dominate the market for aluminum connecting rods.

Bill Miller Engineering's 1992 move to Carson City, Nevada had it constructing this factory near the Carson City airport.

By 1995, the Bill Miller Engineering Forged Racing Piston was so highly regarded that Hendrick Motorsports, the top team in NASCAR Winston Cup (now called Sprint Cup) Racing, switched to BME Pistons. When news got out of which piston Cup Champion, Jeff Gordon was using, other teams jumped on the band wagon. Over the last 16 years, BME racing pistons have been used by all the top NASCAR teams racing Chevrolets, Dodges and Toyotas. Since 1996, six NASCAR Sprint Cup Champions, Jeff Gordon (1997, 1998, 2001) Bobby Labonte (2000) and Tony Stewart (2002, 2005), along with five Daytona 500 Winners, Dale Earnhardt (1998), Ward Burton (2002), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2004), Kevin Harvick (2007) and Jamie McMurray (2010) used BME Pistons.

BME Pistons have won championships in some of NASCAR's other series, too. The 2008 and 2009 Nationwide Series and the 2007 and 2009 Camping World Truck Series were won by Teams using Bill Miller Engineering Forged Aluminum Racing Pistons.

Pistons are always sold with wrist pins because the two are a matched fit. Because of difficulty in acquiring wrist pins from outside manufacturers which performed to Bill Miller's standards and to better control the quality of the pistons delivered to NASCAR teams, in 1999, BME introduced its own line of Wrist Pins. The initial goal was to offer NASCAR racers a wrist pin of equal durability, better quality and a lower cost than the pins typically available to Winston Cup teams in the past. With the addition of pins for blown-fuel drag race engines, the BME Wrist Pin line really took off in 2001 and 2002. Like BME Forged Aluminum Connecting Rods and Pistons, the BME Wrist Pins have become a benchmark by which other pins are judged.

In 1996, Bill Miller Engineering introduced the Gibson/Miller Supercharger. Designed jointly by aerodynamicist and former BME Top Fuel driver, Tim Gibson, and Bill Miller, the Gibson/Miller Supercharger is intended for blown-fuel and blown-alcohol drag race applications and other situations where a high-flow, high-boost, Roots-type, "14-71" supercharger is required. The Gibson/Miller Supercharger was quickly embraced by top competitors in nitro class drag racing for its outstanding quality and high performance. The improved Gibson/Miller Mark II debuted in 2009 with structural improvements along with a 12% improvement in air flow. In 2011, BME expanded the its supercharger line by adding 6-71, 8-71, 10-71 and 12-71 sizes to the line along with high helix rotor sets.

The Gibson/Miller Mark II 14-71Supercharger continues as the most efficient, reliable and durable supercharger available to nitro class racers and the new sizes and rotor styles make the Gibson/Miller's performance, quality and durabiilty available to the greater motorsports community.

Bill Miller Engineering is the consummate American business success story. It began a generation ago with one man's idea how high-quality connecting rods for drag race engines should be made. Today, BME thrives with scores of loyal, quality-driven employees teaming up to manufacture the best aluminum connecting rods, forged racing pistons and wrist pins that money can buy.

In the mid-2000s, one of the biggest dragster and funny car chassis builders in drag racing experimented with smaller-diameter, heat-treated tubing in a race car chassis instead of the normalized, or "Condition N", tubing traditionally used in those applications. The belief was that lighter, heat-treated tubing would be safe to use. Heat-treated chassis were immediately controversial with those in the sport who understood the metallurgy of heat treated steel tubing and its effects on safe race car chassis design.

The heat-treated versus normalized tubing debate simmered during the last half of '06, but broke wide-open in 2007. The January 2007 issue of Drag Racer magazine carried an article about Bill Miler and his Top Fuel Team. Miller's over thirty years of experience in metallurgy had him a critic heat-treated tubing.

In the Fall of 2006, Miller told Drag Racer correspondent, Hib Halverson during an interview for the article, the use of heat-treated tubing "...didn't make the sport safer; it made it more dangerous. Heat-treating makes the chassis brittle. Instead of having a ductile failure, where a tube bends; heat-treated tubing fractures. There's no warning you're approaching the limits of the part; it just suddenly breaks.

"The Schumacher car at Seattle, last year, was a ductile failure. The bottom rails broke because they were too small, but the top rails bent, because they were not heat-treated, and the chassis stayed together. The failure McClenathan had this year ('06) at Bristol in a heat-treated chassis, was a classic, brittle fracture. Parts snapped and the car came apart."

NHRA seemed to ignore the developing problem with heat-treated tubing until failure of a heat-treated chassis possibly killed Eric Medlin in March of 2007 and, then, six months after that, another failure may have almost killed John Force. Those tragic events made the heat-treated vs Condition N tubing controversy a high-profile issue throughout drag racing. Bill Miller Engineering and the BME Top Fuel Team were instrumental in scientific research done to prove the detrimental effects of using heat-treated tubing in a race car chassis. An investigative article by drag racing journalist, Jon Asher, posted in October of '07 on Competitionplus.com and in January of '08 on this web site, is the truth about Top Fuel and Funny Car Chassis Failures. Please click here to read this BME Special Report.

BME Parts are the Best Money Can Buy

Bill Miller Engineering occupies a 20,000 sq. ft. facility just north of the Carson City Airport. A state-of-the-art manufacturing facility is divided into four sections, one for each of BME's major products, Rods, Pistons, Wrist Pins and Superchargers. A clean, well-lit factory area is loaded with the latest in machine tool technology including Okuma and Haas CNC Machining Centers and Ikegai CNC Turning Centers. Located in the same building are warehousing, executive offices and the BME Top Fuel race team facility.

Bill Miller Engineering is the consummate American business success story. It began a Generation ago with one man's idea how high-quality connecting rods for drag race engines should be made. Today, BME thrives with scores of loyal, quality-driven employees teaming up to manufacture the best aluminum connecting rods, forged racing pistons, wrist pins and superchargers that money can buy.