The driveline is a less-known but crucial part of the engine in heavy-duty diesel trucks. It’s a system that includes all the gears and axles necessary to ensure that your truck can move quickly and efficiently. In simple terms, it shifts power (torque) from the engine and transmission to your wheels.
The driveline system is located under the hood of your heavy-duty truck, made up of many parts. These include:
- Transfer Case
- U-Joints/CV Joints
- Differential gears
Differential gears are devices for transmitting rotary motion smoothly. They are used to move wheels at an even speed when the vehicle turns corners, enabling different speeds on two wheels when travelling over a bumpy surface. The modern differential usually has a ‘friction’ clutch inside the casing to provide a limited-slip action when required.
A driveshaft is a rotating shaft that uses universal joints to transmit torque from one location to another. On heavy-duty trucks, these are used in tandem with couplings and U-joints to transfer the torque from the engine to the rear axle. When one of these parts fails, you need immediate professional help.
Driveline problems in a diesel engine can happen in various ways, including faulty axles and universal joints, the icing on the oil pan gasket or ring, and pinion gear failure.
Common Solutions and Services for Driveline Problems
We recommend flushing your front and rear differential flush. While most people know that their truck needs an oil change, not all know that their differential also requires service. Differentials are more complicated than many realize.
Differentials are at the end of your vehicle’s power train. Depending on your vehicle’s drive setup, they take power from the transmission and split it up to each tire on the front or back axle.
They work hard, and over time their gear oil breaks down, becoming thicker and less effective at transferring power. In addition to this, water tends to collect in the housing, causing rust. This can wreak havoc on the gears inside, leading to scratches, pitting, and even worse, stove piping or a complete failure.
When your differential is serviced, your mechanic will drain the fluid and replace it with fresh new oil with a universal viscosity. The differential inspection may reveal other problems such as cracked housing or damaged gear that need to be fixed separately.
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