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Hello from California/Hellwig Products


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Hi everyone, no idea why I didn't join this forum years ago but I'm here now. Based in Visalia, CA I'm the Director of Operations/Engineering at a company founded in 1946 where we manufacture automotive sway bars and leaf springs and have worked here almost 10 years. I'm more office duties these days but have plenty of hands on experience (and blisters) over my years here.

We buy mostly 5160 flats or 4140 rounds from Chicago and do everything in house until we box/palletize the finished product and ship it out the door so cut, shear, plasma cut, cold bend, forge, hot form, heat treat, shot blast, weld, powdercoat, etc. Some newer CNC equipment, induction furnaces, etc but also tons of old school gas furnaces and presses (including an old low bed press that was originally belt drive off a steam engine which will probably outlast me). We also build all our tooling/dies in house along with a lot of our presses/machines. So hopefully I can share some knowledge, chime in and also ask some of my constant stream of questions that come up whether on equipment or new processes.

Don't want to come across as advertising, but I can post more of what we do, pics of equipment, etc if anyone's interested.


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Welcome aboard, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header we won't have to keep bugging you about it. Lots of info is location dependent so it makes a difference. I know you said Visalia but we're not going to remember once we open the next post. 

I know I'd like to see pics of your operation. We LOVE pictures here you know.

Frosty The Lucky.


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On 12/1/2020 at 6:57 PM, BKnaus said:

I can post more of what we do, pics of equipment, etc if anyone's interested.

We love pictures, just be sure and post them in the proper sub-forum. Like Machinery and power tools or in the case of anvils in the Anvil sub-forum or Forges etc.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry everyone, I've been out with the birth of my daughter!

Below are some articles that have been written showing our shop along with a few other random photos. The photo showing the slot furnace, the lowbed press to the right of the furnace is the really old one that used to be belt turned.

For sway bars, the majority are made from 4140 round steel. We'll saw cut them to length, then heat the ends in a slot furnace. Using one of a few different presses, we'll "coin" the bars which usually 3 steps (flatten, hot punch a hole and trim excess material). Sometime we'll have a 4th prebend step to help with the forming process. Next, we put the bars with the forged ends in one of our 2000 deg F furnaces to get the entire bar to the 1550 deg F range, hot form it on a die and then, while still hot, drop it in our quench oil. The conveyor pulls it through the oil and then through a 1000 deg F quench furnace. Then it's shot blasted, arced (taking out any bows, etc) and powdercoated.

Leaf springs are similar except they're made from 5160 flat stock. We cold shear the material on our 200 ton (the dies will also center punch, diamond cut, etc) and then heat in another 2000 deg F furnace, form on a die and then go through the same oil quench and tempering process.

The other main process we do is cold forming sway bars, mostly tubular bars for things like muscle cars. These are formed on a CNC Tube Bender and then the ends are coined after the bar is shaped. Here we use an induction heater instead of a gas furnace.

Feel free to ask any questions!







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