THE SHOP

Performance & Hotrod Business - July '15

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22 n Performance & Hotrod Business n July 2015 PERFORMANCE Driveshaft Update We talked with Dave Kass, customer service manager for QA1, about another integral part of rear ends, the driveshaft. They, too, have their own distinctive differentiating fac- tors. And again, they are advancing in technology and are different for street and track use. As always, for shops it's best to start by gathering all the pertinent information. "When selling a driveshaft, it is impor- tant to select the proper driveshaft for one's application. Knowing the torque output of the engine is critical, as well as the transmission gear ratios and driveshaft length," says Kass. "A manufac- turer needs this information to create a driveshaft that will not only fit, but one that will hold up over a long period of time. One should also look to buy a driveshaft from a company that is manufacturing them in-house. This ensures quality can be controlled from start to finish." We asked about the state of the art for driveshafts today. It's new materials, he says. "Today, carbon fiber technology is without a doubt the biggest news in driveshafts. With more and more OEMs using carbon fiber in production vehicles, the technology is coming down in price, as well as the materials. The carbon fiber market is rapidly evolving and new technologies and processes are being introduced regularly, which ultimately leads to stronger, lighter, more durable driveshafts." And there are important differences between units used for street applications and those going into race vehicles. "Between street and track driveshafts, the biggest difference is the size of the components," says Kass. "A racing driveshaft uses larger U-joints than a street shaft so that it can hold up to the increased power output of the engine, as well as the extreme drivetrain loads that are seen in competition." When it comes to driveshaft selection, it's still about getting all your power to the ground. Only today, there are a few more steps in selecting the best components. —John Carollo The carbon fiber market is rapidly evolving and new technologies and processes are being introduced regularly, which ultimately leads to stronger, lighter, more durable driveshafts. (Photo courtesy QA1) When selecting a driveshaft, it's vital to know the length needed, torque output of the engine, and the transmission gear ratios. (Photos courtesy QA1)

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