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Figure 1. Drive shaft on a truck.
Figure 1. Drive shaft on a truck.

The drive shaft (also known as the propeller shaft or prop shaft) is a component of a vehicle's drive train that carries torque from the gearbox to the differential, which then transmits the torque to the wheels to move the vehicle. [2] Because different components must be in different locations in the vehicle, the drive shaft is mostly utilised to transfer torque between components that are separated by a distance. Because the rear axle and transmission are on opposite sides of the car, a front-engine rear-wheel drive car requires a long drive shaft to connect them.

Drive shafts are employed in a variety of ways in different vehicles, with front-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, and the previously stated front-engine rear-wheel drive all having diverse arrangements. Motorcycles, locomotives, and maritime vessels are examples of vehicles that utilise drive shafts. The drive shaft layout for a typical front-engine rear-wheel-drive vehicle is shown below (some cars have the transmission at the back).

Figure 2. The drive shaft in a rear-wheel drive car is much longer than other configurations because of the distance between the rear axle and the transmission.
Figure 2. The drive shaft in a rear-wheel drive car is much longer than other configurations because of the distance between the rear axle and the transmission.


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