It has been a long time since we have taken advantage of our blog and actually posted something note worthy. Well today is the day we start to change all that. We had the opportunity to work with Zosh, A local Honda enthusiast to our area and YouTube Content creater who puts out a lot of great content working with friends and Honda’s. We offered up our B-Series fuel line tuck kit for a honest review to be installed on his dc2 Integra with a B20Vtec and Zosh was more than happy to give it a go. What we got was more like a install guide but it was up to him what he wanted to do with it. We have attached the Vlog for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.

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Forged VS Billet – The facts behind the hype

This article was taken Directly from ‘s website and is unedited in any way. It helps to address a big misconception about the quality difference between Metals and help to get some truth from the internet hype.

TeamMFactory Metal Plated LSD

TeamMFactory Metal Plated LSD

**Knowledge saves money**

BIG misconception is that Billet means ‘unbreakable and the best you can get’. This is simply not the case, and is just one of those things that are passed down the internet grapevine.

The simplest way to explain this (without expanding into all the different types of steel etc) is, most steel that manufacturers/factories purchase is cut from what is known as barstock or steel rods. This ‘cut’ can be in various shapes and forms, with some of the more common being:

Rounds – Non-symmetrical cut e.g rods
Billet – Symmetrical cut e.g Square/Rectangular block

As you can see, Billet simply refers to the type of ‘cut’ that is purchased from the foundry/supplier. This is also the reason why you can have ‘Cast Billet’ as well as ‘Forged Billet’, as Billet just refers to the shape and not the process.

So why do so many companies misuse this term? Simple, they are playing on the fact that, to most of the general public,‘big is better’, and there is nothing bigger or better than something cut from a solid bit of metal (or so they seem to want people to think), therefore preserving the grain flow from the original ‘cut’ of metal.

When it comes to manufacturing an item from this ‘cut’ (be it a Round, a Cast Billet, a Forged Billet etc), the 3 most common choices are:

Cast: The ‘cut’ is molten and poured into a ‘cast’ which takes the rough form of the item to be produced, cooled then usually put onto a cnc machine to be finished e.g Camshafts. No grain flow is present nor does the item have an increased directional strength. This is the most cost efficient method of steel-product manufacturing, but the end-product is not as strong/durable as the ‘cut’ it was made from.

Machine Cut: This is what companies are referring to when they say ‘Billet’. The ‘cut’ is simply placed directly onto the cnc machine and is cut until finished. Most companies will preach ‘Billet’ as being the strongest as it retains the original grain flow as the ‘cut’, however, this grain flow is uni-directional, therefore on items which are not symmetrical (i.e Gears), the machining exposes the grain ends which makes the item more susceptible to fatigue and stress. This is a very cost-inefficient method of steel-product manufacturing (due to waste material), but is the most versatile of all methods when it comes to custom one-off items and, where a ‘cast’ item is not strong enough, this method is used for small-quantity production. The end-product is only as strong as the ‘cut’ it was made from (heat treatment etc aside), which is why the choice of steel is important.

Forged: With the most commonly used method, the ‘cut’ is heated and placed into a special kind of tooling called a ‘die’. The heated metal is put under extreme pressure and forced into the shape of the ‘die’. Unlike the ‘cut’ that it once came from, the grain flow is directional and has been orientated in a way to increase strength/toughness (i.e increases steel ductility and impact resistance). Also, as no grain ends are exposed, a forged item is less susceptible to fatigue and stress.

Why Forged components are superior

Why Forged components are superior:

 Forging produces predictable and uniform grain size and flow characteristics which Increase Directional Strength
 Forging eliminates internal voids/gas pockets that weaken metal parts, providing superior chemical uniformity and Increased Structural Strength
 Forging ensures proper orientation of grain flow, thus maximizing fatigue resistance and Increasing Impact Strength

In short, the forging process adds an approx. 30% increase in strength/toughness over the ‘cut’ it was made from. Although this is a very cost-efficient method of steel production, the initial tooling costs (i.e the dies) are extremely expensive, thus it is required to manufacture in high quantities to ‘break-even’ on the initial expense.

