Aluminum driveshaft pros and cons

Imagine driving on a dragstrip or circular road at 100 mph when the car ahead has realized it's time to scrape its driveshaft. To make a pagan enter the 700 Club, a four-foot-long, three-inch diameter metal tube heading towards the windshield, particularly at these speeds, is enough. Driveshafts are taken lightly before there is a malfunction, then concerns arise easily. Was this a failure of the U-joint?   Or about the shaft itself? 

So here are a few tidbits of details about driveshafts, their role, and their option. Bear in mind that the right driveshaft choice depends on many significant aspects including size, components, center-to-center length of the yokes, vehicle mass, engine speed, RPM rate, and length of the shaft. 

The driveshaft allows the engine to drive the rear wheels and has been made for years from mild steel. Driveshaft innovation has been accelerated in the past 15 years, and shafts are now regularly made of aluminum and even carbon fiber in the scientific revolution. Many rear-wheel-drive passenger cars and light-duty trucks now come with aluminum driveshafts from the factory because the manufacturers are aware that weight reduction and horsepower efficiency are accomplished with the use of a light weight shaft. 

Aluminum driveshaft pros and cons

Two variants are provided in aluminum shafts: 6061-T6 and Duralcan. There is a special ingredient in Duralcan aluminum that improves power by another 27% over regular 6061-T6. An aluminum driveshaft is almost as much as 60% lighter than its steel equivalent, according to Matt Dotson of Mark Williams Enterprises. Among Pro Stock drag cars and trucks (due to its longer wheelbases, Pro Stock trucks use a 4-inch diameter Duralcan shaft), and also some Limited Early Model and Old Model circle track cars, aluminum shafts are common. Factory Stock cars have also benefitted from using an aluminum driveshaft. 

Carbon fiber driveshafts, now obtainable from Trick Race Parts, have received increased popularity among circle track racers, especially those racing Dirt Late Models. Compared to 9 lbs, for a similarly sized aluminum shaft, a 40' Trick Race Parts carbon fiber shaft weighs just 5 lbs. Trick is currently designing a 3" diameter carbon fiber shaft that will accept U-joints from the 1350 Series and is appropriate to be used in Trans-Am and drag racing. 

The center-to-center length of the driveshaft of a vehicle is not really a matter of preference, but a short driveshaft is less susceptible to failure than a long one because the longer driveshaft tends to "whip." as the engine speed rises, causing mechanical cracking. Therefore, we think it is fair to assume that a longer driveshaft should be made of heavier wall tubing (even though it will weigh more).

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