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Union Fab Works
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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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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?
 

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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:D ) 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.

Jason.
 

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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:flipoff2:
 

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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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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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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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I must say.. im plannin a rockwell build one day and threads like this make great bookmarks.

good job all.
 

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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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Union Fab Works
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Discussion Starter #18
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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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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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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