This is the reason why most performance aftermarket transmission companies, including the larger ones such as Holinger, Quaife, Hewland etc manufacture gears from ‘Machine Cut’ rather than ‘Forged’ as they are not required to manufacture their products in high quantities, and is also the reason why ‘Billet’ components are generally far more expensive in comparison to Forged Components. It is NOT because ‘Billet’ is stronger than ‘Forged’ and you should be wary of any company who misleads you into thinking so. If the consumer is willing to invest in the high tooling costs associated with a Forged Component, the manufacturing possibilities are endless. At MFactory Competition Products, we take care of this for you!

A nice quote from the late Sheldon Brown – Billet: Pretentious word for ‘lump of metal,’ used by machinests and marketeers to confuse outsiders’

This is not to say machine-cut gears (i.e The majority of aftermarket transmission products on the market) are not strong, far from it. Vice Versa, not all Forged products on the market are strong either. The main factor as to the strength/durability of a gear is the grade of steel used, the material processing involved as well as the design of the gears. 4340, 8620 and 9310 are very commonly used grades due to their inherent strength/durability properties.

As you can see though, ‘like-for-like’ (i.e same grade of steel, treatment, finishing etc), Forged Transmission Components will always be stronger and more durable than Machine Cut (aka Billet). In addition to this, as all of our customers can attest to, the superior grades of steel and advanced material processing that are used in all Genuine MFactory Forged Transmission Components are never just ‘like-for-like’Why pay more for an inferior product?

SPL Parts Suspension Comparison

It did not take more than one night  on our local skid pad with our S14 to realize we need to make some big improvements if i actually wanted to keep this car on the pad. (Our s14 is a bullet at best) The upgrades came in the way of a lot of power steering replacement parts. We ordered a new rack and I did not want to just toss in factory tie rods as I am looking for some much-needed steering angle. I had a set of circuit sport inners and outers in the shop but we had just opened the account with spl parts and I was interested to see how they would stack up and if our customers were really going to see a reason for spending the extra cash on their products.

My expectation was nothing more than a Circuit Sports or Megan racing in quality which I was ok with because that’s what most local drifters are running. I got my set of SPL Parts  V5 outer tie Rods and went with Tein 350Z Inners as SPL recommends. When I opened the box I was surprised to say the least. There really is no comparison. See for yourself.

I took a few pics of the difference for reference. Also we cut the bump stops while we were working on the car. Snapped a pic of that also.

JBtuned 's SPL parts outer tie rod and tein 350z inner setup

This is the Inner and outer tie rods setup before we installed them.

JBtuned Compares  left Circuit Sports  Right Spl Parts

Left – Circuit Sport Right – SPL Parts

JBtuned Comparison

JBtuned Comparison of SPL and CS

Look at quality of construction

This is where you can really see a big difference.

Left – SPL Right – Circuit Sports

SPL Outer Tie Rods Assembled

SPL Outer Tie Rods Assembled

I didn’t take any pictures of the install but I’m sure a quick search will show plenty of how to’s.

I did however grab a picture after we removed the steering bump stops from the lower control arms.

JBtuned at work on the Drift Car

JBtuned with a plasma cutter

I was impressed and I am personally happy with the decision. No issues with the tein inners or spl outers and I recommend these to anyone who is looking for a real quality setup.

Now I admit that I am kind of bashing C.S. here but at the end of the day I know a lot of people use their products and we sell them ourselves all the time. They work great. Not everyone needs Formula D Super strength tie rods and we get that.

The purpose of this post besides talking about our beater is just to really get a good look at what we plan to spend our money on. Its hard to get an idea of quality, size difference, performance gains, and advertisements and product reviews only do part of the job. When we have the opportunity to stack products side by side like this. We will. So we all can make better product decisions.