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Old 02-14-2010, 05:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Help - My balls fell out... Bendix Rockwell

Ok, so i'm doing rear steer on the Yeti... it's too big a bitch to not have it. So I tear down my steer axle for rebuild, and it has the bendix shafts. Or at least what i think are Bendix shafts. In all the searches i do, i have half the peeps confusing the Bendix and Rzeppa (pronounced cheppa i understand).

So, what i have is the ball and claw style, four big balls, one small ball in the middle, etc. The short side was in ok shape, i think anyway. It has a lot of play in it, in the in/out direction, but it does stay together. The long side on the other hand, when i pulled the spindle, it was all apart inside the knuckle... balls falling out, etc, and the stub came off in my hand.

So, I know these are the weakest and least desirable rock shafts, and I don't plan on running them, but I want to be able to carry them as spares, or to have in my arsenal of future use parts, etc. My questions are: 1. what kind of play in/out should this shaft have, 2. is this "broken" shaft fixable? I can't find any kind of info anywhere on how to rebuild/assemble one of these. Found one schematic that shows the center small ball having a pin sticking out of it, kind like a cv on a driveshaft?

Anyway, here's a shot of my shaft and balls... mmmm



heres some shot i found of them on the interwebbbs...









So what holds this joint together... I just don't get it. What ye say?
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Looks like they are held together by the housing maybe???
If not (as the other in the first pic seems to be held together on it's own)It would have to be that pinned ball.When the ball is pinned they are retained by the race do to the ball taking up that center space.
Now that it's so worn they can't be captured anymore. I'm thinking of it like a carriage bearing.If worn enough it will just pop apart.Make sense?

Last edited by BossBuilt; 02-14-2010 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Please elaborate. If that's the case, what's holding the other one together?
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I edited my post after I thought about it....it's early
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It was not fun but I used brass hammer to tap the end of the stub shaft with the inner shaft on a chunk of wood on the floor. I put all the balls were they needed to be, and the stub shaft sat at an angle. I then had a friend hold all the balls ( hey what are good friends for they can hold my balls ) and I tapped the end of the stub shaft with the brass hammer.

I really dont know if this is the right way of doing it or not. But it worked, a little midevel but worked. I'm sure theres a better way and someone here will know.

Using them as trail spares, the end of the inner shaft is different and use's a differnet seal retainer plate. I really dont know if they can be used as spares without replacing the retainer plate.
It has somthing to do with the way the seal sits in the plate, again maybe they can be used but it thought without replacing the plates is sat different.

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Old 02-14-2010, 09:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Does that center ball have a pin?
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The balls hold it together, but only if they are not bent farther than they allow(if that makes sense)?
To reassemble, you put the middle one in with the pin, the line the shafts up and bend as far as possible, and slip the balls on the one side in, the bend it the other way to get the other balls in. I've got a pdf arround that explains it if that doesn't make sense.

The claw shafts wrap around the ball and will not release until bent, so you could pull on it all day and it won't move.



*edit* and my shaft and balls are bigger
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:23 AM   #8 (permalink)
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They only fit together one way. Hard to explain but if you fuck with it for a little bit you get it together and say "Damn that was simple".
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Just tack them in so you don't lose them.....
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Here ya go buddy. This might help.

https://pirate4x4.com/forum/showpost....&postcount=367
https://pirate4x4.com/forum/showpost....&postcount=368
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Old 02-14-2010, 12:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thats cool. If I may ask a dumb question, who, what, or why did they ever make the joint like this?? Is it easier to work on? Cheaper to manufacture? It looks like it would break fairly easy. There had to be some brilliant engineer trying to reinvent the wheel on this one. I work with one like that from time to time. Always tries to make things way to complicated.
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Old 02-14-2010, 12:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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These came long before u-joints

The are on par for strength with a u-joint shaft, in the 5 tons, It wouldn't surprise me if they where stronger. There's a LOT of meat in those claws.
These are pretty much maintenance free, but as the shafts wear, the balls get sloppy, which shock loads everything as you move. They used to make oversized replacement balls, but noone replaces them.
Other thing is that I don't think these will turn as far as a u-joint. So I wouldn't pull your stops, if these are overturned, I could see critical failure pretty much instantly.
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tech spidr, and i gotta say, that 5 ton shit is ridiculous big.
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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No problem
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:49 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I must say.. im plannin a rockwell build one day and threads like this make great bookmarks.

good job all.
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
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this would be a good one to add to the rockwell thread...
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:54 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Like said before they kinda just pop together really easy when your not really trying to get them together and I cant remember how mine popped in but i would put ther center one in with the pin then rotate the axle and pop one ball in at a time if you get frustrated just walk away cuz it only made it worse for me lol
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:01 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Well, ya'lls were right... put that center ball back on the pin and rotate while popping the four balls back in. the last one was a bit of work, but piece of cake really....

here they is, all condomed up for trail spares. now way i will run these in my rear steer application. ordered me up some 16 spline cromos from randy...

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Old 03-03-2010, 09:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Go to the Jeep Hardcore section and look for this Slinky Blue Balls dude. I think he lives in ohio somewhere, he got some big ol'hands, don't ask me how I know! He prob help ya if ya ask!
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:20 PM   #20 (permalink)
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i broke one of those with probably 40whp flexing on a tree in the back yard.

if you break a u joint shaft, then you will defiantly break one of those 11tybillion times faster. i would not even swap one in on the trail, it will break and bind up in the knuckle almost defiantly before you are off the trail.
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:59 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I was told that these are the strongest style rockwell stock axles but they are not found in duce-n-half troop carriers... only extreme duty trucks


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Old 03-04-2010, 07:32 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Landslide View Post
I was told that these are the strongest style rockwell stock axles but they are not found in duce-n-half troop carriers... only extreme duty trucks


Attachment 505554
Those you posted a pic of are different than the ball/claw style. Those are the Rzeppa (Birfield) joints.

Oh and who ever told you that these were stronger, lied to you. They snap like stock toyota birfields.

The U-joint shafts are the strongest. Period.
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:34 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I have a rzeppa birf style on my long side front. so far so good.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:58 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 250f4life View Post
Go to the Jeep Hardcore section and look for this Slinky Blue Balls dude. I think he lives in ohio somewhere, he got some big ol'hands, don't ask me how I know! He prob help ya if ya ask!


you will never catch me around Mike's shop. except sometimes.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:32 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I was told that these are the strongest style rockwell stock axles but they are not found in duce-n-half troop carriers... only extreme duty trucks


Attachment 505554
HOLY GINORMOUS BIRFIELD BATMAN!! I gotta figure out how to put some of those in my toyota axle.

You know us toyota guys can't let go of our love of Birfields.

Leni
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