When we were kids, some of us played with Erector Sets: these cool mechanical toy sets that allowed us to build technical structures and contraptions. They were a little better than Legos and Lincoln Logs, because we could actually build something instead of merely putting something together. Erector Sets contained different parts and components that could connect to a motor and spin a shaft on a helicopter or some other mechanical object.
One thing that many of us never built with our Erector Sets was a driveshaft, but had we done it and experimented with angles and shaft speed, we could have easily become the creators of a contraption like that in the video above that teaches us the relationship of angles and their relationship to universal joints and rotational speed.
It was pretty amazing to see that just a slight variation in input and output angles would create a variation in acceleration and deceleration speed. When the front slip yoke and the pinion are at the same angle, the acceleration and deceleration cancel out, and the front and rear of the shaft is unaffected.
But when the two angles are different, or if the two universal joints are out of phase (not aligned with each other), then it becomes even more obvious that one end of the shaft (the driven end) has varying speeds even though the opposite end (the drive end) has a constant speed.
While the examples in the video are exaggerated for educational purposes, it clearly shows how improper driveshaft angles can indeed affect the way the power is transmitted from the transmission to the differential. Fortunately, TREMEC has come up with a Driveline Angle Finder that we shared with you a couple of months ago. With this free app for your Smartphone, you can check your driveline angle to be sure that your not putting undue stress on your drivetrain.