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Semi and Full Floating Axle

February 29, 2016 | General Repair Info

Full Floating Axle

Another critically important and fundamental automotive component is the axle(s) on a vehicle. Given that these are the parts which help to support the body of the car, and what allow the drivetrain to function properly, the axles are of utmost important to the reliable performance of an automobile. This is also the primary component which serves to help keep the wheels attached to the car, and the axles can rotate in order to facilitate wheel movement. Maintaining axles in proper working order is going to be especially important for a vehicle owner, and this is true for several reasons.

One reason that it is so important to make sure that axles are always functioning properly and are structurally intact is that an axle failure can potentially cause a catastrophic car accident if the failure takes place during a time when the vehicle is being driven at speed. This could lead to a wheel, or multiple wheels coming off of the car and this is a situation that is going to be very difficult to resolve safely if the vehicle is already at a significant speed level.

Another important fact relating to the axles on a vehicle is that there are actually multiple different types of axles, and some vehicles may have different axle variations than others. This can be especially important for people who work on cars to understand, so that they will not make a mistake when identifying an axle type for repairs or part replacement. Two of the main axle types that will commonly be found on modern vehicles are a full floating axle, and a semi-floating axle. For the benefit of anyone interested in learning more about these axle types, some information about each axle variation will be considered here.

Full Floating Axle Description

With a full floating axle design, the entire weight of a vehicle is going to receive its support from the axle housing. To provide more detail here, it can be said that the axle housing is going to be attached to a form of bearing spindle. With this design, the torque will typically be transferred by a separated axle shaft which unlike the other shaft, does not bear any of the vehicle weight at all. A full floating axle is going to be a lot stronger and more durable than other axle designs, but at the same time it is going to be much heavier so this is something to consider when making a decision about choosing axle designs.

Semi Floating Axle Description

A semi-floating axle design is one where the axle shaft will be carrying the weight of a vehicle, while also providing torque directly to the wheels. In this design, the wheels will usually be bolted straight on to the axle flange. A semi floating axle is going to be an axle design that will more typically be included within the designs of relatively small cars and trucks; consumer vehicles which are not expressly designed for heavy duty uses. With a semi floating axle design, there can be an inner seal present, but this tends to be with axle designs that are significantly older designs. With these older designs, the bearing is going to be packed with grease to keep it lubricated.

Read also: Clutch Release Bearing: Symptoms & Info

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