When winning is your job, you don’t take chances with risky equipment. You get the best parts you can buy. And when those aren’t good enough, you find a vendor willing to design you what you need. In off-road racing, rigorous forces take their tolls on every part of the vehicle, and anything substandard will quickly show its weakness. Any race team will tell you that it’s just as likely for a $5 part to take you out of a race as a $50,000 part. Nobody wants to tell the story of a faulty radiator cap costing them the race.
Probably the most vulnerable piece of your off-road drivetrain is the driveshaft, since it does its work outside of any housing or protective barrier. You don’t want to risk a driveshaft failure that could end a day and possibly destroy your truck too, but accidents happen. Things seize up. Things break. And that’s why JE Reel went to work designing a “fail-safer” driveshaft that would be strong enough to withstand the rigors of high-dollar off-road racing but would have a controlled failure point within a unique two-piece yoke system to break free and spin on itself should catastrophe strike. JE Reel’s Trophy Shafts are the response to a request by the racing community for a driveshaft not only stronger than traditional ones but also safer.
And stronger the Trophy Shaft is! Only two U-joint sizes are available—1350 or 1480—with high-grade steel yokes that allow either 25 or 55 degrees of movement. The 2-inch-diameter, 45-spline gun-drilled chromoly slip yoke can be mated to either a 2-, 3-, or 3 1/2-inch 4340 chromoly tube, depending on your chassis clearances.
But the brilliance is in the yokes. Knowing that if you apply enough force you can eventually find the weak point in anything, JE Reel designed these “Trophy Truck driveshafts” with a controlled failure point. Four dowel pins handle the load placed on each two-piece yoke, while four bolts hold it together. Before anything else busts, the four dowel pins will give way, the four bolts will snap, and the two-piece yoke will spin on itself. The driveshaft will stay in place instead of dropping out of the vehicle and potentially winging around at speed and annihilating everything underneath. Wheelers can absolutely minimize the damage to their vehicle when something goes wrong. This is safer for the truck and safer for the driver (not to mention a whole heck of a lot cheaper to fix than a typical driveshaft failure).
Right about now you’re wondering how much this miracle driveshaft might cost. Well, let’s just say that if you’re comparing prices online for driveshafts, this is not the one for you. You could practically buy a beater 4x4 for the cost of a Trophy Shaft. But for those enthusiasts with thousands of dollars invested in custom axles, transfer cases, and transmissions, the JE Reel Trophy Shaft is a reasonably priced bit of insurance that is practically bombproof.
• Ford 9-inch
• 10.5-inch dropout Chrisman
• Dana 60
• Dana 70
• Dana 80
• TH400 transmission
• Fortin racing transmission
• NP205 transfer case
• Atlas transfer case