You are on page 1of 11

Notice- Handouts of slides are provided, considering the course syllabus and topics discussed in class.

Students should refer to the prescribed textbooks, for thorough understanding of these concepts and
detailed explanation.
Drive Thrust
The driving torque produced in the engine - primarily responsible for
producing driving thrust in the rear road wheels.
It has to be transferred from the rear axle housing to the chassis frame
It can be accomplished through, either
Strong rear springs
Thrust-taking member such as radial rod.

Side thrust
The rear axle is invariably subjected to side thrust or pull, when the rear
wheels experience any side load.
Such situation arises due to cornering force when the vehicle is negotiating a
curve, or when the vehicle is moving over uneven ground.
To withstand the side thrust and to hold the axle in its desired position, the
following provisions are generally made.
Taper roller or ball-thrust bearings are used for rear wheel, and
Panhard rod is used between the axle casing and the frame

Torque Reaction
When the Rear axle is held rigidly- the road wheels are prevented from
rotation, due to driving needs or road conditions, the bevel pinion of the final
drive tends to rotate around the crown wheel. It produces a tendency in the
whole vehicle to rotate about the rear axle or to lift-off the front of the vehicle.
This effect is known as torque reaction.
This gives rise to a force on the axle casing which tries to rotate it.

This effect has to be resisted- Else immense stress on the springs, frames,
and/or the propeller shaft.
Torque members provided with one of these
The stiffened rear springs
Radius rod
Spherically ended propeller shaft casing
Braking Torque
The axle casing experiences the brake torque when the brakes are applied to
the vehicle.
The brake torque is produced in a direction opposite to the torque-reaction,
since the braking effect is the reverse of the driving effect

Parts affected by these forces- discussed- self study.

Hotchkiss Drive
In this type of drive- Driving and braking torques are absorbed through the
front half of the rear leaf springs or links and arms when used with coil
During normal power transmission-Acceleration and braking shocks taken
up by a leaf spring (distortion)
The propeller shaft is provided with universal joints at its ends.
The universal joint -connection between two shafts, whose axes intersect and
may assume different inclination at different times. This joint permits the
rotation of one shaft about its axis by another shaft which rotates about its
own axis

Most commonly used in all types of vehicles- Cars/Trucks- Cheaper
Rear spring bracket- take care of thrust
The suspension springs are bolted rigidly to the rear axle casing. The front
ends of the springs are pivoted on pins.
These pins are carried in brackets bolted to the vehicle frame. The rear ends
of the springs are connected to the frame by swinging links or shackles. This
arrangement permits the deflection of the spring when the vehicle is
accelerated or braked.

Torque tube drive
Large Diameter tube fastened securely to the rear axle housing and
completely enclosing the propeller shaft.
The torque tube is fitted into ball-socket universal joint.
These two units carry their respective loads while allowing suspension
The suspension leaf springs are bolted to the spring seats that are provided
on the axle casing. Each end of the springs is shackled to the frame.
The tubular member will transmit the thrust from the axle to the frame and
will also take the torque reaction. Often radius rods are used to assist the
torque tube to take the twist and thrust of the vehicle drive.
Normal engine power transmission propeller shaft.
Braking and acceleration torque- Absorbed by torque tube
Modern vehicle this is replaced by Hotchkiss drive.

Comparison of Hotchkiss drive and Torque tube drive- discussed in class- self

Propeller Shaft
Transfers the power drive from-output shaft of gear box, to- differential
located between rear axle
Propelling vehicle forward/reverse.
Transmit power- Gear box to rear axle with the help of Universal Joints

Propeller Shaft has to withstand the torsion stresses of the transmitting
Light weight- vibration and whirling at high speed is avoided.- Steel tube
Protection against atmospheric exposure- covered with a tube
Resist twisting, longitudinal sagging and rotational whirl
Operation during variation in length and angle
Engine-rigidly fixed- frame with the help of springs. Road Condition- Jerks,
Bump- Expansion and contraction of spring. This changes the angle btw-
propeller shaft and transmission shaft.
Because of movement of spring length btw gearbox and differential also
To adjust Angular Motion Universal Joints are provided.
To adjust the change in length of propeller shaft- Slip Joint is provided

Universal Joint, Constant Velocity Joints, Slip Joints- their location, working,
constructional details- discussed in class- self study

Functions of Propeller shaft
It transmits rotary motion of the gear box output shaft to the differential and
then to the wheels through the axle shafts.
It transmits motion at an angle which is varying frequently.
It accommodates changes in length between gear box and rear axle.

