What is Saenz Performance? - Engine Builder Magazine
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What is Saenz Performance?

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.

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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

Engine Builder Magazine