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Old October 31st, 2012, 06:31 PM   #1
Catnip 0_o
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Default What is the difference between cv joints and universal joints? Pros/cons? Uses?

Just trying to educate myself. I've always wondered which was better, what the differences are, and so on. Thanks :)
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Old October 31st, 2012, 06:38 PM   #2
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In what application? Your TJ doesn't have any CVs.

Edit. I should clarify. Your stock front drive shaft and maybe the rear drive shaft if you've done the slip yoke eliminator has CVs but they are double carden style. I'm assuming your talking Rzeppa style for the front axle shaft but you TJ doesn't have those.

Some people swap in parts store XJ style rzeppa CVs in their front axles because they are cheap and often can get the free replacement warranties, bit they are very weak so don't make much sense in my mind. They only other option is RCV brand which are nice bit pricey. The benefit is they retain full strength no matter if the wheel is turned or straight vs u joints that get much weaker when the wheel is turned.
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Old October 31st, 2012, 06:53 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by oz97tj View Post
In what application? Your TJ doesn't have any CVs.

Edit. I should clarify. Your stock front drive shaft and maybe the rear drive shaft if you've done the slip yoke eliminator has CVs but they are double carden style. I'm assuming your talking Rzeppa style for the front axle shaft but you TJ doesn't have those.

Some people swap in parts store XJ style rzeppa CVs in their front axles because they are cheap and often can get the free replacement warranties, bit they are very weak so don't make much sense in my mind. They only other option is RCV brand which are nice bit pricey. The benefit is they retain full strength no matter if the wheel is turned or straight vs u joints that get much weaker when the wheel is turned.
Ooo lol thank you for responding so quickly but I wasn't asking for my TJ I was just wondering in general. To get a better understanding of both and why they use them in some veichles and not in others.
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Old October 31st, 2012, 06:57 PM   #4
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I'm general, u joints are cheap and strong but provide some imbalance and get weak if too much angle is used. Rzeppa style can be made very strong but are more complex and more expensive but are very smooth. Double cardens are basically just two u joints for more angle. Same issues as u joints but can provide greater angle without losing too much strength.

Id guess jeeps use mostly u joint style due to cost and serviceability. Front axles are pointed straight far more often thanturned so u joints usually work fine under normal conditions. Our drive shafts use double cardens because they are always running at an angle so its smoother with them. A drive shaft with just a u joint on each end will need to have similar angles running through both joints or vibration will always be present as their arc of travel while rotating would be different. A double carden allows different angles at each end but runs smoothest if the end with the u joint is mostly straight.
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Last edited by oz97tj; October 31st, 2012 at 07:04 PM.
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Old October 31st, 2012, 09:30 PM   #5
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What oz97tj said.

I like u-joints and double cardans just because you can swap a couple u-joints for cheap. On a rzeppla drive shaft or CV joint you have to replace the entire shaft.
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Old November 1st, 2012, 05:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oz97tj View Post
I'm general, u joints are cheap and strong but provide some imbalance and get weak if too much angle is used. Rzeppa style can be made very strong but are more complex and more expensive but are very smooth. Double cardens are basically just two u joints for more angle. Same issues as u joints but can provide greater angle without losing too much strength.

Id guess jeeps use mostly u joint style due to cost and serviceability. Front axles are pointed straight far more often thanturned so u joints usually work fine under normal conditions. Our drive shafts use double cardens because they are always running at an angle so its smoother with them. A drive shaft with just a u joint on each end will need to have similar angles running through both joints or vibration will always be present as their arc of travel while rotating would be different. A double carden allows different angles at each end but runs smoothest if the end with the u joint is mostly straight.
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Old November 1st, 2012, 09:47 AM   #7
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Old November 1st, 2012, 09:49 AM   #8
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To expand on what oz said a true CV shaft is used in FWD cars because these joints have to operate at extreme angles and withstand the torque produced by the engine at these angles i.e. a Michigan left during rush hour (turn tight and throttle hard). I believe that the strength at angles is why CV joints are used in IFS 4x4 applications. These joints see a lot more extreme angles (droop and turned) than a solid axle vehicle. In a solid front axle the joints only have to turn with the wheels and not with the vertical movement of the tire. Double carden joints are often time referred to as CV joints.

http://www.pirate4x4.com/tech/billav...aft/index.html is a very good write up detailing what has been explained with pictures to help visualization.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 03:44 PM   #9
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So what I have got out of it in a nutshell is u joints/double cardan joints/cv joints are used in 4x4 application because not only are they cheaper, but easier to replace and don't have to be as flexible because the axle differential does the flexing itself. Cv shafts\axle shafts are used in fwd vie holes because they are more heavy duty and last longer/smoother ride but do not use a differential that flexes rather the shaft joints flex so are built tougher. Correct me if I'm wrong but this is what I have gotten out of this. Thanks :)
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 04:47 PM   #10
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A u joint is here:





a double cardan joint is 2 U-joint essentially..but used on a drive shaft like seen here:



it's used to increase the angle and still maintain balanced workable power in circular motion.

a constant velocity joint looks like this :



it is typically not used in drive shaft applications but I have seen more than a few. Toyota used that design on some trucks, and there are companies that make them for TJ's but use a different name but still the same concept as your typical FWD "CV joint"

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Old November 2nd, 2012, 09:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toolmantim View Post
A u joint is here:





a double cardan joint is 2 U-joint essentially..but used on a drive shaft like seen here:



it's used to increase the angle and still maintain balanced workable power in circular motion.

a constant velocity joint looks like this :



it is typically not used in drive shaft applications but I have seen more than a few. Toyota used that design on some trucks, and there are companies that make them for TJ's but use a different name but still the same concept as your typical FWD "CV joint"

Glad you showed me this, it drew a clearer picture of how each joint works and its application. Just out of curiosity can you use double cardan joints on your driveshaft to fix driveline vibrations when you do a lift instead of having to drop the skid plate or SYE? Again I'm not doing any of this myself I am just doing this to purely educate myself. Thank you very much for your help
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 09:49 PM   #12
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The SYE kit uses a double cardan driveshaft. I'm not aware of a double cardan driveshaft that uses a slip yoke connection. You want the SYE kit to eliminate that weak point, the skip yoke connection. I really don't think a slip yoke and a double cardan joint would play well together.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 11:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Just out of curiosity can you use double cardan joints on your driveshaft to fix driveline vibrations when you do a lift instead of having to drop the skid plate or SYE?
maybe.

A SYE is a slip yoke eliminator. The yoke is the part connected to your u-joint coming out of your T-case shaft from the rear.

"slip" meaning it moves forward and back a little..but it's enough to slip out if extended too much.

A T-case drop moves your case (and therefore the yoke) downward.

A double cardon shaft just helps the angle of the drive line...


any and all of these contribute to driveline vibrations and breaking stuff if not done properly.
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Old November 5th, 2012, 05:39 PM   #14
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Great job of explaining this for the newbies guys!
Nice to see some true informational conversation.
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