Automobile Types: Rear Axle or Live Axle

To mention, rear axle is the last member of a power train. In most of the automobiles, real axle is the driving axle. It lies in between the driving wheels and the differential gear and transmit power from the differential to the driving wheels. It has two half shaft connected to the differential gear, one for each wheel. The inner end of each half shaft connected to the sun gear of the differential and the outer end to the wheel. The rear axle and differential gear completely encloses in a box which protects them from water, dust or any injury.

Function of a rear axle:

The rear axle does following two main functions.

  • 1. Carries weight of the vehicle.
  • 2. Rotates and transmits power from the engine to the wheels.

Classification of rear axle:

Rear axle is classified by two methods.

1. According to the making of axle:

(A.) Banjo axle:

An axle with a single shaft and a final drive assembly is carried in a separate case which is bolted to the axle box. The banjo is often used for small and light vehicles.

(B.) Split axle:

Here the shaft is used with the central house has the differential gear and it is fitted with a tube on each side to bear the half axles and bearing.

2. On the basis of the method of supporting:

(A.) Half floating rear axle:

In this axle the support of the axle, is inside the case. The axle of the wheel is at the centre of the axle case.The whole weight of the vehicle is first transmitted to the suspension spring and next to the axle case, rear axle, wheel and ground.

(B.) Three quarter floating rear axle:

In this axle bearing is on the outer side of case between the wheel and the axle case. The wheels are fitted at the end of the axle by means of a key, bolt or nut.

The weight of the vehicle is supported partially by the axle case and partially by the axle. The main benefit of this type of axle over the half floating one is that the major part of the load is taken by the axle case and not by the axle. The function od the axle is to take care of the rotating and transmits the power.

(C.) Full floating rear axle:

Here the bearing is on the outer side of case between the wheel and the axle case. The axle is not supported by the bearing at all the ends. The wheels are fitted at the end of the axle by means of a key, bolt or nut.

Thus the total weight of the vehicle is supported by the wheel and axle case. The axle has no strain caused by the weight of the vehicle on end thrust. It transfers only the driving torque.

Hope you liked this discussion.

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