Lesson 2/Learning Event 2
FIGURE 10. PLAIN REAR AXLE.
Early vehicles used a live axle known as the plain or nonfloating axle. This type of axle
is not used on any modern wheeled vehicle. The axle resembled the semifloating axle
(discussed in the next paragraph) on the outside. However, the axle shafts were
supported by two roller bearings. One roller bearing was located just inside the outer end
of the axle shaft housing. The other roller bearing was located at the center of the axle
shaft and inside the axle shaft housing. The inner ends of the axles were connected to the
differential side gears by keys and keyways. These axle shafts had to carry the weight of
the differential assembly on the inner ends. The vehicle wheels were attached to the
outer ends of the axle shafts. Therefore, the outer ends of the axle shafts carried the
entire weight of the rear of the vehicle. End thrust on the axle shafts was absorbed, or
taken up, by a ball-type bearing located on each side of the differential case and by a
block between the inner ends of the axles.