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.
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.Continue Reading