Drive shaft (Propeller shaft) spins the Pinion gear (Bevel Pinion).
Pinion gear turns the larger ring gear (Crown Wheel) to produce gear
Ring gear attached to the differential case (Cage), hence it rotates with the
ring gear.
Differential case spins the sun gears (Side shaft gear) which are attached to
the axles.
Axles transfer the power to the wheels.
While taking turn, inner side Sun gear rotates slowly than outer side gear,
higher torque is transmitted to the outer side Sun gear through planet pinion
Differential Gear, permits the two wheels to rotate at the same speed when
driving straight, while allowing the wheels to rotate at different speeds when
taking a turn. Thus a differential gear is a device which adds or subtracts
angular displacements.
Main Parts of Differential
Bevel Pinion- It is machined to mesh with and rotate the ring gear. The gear
is supported by two tapered roller bearings, called pinion bearings.
Ring Gear-Crown Wheel Ring gear transfers power from the drive pinion
gear to the differential case(Cage). Both the ring gear and the case are machined to
fit together tightly. Since the ring and drive pinion gear teeth must mesh accurately
to transmit motion without noise or damage, the position of the ring gear is
Differential Case-Cage The standard differential case is usually a one-piece
unit. The ring gear is bolted to the case. The case is usually made of cast iron.
Occasionally, it is made of aluminum.
Planet Pinion-Spider Gear-The spider gears are made of hardened steel and
are held in place by a steel shaft called the pinion shaft. The pinion shaft passes
through the differential case and the center of the spider gears. Spider gears are also
called pinion gears.
Side Gear- Shaft Side Gear- Sun Gear- Made of hardened steel. Spider gears
mesh with side gears. When the ring gear and differential case turn, the spider and
side gears also turn. The power flow is through the case, into the spider gears, and
on into the side gears. The side gears are splined to the drive axles. Side gears are
also called axle end gears

Functions of Differential
Transfers power from driveshaft to the wheels.
Provides final gear reduction.
Splits amount of torque going to each wheel.
Allow the wheels to rotate at different speeds in turns.

Rear Axle
Has to withstand
Shearing force due to vehicle weight
Bending moment due to the offset of the wheel and the suspension.
End thrust due to the side forces due to cornering, side wind etc.
Bending moment due to end thrust and reaction from the tires.
Driving torque.

Semi- Floating type rear Axle
The wheel hub is connected directly to the rear axle.
All the loads are taken by the rear axle (Shearing, Bending, End thrust,
Driving torque and brake torque).

The semi floating axle is the simplest and cheapest and they are widely used
in cars.
The axle has to be designed for carrying higher loads, i.e. they are of higher
diameter for the same torque transmitted by other types of axle supporting.
Full-Floating type rear Axle
The wheel hubs are mounted directly onto the axle casing and are supported
by two taper roller bearings.
The load on the axle is very less. It needs to take only the drive torque.

These are very robust type and are used for heavy vehicles.
Axle shaft carries only the drive torque so their failure does not affect the
vehicle wheels.
The vehicle can be towed with the broken axle shaft.
Axle shaft can be replaced by without jacking.
Costliest type of axle supporting.

Three-Quarter floating type rear axle
The bearing is mounted between the axle and the axle casing.
The axle shaft has to take drive torque and the end loads.
The axle casing will take Bending and shearing forces

At one time this axle type was commonly used for cars and light commercial
These axles are no longer preferred, instead semi floating axles are used.

Comparison between various types of the rear axle- discussed in class- self

Image References- Google Images used for educational purpose.