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Official Site: Bendix.com
Wikipedia: Bendix Corporation

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A manufacturer of automotive and commercial vehicle brake systems founded in 1924 in South Bend, Indiana, USA.  Bendix produced one full car, a concept called the SWC, in 1934. In 1983 it was absorbed into Honeywell and now functions as a brand name.


The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Bendix Corporation page on 5 January 2016, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Bendix Corporation was an American manufacturing and engineering company which during various times in its 60-year existence (1924–1983) made automotive brake shoes and systems, aircraft brakes, aeronautical hydraulics and electric power systems, avionics, aircraft and automobile fuel control systems, radios, televisions and computers. It also was well known for the name Bendix as used on home clothes washing machines, but never actually made these appliances.

Early history

Founder and inventor Vincent Bendix initially began his corporation in a hotel room in Chicago in 1914 with an agreement with the struggling bicycle brake manufacturing firm, Eclipse Machine Company of Elmira, New York. Bendix granted permission to his invention which was described as "a New York device for the starting of explosive motors." This company made a low cost triple thread screw which could be used in the manufacture of other drive parts. By using this screw with the Eclipse Machine Company, Bendix had a good foundation for his future business plans.


General Motors Corp. purchased a 24% interest in Bendix in 1924, not to operate Bendix but to maintain a direct and continuing contact with developments in aviation, as the engineering techniques of the auto and aircraft were quite similar then. Bendix in the 1920s owned and controlled many important patents for devices applicable to the auto industry, for example, brakes, carburetors, and starting drives for engines. It acquired Bragg-Kliesrath brakes in the late 1920s. In 1942 Ernest Breech became president of Bendix, moving from General Motors Corp., and after performing brilliantly for Bendix by introducing GM management philosophies he then attracted the attention of Henry Ford II who induced him over to Ford Motor Corp. where he finished his career. By 1940 Bendix had sales running around $40 million, and in 1948 General Motors sold its interest in Bendix as it wanted to focus on its expanding automotive operations. Bendix was formally founded in 1924 in South Bend, Indiana, United States. At first it manufactured brake systems for cars and trucks, supplying General Motors and other automobile manufacturers. Bendix manufactured both hydraulic brake systems and a vacuum booster TreadleVac for its production lines for decades. In 1924 Vincent Bendix had acquired the rights to Henri Perrot's patents for drum and shoe design.

In 1956, Bendix introduced "Electrojector", a true multipoint electronic fuel injection system, which was optional on several 1958 models of automobiles built by Chrysler Corporation.

In the 1960s, Bendix automotive brakes blossomed with the introduction of fixed-caliper disc brakes and the "Duo-Servo" system (which became, virtually, a de facto world standard for drum brakes). During the 1960s, Bendix also dabbled in bicycle hardware, producing a reliable, totally self-contained, 2-speed "Kick-Back" planetary rear axle with coaster braking.

Starting in the 1950s or before, Bendix Pacific designed, tested, and manufactured hydraulic components and systems, primarily for the military. In the same facility avionics and other electronic hardware was designed, manufactured, and documented in technical manuals. Much of this operation was relocated to a new facility in Sylmar, CA where they had a large deep indoor pool for testing sonar. Telemetry components for the RIM-8 Talos surface-to-air missile included transmitters and oscillators in various frequency bands; the missile itself was designed and built by Bendix. They built and installed the telemetry system in all the ground stations for the first manned space flights. For this program they developed the first cardio tachometer and respiration rate monitor system so that a ground-based physician could observe an astronaut's vital signs. MK46 torpedo electronics also came from this facility. Other diverse products included radar detectors in aircraft that identified ground missile tracking and ground missile launch at the aircraft. In the 1960s they produced an anti-lock brake system for military aircraft using established technology similar to the earlier Maxaret. The technology is similar to the notched wheel and reluctor now used in cars.

Bendix Scintilla manufactured MIL SPEC electrical connectors of many styles. Criteria was met for hostile and non-hostile environments that provided seals against liquids and gasses.

In 1971, Bendix introduced the world's first true computerized ABS (anti-lock) system on Chrysler's 1971 Imperial. Production continued for several years. Under its present ownership by Honeywell, Bendix continues to manufacture automotive brakes and industrial brakes for a wide variety of industries. In 2014, Honeywell sold the Bendix trademark for automotive brakes in the US to MAT Holdings.

Many Bendix automotive, truck and industrial brakes sold in the United States were using asbestos as late as 1987. Bendix's current parent, Honeywell, continues to deal with numerous lawsuits brought as a result of asbestos-containing Bendix brand brakes.


DateDocument Name & DetailsDocuments
August 2004
publication date
Five-Year Review Report
Bendix/Bosch Automotive Group - Berrien County - St. Joseph, Michigan
United States Environmental Protection Agency

- 5,911KB - 170 pages
August 2009
publication date
Five-Year Review Report
Second Five-Year Review
Bendix Corporation/Allied Automotive Site
United States Environmental Protection Agency

- 18.4MB - 158 pages
14 February 2008
publication date
NHTSA Recall 08E018000 Dash Control Valve, MV-3
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Recall Page - 1 page

Article Index

25 November 2013Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Renewal of Exemption for Con-Way Freight, TK Holdings, Inc., and BendixFederal Register: FMCSA (William Bronrott)
7 December 2015Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Exemption Renewal for Bendix Commercial Vehicles Systems LLCFederal Register: FMCSA (T.F. Scott Darling, III)
1 December 2020Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Application for an Exemption From Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLCrFederal Register: FMCSA (Larry W. Minor)

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