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Automotive (2) Lab

EXP3: Drive Axles and Differential

Name: Mohammad yahya Bani issa

Dr. Wael Adaileh
The drive axle assembly transmits torque from the engine and transmission to drive the vehicles wheels.
The drive axle changes the direction of the power flow, multiplies torque, and allows different speeds
between the two drive wheels. Drive axles are used for both front-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive

Front-wheel-drive (FWD) axles, also called axle shafts, typically transfer engine torque from the
transaxles differential to the front wheels. One of the most important components of FWD axles is the
constant velocity (CV) joint. These joints are used to transfer uniform torque at a constant speed, while
operating through a wide range of angles.


There are two types of CV joints. the

ball-style and the tripod-type CV joints. The ball style uses a
series of balls, a cage, and inner and outer races. The tripod
uses a tulip assembly an<l three rollers. Both perform well in
front-wheel drive cars.


The constant velocity joint is designed much the same as a

set of bevel gears. Balls and grooves are used, rather than

Balls and grooves connect the input and output shafts. If the balls are
placed in elongated rooves, the result is a CV joint. This type of joint does
not produce the speed or velocity changes on the output shaft that a cross
and bearing-type universal joint produces. As you real l, when a cross and
bearing universal joint is used, there are several speed variations within
each revolution of the drive shaft. With constant velocity joints, the speed
of the drive shaft is continuous within one revolution. Therefore, there is
much less wear and smoother operation
The torque that is produced from the engine and transmission must be transferred to the rear wheels
to push the vehicle forward and backward. The drive shaft must provide a smooth, uninterrupted flow
of power to the axles. The drive shaft and
differential is used to transfer this torque


Universal joints (U-joints) are used to permit the drive shaft to operate at different angles.
and a photograph of a simple universal joint. Note that the oration can be transmitted when two shafts
are at different
angles. This type of universal joint is called the cross and bearing type Cardan universal joint, or four-
point joint.
It consists of two yokes and a journal assembly with four trunnions. A yoke is a Y-shaped assembly that
is used to
connect the U-joint together. The trunnion is a protrusion on the journal assembly. The journal assembly is also called a
cross and bearing assembly or spider.

The universal joint is made of several parts. The center of

the universal joint is called the cross and bearing assembly.
Its purpose is to connect the two yokes. The yokes are
attached directly to the drive shafts. Four bearing caps
are placed on the universal joint. ach cap is placed on a
trunnion part of the universal joint. Each bearing cap is a
needle-type bearing that allows free movement between
trunnion and yoke. The needle bearing caps are attached to
the yokes by several methods. They can be pressed into the
yokes, bolted to the yokes, or held in place with bolts. nuts,
U-bolts, or metal straps. Snap rings are also used to hold
bearing caps in place On most replacement universal joints,
there is a lubrication fitting to put grease
into the needle bearings.

The drive shaft must also be able to lengthen and shorten
during operation with irregular road conditions. A slip joint
is used to compensate for this motion. The slip joint is usually
made of an internal and external spline. It is located on
the front end of the drive shaft and is connected to the
transmission (Figure 43-5). The slip joint can also be
placed in the center of the drive shaft.


The popular cross and bearing assembly universal joint has
one disadvantage. When the universal joint transmits torque
through an angle, the output shaft increases speed and slows down twice in each revolution of the shaft. The rate at
the speed changes depend on the steepness of the universal joint angle. The speed changes are not normally visible
rotation. However, they may be felt as torsional vibration due to improper installation, steep and/or unequal operating
angles, and high speeds.

The torsional vibrations mentioned earlier travel down the drive shaft to the next universal joint. At the second universal
joint angle, similar acceleration and deceleration occur. Il however, these take place at equal and reverse angles
to the first Joint Now the speed changes cancel each other when the two operating angles are equal.
Dive shafts must have at least two universal joints and operating
angles (also called companion angles) must be small and equal. Any
variations from this can cause excessive
vibration and needle bearing and trunnion wear.


On many large vehicles. it may be necessary to use a center bearing for support on the drive shaft When a center
bearing is used. there will be two drive shafts and usually more than two universal joints. The bearing assembly
supports the end of the first drive shaft by being bolted directly to the frame of the vehicle.
The purpose of the differential, is to transmit the torque from the drive shaft to the axles and drive
wheels of the vehicle. On front-wheel drive vehicles, the differential is located inside the transaxle and is
a part of the total assembly. Torque is transmitted from the engine, through the transmission, and to
the differential. The differential then splits the torque and sends it to the drive wheels.


1-Drive pinion-The drive pinion is the main input shaft to the differential. It is driven from the vehicle drive shaft.

2-Ring gear-The ring gear is driven from the drive pinion. Its purpose is to drive the remaining parts of the

3-Differential case-The differential case or carrier holds several bevel gears. The entire differential case is driven
from the ring gear. which is bolted to it.

4-Two differential side gears and two pinion gears These four gears are placed inside the differential case. All four
gears are meshed together. The pinion gears have a shaft running through their center The shaft is secured to the
differential case. Thus. as the differential case turns, the shaft rotates (end to end) at the same speed as the
differential case. Because all four gears are meshed, the differential side gears also rotate at the same speed.

5-Axles-The axles are attached to the differential side gear by a spline on the axle and inside the differential side
gear. As the differential side gear rotates, the axles also rotate, causing the vehicle to move.