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Universal Joints

Universal joints are used to provide freedom of movement in shaft drives. This joint consists of two forks, twisted 90° from each other. An iron cross connects the two forks. Needle bearings between the cross ends and the forks guarantee a smooth movement of the axes and the cross.

Universal joints allow drive shafts to transfer torque, even when they are connected in a slight angle. On large angles, the output shaft experiences an irregular speed due to the geometrical movement of the cross-shaped connector. For large angles, manufacturers prefer CV-joints to reduce vibration. For smaller angles, for instance on long propeller shafts on rear wheel drive cars, the less expensive universal joints are preferred.

By applying two universal joints, the irregularity of the second joint can eliminate the irregularity of the first one, thus reducing vibration. Rubber "hardy" discs connectors are also used to dampen vibrations. Universal joints are relatively simple products and can last for a very long time, if high quality materials are used in manufacturing. Needle bearings are precision products, needing fine machining of the bearing surfaces and proper hardening of the steel.

The seals, keeping the lubricant in, must be able to resist dirt, water, salt and sand underneath a car. So when replacing universal joints, it is important to choose first quality parts from a renowned manufacturer like Nipparts. Nipparts offers an extensive range of universal joints of OE matching quality. Check our free online catalogue for availability of our products.

Nipparts Universal Joints
  • High quality steel
  • High quality needle bearings
  • Dirt and oil resistant seals
  • OE matching quality
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