Keystone Automotive Operations has welcomed South Bend Clutch to its performance category. With four generations of experience, South Bend Clutch of Mishawaka, Indiana, is dedicated to manufacturing, rebuilding, and machining high-performance clutch kits for cars and diesel trucks that span a variety of markets. The company mission remains centered on quality parts, personalized service and competitive prices. As such, South Bend Clutch has a stellar reputation for going above and beyond standard expectations.
“We spend much of our time and energy designing and testing new products in an effort to continually improve the driving experience,” says the company. “So, whether you tow, tractor pull, drag race, grand prix race, or just love the feel of acceleration, South Bend Clutch has the right application for you.”
Product selection runs the gamut, from OEM factory specifications to performance upgrades and heavy-duty industrial applications, and includes clutch kits, flywheels, hydraulic accessories, bearings, bushings, alignment tools and more.
Recently, the company began cryogenically processing its clutch kits to dramatically improve performance and product life. This irreversible, one-time process increases wear resistance and consistency, decreases cracks, warps and imperfections in the metal, provides a better friction coefficient, and eliminates stress points, the company says. Utilizing such cutting-edge technology allows South Bend Clutch products to withstand extreme situations, it adds.
“South Bend Clutch is a great addition for Keystone Automotive and its customers,” said Dave Burke, category manager at Keystone. “Being able to offer such a high-quality, well-respected brand only lends to the fact that Keystone is dedicated to supporting the performance market by growing its product offering.”
Keystone also added RideTech, one of the world’s largest aftermarket suspension companies, to its performance category. RideTech, formerly known as Air Ride Technologies, was founded in 1996 when owner Bret Voelkel, now a member of the SEMA Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) Hall of Fame, developed an air ride suspension for a 1970 Ford Mustang project car.
RideTech has since evolved with a full line of products – from air suspension systems, coil overs and shock absorbers to coil and leaf springs, control arms, sway bars and more. Serving a variety of applications from street to track, RideTech says it is committed to manufacturing high-quality parts that display cutting-edge performance, durability and reliability.
“We do the research and development, CAD drawings, prototyping, CNC machining, CNC tube bending, jig welding, shock assembly and dyno, air spring crimping and burst testing and final assembly all within our facility in Jasper, Indiana,” says the company.
Dedication to in-house quality control has allowed RideTech to become a performance suspension specialist, with a virtually non-existent backorder rate and a competitive warranty. The company says it stands behind all of its shock absorbers with a 1,000,001-mile warranty as proof that RideTech truly “goes the extra mile.” Furthermore, RideTech promises that any driver who expires their RideTech shock warranty, “will get a picture of themselves and their car in a full-page ad in Hot Rod Magazine.”
“Our business model has not been derived from any business seminar or book,” says the company. “It is simply our common-sense approach to give the customers what they want, when they want it. Since we are (a staff of) hot rodders, we feel we have a reasonably good idea what ‘it’ is.”
At the 2018 SEMA Show, RideTech introduced several new product launches, including a new line of sway bars that offer unparalleled dimensional accuracy and bar rate consistency. Featuring 100-percent in-house CNC-bent tubing, the new sway bar program also employs investment casting technology to redesign bar ends and end links for more durability and easier installation. RideTech also debuted an all-new billet modular spindle design for C5/C6 Chevrolet Corvettes (as seen on the company’s race-winning Track 1 C5 Corvette), and a new, larger rod end and weld-on bearing known as the R-Joint XL.
Looking forward, RideTech continues to invest in R&D and expand its engineering department resources, making its innovative suspension systems more durable and technologically capable, the company says. The company’s RidePRO-X Digital Air Suspension Leveling System made an encore appearance at SEMA 2018 to debut its new smartphone app that provides greater custom calibration and increased accuracy. In addition, RideTech is active outside the automotive aftermarket, diversifying its portfolio with OEM, marine and military applications.
With a dedicated team focused on product development and customer satisfaction, backed by a true passion for hot rodding, RideTech is working hard to secure another generation of exciting suspension system
“RideTech is the leader when it comes to performance suspension system upgrades. The complete systems give our customers the ability to make one purchase for everything they need to fully upgrade a suspension system,” says Joe Rutledge, director of category management for Performance at Keystone. “Our team is honored to be able to offer the RideTech product line to our customers.”