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Old 08-27-2011, 10:19 AM   #1
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Superior Axle & Gear

Okay everywhere I turn I hear about how great Superior axles are and I am sure they live up to their reputation, but their customer service is bottom of the barrel. I will be upgrading both axles soon so I emailed their customer service several times. That was 2 weeks ago now and they still have not responded back to any of my inquiries. I figured I would give them a call which I did and once I got to the right department the younger guy who answered the phone answered by say "Ya". I explained that I was looking for 27 spline 4340 shafts and was told that those only come in their c-clip eliminator kits. Then I asked if they just sell the shafts and he said no. Then I said what if something happens to those shaft and one needs replaced. He said that you would need to buy the whole kit again if it was not covered under warranty. I said thanks and then he just hung up the phone without saying anything more. I am sure their products are great, but with customer service like I received I will take my business elsewhere. Very disappointed. Just thought I would share.

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Old 08-27-2011, 10:23 AM   #2
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Knowing the GM at Superior, I doubt that is their official policy. And when I have dealt with them, their service has always been superb. Their great reputation wouldn't be great if that wasn't the case. Blaine at Black Magic Brakes is a dealer for Superior, I'd contact him and see what he says.

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Old 08-27-2011, 10:36 AM   #3
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Your name pulls a lot of weight in the Jeeping world and knowing the GM I am sure you are dealt with the best of the best when they find out who you are. I am just hoping that this was an isolated incident, but two different contact paths had similar disappointing results. I have dealt with Blaine with my brake pads and he is top notch. I think I will probably go the Alloy USA route though.
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Old 08-27-2011, 10:46 AM   #4
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Having run Alloy USA axle shafts when Ron ran the company, I wouldn't run them in favor of Superior Axle shafts again. Alloy USA's axle shafts are all imported and I've seen even their 35 spline shaft snap (by Larry, editor of Crawl Magazine) doing Spooner's Canyon in Johnson Valley. If you want the best axle shaft, Superior Axle's U.S. made Evolution Series axle shafts are them.
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:26 AM   #5
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Superior told me they do not have a 4340 shaft that can be purchased as a shaft alone. They only come in kits and Gerald at Savvy confirmed that. I do not need a whole kit as I already have and ARB in the back. I have the 27 spline everything. 1541H is the metal they use for all axles that do not come in a kit.

One thing I did not mention in the call to Superior is I then asked if their 27 spline axles, the 1541H ones, had rolled or cut splines and he said that they had some that were rolled and some that were cut and it just depended what they got in.
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Old 08-27-2011, 06:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doclouie View Post
Superior told me they do not have a 4340 shaft that can be purchased as a shaft alone. They only come in kits and Gerald at Savvy confirmed that. I do not need a whole kit as I already have and ARB in the back. I have the 27 spline everything. 1541H is the metal they use for all axles that do not come in a kit.

One thing I did not mention in the call to Superior is I then asked if their 27 spline axles, the 1541H ones, had rolled or cut splines and he said that they had some that were rolled and some that were cut and it just depended what they got in.
Anyone who is trying to sell you 4340 27 spline shafts that will bolt right in place of your stock ones is doing you a disservice or they are lying.

Metallurgy is a fun subject and in this case pretty useful. 4340 while tougher than a lot of other alloys has a very difficult time being heat treated hard enough to let you run a bearing directly on the shaft itself like the Torrington style the 35 uses. If you do get it hard enough, it becomes so brittle that it's useless as an axle.

A better choice is something like 1541H that can be case hardened where the bearing rides and not suffer from brittleness and remain fairly ductile.

Also, Superior will sell you an axle for the c-clip eliminator separately although that would do you no good because you need the rest of the parts to bolt it in. Call back, talk to Mac and let him know what you experienced. I suspect you will find it a different experience and he needs to know what his new help is or is not doing correctly.
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Old 08-27-2011, 10:45 PM   #7
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I find it interesting that you are trying to dissuade me from 4340 shafts when the c-clip eliminator kits come with those exact axles. I understand the metallurgy behind what you want and what certain steel alloys can do as I am a manufacturing engineer by trade. I am just a bit confused why the c-clip eliminator kit is so highly recommend when it has the 4340 shafts that you say are so bad. I know you had a hand in the design of the kit and in this exact application are the wellspring of knowledge. So how does the kit make the axles better and how much longer do they make the axle width?
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:12 AM   #8
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I find it interesting that you are trying to dissuade me from 4340 shafts when the c-clip eliminator kits come with those exact axles. I understand the metallurgy behind what you want and what certain steel alloys can do as I am a manufacturing engineer by trade. I am just a bit confused why the c-clip eliminator kit is so highly recommend when it has the 4340 shafts that you say are so bad. I know you had a hand in the design of the kit and in this exact application are the wellspring of knowledge. So how does the kit make the axles better and how much longer do they make the axle width?
The C-clip eliminator converts the axles from the Torrington style straight roller bearing which uses the axle itself as one side of race which has the roller bearings running directly on a hardened part of the shaft to Timken Set 10 tapered roller bearings.

The inner race on a set 10 gets pressed onto the shaft and retained with a shaft collar. The tapered rollers never come into contact with the shaft.

The c-clip eliminator allows the use of 4340 correctly and eliminates the c-clips. In the D-35 version it adds no width as everything is contained within the drum brake. It is not compatible with rear disc brakes.

Eliminating the c-clips is not that big of a deal, but in this case, the axle will be retained should it ever break and allow you to get to a spot on the trail to get it taken care of. Not likely because at last check, the D-35 CCE was still running at 100% unbroken after all these years of it being in use.

The best reason is the very tough axles which are able to take advantage of the unique design of this eliminator which can handle all the side loads you can throw at it and still not leak nor will the axle bend at the flanges.

This is what can happen to a shaft that runs the Torrington style bearing-

http://4x4icon.com/offroad/rear_axle_bearing/
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:36 AM   #9
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Very good explanation and I see the strengths of the c-clip eliminator. It is much more than what most people think.
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Old 08-28-2011, 09:08 AM   #10
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Very good explanation and I see the strengths of the c-clip eliminator. It is much more than what most people think.
The Ford 8.8 was actually the impetus for the CCE's. In our part of the world due to big rocks on tight trails, we get wedged from time to time and have to walk the rear tires up one face of the rock to continue down the trail.

At one point we had about 7 or 8 buddies all with the 8.8 and all had bent the OEM axles at the flanges. We got together with Superior and set about fixing that problem and then the other associated conventional CCE problems. Conventional CCE's simply take a sealed ballbearing, toss it in a bolt on aluminum carrier and bolt that to the housing end. Sealed ballbearings don't handle side loads very well so those types of CCE's are strongly cautioned to be used in straight lines. (they are mainly for use by drag racers to retain the axle on the race track should one break) and not recommended for street use.

So, we adapted the venerable Set 20 into a bolt on housing end and made a 31 spline 4340 shaft for it with a robust flange and then did the same for the 35 with the Set 10. Very successful products so far.

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