“A car axle is a central steel rod that bridges a pair of wheels. The primary role of axles is to get torque from the transmission and transfer it to the wheels.”
Axles are a crucial car component but a part that many of us overlook. An axle is a rod or shaft that connects a pair of wheels to propel them and retain the position of the wheels to one another. In a car, the engine applies the force to the axle which rotates the wheels and moves the vehicle forward. In other words, axles deliver the driving power from the engine to the wheels. As the axle spins, the wheels turn around, helping drive your car.
Aside from transferring the engine power to the wheels, the axles hold the weight of your car as well as its passengers and cargo. They also absorb the shocks coming from the rough streets. Thus, axles are usually made of robust materials that can better resist abrasion, fracture, deformation, and compression. The strength and stiffness of axles are found to be one of the most crucial factors for a car to achieve and maintain high performance as well. Sturdy front and rear axles can steadily transmit the powerful force from the engine to the road while offering you a remarkable amount of control, no matter what driving conditions you encounter.
Typically, a car has two basic types of axles. One is called the Dead Axle that is present in a car to put up with the weight and does not rotate with the wheels. The other one is the Live Axle that is connected to the wheels and propels them. A constant velocity (CV) joint connects the wheel and a live axle, allowing the axle to transfer power to the wheels smoothly.
In addition to dividing car axles into a live or dead, they can also fall into other categories such as a front axle, rear axle, or stub axle.
As its name implies, front axles are located at the front of your car. The front axle’s purpose is to support the steering and process the shock generated by the bumpy surface of the road. Front axles may either be live or dead. Live front axles can perform the job of rotating the wheels as explained above.
Rear axles, as you may have guessed, are located at the back of your vehicle. Most rear axles are live, meaning that they are responsible for transmitting power to the driving wheels. A driveshaft is connected to your engine and turns the rear axle, thus rotating the car's wheels.
A stub axle found in cars with rear-wheel-drive is attached to either end of the front axle with kingpins. Stub axle can be split into four types depending on the stub axle's arrangement and its subcomponents:
· Elliot: This type is attached to the front axle by using a yoke, kingpin, and cotter.
· Reverse Elliot: This stub axle has the reversed arrangement of an Elliot stub axle.
· Lamoine: In a Lamoine stub axle, an L-shaped spindle and kingpin are used instead of a yoke.
· Lamoine Reverse: It has the reversed arrangement of a Lamoine stub axle.