Many racers concentrate on a driveline components’ strength and durability when it comes to transmissions and differentials. Typically, the last consideration is the hardware found between the transmission and the rearend. Once the engine, transmission, and differential are bolted in place, we then measure and look into that additional critical component: the driveshaft.
Strange Engineering is focused on the quality of all of their driveline pieces when it comes to putting power to the track, but they also engineer some hardware that makes life easier in the shop and pit area.
“When it comes to putting high-value horsepower to the pavement, nothing is more important – or frequently overlooked – than the driveshaft,” explains J.C. Cascio, Director of Business Development for Strange Engineering.
A spread of yoke designs by Strange includes their HD nodular iron units; these are created from a patented blend of nodular iron with much greater tensile strength than conventional (factory) cast iron; these yokes accept 1310-, 1350-, and 1480-sized universal joints, and are the perfect hardware for high-performance street cars and cruisers.
Stepping up to hardcore racing applications, Strange Engineering offers chrome-moly yokes that are stronger and more durable. These units are CNC-machined from heat-forged 4340 chrome-moly steel to meet the extreme demands of drag racing. These yokes also provide useful features from their engineers, such as where additional material is added in critical areas. Due to their high chromium content, a black oxide finish that resists corrosion is included.
The third and latest yoke design is the Strange two-piece severe duty unit. Also made of chrome-moly, these yokes are developed for General Motors 27- and 32- spline tailshafts. They cover a wide spread of GM transmissions, manual or automatic, and can be ordered for either bushed or roller-bearing tailshaft options.
All Strange chrome-moly yokes, including these two piece units, are made out of a 4340 forging. The transmission yokes have material added in critical areas that see the most load – J.C. Cascio, Strange Engineering
“The removable caps help if the driveshaft tunnel or any other bracing prevents the driveshaft from dropping down and sliding out,” Cascio says. “The remaining part of the yoke that stays in the transmission also acts as a plug, so you do not need to worry about trans fluid leaking out.”
The chassis rules for simple driveshaft loops are nonexistent for fast tube chassis door cars in drag racing. Removing the driveshaft with a solid yoke is tough within these confines.
Another applicable scenario is the suspended dragster that populates sportsman racing. With a short driveshaft in the 12- to 15-inch range, you do not have the luxury of manipulating the rear of the shaft around the differential yoke.
An additional heat-treat operation is performed on yokes for mating to a roller bearing tailshaft; this offers a hardened surface for the bearing to ride upon.
Whether you’re going to retrofit your current driveshaft and u-joint combination with one of these two-piece designs, or include it with your next Strange driveshaft purchase, remember, Strange Engineering is a firm believer in exclusively using seamless chrome-moly as racing driveshaft material.
Cascio explains that their theory is “the seamless chrome-moly material is capable of handling most every application. We use these in vehicles that range from street cars to Pro Modifieds and Radial vs. The World race cars that make up to 4,000 horsepower. Our driveshaft design takes the question out of what aluminum and carbon-fiber shafts can withstand.”
With a firm engineering belief surrounding all of Strange’s drivetrain designs, their reputation for longevity in racing is high. Those are some sound theories to appreciate when pouring many levels of power onto those sticky track surfaces.