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Axle Housing: Its Role in Your Vehicle's System

The axle housing is basically an essential part of the axle assembly. It is a tubular housing that encloses the differential and half shafts together with the bearings. The axle housing is also known as the axle casing in the British areas. The axle housing's opening can be found both at the front and rear of the center housing. The front opening is sealed by the differential carrier, while the back opening is sealed by a spherical cover plate.

The axle assembly carries most of the vehicle's weight so the axle housing, which is an integral part of the assembly, must also be sturdy enough to support the assembly. The material used in manufacturing the axle housing depends on the type of vehicle it would be used to. For heavy-duty trucks and farming heavy equipments such as tractors, the axle housing should be made in a heavy cast unit. For light-duty trucks, the axle housing can be made out of a combined cast and steel tube. The axle housing can be installed to the assembly by welding it or through extruded steel tubing, while its items such as the mounting flanges, the brake backing plates, the spring mounting plates, and other accessory units may also be welded, riveted, or cast into the axle housing.

Axle Housing
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How Does the Axle Housing Work?

The basic function of the axle housing is to enclose the transmission gears, central axis, and other gears that cause the vehicle to move backward or forward along with its other similar commands. The central axis together with the first and second openings is formed through the axle housing that is located opposite to each other. A carrier that has a differential bearing helps in rotating the central axis, while an abutment member is affixed to the axle housing near to the first opening to guide it to the central axis. This carrier is attached to the axle housing where the second opening is located. The abutment member connects to the differential bearing that supports and absorbs the gear that separates the force imparted during operation by the differential and transmits it to the differential bearing support. With this mechanism, the abutment member prevents deflection of the differential bearing support in relation to the axle housing out of the gear separating force.

The Two Types of Axle Housing.

There are two types of axle housing: the split rear axle housing and the banjo rear axle housing. The banjo rear axle housing is the more common type among the two axle housings. It comprises of a hollow central member that has two hollow tubes that extends outward. Each of these tubes has a triangle-shaped side portion that sits facing each other. In a first embodiment, the side portions has support plates that are also in triangular shape, are disposed within the side portions, and sent to the central member to completely seal them. In a second embodiment, two modified baffle plates, which has a central baffle portion and a triangular side portions are formed with the central baffle portion. The side portions are bent to extend to the central baffle portion and secured to the center member of the axle housing to perform the functions of side portions of the first axle housing.

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