I am asked time and again about supplying specialty products. I am incredibly thankful by the requests because it shows that there is a certain level of trust people put in me to find the right product and also that they are looking to me as a service provider for their builds. Here are some of the things that I am routinely asked for:
- Om617 Forged Rods
- Om617 Pistons
- Om617 Performance Camshafts
- Om606 Forged Rods
- Om606 Pre-chambers
The problem with most om617 parts is that cost of aftermarket parts cost so much more than a complete replacement engine. Someone putting rods and pistons into a 617 rebuild is going to add around $300/cylinder, or $1500, to the cost they are already incurring on their rebuild. Unfortunately, I cannot even get turbo 617 pistons from my European supplier. Even if I could, one could buy a couple donor motors for the cost of rods and pistons and run the engines until they blow up. As for the custom camshafts, the same holds true. There is little demand to justify the R&D cost that goes into the offering. I discussed this with Kenneth at KM Cams. He requested a complete om617 head assemble to work from. It is a heavy investment in time that would probably never pay off and if camshafts cost $1000 each to recoup the cost of R&D, no one would buy them.
The om606 is getting pretty hard to find in the states. I have standard sized forged pistons in stock but am still asked occasionally about rods and pre-chambers. I have had rods manufactured and honestly I think they kick a** except for one thing: rod bolts. The manufacturer won’t manufacture for ARP which puts me back at the drawing board with another manufacturer because that is what people want and if going for huge power, its needed. My manufacturer selection process is very time consuming so this is a huge blow and with tariff cost and the need for ARP, cost is also a concern. Tariffs are 25% added to the price and ARP will add quite a bit per rod as well. We will see what I find at SEMA. As for the pre-chambers, I just don’t see enough volume to justify the entire product development and manufacturing lifecycle.
Qualifying the product offering is essential for survival. I am constantly trying to forecast demand and price points to compare against R&D and manufacturing.
As always, thanks for the ear!
This year I will make my way back to the SEMA show. For the international readers, SEMA is the Specialty Equipment Market Association which has what I believe to be the world’s largest trade show every fall. It is a business to business show to provide product information, skills (seminars), demonstrations and some fun experiences like driving exhibits, [...]
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