Universal Joints, Constant Velocity Joints

A U-joint (the “U” standing for “universal”) is a flexible coupling used for connecting shafts whose axles are inclined to each other. A U-joint consists of a centre cross with needle-bearing cups on each leg end of the cross. The bearing cups on one pair of legs are mounted to the drive shaft. The other pair of cups are held in place by two U-bolts attached to a yoke that mates to either the transmission or the differential. The bearing cups allow the joint to swivel and bend as the drive shaft follows the motions of the differential and axle. A constant velocity (CV) joint does the same thing as a U-joint. Two basic types of CV joints include ball-and-groove and tripod CV joints. Ball-and-groove CV joints consist of a cup-shaped outer housing, a centre race and cage assembly. They are commonly used as outer joints on front-wheel drive cars and minivans. Tripod CV joints consist of a three-legged trunnion with roller bearings each leg’s end. The trunnion is attached to the drive shaft, and the roller bearings run in machined grooves or channels in an outer “tulip” housing. This type of CV joint is used as the inner joint on most domestic front-wheel-drive vehicles. BSC has a wide range of universal joints and constant velocity joints from Hardy Spicer and NTN available in store. You can rely on our team to assist you in selecting the correct joints for your application. Pop into any of our branches or phone us today for more information.

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