PRI 2016: Stage 8’s Latest In Mechanical Locking Fastener Systems

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.

Bridge Retainer

“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.”

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About the author

Kyle Kitchen

Born and raised in Southern California, Kyle has been a gearhead ever since seeing his first Mitsubishi Evo VIII in 2003. He is almost entirely self taught mechanically, and as an inexperienced enthusiast always worked on his own vehicles, regardless of the difficulty, just to learn how to do it himself. Prior to becoming a freelance writer for the company, Kyle started his automotive performance career with Power Automedia as a shop technician, where he gleaned intimate knowledge of LS platforms and drag racing builds; then later joining the editorial team as the Staff Writer for EngineLabs And Turnology. Today, Kyle is an experienced EFI calibrator; hot rod builder; and motorsports technician living in the San Jose area. Kyle is a track junkie with lots of seat time. You can usually find him racing his Mitsubishi Evo X in local time attack and road race events.
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