The axle shaft is connected to the drive wheel
through a bolted flange. This allows the axle shaft to be
removed for servicing without removing the wheel.
FRONT DRIVE AXLE
A front drive axle (fig. 5-25) is very similar to a
rear drive axle; however, provisions must be made for
steering the front wheels. Power is transmitted from
the transfer case to the front axle by a drive shaft. The
differential housing may be set off center in the axle
housing to permit the drive shaft to pass beside the
engine oil pan and maintain sufficient road clearance
without excessive height at the front end of the vehicle.
Since the front wheels must turn on the spindle arm
pivots, they must be driven by the axle shaft through
universal joints, which are located on the outer ends of
the axles. The universal joints allow the front wheels
and hubs to swivel while still transferring driving
power to the hubs and wheels.
The cross and roller joint shown in figure 5-25 is
similar to conventional U-joints used on the rear drive
shaft, and, in some cases, they are interchangeable.
Figure 5-25.Front drive axle.