Figure 5-1. - Drive line assembly.
The drive shaft, also called a propeller shaft, is commonly a hollow steel tube with yoke(s) welded on the end. The tubular design makes the drive shaft strong and light. Most vehicles use a single, one-piece drive shaft. However, many trucks have a two-piece drive shaft. This cuts the length of each shaft to avoid drive line vibration. Since a drive shaft spins at full engine t-pm in high gear, it must be straight and perfectly balanced (weight evenly distributed around center line of shaft). If NOT balanced, the shaft can vibrate violently. To prevent this vibration, drive shaft balancing weights are welded to the shaft at the factory. Small metal weights are attached to the light side to counteract the heavy side for smooth operation.
The drive shaft can be either open or enclosed, depending on the type of drive used. The HOTCHKISS drive has an open drive shaft that operates a rear axle assembly mounted on springs (fig. 5-2). The HOTCHKISS drive requires that the springs be rigid enough to withstand the twisting action (torque) of the rear axle and the driving and braking forces that the springs transmit to the frame. This type of drive is common to the equipment you will encounter in the Navy.
Another type of drive is a torque tube. Torque tubes differ from the Hotchkiss design in that a solid drive shaft is enclosed in a hollow torque tube and rotates within a support bearing to prevent whipping. One universal joint is used at the front of the drive
Figure 5-2. - Hotchkiss drive.
shaft, and the rear of the drive shaft is attached to the axle drive pinion through a flexible coupler.
A universal joint, also called a U-joint, is a flexible coupling between two shafts that permits one shaft to drive another at an angle to it. The universal joint is flexible in a sense that it will permit power to be transmitted while the angle of the other shaft is continually varied.
A simple universal joint is composed of three fundamental units consisting of a journal (cross) andContinue Reading