Facility Tour: Manley Performance
America’s love of horsepower is no secret. With classic performance parts supplier’s roots embedded in different regions, the history of the fixation is dispersed across the country. Originally started as Manley Speed Equipment in 1966 with heavy drag racing influences, Manley Performance has evolved to become one of the industry’s leading internal engine component manufacturers.
Entering the front office of their Lakewood, NJ facility, a coveted NHRA Wally trophy sits amongst other nostalgic racing memorabilia from their rich past.
This location is responsible for the manufacturing, packaging, warehousing and distribution of the entire Manley product line. Manley also owns and operates a warehouse in Orange, CA to service its West Coast customer base.
Stocking numerous applications for all of the internal engine parts they offer, the packaging and warehouse area is seemingly endless.
Ideally located for optimum efficiency and workflow, the shipping department assembles and ships orders all over the world.
Manley doesn’t sell engines only internal components, although many employees build their own engines in the R&D and engine assembly area.
Manley’s manufacturing floor space is strategically divided into departments for valves, pistons, connecting rods, turn products, pushrods, and crankshafts.
Stainless and titanium valves, one of their most popular products for over 40 years, start life as a raw forging resembling the shape of the valves they will become.
There are multiple steps involved with the creation of these valves from grinding to CNC turning. Manley owns an impressive lineup of CNC machines that produce the highest quality valves for an incredibly wide range of applications.
Quality control and meticulous inspection is evident throughout the manufacturing process.
Manley stocks a large volume of semi-finished parts enabling faster turnaround times for finished production.
Laid in organized shelves, this raw bar stock in various steel and titanium alloys is used in the creation of Manley’s valve spring retainers, locaters, and keepers.
This material is passed through their bank of CNC double-spindle turning centers to manufacture all of their turned products.
Every piece is measured for accuracy and consistency.
A digital vending machine is filled with replacement inserts to keep track of inventory.
Manager offices are located within the production area so that each department has the proper oversight.
Raw 4130 Chrome Moly seamless tubing of various diameters and wall thickness is neatly piled in the area used for producing Manley’s famous one-piece pushrods.
A large automated saw machine feeds the material through and cuts it down to the appropriate length to begin the process.
A machine equipped with a pair of bits then drills out the ends. Manley keeps their swedging process closely guarded. For confidentiality reasons no photos were available.
The pushrods are then formed in one of their end variations including ball end, swedged end, or cap and tip.
Each pushrod is heat-treated for strength and black oxide coated to prevent corrosion. The final step before packaging is laser etching, where the details of each part are emblazoned on their exterior.
In order to make their connecting rods, Manley keeps raw rod forgings staged before their production. They offer their stock appearing Sportsmaster rods, H-beam rods, and I-beam rods using 4340 aircraft quality alloy and 300M material.
Similar to the other items produced by Manley, these raw forgings are shaped by several large CNC machines yielding a perfect rod built to spec.
All rods are heat-treated, stress relieved, and shotpeened leaving an unmistakable finish.
Big and small rod ends are honed on these machines to an exact tolerance of +/- .0002”.
The finished rods are all 100% individually magnaflux inspected. This process utilizes an electric current to pinpoint cracks in metal that would otherwise go unnoticed. Seen here is a sample of a small crack between the wrist pin bore.
The newest addition to this building is catered to the manufacturing of their forged piston lineup.
More organized shelving houses the raw 2618 alloy piston forgings awaiting their production in the host of CNC machines in this portion of the building.
Manley offers a plethora of different pistons for both the modern muscle and sport compact markets. All are CNC-machined in-house by Manley to the desired specs.
A wrist pin bore is honed to the proper diameter and surface texture.
The pistons are stored in these bins throughout their production schedule, and finalized in batches.
Every aspect of the piston is measured and checked against prints to ensure the perfect piece is released every time.
They use an extremely accurate form of measurement for final wrist pin bore called pneumatic metrology. Compressed air is used to accurately measure even the smallest distances to ensure all piston specs are upheld.
Continuing the extreme emphasis on quality control and measurement of each individual piece, this digital measurement tool tests for characteristics such as roundness, flatness, or any abnormalities in form. All of these tests are crucial to making the perfect piston before it heads to packaging.
Rounding out the Manley facility tour is their quality control room. Precision gauges are used for final inspection of all parts prior to their release to the warehouse.
Between all of the quality products they produce and their desire for product perfection, Manley Performance remains one of the leaders in performance engine component manufacturing.