The Different Drive Shaft Components

The Different Drive Shaft Components

When it comes to the drive shaft, an integral part of vehicle operation, it’s nothing without its aiding elements. Understanding how the drive shaft works in order to comprehend the necessity of each assisting part is crucial for car maintenance and care. Knowing the different drive shaft components and the role they play will give you a clearer view of their value in the driveline. For stocking replacement components or for high-performance upgrades, becoming familiar with drive shaft and their functions will help you immensely.

Drive Shaft

This aluminum tube is responsible for transferring torque to the drive wheels from the transmission at a constant speed. It allows for the connection of components of the drivetrain that cannot otherwise be directly connected.


The U-joint, responsible for connecting the drive shaft to the differential. In some cases, it connects the drive shaft to the transmission, or even allows two drive shafts to attach to each other. This cross-shaped piece has a bearing at each end to allow for the drive shaft to move laterally or side to side without any driveline components breaking.

Differential Pinion Yoke

Differential pinion yokes are used to upgrade to a larger U-joint or to replace a damaged yoke. The pinion yoke connects the axles to the differential so that the vehicle can turn smoothly.

Slip Yoke

Typically, the slip yoke is an internal splined shaft that connects to the drive shaft. Its purpose is to transfer power from the transfer case to drive shaft. It slides (or slips) in and out of the transfer case to allow this. Without the slip yoke, the U-joints could not rotate with the drive shaft properly because it allows for the PTOs (power take-off) to flex.

Drive Shaft Slip Yoke Felt

This felt ring is placed in the drive shaft slip yoke. It seals debris and liquid from getting into the slip yoke. This contributes to increased service life. Slipping is essential when navigating rough landscapes in your vehicle. The felt piece keeps mud, rocks, and water from damaging your vehicle’s drivetrain.

Drive Shaft Bolt

A drive shaft bolt secures the drive shaft to the axle flange. It is a strong mating point. It is a one-time use part that will need to be replaced whenever the drive shaft is serviced. When using long bolts, it’s essential to check them; if their washers break or fall off, the bolts can become loose and come out.

CV Socket Yoke

The CV socket yoke comes in greaseable and non-greaseable options for a CV-style drive shaft. When replacing, use the same design to maintain compatibility requirements of the surrounding parts. A greaseable socket yoke requires a small flush grease fitting, whereas a non-greaseable yoke will use a small rubber boot on the CV weld yoke.

CV Weld Yoke

The socket yoke fits into the CV weld yoke. This is also commonly referred to as a tube yoke, and is a simple yet critical drive shaft component. It is a yoke with a piloting hub to allow for the attachment of a tube. It is typically pressed onto the tube in one process.

U-Joint Dust Cap Seal

A U-Joint dust cap seal is meant to extend the service life of the universal joints, save money, and help avoid having to frequently replace the part. The type you’ll need will be dependent on the make, model, year of the vehicle, and the engine type.

Center Yoke

The ball and socket assembly of the CV center yoke is the heart of the system. Center yokes are modified specifically to be capable of high angles. They are critical to ensure the proper function of the overall CV head assembly.


Used to transmit torque and rotation, splines are used with drive shafts and power take-offs to allow changes in length during motion. They are ridges that fit together with grooves in a mating piece to maintain the angular connection between pieces.

Double Cardan Shaft

This helps to overcome a jerky rotation. By using two U-joints joined by an intermediate shaft, it helps to cancel change the angular velocity. Basically, it mounts two universal joints back-to-back using a center yoke. When using a center yoke, you no longer need the intermediate shaft.

Grease Fitting

Sometimes called grease nipples, these small hydraulic check valves are used on bearings to supply lubricant to internal parts. They are used to do the same with similar mechanical assemblies. There are two sizes that are common, yet in some cases, grease fitting threads can be used though less common.

Kits for Assistance

There are many types of kits to stock up on depending on your needs, your vehicle, and where you’ll be driving or the stress you’ll be putting on the automobile. Consider looking into upgrades to maintain your driveline elements through the toughest of terrains—assisting not only in the ability for extreme movement and angles, but also in the ability to prevent the elements from wreaking havoc on your truck or car drive shaft parts.

U-Joint Straps Kit

It’s always a good idea to stock up on car and driveline supplies you may need later. A U-joint strap kit may vary based on the make of your vehicle. It is designed to match the components that came with the vehicle originally. These specific parts are required in order to repair or resecure U-joints based on the make and model.

U-Joint U-Bolt Kit

A U-bolt has threaded legs and is in the shape of a U. It is an industrial fastener typically used to attach a part to a pole or beam or to support pipework. It adds stability and support for inconsistent terrain and is commonly used in jeeps. U-joint U-bolt kits supply you with U-bolts to secure the pinion yoke to the drive shaft. They are sold with nuts and lock washers to ensure you have the preferred attachments for drive shafts for off-road vehicles or cars in the high-performance world. However, yokes have to be machined to accept U-bolts.

Turn to Drive Shafts of Tulsa for help with questions regarding your vehicle, the kind of driving you’ll be doing, and how to obtain and maintain the different drive shaft components. Our experienced professionals pride themselves on knowing the “terrain” and being able to make helpful suggestions depending on the various needs of a variety of customers. Consider each part of a drivetrain to have a specialized job that is connected and necessary for the others to function properly.

The Different Drive Shaft Components