What is Saenz Performance? - Engine Builder Magazine

What is Saenz Performance?

Saenz products have helped win more than 100 championships worldwide, and with over 50 years of experience in manufacturing and 40 in the motorsports market, Saenz stands behind its products.

One of the best things about this industry is undoubtedly discovering something new every day. While Saenz Performance is by no means ‘new’ to the engine industry, it is a component company still working on getting its name into the same conversations as other well-known connecting rod brands such as CP-Carrillo, Callies, Manley, and Scat, to name a few.

Headquartered in Miami, FL today, Saenz Performance is a family owned business now in its third generation of leadership under the watchful eyes of Ignacio Saenz. His grandfather founded the business in Argentina in the 1960s, building gear sets, transmissions and custom connecting rods.

About 40 years ago, Ignacio’s father and uncle split the Saenz family company and thus Saenz Performance became its own entity, focusing solely on forged connecting rods. Saenz rods are all designed here in the United States, and in most cases, the materials are sourced from the U.S. However, the production of all of Saenz products still happens in its foundry and manufacturing plant in Argentina.

Saenz rods are manufactured using only American, military grade, 4340, 300M steel and titanium materials. The company’s main focus is high performance connecting rods for both racing and factory replacements in cars, trucks, motorcycles and marine uses alongside sequential and H-Pattern racing transmissions. Saenz is also known for custom spec connecting rods, which allows for the possibility of countless combinations.

Saenz products have helped win more than 100 championships worldwide, and with over 50 years of experience in manufacturing and 40 in the motorsports market, Saenz stands behind its products. Using the latest cutting-edge technology, Saenz tests and retests each of its products at every stage in the manufacturing process to ensure excellence and consistent quality.

Saenz offers several tiers of its connecting rods in different materials. Saenz S-series rods are the company’s budget line of off-the-shelf connecting rods for the aftermarket. These are offered in an H-beam style, forged from a true 4340 steel. The metal receives industrial certification and the final product goes through very strict quality control in the U.S., the same process as its custom products.

Ford rod

The next tier up from the S-series is the Performance series. These rods utilize a three-beam design, which incorporates characteristics of H-beam and I-beam construction for additional strength. Performance-series rods are forged out of either 4340 or 300M steel sourced in the U.S.

The final fit and finish of each Performance-series rod is carefully looked over to ensure extreme precision.

A tier above those rods are Saenz custom rods, which are truly limitless. Today, Saenz custom rods still generates a majority of its business and engine builders can collaborate with the team at Saenz to create the correct connecting rod for their respective applications.

Titanium is an option in the custom-made rod lineup, along with 4340 and 300M steels. While Saenz offers an online worksheet for rough-blueprinting a custom rod, the best way to plan out a set of custom rods is to give the team a call.

Where Saenz Performance has cemented its popularity is in the sport compact world for applications such as Honda, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, Porsche, and Volkswagen engines. However, Saenz isn’t sitting back with a singular-market focus. The next big market Saenz is going after is the domestic engine world with off-the-shelf products for Ford, LS and small block and big block Chevy applications. EB

You May Also Like

Shop Solutions January 2023

Next time you have set of large journal small block Chevy connecting rods to resize, consider honing the big ends of them for a +.002” outside diameter bearing that the LS engines with fracture cap rods use.

Engine and Machine Shop Tips and Tricks


For proper block cleaning, the oil bypass valves in Gen 5 and 6 big block Chevys need to be removed. We made a couple different sized “hook” tools for a slide hammer. This tool will easily pull the valves out of the block and sometimes without damaging them.

Top 10 Ken Block Gymkhana Films

Who doesn’t like a little bit of burnt rubber?

America’s Best Engine Shops 2022 | H&H Flatheads

Despite not being a fancy, state-of-the-art set up, Mike and his team at H&H have a great thing going. The equipment does exactly what it needs to, his team is experienced and the shop has built thousands of vintage engines for customers everywhere!

America’s Best Engine Shops 2022 | Choate Engineering Performance

This shop’s dedication to quality engine work, its growth, its machining capabilities and its impact in the diesel industry, all make Choate Engineering Performance well deserving of Engine Builder’s and Autolite’s 2022 America’s Best Diesel Engine Shop award.

America’s Best Engine Shops 2022 | 4 Piston Racing

The 4 Piston Racing facility in Danville, IN houses two buildings – one is 12,000 sq.-ft. and the other is 2,500 sq.-ft. The shop is very heavily focused on Honda cylinder heads and engine work to the tune of 300+ engines and 1,000 cylinder heads annually!

Other Posts

PBM Rotating Assemblies

Hundreds of stroke and bore combinations are available, including custom assemblies.

Sunnen’s LBB-1660 Manual Hone

Sunnen’s LBB-1660 produces a round and straight honed bore, equal to or better than manufacturers’ new rods.

Oliver Racing Big Block Chevy Max-Plus Connecting Rods

These new rods are beefed up in all right places to tackle high-horsepower applications.

The Story of Callies Performance Products

We recently got access to go inside Callies Performance Products‘ Fostoria, OH facility and speak with owner Rick Norton and his son Heath Norton, up close and personal. What we got was the story of how Callies came to be a leading manufacturer of engine components, and where the company is going next. Related Articles