Motor vehicles are complex machines built from different systems working in unison to move the car or truck forward. You hit the gas, the engine spins the flywheel, it sends energy to the transmission, and so on throughout the truck. Ultimately, it may seem like just a series of power transfers within the machine. The driveshaft is a link between the transmission and the rear end—simple. The problem with this line of thinking, though, is that the driveshaft is only a link used to transfer power. Keep in mind that while you can’t get more horsepower through the driveshaft, you can certainly lose it. Drive Shafts of Tulsa has been selling quality weld yokes for driveshafts for over 40 years, and we know a little something about them.
Balance Is Key
When the power output of any stock engine increases, the speed at which the engine operates also increases. Driveshaft balance becomes important at this point. Most factory driveshafts are balanced at 3,000 to 3,500 rpms. Spinning the stock driveshaft beyond that range starts to steal horsepower from the engine. Having the proper driveshaft for your power output will reduce vibration and increase efficiency when delivering power to the wheels.
Diameter & Length
Along with balance, the length and diameter of the driveshaft will have a direct effect on performance. Critical speed is the rpm at which the driveshaft becomes unstable and starts to bend into an “S” shape. The smaller and longer a drive shaft is, the lower its overall critical speed. Exceeding the critical speed of the driveshaft will also result in vibration and, if ignored, will lead to system failure and breakage. The critical speed calculation will help you determine what size and length driveshaft you need. Once that is known, you can find the proper driveshaft for the power output of the engine.
Measuring a Drive Shaft
If you are measuring for a new driveshaft, it’s important to measure from the face of the seal on the tail shaft to the flat surface on the pinion-yoke with the pinion-yoke installed and the car sitting at ride height. With the proper measurement, we can create the complete shaft with the necessary slip-yoke and predetermined play for the slip yoke. For most vehicles, one inch is enough for the suspension to travel.
Improve your truck’s performance today with our quality weld yokes for driveshafts. Shop all of our driveshaft parts now and contact us for custom driveshaft solutions. We are happy to help.
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