Your vehicle’s driveline performs a simple function: conveying power from the engine to its wheels. This simple function requires a sophisticated network of components, starting with the transmission and ending with the differential. Understanding your driveline is key to knowing how it works and ensuring it delivers solid performance. This short guide explores what you need to know about drive shaft parts, maintenance, and upgrades.
Introduction to Drive Shafts
The driveshaft connects the transmission and the differential. At its basics, it’s a long rotating metal rod that carries transmission power to the vehicle’s wheels. However, most driveshafts include several vital components:
- Main shaft: This hollow tube forms the base structure of the driveshaft
- Universal joints: These flexible joints connect various components, including the transmission and the differential, to the driveshaft.
- Differential pinion yoke: This piece of the differential connects it to the driveshaft, allowing torque to flow into the differential.
- Slip yoke: Linked to the transfer case, this component allows the driveshaft to flex as needed,
Because some driveshafts consist of two pieces, they also incorporate center support bearings to help provide stability and support. Other components include seals to keep dirt and debris away from lubricated parts and bolts to connect pieces of the driveshaft.
Drive Shaft Maintenance & Upgrades
Most of the time, your vehicle’s driveline quietly does its job. Proper maintenance helps ensure that it stays that way. Checking transmission fluid levels is just the start, Careful driving also avoids damage, whereas aggressive driving and violent shifting can cause driveline problems to develop. Using your parking brake also reduces wear and tear on the driveline. Finally, periodic driveline inspections allow you to spot minor issues before they become major problems.
Whether you’re performing upgrades, making repairs, or installing replacements, the driveline parts you select can make a huge difference. If you’re the average daily commuter, OEM or high-quality aftermarket replacement parts are ideal choices. ACDelco, Crown Automotive, Dorman, and Moog are trusted brands whose products consistently stand the test of time.
Performance driveshaft components are designed and built to withstand challenging conditions. They also handle higher torque and horsepower output much better than standard components. Performance component brands include Yukon Gear & Axle, Trakmotive, G2 Axle and Gear, and Quality-Built.
A Quick Word About Steering Systems
The driveline and steering systems don’t directly interface, but they do both connect to the wheels. As such, problems with one assembly can impact the other. For instance, driveshaft vibrations can make steering and turning more difficult. If left unchecked, this can cause premature wear and tear on the steering. Correcting driveline problems right away also saves you from needing to spend additional money on steering replacement parts as well.
Buying Your Parts
Caring for your vehicle requires time, effort, and high-quality parts. Whether you drive a standard commuter vehicle, a heavy-duty SUV, a pickup, or a street rod, you want the best possible products your money can buy. Choose a retailer with a trustworthy reputation, an extensive inventory of components, and knowledgeable customer service professionals.