Propeller shafts are applied on cars with the classic, rear axle drive and all-wheel drive. The most common failure of the propeller shaft is play in its supporting elements and in the cross-joints. There may also be failures in the differential gear. In most cases worn elements of the drive can be easily replaced.
What is the drive shaft?
The drive shaft is applied in cars with a rear or all wheel drive. It transmits the drive from the gear box to the rear axle. The drive shaft incorporates joints allowing an upward and downward movement of the rear axle in accordance with the movement of the suspension. The joints, or cross joints, as they are referred to, have a cross-shaped body with protrusions at the end of each arm, each equipped with a bearing. The protrusions are fitted in the flange arms of the drive shaft ends. The cross joints allow the shaft to rotate at different angles.
How is a drive shaft cross joint replaced?
Gradually, the needle bearings of the cross joints become worn, resulting in plays, which may cause a joint to come out of its fixture. If this is the case, a cross joint must be replaced. Replacing a cross joint requires removing the drive shaft from the car, unless it is equipped with a detachable flange. Detaching a cross joint from the drive shaft requires removing its arm screws. When fitting a new cross joint, you should ensure that its bearings are lubricated. A new joint is fitted in the reverse order.
What to keep in mind?
You should never neglect any signs of wear of the drive shaft cross joints, its bearings or other elements, as a drive shaft failure may disable your car.