Origin of the term "Birfield?"

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Hayes, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. Hayes

    Hayes

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    Just wondering.

    Where does the term "birfield" come from?
    Is there a difference implied when you say "birfield" rather than "CV joint?"
    And speaking of CV joints, what is the difference between the CV joints in my Cruiser and the ones in my wife's Subaru (besides mine being bigger and meaner)?

    Random wondering, sorry.

    Hayes
     
  2. CreeperSleeper

    CreeperSleeper SILVER Star

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    It's not a CV at all... Your wifes car has them, but not your cruiser. Your Cruiser has a closed knuckled solid front axle.
     
  3. Hayes

    Hayes

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    Yeah, but isn't the joint inside that knuckle technically a constant velocity joint?

    Hayes
     
  4. woody

    woody unhelpful spotter Staff Member Admin

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    http://www.fofweb.com/Subscription/Science/Helicon.asp?SID=2&iPin=ffests0213

    In geometrical terms, constant velocity is obtained through any arrangement that transmits torque from one shaft to another through a plane that bisects the angle made by the two shafts. One of the most common ways of accomplishing this is through the use of a Birfield-Rzeppa constant-velocity joint. In this joint, one shaft has a yoke with grooves milled in its inner surface, while the other shaft has a smaller yoke with grooves in its outer surface. The smaller yoke fits inside the larger, while a steel ball fits within each of the sets of grooves. Because the grooved races containing the balls always bisect the angle made by the two shafts, they rotate at constant velocities relative to each other.
     
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  5. cruiseroutfit

    cruiseroutfit Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Yes, in fact the company that has made the Toyota joint, also makes them for many other applications including the exterior-style (sealed with rubber boot).

    I beleive the early ones were made by NTN and stamped Birfield, might have been a proprietary name given to them.
     
  6. PHAEDRUS

    PHAEDRUS

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    Hayes,
    as to wehre the term came form I have no idea,
    the difference between yours and your wifes is that hers has two seperate cv joints that make up a cv axle. The outer joint on your is very similar to hers (except size) but a typical cv axle will have a different style joint on the inner flange and hence the primary difference.
    clear as mud right??
    Dave
     
  7. woody

    woody unhelpful spotter Staff Member Admin

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  8. CreeperSleeper

    CreeperSleeper SILVER Star

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    I stand corrected...
     
  9. Hayes

    Hayes

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    Ahhh.
    It was the missing "Rzeppa" part that left my searches empty.

    Apparently CV (Birfield-Rzeppa) joints--as opposed to U-joint types--maintain a constant velocity (obvious in the name) throughout their range of motion. This allows smoother transmission of power through the joint. Birfield-Rzeppa joints are used in front-wheel and all-wheel drive automobiles--but like Phaedrus said, independent suspension vehicles have another CV joint inboard of the "Birf."

    It seems that these days most trucks use a double cardon cross (like a double U-joint as far as I can tell) instead of a Birf. Jeep used to have Birfs. Land Rovers used them (apparently the Brits call 'em "Swivel Balls" or "Swivel Pin Housings"), and I read that the Defender series still does.

    Still can't figure out who Mr. (or Mrs?) Birfield is. Apparently had a buddy by the name of Rzeppa.

    In an article about the history of a British automobile company (lots of these come up on a Birfield-Rzeppa search) it said something about Birfield-Rzeppa joints originally being used in submarine drive shafts. Sorry, lost the link on this one.

    Still burning some time browsing the web, but here are some links to general discussions of joints.

    A brief discussion of a variety of U joints and CV joints:
    http://www.icarumba.com/cobrands/co...center_encyclopedia_driveshaft1.asp#universal

    Here's a Jeep one that says modern Jeep Cardon Cross joints are better:
    http://www.jeeptech.com/AxleGeneral.html#joints

    You can dig some Birfield history out of this threaded discussion:
    http://www.a1.nl/phomepag/markerink/tlc_birf.txt

    Hayes
     
  10. M-80

    M-80

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    Rzeppa must have been the missing term when Marde called the local Toyota dealer. Asked about Birfield pricing. Mechanic-"40 years of expeirence and we've never heard of one of those" Marde-"Thanks" Click. :rolleyes:

    Good question, I'd wondered the same thing

    Chris
     
  11. Hayes

    Hayes

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    Revisiting this old thread to add to completely useless trivia:

    The term "birfield" as referencing our beloved cv joints comes from the the "Birfield Group".

    The "Birfield Group" of companies (UK) manufactured a variety of drivetrain products (primarily propeller shafts) in the fist half of the 20th century. Their companies included Hardy Spicer.

    Hardy Spicer--formed when Dana Spicer (US) purchased ownership in E.J. Hardy and company (UK)--purchased the rights (in 1956) to the constant velocity joint designed by Alfred H. Rzeppa in the 1930's.

    In 1963, NTN (Japan) licensed manufacture of the Rzeppa style cv joint from Hardy Spicer (a Birfield Group company).

    And there you have it.

    Sorry, no references. You can have fun on Google finding them if you want.
     
  12. CJF

    CJF

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    :clap:

    Cool! :beer:
     
  13. rusty_tlc

    rusty_tlc Dain Bramaged Member

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    The current President of the Toyota Land Cruiser Association is Jeff Zeppa.


    Kinda makes you go , Huuummmmmm, don't it?
     
  14. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    Zepp actually.
     
  15. rusty_tlc

    rusty_tlc Dain Bramaged Member

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    Details:rolleyes:
     
  16. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    No problem, Mr Johnsen.


    :lol:
     
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  17. rusty_tlc

    rusty_tlc Dain Bramaged Member

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    :lol:
     
  18. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    By the way if you have ever met Jeff "Zappa" comes to mind........:grinpimp:
     
  19. Realengineer

    Realengineer

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    The Birfield Group name is a contraction of Birmingham and Sheffield.
    Hardy Spicer were in Birmingham and Laycock Engineering in Sheffield.
     
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  20. Pin_Head

    Pin_Head

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    There is both a physical and musical resemblence.
     
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