Lesson 2/Learning Event 2
FIGURE 11. SEMIFLOATING REAR AXLE.
The semifloating axle is used on most passenger and light commercial vehicles. The
difference between the semifloating and plain axle is the method of mounting the
differential assembly and the support of the axle shafts. On the semifloating axle
assembly, the differential housing is supported in the axle housing on bearings rather than
on the inner ends of the axle shafts. This design relieves the axles of the weight and
some of the operating stresses of the differential assembly. The inner ends of the axle
shafts are splined to gears in the differential and have only to transmit turning effort. The
outer ends of the axle shafts are mounted like the plain-type axle, with the shafts
supporting vehicle weight and withstanding wheel side-thrust. The outer end of the axle
is supported on a tapered roller bearing. With this type of construction, the wheel may
come off the vehicle if the shaft should break. This is also true of the plain axle above.