Over the past decade or so, billet crankshafts have gone from custom pieces with huge wait times to off-the-shelf items, with zero lead time. The Billet Reaper line of crankshafts from Howards Cams proves bears that fact out.
Made from aircraft-quality E4340 steel bar stock, each crankshaft is CNC machined to exacting tolerances, nitride-hardened, stress-relieved, and shot-peened for the most strength possible. All of the Reaper crankshafts are fully center-counterweighted and each model has features unique to that application.
The big-block Chevrolet application comes standard with a double keyway on the snout for additional torsional strength. The small-block Chevrolet cranks are available with the standard snout or can be upgraded to the big-block snout and double keyways as well. Then, the LS crankshaft, in addition to the eight counterweights, has profiled center counterweights.
“The center counterweights are already profiled to fit into OE and aftermarket blocks. The Reaper center-counterweighted LS crank fitting without any machining is a big thing,” says Kirk Peters of Howards Cams. Since Howards designed the crankshaft from scratch, they were able to design the profile of the counterweights exactly as they needed to. Not by removing material after the crankshaft was created.
To complement the Billet Reaper LS cranks, Howards has also introduced a billet 24x or 58x reluctor wheel. “I’m not really sure why we don’t see more aftermarket reluctors,” says Peters. “We have the full capability to manufacture them, so we started making them. Our reluctor wheels are more accurate than the factory pieces and our 24x is much stronger than the OEM two-piece design.” Really, who would want to put a factory reluctor wheel on a billet crankshaft, anyway?