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Old 02-19-2006, 04:51 PM
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What's a torque tube rear end?

I understand many cars up to the early to mid 50's came with a torque tube rear...what exactly does this mean? Is the driveshaft different...or enclosed?


Thanks,


Mike

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Old 02-19-2006, 04:55 PM
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An enclosed drive shaft is called a torque tube. The spring perches were made to rotate on the axle tubes.
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Old 02-19-2006, 05:10 PM
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The driveshaft looks like it is part of the rear end/ trans, and does not visually rotate, the shaft is on the inside of the tube. my '51 Chevy has a torque tube.
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Old 02-20-2006, 07:48 AM
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C6's now use the torque tube again...
I'd like to know why also
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Old 02-20-2006, 10:21 AM
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http://hardin.home.mindspring.com/1953/01202006/03.html

You can see a picture of the basic rearend there... it's the original enclosed driveline on a '53 chevy 1/2 ton truck.

-W
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Old 02-20-2006, 10:29 AM
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The torque tube extends from the transmission, where it pivots, to the rear end, where it has a solid connection the rear housing.

The torque tube has many features.

Encloses the drive shaft.
Controls the radius on the rear suspension (up-down) motion.
Maintains the pinion (angle).
Only one universal joint required (at the transmission).

vicrod
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Old 02-21-2006, 06:27 AM
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VicRod has the best description. One note -- not all have pivots for the springs. That's only if they have leaf springs, like the typical Chevy. AMC (Rambler) was the last US manufacturer to use the classic torque tube setup, but with coil springs. The torque tube has a couple advantages -- one universal that's sealed inside (lasts forever!), serves as a locating arm, and no spring wind up at all.

The problem area for rodders is that the torque tube serves to locate the axle if coil springs are used. In other words, it serves as the control arm. Remove the torque tube and the axle will literally fall out of the vehicle if coil springs are used, and will flop over with leaf springs. Leaf spring models have a pivot between the axle and spring so the axle will move with the tube. The axle housing itself generally can't be converted because the front around the pinion shaft (where the tube bolts to the axle) is different, as well as the seal. There is one exception -- a conversion kit is made for 40s and 50s Ford axles. No such kit is made for any others, but open driveshaft GM axles are pretty easy to find.

Cars like the Corvette and some Porsches use a torque tube, but it's way different than the old ones. Those cars have transaxles or IRS. The tube just connects them to the engine. The enclosed shaft means longer lasting universals, and the shaft can be smaller in diameter, built like an axle (though most use a tubular driveshaft). If the tube is perfectly straight, no universals are needed. This also makes for a rigid connection between engine/trans/axle, so the axle can't twist -- all torque is transmitted to the wheels. Some use this rigid connection as a frame strengthener also. The length of the moment arm for the rear axle is lengthened also -- almost the length of the car. This reduces strain on the body.
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Old 02-21-2006, 03:01 PM
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Thanks guys, made a lot of sense thats why I love hr.com....



Mike
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