Crankshaft sales opportunities remain strong, according to John Partridge of Bullet Racing Cams in Olive Branch, Mississippi, who said, “Racing crankshafts will continue to provide retailers opportunities for sales as long as they are willing to make the investment in understanding their customers’ needs and advise them accordingly.”
Kirk Peters of Lunati, also in Olive Branch, Mississippi, agreed, adding, “More than anything, manufacturing processes will have to keep improving to shorten the time needed to build crankshafts. Having inventory on the shelf has become the lead-in to increased sales.”
Refining designs while retaining strength will be one area to watch for, especially among racers, many of whom buy crankshafts designed to make far greater power than was originally intended. This may saddle them with a much heavier product, and with negative effects.
Racers and retailers should always choose products that best fit the customer’s on-track goals.
Alan Davis and his team at Eagle Specialty Products in Southaven, Mississippi, are also exploring ways to grow market share among retailers and WDs with a new line of crankshafts. “We are considering ways to reduce costs without sacrificing quality,” he said, “possibly introducing a line that would be positioned between our entry-level cast cranks and the high-end forged 4340 steel cranks. Racers are constantly trying to do things with entry-level cast cranks that they should not be doing, yet they do not want to spend the money for a high-end forged 4340 crank.”
“We like to combine cranks, rods, pistons, rings and bearings, everything for the customer,” said Tom Lieb of Scat Enterprises, Redondo Beach, California. “We balance it and it’s ready to install—all the customer needs to do is clean the parts and assemble the short block.”
Because crankshafts are basically the foundation of any engine, they should be considered among the first parts of the equation for increasing displacement, power and torque. Do your homework, the experts emphasize, and you’ll receive a passing grade from your customers.