By and large, the parts and pieces that comprise the driveline in a racing machine remain veiled — hidden underneath the car, only identifiable by the contingency decals on the vehicles’ flanks. Everything, that is, but the axle flanges; and if you spot the big, familiar “S” nameplate within the wheel centers, you know you’re looking at some top-shelf stuff.
The “S”, of course, is Strange Engineering, one of drag racing and the high performance aftermarkets’ leading manufacturers of driveline parts, and they have, for decades, provided racers and enthusiasts with high-quality axles that withstand abuse and the test of time. Strange’s axle lineup, while extensive, falls inside of two basic lines: their induction-hardened street and strip axles made from premium 1550 alloy, and their higher-end thru-hardened, race-only line, which are designed for the rigors of all-out, high-horsepower drag racing.
As end users holding a finished axle in our hands, we merely see the finished, artfully-crafted product that borders on being too beautiful to actually use, but what isn’t seen is the the amount of research and development, high-tech machinery and measuring devices, and other elements that go into making something that, on the surface, seems like such a simple object.
In this video from Strange Engineering, we’re provided a behind-the-scenes look at the manufacturing process of their alloy street/strip axles — axles that begin life as unattractive (to put it best) alloy steel forgings cut into the rough shape of an axle, but are quickly machined and milled into an exacting, highly-precise product. Along with all machining, Strange Engineering completes the hardening process in-house, before the axles are measured using laser-equipped tooling to ensure they’re within specification for straightness.
Once the axles receive the seal of approval, a CNC lathe mills a surface cut on the flange and bearing surfaces, the the stud patterns are drilled and tapped into the flange — with that, the axles are ready to head out the door, like so many tens of thousands of street and axles before them.
You can learn more about Strange Engineering’s alloy street/strip axles HERE.