Cardan drive shaft troubleshooting is just a matter of knowing how things work and if you are careful, you can determine whether your drive shaft is worn or bent. As long as you have an idea about the mechanics, you should be able to find out whether you have a loose cardan drive shaft, warped bearings, faulty bearings, or wear and tear.
Checking for wear and tear. First, check the bearing for signs of distortion. This includes any dullness and even "fuzziness" on the surface.
There may also be small holes in the hub that appear in between the plates as well as any wear on the inside of the hub. If you find any wear in any of these places, your bearings are probably wearing out and you will have to replace them.
Covered up and Not Tightened. Sometimes you can see a slight gap between the "Y" shaped shell of the shaft and the cover plate. If this is present, then the shaft was not tightened properly. This can lead to increased friction and wear on bearings.
While the internal mechanism is not so important to us, it's probably still a good idea to take a look at it before we learn how to troubleshoot the coupling. If you can examine the internal mechanism of the cardan drive shaft with a magnifying glass, it may help you determine the nature of the wear and whether it's coming from inside or outside.
Loose or Bended Bearings. There are many causes for a bearing to fail, including improper lubrication and even over-tightening of the coupling. If you have a bearing that has worn out and gone loose, you may be able to tighten the cardan drive shaft a bit more and that will bring the bearing back into alignment.
Another factor that you need to be aware of is the influence of loss. Loss of life is caused by loss of power. This is where the shaft doesn't move as it should. When a shaft loses its power, there is no more torque to transfer to the bearing.
Loss of power is most commonly caused by missing or misaligned teeth on the shaft. The wrong type of bearings will often cause this as well. You may be able to tighten the bearings on the shaft and then try to reverse the damage.
The best advice is to continue to operate the shaft until it stops moving. If you lose more than 10% of its output of torque, then you may need to replace the bearing. You could also replace the entire shaft.
How to troubleshoot the cardan drive shaft is the second part of this two part series. In the first part, we learned how to replace the bearings and the hardware. Now we will learn how to test for wear and more importantly how to check for defects and malfunctions.
How to troubleshoot the cardan drive shaft is simply a matter of looking at the shaft and seeing if it moves the way it should. Most of the time, it doesn't. This is because the actual weight of the shaft is not producing enough torque. The gear ratio must be high enough in order to move the shaft properly and to move the bearings and the bearing block correctly.
Before we discuss the gear ratio, it is important to understand how the shaft operates. This is critical because there are many ways in which the shaft may malfunction. If you are not very familiar with the workings of a shaft, it's highly recommended that you get a better understanding of how it works. This will ensure that you have the proper care and maintenance of your cardan drive shaft.