J.E. Reel Cornay Drive Shafts - Steeper Angles, Longer LifePosted in How To on March 1, 2009
When it comes to drive shafts, street guys have it easy. Low wheel travel numbers and relatively long wheelbases make it easy to build long-lasting, low-tech drive shafts. That's not to say that street queens don't need high-quality drive shafts, because they do. But off-road drive shafts face tasks that are well beyond those experienced on the pavement.
First, off-road drive shafts have to handle monster-sized torque loads brought about by meaty, large-diameter tires and low-axle gears. Next, off-road drive shafts have to be able to withstand hits from rocks and other random debris. Furthermore, off-road drive shafts must be able to take a soaking from a water crossing, or the frigid temperatures of a winter adventure, and survive. Finally, off-road drive shafts must be able to live at extreme angles caused by big wheel travel and short wheel bases. That's a tall order.
The Cornay Joint is a patented drivetrain joint that holds a lot of promise for off-road applications. There are more models in the works, but right now, Cornay offers its CVX-30 joint to the motoring public. The CVX-30 is equivalent to the strength of a Spicer 1350-series CV (AKA "double Cardan") joint. The Cornay CVX-30 is a sealed unit that maintenance-free for long life in a variety of temperatures, terrains, and weather conditions.
While those are all admirable qualities, they're not what sets the Cornay CVX-30 apart. A Spicer 1350 CV joint can run at angles from 0 to 12 degrees with long life. Go much further than that, and the CV won't last long. By contrast, the Cornay CVX-30 is capable of long life at angles up to 30 degrees. How much longer? About two and a half times longer. What this means for the end user is peace of mind in the dirt. It means that long-travel suspensions can be built without the drive shaft becoming the limiting factor. It means fewer breakdowns during your hard-earned trips to the dirt.
J.E. Reel driveline is a maker of dirt-tough drive shafts in Pomona, California. Reel builds the driveshafts for a number of UROC rock crawling competitors, but you'll find J.E. Reel drive shafts under SCORE Trophy-Trucks, too. While the crucible of competition is important to us, we're more interested in how a Cornay-equipped J.E. Reel drive shaft will hold up under our own dirt equipment. Therefore, we've set one under our driveshaft bomber: Editor-in-Chief Jerrod Jones's Big-Block Blazer. It's a perfect test bed.
The Blazer's short wheelbase, 4.88 ring-and-pinion gears, 39-inch tires, and high-travel four-link rear suspension mean that any drive shaft will have a hard life under this truck. Combine these physical factors with a mean big-block motor and an abusive throttle foot, and it's now sink-or-swim time.
We took a trip to J.E. Reel to watch Jim Reel and crew put the finishing touches on Senor Jones's new rear drive shaft. We'll let Jerrod test-thrash the Cornay-equipped drive shaft for a while and report the results. A long-lasting drive shaft in Jerrod's Blazer is a tall order, but we're confident that the Reel/Cornay 'shaft is up to the task.