Prop Shaft: An integral Part of the Automobile Machinery
The automobile engine has evolved over time. Rapid advances in technology have meant that it is getting more and more sophisticated day by day. This has meant that all the ancillary machinery that is connected to the automobile engine has also seen improvements. The entire range of improvements is geared towards providing the users with maximum benefit.
In this article, we talk about the propeller shaft commonly known as the “prop-shaft”. The propeller shaft helps in connecting a propeller to the engine. In British automobile parlance the propeller shaft is also called the drive shaft. If, you go into the specifics, the prop shaft, in effect, connects the gearbox of the automobile with the rear differential. The propeller shafts used in contemporary automobiles are typically more rigid than their earlier counterparts. This enables them to deliver maximum power to the wheels from a transmission. Propeller shafts are generally used in pairs and short prop shaft are used to provide power to the wheels. This can be from a differential, transaxle, or a transmission.
In the case of rear-drive vehicles or ones that have a rear engine, the prop shafts that are used are longer. This enables the power to be sent through the length of the vehicle. Two forms of prop shafts are extensively used in the world of automobiles namely the Hotchkiss shaft that has two or more joints, and the torque tube that has a single universal joint. The prop shaft is used when the engine and axles are not together but are separate from each other. This scenario occurs in vehicles that come under the category of four-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive. In these cases it is the definitive prop shaft that transmits the engine generated drive force to the axles of the vehicle.
In terms of optimization, the best prop shafts are those that are bar-like and short. The prop shaft is likely to sag if the bar is long. The sagging further accentuates as a result of rotation. The affects of sagging are vibration and noise pollution. This, at times, happens to such an extent that the prop shaft breaks when a driver exceed the critical speed limit.
But do not be unduly worried. All propeller shafts are configured in a way such that they do not break when they are used with the service limits that are stipulated by manufacturers. Moreover, all prop shafts are designed to curtail any vibrations that can occur from varied causes.
If your prop shaft breaks or is damaged by the regular wear-and-tear, then there is an emerging prop shaft market that gives you a comprehensive list choices. You must go for those which designed specifically for your type of automobile and which come with maintenance and warranty. You should make sure that you don’t make your decisions based on the cost factor alone. Good prop shaft don’t come cheap. Specialist manufacturers are now coming out with new and improved prop shafts that are the best in terms of quality, functionality, and over all value.
Make an informed decision, when you purchase a prop shaft.
This article was posted on September 13, 2006
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