Dana Holding Corp. has introduced new service-free universal joints for its heavy-duty Spicer Life Series (SPL) driveshafts. The company said the result is a permanently lubricated driveline that reduces maintenance costs over the life of the product.

The new SPL-250 and SPL-170 service-free u-joints are designed for main and tandem drive inter-axle driveshaft applications on a variety of Class 8 heavy-duty truck applications. Their design borrows from technology Dana has used in the European truck market for over 13 years, said Tom DeHaven, Dana’s senior manager of driveshaft products

See the "Service-free driveshaft " video

“Our customers are looking for reliable, low-maintenance driveshafts,” he said. “Permanently lubricated SPL u-joints enable customers to purchase a service-free option.”

The service-free u-joints will be offered via Roadranger, the marketing alliance between Dana and Eaton as well as other suppliers, to provide a complete line of drivetrain components through one network.

Dana also recently upgraded its entire lineup of SPL heavy-duty universal joints with a new bearing package that includes larger needle bearings for increased capacity, a special Viton synthetic seal for improved grease retention and a thermoplastic seal guard to exclude contaminants.

The new bearings help provide up to 40% improvement in dynamic bearing capacity – in the same compact package – to create a driveline with 70% more power density, said DeHaven.

He added that these features will come standard on SPL service free u-joints and become available to all truck OEMs in March, with warranty coverage available for up to four years or 400,000 miles of service in linehaul applications.

See the "Service-free driveshaft " video