Stage 8 has been producing locking fastener systems for over 25 years. Their products have been installed on over 17 million applications without a single failure; with uses ranging from railroad, industrial, off-road, performance racing and even the military. With many of their automotive aftermarket products initially being developed for industrial use, you know you’re getting a high quality product, which is why even we choose Stage 8 for our projects.
While at PRI 2016, we stopped by the company’s booth and talk to Stage 8’s Vice President of Technical Support, Glenn Thompson, to see what products they are excited to show consumers.
“What you see here is a Ford 9-inch ring gear. This particular locking system actually came about when we were approached by a company that manufactures street sweepers,” says Thompson. “They use the Ford 9-inch in their vehicles and the driving style of a street sweeper was actually causing the fasteners to frequently back out and cause all sorts of problems.”
Stage 8's bridge retainer system for Ford 9-inch ring gears.
“We call this a bridge retainer,” explains Thompson. “You simply torque the fasteners down like you normally would, then you set the plate over the top of any two bolts, insert the snap rings and the bolts can never physically back out again without first removing the retainer. This is one of the many products we have designed for industrial use that has trickled down to the automotive aftermarket.”
Ball And Socket Exhaust Flanges
“Many of the new exhaust systems being developed today use this ball and socket style connection with flanges that are bolted together with long bolts,” explains Thompson. “What often happens is that guys will over tighten these bolts for fear of them backing out and dropping the exhaust while cruising down the road or at the track. This ends up bending the flanges and ruining the exhaust seal.”
“We partnered with Kooks to develop hardware solutions for all of their header and exhaust systems, and this was one area of concern for them,” says Thompson. “With our locking system installed you can install the fastener as loose as you want, install the lock and retaining ring and it will stay there. You never have to worry about trying to overcompensate and damaging the flange.”