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2. Forces on rear axle
3. Types of rear axle construction
4. Rear axle drives
5. Types of rear axle casing
7. Differential
8. Types of gears for final drive
10. Parts of propeller shaft
11. Improvements in transmission system
Rear Axles are structural members on
which Rear wheels are mounted on
The weight of the body of the automobile
and load due to the occupants is
transmitted through springs to the axle
1. Weight of the Body
2. Driving thrust
3. Torque Reaction
4. Side thrust
Rear axle behaves like a beam supported
at the ends and loaded at two points.
The load coming on the axle is due to the
weight of the body being transmitted
through the suspension springs.
Weight causes shear force and bending
on the wheels.
Torque produced by the engine causes the
thrust on the wheels. This force is responsible
for the forward motion of the vehicle.
The drive force from the wheels is
transmitted to the body or chassis by means
of Radius rods or thrust members. These
members are in longitudinal direction
connecting axle casing and the body.
Torque reaction occurs due to the resistance offered
by the wheels to the motion. This causes a torque
produced on the axle in the counter clockwise
direction when viewed from the left side of the vehicle
rear wheel axle.
The torque produced by the braking torque is just the
opposite to the torque reaction.
The torque reaction is opposed by Panhard rod which
connects the Rear axle to the vehicle body or chassis
and prevents excessive bending load coming onto the
propeller shaft.
Side thrust comes mainly when the
vehicle is taking a turn or when the
vehicle is moving along an laterally
inclined surface.
The side thrust coming on to the axle
can be taken by Panhard rod.
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 axle
Full floating axle
Three quarter floating 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.
The wheels 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 need to take only the drive
These are very robust type and are used for heavy vehicles.
Axle shaft carry only the drive torque so their failure does not
affect the vehicle wheels.
Vehicle can be towed with the broken axle shaft.
Axle shaft can be replaced by without jacking.
Costliest type of axle supporting.
The bearing is mounted between the axle and the axle
The axle shaft has to take drive torque and the end loads.
The axle casing will take Bending an shearing forces.
At one time this axle type was commonly used for
cars and light commercial vehicles.
These axles are no longer preferred. instead semi
floating axles are used.
1. Hotchkiss Drive
2. Torque tube drive
Simplest and most widely used rear axle drive.
The suspension springs take torque reaction driving thrust and side
Propeller shaft with two universal joints and a sliding joint. The spring is
fixed rigidly in the middle onto the frame. The drive torque is
transmitted through the front half of the springs.
The front end of the leaf suspension is rigidly fixed onto the frame while
the rear is connected via a shackle.
Two universal joints are used to avoid the bending of the propeller shaft
due to the torque reaction.
Sliding joint is provided to accommodate for the variation of the length
in the transmission shaft.
Torque reaction, Braking torque and drive thrust are taken by Torque
The suspension springs are taking only the side thrust and body weight.
One end of the torque tube is attached to the axle casing while the other
end is spherical and fits into the cup on the frame. The torque tube
encloses the propeller shaft.
Torque tube takes the torque reaction and centre line of the bevel pinion
shaft always passes through the centre of the spherical cup.
Single universal joint is used in the transmission drive because the
universal joint is situated exactly at the centre of the spherical cup.
No sliding joint is provided since the pinion shaft and the propeller shaft
moves same center ( spherical cup).
1. Split type.
2. Banjo or Separate carrier type.
3. Salisbury or Integral Carrier type.
The axle casing is made in two halves
and then bolted together for assembly.
But the main disadvantage is whole
rear axle has to be removed as a unit
and reassembled in case of a fault. This
kind is no longer used now.
Axle is made as a single piece The
complete differential unit is separate unit
and is bolted to the axle casing and the
two shafts are put from two sides.
In case of repair the shafts can be taken
from two sides and differential can be
removed easily.
This is similar to the banjo type except
that the permanent housing tubes are
pressed and welded onto the sides.
This is the most commonly used kind of
rear wheel driven cars.
Final drive is used to provide a permamanent speed
reduction and to turn the drive through 90 degree.
The reduction ratio provided by the final drive is 4:1
for cars and 10:1 for heavy vehicles.
The reduction ration upto 7:1 can be done in single
stage and above that is done in two stages. This is
done to reduce the size of the gear and to improve
the ground clearance.
Final drive can be bevel pinion and crown wheel or
worm and worm wheel arrangement.
1. Straight Bevel Gears.
2. Spiral Bevel Gears.
3. Hypoid Bevel Gears
4. Worm and Worm Wheel Arrangement.
The gears have straight teeth.
Simplest and Cheapest
Uneven transmission due to contact of single pair
of teeth.
Less load carrying capacity.
Noisy and high levels of wear.
Spiral bevel gears have curved teeth so
have greater number of teeth in contact.
The gear tooth have sliding motion also in
Silent Running.
They are able to take more loads.
The structure of the teeth have hyperboloid in shape. Hyperboloid
is obtained by rotating a hyperbola Abut an offset axis.
The gears transmit motion at right at right angles but the axis of
the gears dont intersect but they lie at an offset distance.
The hypoid gears permit a lower position of the propeller shaft and
allow more lower chassis height or less chassis height as the case
may be.
Hypoid gears increases the loads capacity of the gears.
Expensive difficult to assemble and need special lubricant due to
the greater sliding action between the gears.
Worm is a single or multi started thread which drives the worm wheel which
has teeth over the periphery of the wheel.
Higher gear ratios are possible in worm and worm wheel arrangement.
Worm and Worm wheel arrangement is particularly used in heavy vehicle
where higher gear ratios of greater than 6 needed
Strong and efficient drive
Single stage reduction is only necessary for higher gear ratios also.
Worm gears give low chassis height or more ground clearance as the case
may be.
Higher cost and more weight than bevel gear
Mechanical efficiency is lower than bevel gear for single stage reduction
Lubrication is difficult with overhead worm.
Differential is the gear mechanism which
allows the wheels to turn at different speeds
according to the radius of curvature they are
negotiating. The differential allows the wheels
to rotate at different speeds using planetary
gear mechanism and give different speeds
according to the load coming onto the
different wheels.
Propeller shaft transmits the drive from
the engine to the drive axles.
Propeller shaft consists of three main parts

1. Shaft

2. Universal joints

3. Slip joints
Shaft is the member which transmits the power. It
needs to withstand torsional loads mainly. Normally
the shafts are of tubular cross sections. They needs
to be well balanced to avoid whirling at high speeds.
Materials used for shafts are steel aluminum or
composites materials.
The mass of the shaft has to be made small to avoid
high rotational moment of inertia which decreases
acceleration capabilities of the system.
Universal joints are used to transmit power
between inclined shafts.
Different kinds of universal joints are
Hooks joint
Hooks joint with needle roller bearings
Perfect circle U joints
Flexible Ring universal joints
Rzepppa joint
Tripoid joint
Slip joint is provided to accommodate for the
variations of the length of the propeller shaft.
This is necessary due to the relative
movements of the axle and the vehicle body
due to the suspension action.
The slip joint is formed by internal splines on
the sleeve and external splines on the propeller
Viscous coupling which responds to the difference in
the speed. The torque transmitted depends on the
slip between the shafts.
It consist of silicon based oil which thickens on
shearing action. It consist of cylindrical chamber of
fluid with a stack of perforated rotating discs. The
discs are connected alternatively to the inside and
outside shaft and chamber. The viscosity of the fluid
causes the movement of the discs.
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