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4x4 Tech: Driveline Basics

"It's just a steel tube with a u-joint at each end that transfers torque from the output of the transfer case to the axle. Nothin' special, right?" Well... yes, but that is an over-simplified answer.

There are many subtle things about a drive shaft and the conditions it operates in that will greatly affect how well the drive shaft performs. These subtle variables may have a profound impact upon the life of the drive shaft components, the amount of vibration the drive shaft produces, and whether or not the drive shaft is even capable of meeting your vehicle's specific requirements.

In this article we'll explain some of these subtle but extremely important variables, teach you about the different types of drive shafts that exist, and help you understand how to adjust the operating angles to ideal for the type of drive shaft that you have.

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