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Drive shaft and cv joint - Important spare parts group of a car

Drive shaft, differential and their mounts

Various vehicle components are responsible for delivering the power from the engine to the wheels. Very fundamental components among them are the so-called drive shaft, the differential as well as the respective mounts.

Here's how the drive shaft and differential work

The drive shaft is responsible for transmission of power between the gearbox and the wheels, wherefore it is considered part of the drivetrain. It typically comprises a wheel-mounted stub axle that in turn features a constant velocity joint. The latter serves to ensure wheel deflection on steered axles as well as to limit the turning radius.

While the joint provided on the transmission side commonly also absorbs axial displacements that arise during compression, the wheel-side joint is typically a fixed joint that merely compensates for angle changes. Suitable grease-filled dust boots made of either rubber or TPE protect the driveshaft joints. Thus, torn cuffs also become one of the typical weak points malfunctions stem from, as this allows for water and dirt to enter and damage the joints' contacting surfaces.

However, the differential is a planetary gear and is typically mounted between two wheels of an axle. In this assembly, the gearing that receives torque from the engine through various intermediate units is linked to the planetary carrier. When it comes to transversely mounted engines, the gearing is usually of a spur gear type, while a bevel gear is common for longitudinally mounted engines. The so-called hypoid gear is used in layouts where the torque is transmitted by means of a propeller shaft. The differential drives both wheels with identical torque thanks to its drive shafts, even if they do not turn at the same speed, for example when taking corners. If one of the two wheels stops completely, the other wheel rotates at twice the speed. This is a common problem, e.g. when starting to drive on a smooth or slippery surface as well as during winter.

Special design: limited slip differential

A special design, the so-called limited slip differential, typically remedies this circumstance by preventing the compensatory effect of the drive shafts through deliberately applied friction. Thus, power is only partially delivered to the wheel. The remaining power is transformed to heat. For a safe, yet also sufficiently flexible attachment, special mounts are installed. Usually, these are made of rubber; common mounting positions are on top of or at the bottom of the differential.

Replace worn components such as the drive shaft, differential mount and much more - Rexbo offers many auto parts in stock online.