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Pro 1 Series Driveline System from J.E. Reel

Posted in How To: Transmission Drivetrain on November 2, 2016
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Off-road outings have always been a way to escape from a hard week at work and a weekend adventure with family and friends. Over time, the “sport” (as some call it) metamorphosed into various types of off-road competitions too. Events such as Camel Trophy, The Dakar Rally, and the very popular Baja 500 and Baja 1000 races became household words in the off-road community. A couple decades ago, rockcrawling competitions started popping up and eventually they became a significant part of the off-road activity spectrum as well.

During this evolution, improvements in off-road mechanical and technological science progressed rapidly. The equipment of old would not have made it through the gatekeeper of many trails today, let alone finish a race. J.E. Reel one of the many companies that has been a part of this mechanical and technological evolution. As this evolution continues, the company is continuously working on new product ideas that keep up with the demands of the off-road-enthusiast community.

The Pro 1 Series driveline system is one of those new ideas and is designed for use in desert racing trophy trucks, short course off-road-race trucks, and rock-racing buggies. By the time this article appears, the hardcore trail-Jeep enthusiast may be able to benefit from the Pro 1 Series driveline system. The Pro 1 Series uses a mechanical, positive-locking system for the pinion and transfer-case nuts. This 2.75-degree locking system will help prevent crimp- and noncrimp-style lock nuts from coming loose under inertia, hard impact, or other extreme conditions. The driveline system boasts an increased operating angle of 55 degrees (versus standard angles of 22) with inside and outside snap rings on the U-joints. This helps protect drivers from losing a U-joint from rock damage during the toughest use in extreme off-road environments.

Development of this system because racers were running increasingly larger tires and putting underdrive units in so that beefier ring-and-pinion sets with higher gear ratios could be used. This increased the torque load on the driveline, which was creating failures. J.E. Reel’s solution was to build a driveline system from high-grade, heat-treated steel with stronger and more durable parts. The mechanical locking system fixes the high impact inertia problem of pinion, transmission and transfer case nuts coming loose, and helps to reduce or eliminate catastrophic failure.

At the time this article was written, J.E. Reel was in the final stages of preparation for the full launch of this new product. We will be watching to see how it’s received by the off-road racing and rock-racing community. We expect the Pro 1 Series system to make its way into the Jeep market soon afterwards.

Here you can see the complete Pro 1 Series driveline system ready to be installed. The Pro 1 Series uses a mechanical, positive-locking system for the pinion and transfer case nuts, and is available in heat-treated chromoly in the 1350 or 1480 sizes.
The mounting surfaces feature dowels that allow the yoke and flange to mate together. All torsional loads are transferred through the dowel pins leaving the bolts to hold the pieces together, thus allowing the bolts to remain tight.
The locking yoke features a simple mechanical-locking device that has removed the chance of crimp nuts wearing out, being left loose, or being lost due to inertia.
The system’s weld yoke has two designs, 25 degree or 55 degree, (1350 and 1480 sizes, both made of heat-treated chromoly) of inside and outside snap-ring construction. The design should eliminate the chance of loosing a snap ring on the trail.
The slip yoke is 2-inch, 45-spline, heat-treated chromoly and has a “mil spec” coating to help retain lubrication.
The slip shaft is also 2-inch, 45-spline, heat-treated chromoly and has been gun-drilled to reduce weight.
All modular yokes fit over a pilot and press on to the dowel pins (drive, driven, weld, and slip), and all rotational forces are through the dowel pins. The load is applied linear to the dowel pins, increasing their load capacity. The bolts are simply holding the three components together.

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