Axles & Components

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About

Automotive Drive Axle
Automotive Drive Axle

An axle contains many different components,in order to function properly. If one of the components fails, the vehicle may no longer operate properly. Although there are many types of axles available for different purposes, some of the components are the same. Most axles have an axle shaft, bearings, oil seals and a differential. Below is a brief description of the components, click the "learn more" link for more information.

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Axles

A simple explanation of an axle is an assembly that keeps two wheels separated by a rod or other device to maintain the distance between the two wheels. The axle must withstand the weight of the vehicle and any cargo or passengers. It must also be able to withstand the braking and acceleration forces of the vehicle. There are two basic types of automobile axles, the drive axle and the dead axle. Learn More -->

Axles
Axles

Axle Bearings

Axle bearings are used in many places on the axle. They allow the pinion shaft, axle shafts and other items to rotate freely while keeping them from moving out of alignment. Read More -->

Axle Bearings
Axle Bearings


Axle Seals

Axle seals are used in a lot places on an axle to help keep lubricant in and contaminates like dirt or water out. The basic construction of an axle seal is a metal housing with a rubber or other flexible yet rigid material on the inside. Read More -->

Axle Seals
Axle Seals


Axle Shaft

An axle shaft is the portion of the axle assembly that receives the rotation from the differential and transmits it to the wheels. Axle shafts come in different types of materials depending on how the vehicle is used. A typical axle consists of two axle shafts, one for the driver side and the other for the passenger side Read More -->

Axle Shaft
Axle Shaft

Differential Covers

A differential cover pan is a necessary part to your axle housing; it keeps the oil in the axle. An axle has gears that spin inside the axle housing. As they spin friction is created which also generates heat. The oil act to keep the friction down and also to dissipate the heat. Read More -->

Differential Covers
Differential Covers

Pinion Yoke

A pinion yoke is installed into the axle housing and connects the driveshaft to the pinion gear. The pinion yoke looks like a coupling with four connections. The u-joint connects to the pinion yoke and driveshaft. A pinion yoke is commonly installed by pressing the pinion yoke onto the pinion gear shaft that typically has splines that hold the pinion yoke in the right position. Read More -->

Automotive Pinion Yokes
Automotive Pinion Yokes


Rear Axle Housings

Axle housing is the piece that holds all the components of the axle. It is mounted to the vehicle and has shocks and or springs mounted to it to help eliminate bumps in the road. Read More -->

Rear Axle Housings
Rear Axle Housings


Rear End Differentials

A rear end differential is a device inside the axle housing that transfers the rotation from the driveshaft to the axle shafts on either side of the vehicle. Along with transferring the rotation it allows the vehicles wheels to rotate at different speeds. This is very useful when the vehicle turns, the outside wheel needs to travel a longer distance than the inside wheel. Without the use of a differential the inside wheel would spin and the outside wheel would be pulled which will ruin the tires quickly and also decrease control in a turn. Read More -->

Rear End Differentials
Rear End Differentials


Ring & Pinion Gears

The ring and pinion gear are very important parts of the axle and without them the vehicle would not move under its own power. A ring gear is installed in the differential at a 90 degree angle while the pinion gear is attached to the pinion yoke. As the driveshaft spins the rotation is sent through to the pinion gear, this gear spins and in turn spins the ring gear. This is how the vehicle is able to transfer the direction of the spinning driveshaft going the length of the vehicle to the pinion gear inside the differential to spin the tires forward or backward. Read More -->

Ring & Pinion Gears
Ring & Pinion Gears


Universal Joints (U-Joint)

A universal joint is commonly referred to as a u-joint. A u-joint is shaped like a cross, there are four equal length posts evenly spaced around to form a t shape. The purpose of a u-joint is to allow the suspension to move up and down with the bumps in the road while keeping the driveshaft connected to the transmission and axle. Without the use of a u-joint a bump in the road could cause the driveshaft to fall out of the axle or worse break. Read More -->

Universal Joints
Universal Joints


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