Driveshafts & U-Joints
Driveshafts and U-Joints
It's easy to forget about the complex drivetrain system that keeps your vehicle maneuvering smoothly. An integral component of your vehicle's drivetrain is the driveshaft. A system of tubes, rods, bearings and yokes, the driveshaft plays a pivotal role in the drivetrain of your 4WD or RWD vehicle. It transfers the rotational power from the transmission to the front or rear differential, which allows the wheels to spin at different rates.
The U-joints are mechanical connectors that link the input and output shafts together and transfer power as they are angled. U-joints have a u-shaped bracket that connects to a central cross usually crafted from hardened steel. Bear in mind when selecting a U-joint that its quality makes a difference; you need to consider the design of the U-joint, as well as the load capacity. The 1310-series U-joints are the normal option for most vehicles on the road, but the rugged 1350-series joints are the better choice for performance applications. The larger the series number, the larger the trunnion (the protruding shafts that the caps ride over; larger trunnions equate to more torsional strength). If you frequently drive over railroad tracks or on heavily pitted road surfaces, the excessive wear and tear can cause hardware like U-joint bolts to loosen and fail. Even normal corrosion and a lack of lubrication can cause accelerated wear and tear, especially if you use your vehicle for off-road driving or towing.
Identifying a bad driveshaft or diagnosing a bad U-joint is straightforward. Because these components are responsible for steering and handling, driveshaft or U-joint failure usually results in strong vibrations coming from under the vehicle, loud clunking or knocking and noticeable shaking during acceleration.
Rely on the NAPA Network for Smooth Driving
Whether you drive a Ram 2500 in need of new U-joints or your off-road F250 needs a new driveshaft yoke, you can guarantee that The NAPA Network is there to help. NAPAOnline offers a vast selection of replacement driveshafts and driveshaft-related parts like driveshaft and U-joint kits, driveshaft couplers and U-joint clamps, as well as other drivetrain parts and tools, such as CV axles, boots and joints, bearings and bushings and hydraulics. Plus, with more than 6,000 locations nationwide, you can buy online and pick in store at a NAPA Auto Parts near you.
Best of all, our friendly and knowledgeable staff are happy to answer questions and troubleshoot issues, so you can make sure you tackle your at-home driveshaft repair or driveshaft replacement with confidence. Don't worry though if you just can't find the time to do a complex job yourself, NAPA AutoCare has your back. Check out one of our convenient local repair centers and let one of our ASE-certified technicians provide you with the dependable service you've come to expect from The NAPA Network.