Parts of a drive shaft diagram

Looking for a Parts of a drive shaft diagram? Check out our detailed illustration that breaks down all the parts of a drive shaft, including the yoke, slip joint, center support bearing, and more. Whether you’re a mechanic or simply a car enthusiast, our drive shaft diagram is a valuable resource for understanding this critical component of your vehicle’s drivetrain. Explore the different parts and how they work together to transmit power from your engine to your wheels.

A drive shaft is a component of a vehicle that transmits power from the engine to the wheels. The following is a diagram of the parts of a typical drive shaft:

Parts of a drive shaft diagram

  • Slip yoke
  • Universal joint
  • Center support bearing
  • Drive shaft tube
  • Flange yoke
  • Driveshaft balance weights

1. Slip yoke:

This is the end of the drive shaft that connects to the transmission or transfer case. The slip yoke allows the drive shaft to move in and out as the suspension travels.

Slip yoke

A slip yoke is a component of a drive shaft that connects to the transmission or transfer case of a vehicle. It is designed to allow the drive shaft to move in and out as the suspension travels up and down. This movement is necessary because the distance between the transmission/transfer case and the differential changes as the suspension compresses and extends.

The slip yoke is made up of two parts: the yoke and the spline. The yoke is a fork-shaped component that connects to the drive shaft tube, while the spline is a grooved shaft that fits into the transmission/transfer case output shaft. The spline allows the slip yoke to slide in and out as the suspension moves, while still transmitting power from the engine to the wheels.

Because the slip yoke is constantly moving, it is susceptible to wear and tear over time. This can result in drivetrain vibration and noise. To prevent this, it is important to inspect the slip yoke for wear and replace it if necessary. Additionally, some aftermarket slip yokes are available that are designed to reduce drivetrain vibration and improve performance.

2. Universal joint:

A universal joint, or U-joint, is a flexible joint that connects the slip yoke to the drive shaft. It allows for the drive shaft to rotate at an angle while still transmitting power.

Universal joint

A universal joint (also known as a U-joint) is a flexible joint that connects two shafts at an angle. In the context of a vehicle’s drivetrain, a universal joint is used to connect the transmission/transfer case output shaft to the drive shaft, and to connect the drive shaft to the differential.

A typical universal joint consists of two yokes (fork-shaped components) and a cross-shaped component with needle bearings at each end. The yokes are attached to the connecting shafts, while the cross is located between them. As the shafts rotate, the cross rotates with them, causing the yokes to move in different directions and at different angles. Needle bearings allow the cross to rotate smoothly without excessive friction or wear.

Universal joints are essential in a vehicle’s drivetrain because they allow for movement and flexibility between different components. As the suspension moves up and down, for example, the angle between the transmission/transfer case output shaft and drive shaft changes. A universal joint allows the drive shaft to rotate at an angle while still transmitting power from the engine to the wheels.

However, universal joints can wear out over time, resulting in drivetrain vibration, noise, and even failure. Regular maintenance and inspection of universal joints can help prevent these issues. If a universal joint becomes worn or damaged, it must be replaced immediately to prevent further damage to the drivetrain.

3. Center support bearing:

In longer drive shafts, a center support bearing is used to support the center of the shaft and reduce vibration.

Center support bearing


A center support bearing (also known as a carrier bearing) is a component of a two-piece drive shaft that connects the front and rear sections of the drive shaft. It is typically used in longer drive shafts, such as those found in trucks, SUVs, and some larger passenger cars. The center support bearing is mounted in a bracket that is bolted to the vehicle’s frame, and it supports the center of the drive shaft where the two sections meet.

The center support bearing serves several important functions. It helps to reduce vibration in the drive shaft by supporting its center and allowing it to rotate smoothly. It also helps to maintain the alignment of the drive shaft as it rotates, which is important for proper operation and longevity of the drivetrain components.

Over time, the center support bearing can wear or become damaged, which can result in drivetrain vibration and noise. If the center support bearing is damaged, it should be replaced promptly to prevent further damage to the drivetrain. Additionally, regular inspection and maintenance of the center support bearing can help prevent premature wear or failure.

4. Drive shaft tube:

The drive shaft tube is the main cylindrical section of the drive shaft. It houses the universal joints and is responsible for transmitting torque from the engine to the wheels.

Drive shaft tube

The drive shaft tube is the main cylindrical section of the drive shaft, which houses the universal joints and transmits torque from the engine to the wheels. It is typically made of steel or aluminum and is designed to be strong, durable, and lightweight.

The drive shaft tube is usually a hollow tube with a constant diameter, although it can have different shapes or cross-sections depending on the specific application. The tube is carefully balanced to minimize vibration and noise, which is especially important at high speeds.

In some cases, the drive shaft tube may need to be shortened or lengthened to fit the specific vehicle and drivetrain configuration. This can be done by cutting or extending the tube and welding it back together.

Regular inspection and maintenance of the drive shaft tube can help ensure proper operation and longevity of the drivetrain. Cracks, dents, or other damage to the tube can compromise its strength and lead to drivetrain vibration, noise, or even failure. If the drive shaft tube is damaged, it may need to be repaired or replaced depending on the extent of the damage.

5. Flange yoke:

The flange yoke is the end of the drive shaft that connects to the differential. It is typically bolted to the differential flange.

Flange yoke

A flange yoke is a type of yoke used in a drivetrain to connect the drive shaft to the differential or axle. It is typically made of steel and consists of a flat plate with bolt holes and a raised hub in the center. The drive shaft is attached to the hub of the flange yoke using bolts or other fasteners, while the plate is bolted or otherwise secured to the differential or axle.

Flange yokes are often used in vehicles with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, where the drive shaft connects to the rear axle or transfer case. They are particularly useful in applications where the drive shaft needs to be able to flex or rotate at an angle while still transmitting power from the engine to the wheels.

Flange yokes come in various sizes and configurations to fit different drivetrain setups. They can be made with different bolt patterns, bolt hole sizes, and hub sizes to match the specific application. Some flange yokes may also be designed to be adjustable, allowing for fine-tuning of the drivetrain’s geometry.

Regular inspection and maintenance of the flange yoke is important to ensure proper operation and prevent drivetrain issues such as vibration or noise. The bolts or fasteners connecting the flange yoke to the drive shaft and differential should be checked regularly for proper torque and wear. If the flange yoke is damaged or worn, it may need to be replaced to prevent further damage to the drivetrain.

6. Driveshaft balance weights:

These are added to the drive shaft to balance it and reduce vibration. They are typically welded to the drive shaft tube at specific locations.

Driveshaft balance weights are used to correct any imbalances in the drive shaft that can cause vibration, noise, or other drivetrain issues. Imbalances can occur due to uneven weight distribution in the drive shaft or due to variations in the manufacturing process.

Balance weights are typically small metal weights that are attached to the drive shaft at strategic locations to counteract any imbalances. They are usually welded or bolted onto the drive shaft, and are positioned based on the results of a balance test.

Balance tests are typically performed by a machine that rotates the drive shaft at high speeds and measures any vibration or imbalance. The results of the test are used to determine the amount and location of the balance weights needed to correct the imbalance.

Driveshaft balance weights are important for maintaining proper drivetrain operation and preventing premature wear or damage to the drivetrain components. Regular inspection and maintenance of the driveshaft and balance weights can help prevent issues and ensure proper operation. If the balance weights become loose or fall off, the drivetrain can become unbalanced again and lead to vibration, noise, or other issues.

Note : Image sourse – Indiamart.com

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FAQ’s- Parts of a drive shaft diagram

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