What is the difference between drive shaft and Cardan shaft?

Author: Hou

Apr. 19, 2023

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Tags: Mechanical Parts & Fabrication Services

Drive shafts and Cardan shafts are both components used in the drivetrain system of vehicles, but they serve different purposes and have distinct features. In this article, we will explore the difference between drive shaft and HUADING Cardan Shafts and their respective functions in the automotive industry.

A drive shaft is a cylindrical component that transmits torque from the engine to the rear wheels of a vehicle. It is typically made of steel and consists of two universal joints, a slip joint, and a shaft. The two universal joints allow for movement in different angles and positions, while the slip joint allows for the length of the shaft to change as the suspension compresses or extends. The drive shaft is responsible for transferring power from the engine to the wheels, enabling the vehicle to move.

A Cardan shaft, also known as a propeller shaft, is a shaft that connects the transmission to the differential in a rear-wheel drive vehicle. It is composed of a center support bearing, two universal joints, and a shaft. The Cardan shaft is responsible for transmitting power from the transmission to the differential, which then turns the rear wheels.

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One of the main differences between the two shafts is their location in the vehicle. The drive shaft is located under the vehicle, running from the transmission to the rear axle, while the Cardan shaft is located in the drivetrain, between the transmission and differential.

Another difference is their construction. While both shafts use universal joints to allow for movement in different angles and positions, the drive shaft typically has a slip joint to allow for changes in length, while the Cardan shaft does not. Additionally, the Cardan shaft often has a center support bearing to support the weight of the shaft and reduce vibration, which the drive shaft does not typically have.

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The purpose of the two shafts also differs. The drive shaft is primarily responsible for transmitting power from the engine to the rear wheels, while the Cardan shaft is responsible for transmitting power from the transmission to the differential. The Cardan shaft also helps to maintain the proper alignment of the rear wheels, as well as reduce vibration and noise in the drivetrain.

In terms of maintenance and repair, the two shafts require different procedures. The drive shaft may need to be balanced periodically to ensure smooth operation, while the Cardan shaft may need to have its universal joints replaced if they become worn or damaged. The Cardan shaft may also need to have its center support bearing replaced if it begins to fail, which is not typically required for the drive shaft.

In summary, the drive shaft and Cardan shaft are both critical components of the drivetrain system in a vehicle, but they have distinct differences in construction, location, and function. The drive shaft is responsible for transmitting power from the engine to the rear wheels and has a slip joint for changes in length, while the Cardan shaft transmits power from the transmission to the differential and often has a center support bearing. Understanding the differences between the two shafts can help in diagnosing and repairing drivetrain issues in a vehicle.CONTACT US

 


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