bendix to spicer joint swap on front axle shaft

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g.keating
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bendix to spicer joint swap on front axle shaft

Post by g.keating » Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:46 am

I have bendix front axle shafts on my1954 jeep and they are making a loud knocking sound from the knuckles when turning, but "only when in 4WD".

Probably the axle joints are worn. I plan to take it apart in the near future to check things out, but have a question.

Has anyone replaced their bendix axles with the aftermarket spicer axles? What needs to be done besides replacing the axles?

Spindle bushings, axle bushing?
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Rus Curtis
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Re: bendix to spicer joint swap on front axle shaft

Post by Rus Curtis » Wed May 01, 2019 8:32 am

This sounds familiar. Way back when I'd only owned my '54 3B for a short time, my Bendix joints disassembled while 4 wheeling. Those large bearings cracked open the housing where the knuckle attached - so the wheel fell off. Thankfully I was about 10 feet from the blacktop and the tow truck could drag me back to the road and get me home.

The repair manual under M-7. Bendix Universal Joint clearly states, "The universal joint cannot possibly become disassembled after it is installed in the vehicle."

I proved this is a false statement. So, be careful until you are able to inspect!

I replaced the broken housing and upgraded to Spicer joints. It has been decades, but I believe there's a bushing/thrust washer on the inside that, if present, would need to be removed. IIRC, this inner bushing is only for the Bendix.

The one other detail I can share is the Spicer joint is NOT a CV joint and you would no longer want to follow the Service Manual (SM) direction of using #0 or #1 lube (similar to CV joint lube) and switch to the later SM, SM-1046, and use 140wt oil for the knuckles. The reason being that the lubricant needs to be thin enough to penetrate into the joint for the roller pins.
Rus Curtis
'54 CJ-3B
T3-C

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g.keating
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Re: bendix to spicer joint swap on front axle shaft

Post by g.keating » Fri May 03, 2019 2:05 pm

thank you for the reply. good info!

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Re: bendix to spicer joint swap on front axle shaft

Post by Joe Gopan » Fri May 03, 2019 2:58 pm

FYI,
a Cardan Joint is a Universal Joint, and a Universal Joint is a Cardan Joint. They are a figure of speech when applied to your Jeep Front Axle and Propeller Shafts.

The M-715/M-725 use the same Spicer Cardan Cross Universal Joints as the replacement we are discusing. The proper lubricant is the same chassis grease as used on the springs, propeller shafts, Wheel Bearings, Tie Rids, etc. The steering knuckle is filled half full of Chassis Grease.

Any of you who have the Factory Servce Manual for the 67-71 Jeepster Commando can chime in as the Commandos from those years all had the Spicer Cardan Cross type Universal Joint.
Each Journal Trunnion has its' own Grease Channel that allow the grease will flow thru.

The Canadan M-38A1 CDN3 is equipped with the CARDAN Cross Universal Joint and the TM Service Manual for the M-38A1 CDN3 indicates GAA is used in the Steering Knuckle.

(M-38A1 CDN3 was the latest of the M-38A1's made for Canada and dated 1968ish")

Somewhere I have the Spicer Service Manual for Closed Front Steering Knuckles for Spicer Front Axles with the CARDAN Cross Universal Joint. If it surfaces, I will discuss what Spicer uses to service the CARDAN Joint.


One thing for sure, those of you who do fill your Jeep steering knuckles with Gear Oil will not do it a second time.
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