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Roller spline driveshaft


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#1 David Birchall

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 18:41

I am in the process of installing roller spline driveshafts in the back of my 'Special' and I am wondering when these things came into use in racing? My Lotus 26R S2 had them and that was from 1965. Looking at Cooper Bristol's driveshafts, for instance, they appear to be just sliding splines. Anybody know? Anybody care?


(Roller splined driveshafts use balls or rollers between the faces of the splines to prevent binding under shock loading).

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#2 Doug Nye

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 18:51

The early BRM Type 25 would roll through a corner and then noticeably remain jammed in a roll attitude under power on the way out of the turn until the next gear-change, when the shaft would unstick...until roller-splined half-shafts were adopted, which freed-up the suspension system spectacularly well. Bourne went on to make the finest roller-splined shafts in the business. I doubt, however, that they were first to use them. Mercedes-Benz perhaps? Someone else can look it up...

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 11 April 2010 - 18:53.


#3 David Birchall

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 19:15

Thanks for that Doug--I had forgotten BRM...
I see that on page 292 of Vol 1 by some bloke called Nye it says "Above all, deletion of the dreaded pot-jointed half shafts in favour of a Ferrari-like ball-splined type ..."

#4 Doug Nye

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 19:57

:cool:

#5 Ray Bell

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 21:31

Story I heard (from Peter Hopwood, so it might have been third hand...) was that when the 26Rs were being assembled they used the shafts from the 33s...

And also that Chapman was pretty angry when he found out such an expensive item was fitted to these cars.

I would think Mercedes would have used them as I believe I was also told that the Lotus part came from a Mercedes supply of some kind.

#6 David Birchall

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 23:02

Which is surprising when you consider that by 1968 every Datsun 510 was fitted with them!

#7 tom walker

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 00:18

David, I have rebuilt my 1968 Can-Am Lola T160, which had roller spline drive shafts. I took them to a specialist who said they were shagged, and sold me a pair of conventional splined shafts, with a teflon coating, assuring me they would work fine.

The car seems to drive ok. But I hate the Hardy Spicer UJ's, which always look fit to burst. The engineering involved in going to CV joints was going to cost too much.

Did you have to get yours re-built ? I would love to know if the job could be done at a reasonable price.

Tom.

#8 David Birchall

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 00:46

Gawd, I dunno about Lola T160s! I have never heard of a Hardy Spicer joint breaking although I am sure they do-it must be a function of torque, weight and tire grip.

The shafts I am using are (blush) Datsun 510s and they apparently take the power of big V8s when fitted in 240Zs - which use the same shafts. I will only be putting about 180 bhp/lbs-ft from an Alfa 2600 engine through mine.

#9 Ray Bell

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 07:02

Yeah... the good old Datsun 1600...

A great option when you want to eliminate the wear in tail shafts of various 4 x 4s.

#10 elansprint72

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 07:59

I suspect that their first use was not in a car at all. I've no idea which car used them first, however. :well: