Off-Road Future Tech: Tubeworks 10.6-Inch Reinforced Racing Gears
The PRI Show is always brimming with new offerings, and new concepts of older designs, but the 10.6-inch, 10+ interchangeable ring and pinion sets under development by Tubeworks that were on display are truly revolutionary. Tubeworks has been committed to producing the ultimate iteration of the venerable Ford, nine-inch differential. They have designed all the weaknesses and shortcomings out of every bit of the original design. Now they are creating the ultimate in reinforced racing gears to complement the entire assembly.
Knowledge Is Key
The key to Tubeworks’ success has been their deep understanding of how the differential performs under stress, their ability to think outside the box, and their mastery of modern machining capabilities. Complex shapes and unique surface forms are up to the imagination of creative designers. Tubeworks takes full advantage of computer-aided design and CNC multi-axis machining to produce components that are entirely dedicated to performance and reliability instead of manufacturing constraints.
Simply put this Tubeworks system is specifically for the 2 percent who need more than the standard 10-inch platform!
Tubeworks 10.6 Inch 10+ Reinforced Racing Gears Main Features:
Material core strength/impact toughness of 40%+ over 9310. *Validated through a 3rd party testing lab.
Wear resistance of an OEM gear set.
10.6-inch Pitch diameter development for ring and pinion.
A reinforced (WEBBED) pinion tooth design that almost eliminates pinion tooth flex/fatigue failure.
5 Axis machined geometry that can NOT be processed on traditional Gleason-type equipment.
100% Made in the USA with domestic premium billet material.
Improved drive & coast side pressure angles.
Improved gear contact ratio: substantially larger & longer tooth structure.
Reduced spiral angle for lower pinion axial loads.
Full radius gear roots form with no undercutting.
A replaceable nose-bearing stem.
100% drop in fitment into the Tubeworks Billet CrossTie X third member case.
Complete digital control of shape, position, and length of contact pattern.
Potential for improved efficiency due to “digitally perfect” gear faces and lower surface sliding loads.
Yoke sits closer to transmission due to the increased radius ring gear than the traditional 10-inch (9.4-inch diameter) gear set.
Available Ratios: 3.66:1, 3.75:1, 3.85:1, 4.12:1, 4.30:1, 4.43:1, 4.57:1, 4.71:1, 4.86:1, and 9.75″ 5.43:1 Reverse Rotation shown.
Short-run product availability through Q1 and Q2 of 2023 for NHRA 4000HP+ and other professional racing teams.
Mastering The Tools
Their 5 Axis machined gear geometry simply cannot be processed on traditional Gleason-type equipment. They are made entirely in the USA from domestic premium billet material and deliver improved drive & coast side pressure angles, superior gear contact ratio via substantially larger & longer tooth structure, reduced spiral angle for lower pinion axial loads, full radius gear root form with no undercutting, and a replaceable nose bearing stem. By using their own gear tooth shape they have increased thickness by 50 percent and created a profile that is close to being symmetrical on both faces; the drive side and the coast side. These custom shapes have never existed before.
Tubeworks Reinforced Racing Gears Material Selection Is Vital
The reinforced (webbed) pinion tooth design nearly eliminates any pinion tooth flex or fatigue that can contribute to failure. The three-piece modular pinion gear assembly allows the use of different materials based on their function. The gear is made from material suitable for its intended use while the shaft is made from 300M or Vascomax 350, a high-strength shafting material for ultimate strength. The nose bearing section is made to allow the roller bearing to directly ride on its surface. The pinion gear assembly mounts in the Tubeworks’ Duplx pinion support. The body of the Duplx support is specially ribbed on the exterior for strength and has a longer internal engagement with the case for added rigidity. It uses special bearings that are similar to spindle bearings on a CNC machine. They are designed for both load bearing and precision.
Nothing Has Been Overlooked
Of course, everything is a drop-in fitment into the Tubeworks’ Billet CrossTieX third member cases that come in either a high-pinion or low-pinion configuration. The only thing that did not change on their complete 9-inch style differential assemblies is the bolt pattern with the housing. All existing 9-inch-based housings will work with or can be retrofitted to fit the CrossTieX case with some minor clearancing in some cases.
Tubeworks Billet CrossTieX housings are machined from aerospace grade, weldable, aluminum alloy that gives a weight savings of 25 pounds compared to a nodular cast iron case. The bearing caps are a through-bolt design that uses aircraft-grade hardware so there are no threads to pull out of the housing. The aluminum alloy actually helps increase girdle clamp-up force as temperatures rise; the opposite of a traditional billet or cast aluminum case.
Tubeworks Reinforced Racing Gears Are Designed For Function
According to Tubeworks Owner Jayson Miles, “The Tubeworks CrossTieX third-members inverted “flipped” bearing design locks the outer bearing races into slots cut into the third member, where they are fixed. The bearing cones slide in from the outside, clamping the assembly like a full floater wheel hub. This method greatly reduces the ring and pinion separation during acceleration. The bearing set on the pinion side of the case is now tension loaded. This does not allow the ring gear to move away from the pinion.
Backlash and rolling resistance are set by hardened shims, clamped between the gland nuts on the threaded spool/locker unit and the inner bearing races. These are torqued to over 300 ft-lbs. In contrast, the traditional method is to clamp the spool between the bearing towers with spanners from the outside. With this, the gear separation load is on the bearing race on the opposite weaker ring bolt side of the case where the load bolt is. At the same time, this force is trying to pull the opposite bearing out of its race, causing gear deflection.”
There is no detail large or small that Tubeworks has failed to address. This attention to detail and obsession with function is to keep up with the ever-increasing demands put on driveline components in several forms of racing. All-wheel drive Trophy Trucks on 40-inch diameter tires running well over 100 miles per hour in brutal terrain, Ultra4 cars pushing the boundaries of physics, and drag racers that are approaching from 4,000 to 8,000 horsepower demand this level of capability.
Off-Road Future Tech: Tubeworks 10.6-Inch Reinforced Racing Gears
Tubeworks has perfected the housing, and the pinion support and now is bringing the same level of concept, design, and manufacturing to their 10.6 Inch 10+ Reinforced Racing gear sets to complete the package. What new performance standards will be achieved? What new discoveries in vehicle design will be realized due to these incredible components? Only the future will tell, but it’s safe to say that Tubeworks is not done in its quest for perfection.
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