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Driveshaft Components Failure Analysis

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Categories: Drive shaft repair

Driveshaft repair is a specific activity, in which it is necessary to take into account many nuances, that at first glance doesn’t seam important. The driveshaft in the process of operation experiences heavy loads, that can cause defects to appear in various parts of the shaft. It will sooner or later lead to the failure of the entire assembly unit. Therefore, great attention is paid to its inspection. In this article, we will analyze common defects and their causes.

Preventive Maintenance

Driveshaft inspection should be performed as part of your regular maintenance. Normal vehicle maintenance and recognition of component discrepancies are necessary to prevent serious mechanical problems and avoid driver discomfort. Failure to perform normal maintenance may also void the vehicle warranty.

Inspection of the driveshaft at the service

Inspection of the driveshaft at the service should be made in the presence of the client. It is important, because you can immediately focus his attention on the detected defects, while eliminating a lot of unnecessary questions.

Routine inspection steps

  1. Check the output and input end yokes for looseness.
  2. Check for excessive radial looseness of output/input shaft.
  3. Check for looseness across ends of u-joint.
  4. Check the slip spline for excessive radial movement.
  5. Check the shaft for damage, bent tubing, or missing balance weights.
  6. Check for a loose or missing slip yoke plug.

Common defects

1. Flange:

Wear of the seating surfaces

Cause:

  • Loose bolted connection
  • Fracture of the seating surface when installing or removing the driveshaft
  • Foreign body between flanges during operation or repair
  • Driveshaft vibration

Presence of cracks

Cause:

  • Metal defect
  • Excessive shock loads
  • Driveshaft vibration
  • Careless removal of the driveshaft

2. Cross:

Backlashes between the cross and forks

Cause:

  • Wear of the cup hole
  • Excessive shock loads
  • Driveshaft vibration
  • Aggressive driving style

Oil and rust spots on the crosshead

Cause:

  • Wear of the sealing dust cap
  • Water in the cup

Changing the color of the crossbody cup

Cause:

  • Lack of lubricant
  • Wear of the sealing dust cap
  • Dirt entering the cup

3. Spline joint:

Slotted joint backlash

Cause:

  • Natural wear and tear of the splined joint
  • Metal fatigue
  • Driveshaft vibration
  • Wear of rubber cover
  • Lack of lubrication
  • Dirt between splines

Wear and tear of the rilsan coating

Cause:

  • Overheating of the coating
  • Material fatigue
  • Dust cap wear
  • Lack of grease
  • Natural wear

4. Outboard bearing:

Cracks in the rubber bearing

Cause:

  • Material fatigue
  • Increased driveshaft vibration
  • Bearing wear

Wear of the bearing seating surface

Cause:

  • Driveshaft vibration
  • Bearing wear
  • Bearing slippage
  • Dirt entering between bearing seating surface and bearing

Bearing wear

Cause:

  • Poor quality bearing
  • Metal fatigue
  • Excessive vibration
  • Dirt inside the bearing

Changing the stiffness of the rubber support

Cause:

  • Material fatigue
  • Low operating temperatures

5. Driveshaft tube:

Pipe deflection

Cause:

  • Stuck spline connection
  • Intense axial loads
  • Radial shock

Cracks in the tube

Cause:

  • Metal defect
  • Welding seam defect
  • Excessive vibration
  • Intense stress

Dent in the tube

Cause:

  • Radial impact
  • Deformation of the pipe when removing/installing or repairing the driveshaft
  • Incorrectly calculated pipe wall thickness

Afterword

Note how common excessive vibration is on this list. Usually, it’s caused by a lack of balance or poor balance.

This brings our article to an end. If you are interested in equipment for the driveshaft repair or balancing machine to eliminate vibration, you can contact our experts for advice. They will be happy to offer you the best set of equipment for you. Thank you for your attention and good luck in your work.

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