The Secret of Cardan Shaft

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black bmw
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The cardan shaft is an indispensable element of the transmission in a rear- or all-wheel drive car. This node is not too complicated in design, but it is very important – without it, the car simply cannot move. Before buying Drive Shafts for BMW, read this important info.

person inspecting the transmission
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What is a cardan shaft and why is it needed

The cardan shaft, or, more simply, the cardan, is a unit in the transmission of a car that transmits rotation from the gearbox or transfer case to the drive wheel gearbox. If these units were rigidly fixed relative to each other, they could be connected by a conventional shaft. But in reality, gearboxes are located in different planes with respect to each other, and even they can change their relative position when the suspension is working. And the greater the suspension travel, the more significant it is.

Therefore, the cardan in the car must be able to transmit rotation when changing angles and distances between transmission units. That is why its device is more complicated than it might seem.

Device and types of cardan transmission

What does a driveshaft look like? At first glance, it seems quite simple, but in fact it includes several important elements. Here’s what the cardan shaft, for example BMW Driveshaft, consists of:

bmw transmission inside
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  • tubular shaft;
  • hinges of angular velocities;
  • outboard bearing;
  • slotted connection;
  • elastic clutch.

The main, largest and most noticeable part of the propeller shaft is a long tube called the central shaft. With the same rigidity and strength, a hollow pipe is lighter than a solid bar.

Single-tube cardans are the simplest and cheapest. But if the cardan transmission should be structurally long, it is made multi-shaft from several pipes movably connected to each other.

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