Stage 8 Locking Fasteners is having a big year. In addition to celebrating a big anniversary, the company is partnering with Kooks Headers and Exhaust to offer an additional platform for the fasteners to officially shine. The Burnout recently sat down with Robert Ahern, Director and Executive Vice President of Stage 8, to chat about the celebration and the new partnership.
Q: Stage 8 is celebrating a big anniversary this year. Can you tell me a little bit about that, and about some of the highlights for the company over the past 30 years?
A: Wow, what a 30 years it has been! From our humble beginnings in a garage in 1985 to our first rented space (1988) and, since 2008, in a state-of-the-art facility Stage 8 has continued a steady growth in both automotive and industrial sales.
Q: Are you doing anything to celebrate?
A: Plans are pending.
Q: We saw that Stage 8 is now partnering with Kooks Headers and Exhaust to put together packages with Stage 8’s locking fasteners. How did this come about?
A: Stage 8’s most common automotive use has been preventing header bolts from loosening due to vibration and thermal cycling. Last year at SEMA we met with Chris Clark of Kooks to discuss providing a truly superior package for late model power. The idea came to fruition early in 2015 and now the World’s Best Locking Fasteners™ prevent loss of horsepower due to loosening on some of the world’s best performing headers.
Q: What makes Kooks a good match for Stage 8?
A: Kooks is all about quality, innovation and performance – what a perfect match! Both Kooks and Stage 8 manufacture only in the U.S.A. and provide superior quality products.
Q: How, exactly, will the Locking Fasteners work with the Header and Exhaust packages?
A: Make, model and year information is matched and header packages will include the correct Stage 8 ‘kit’ consisting of grade 8, double hex-head bolts, locking retainers and clips. For Coyote motors up to 2014 headers will include both fine-thread and course-thread bolts to replace the factory studs. Because Ford changed the thread pitch at different times in different production facilities in 2014 and earlier Coyote Engines they are unable to provide VIN information. To ensure the end-user has a seamless experience both bolt sets are included.
Q: What other applications for the fasteners would you like our readers to consider that they might not have before?
A: Stage 8 has so many automotive applications that this question is hard to answer. Our fastest growing automotive application is locking turbo fasteners. It seems turbo mounting bolts are subject to vibrational loosening just like header bolts. We do need to thank our automotive fans because they are driving our industrial sales. We continue to design and manufacture new and innovative locking fastener systems for printing presses, NASA, utility vault companies and a wide variety of other organizations and the phone call usually starts with “So, I have these header bolts on my car and I was wondering if you can make something for me here at Caterpillar” or Halliburton or some other industrial giant. We are gaining the reputation of the go-to guys for fail-safe locking fasteners in extreme environments. We have even make locking fasteners for use inside of nuclear reactors!