Glossary of Terms
Select the first letter of the word from the list above to jump to appropriate section of the glossary. If the term you are looking for starts with a digit or symbol, choose the '#' link.
- A -
Abbreviation for angular adjusted roller style tripod joint.
ABS - ANTILOCK BRAKE SYSTEM
Electronically controlled braking system that eliminates skidding and allows turns during severe braking situations.
Toothed, soft, metal wheel pressed onto CV joint housing. Provides signal through sensing trigger for ABS computer to calculate individual wheel speeds.
Abbreviation for all-wheel drive
- B -
BELLOWS - SEE BOOTS
Also called bellows, seats, or gaiters are the protective rubber (synthetic or natural) or hard plastic covers that surround CV joints. The boots job Is to keep grease in and dirt and water out. Old boots should never be reused when servicing a joint. Always install new boots Never use split-boots!.
Abbreviation for ball triplan plunge joint
- C -
An internal component of ball type CV joints. The cage is an open metal framework with "windows" that position the balls and maintain their alignment inside the joint. The balls should fit snugly in the cage windows, and if they do not they will usually make a "clinking" noise when turning.
Also known as a Hookes Joint, Universal Joint, or U-Joint. It is a simple flexible coupling using a double yoke and four-point center cross. Cardan joints produce uneven shaft velocity when operated at joint angles of more than a few degrees. Because of this, they are not well suited to FWD.
A small wire ring on the end of the halfshaft that helps retain the CV joint on the shaft. The circlip provides a "snap fit when the joint is installed. It should always be replaced when the joint is serviced.
CONSTANT VELOCITY (CV) JOINT
A constant velocity joint is one that provides consistent velocity regardless of the operating angle of the joint. This includes Rzeppa, ball type joints and tripod joints.
A disc shaped type of inner CV joint that uses balls and V-shaped grooves on the inner and outer races to accommodate the plunging motion of the halfshaft. The joint usually bolts to a transaxle stub flange
- D -
DISC TYPE JOINT-SEE CROSS-GROOVE JOINT
Abbreviation for double-offset joint.
A back-to-back arrangement of two Cardan universal joints sometimes used on RWD driveshaft to reduce driveshaft vibrations. Though better than a single U-joint, the double-cardan joint only provides "near" constant velocity.
A type of inner plunge CV joint that uses balls and straight grooves machined in the joint housing. The joint housing sometimes has a stubshaft that slips into the transaxle.
The propeller shaft that transmits engine torque to the differential. It can also refer to the halfshafts on a FWD vehicle or the axle shaft on a RWD vehicle with IRS.
- E -
- F -
Abbreviation for flat face roller style tripod joint.
FIXED CV JOINT
A CV joint that does not allow in or out motions of the shaft. The outer CV joint on FWD cars is fixed. Fixed joints are available in Rzeppa, ball and tripod designs.
Abbreviation for front-wheel drive.
- G -
GAITERS - SEE BOOTS
Tripod joint most commonly used as FWD inboard plunge Joint.
- H -
The name given to the two driveshafts or axle shafts that run from the transaxle to the wheels in FWD vehicles. Halfshaft may be of solid or tubular construction, and of equal or unequal length side-to-side.
The large hex nut on the outer end of the halfshaft that holds the shaft within the wheel hub. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing this nut if it is removed for CV joint service.
- I -
The one closest to the transaxle in a FWD car, or the one closest to the differential in a RWD application with IRS.
The short extension that connects the halfshaft on the "short" side of the transaxle to the differential gears. An intermediate shaft is necessary in some applications where equal length halfshaft are used (equal length shafts help reduce torque steer). The outboard end of the shaft is supported by a bearing and bracket. The inboard end may slip directly into the transaxle or it may be connected by a universal joint to a stubshaft.
Abbreviation for independent rear suspension.
- J -
- K -
- L -
- M -
MODIFIED SINGLE RETENTION
A circlip connection that uses one oversized circlip that is seated in two grooves, one in each of the components being held together. Example: Typical outer joint and connecting shaft retention used in many popular Japanese manufactured vehicles, thereby necessitating replacement as an assembly of fixed joint and shaft.
- N -
A circlip connection that does not require manipulation of the clip itself but rather some force to separate the components. Example: Removal of a typical Ford outer CV joint from its connecting shaft.
Abbreviation for noise, vibration, harshness
- O -
The CV joint closest to the wheel in a FWD or RWD vehicle.
- P -
A CV joint that has the ability to allow in and out motions of the halfshaft or axle shaft to accommodate changes in suspension geometry. Ball type (double-offset and crossgroove) and tripod joints are available in plunge designs.
A circlip connection that requires manipulation of the clip to separate the components. Example: Removal of a GM X-car joint from its connecting shaft.
A relatively high speed shaft, usually balanced, used to transmit torque from a transmission or transfer case to the rear or front differential in RWD, AWD and 4WD vehicles.
- Q -
- R -
America's premiere supplier of cv joint and cv axles.
Abbreviation for rear-wheel drive.
A type of CV joint invented and introduced in 1926 by Alfred H. Rzeppa. It uses six balls, and an inner and outer race to provide constant velocity torque transfer regardless of the joint angle. The joint works something like a bevel gear with the balls bisecting the joint angle and functioning as the "teeth" to transmit torque.
- S -
SEALS - SEE BOOTS
SNAP-RING - SEE CIRCLIP
Another name for a tripod (see TRIPOD JOINT).
A specially designed tripod plunge joint where the housing tracks are flat and the needle bearings are outside the tripod collars significantly reducing "shudder" at high torque levels.
This can refer to the short splined shaft that extends from the transaxle and onto which is bolted the inner CV joint, or the shaft on the end of the inner or outer CV joint.
- T -
The output shaft from a transmission or transfer case.
The tendency of a FWD vehicle to pull to one side or to pull in the direction the wheels are steered when engine torque is applied. This can be minimized by using equal length halfshafts between the transaxle and wheels.
Also called a tripod or tripode joint, this is a type of CV joint that uses three roller bearings mounted on the three trunnions of a tripod to carry torque to an outer "tulip" housing (so called because of its lower-like shape). Tripod joints are available in both plunge and fixed versions.
The outer housing on a tripod CV joint. The tulip may be "closed" (encloses the roller bearings) or "open" (the tracks for the roller bearings are cut out of the housing)
Back to Top.
- U -
Abbreviation for undercut free joint.
Another name for a Cardan joint (see CARDAN JOINT).
UNDERCUT FREE JOINT
Ball type fixed joint permitting steer angles up to 50 deg. resulting from the special shape of the ball tracks.
Another name for a Cardan joint (see CARDAN JOINT).
- V -
- W -
- X -
- Y -
- Z -
- # -
Abbreviation for four-wheel drive