Driving Axles

Hubei Axle Co., Ltd

An axle that is driven by the engine or prime mover is called a drive axle.

Modern front wheel drive cars typically combine the transmission (i.e. gearbox and differential) and front axle into a single unit called a transaxle. The drive axle is a split axle with a differential and universal joints between the two half axles. Each half axle connects to the wheel by use of a constant velocity (CV) joint which allows the wheel assembly to move freely vertically as well as to pivot when making turns.

In rear wheel drive cars and trucks, the engine turns a driveshaft (also called a propellor shaft or tailshaft) which transmits rotational force to a drive axle at the rear of the vehicle. The drive axle may be a live axle, but modern rear wheel drive automobiles generally use a split axle with a differential. In this case, one half-axle or half-shaft connects the differential with the left rear wheel, a second half-shaft does the same with the right rear wheel; thus the two half-axles and the differential constitute the rear axle.

Some simple vehicle designs, such as leisure go-karts, may have a single driven wheel where the drive axle is a split axle with only one of the two shafts driven by the engine, or else have both wheels connected to one shaft without a differential (kart racing). However, other go-karts have two rear drive wheels too.

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