Rösrath, January 2012.
GKN originally launched a new PowerTrain technology called countertrack® with an innovative construction of the constant velocity fixed ball joint on the driveshaft. Since then this new countertrack® technology has increasingly been adopted by vehicle manufacturers and GKN Land Systems will shortly be introducing it to the independent repair market as well.
The main requirements placed on modern driveshafts are:
- Reliable transmission of the torque with constant velocity between the drive and the power take-off
- Wheel side bending angle of up to 50° to facilitate the steering motion of the driven wheel in a small vehicle turning circle
- Differential side bending angle >30° and movement in the constant velocity shaft up to about 50mm to allow for suspension movement and compensate the alignment offset between the differential and the wheel
- The best possible vibration decoupling between the engine/transmission unit and the wheel suspension to improve comfort for the vehicle occupants.
The new technology has therefore been adapted to the requirements of today's vehicles. The resulting countertrack® joint (see Photo 2) can be viewed as a significant technological leap compared with previous designs.
An increased power density of >15%, accompanied by a reduction of the losses of >30% and a compact design which is adapted to the available space in the vehicle offer benefits not matched by competing "imitation” joints.
Here is a concrete example that confronted GKN while developing the driveline for a premium SUV manufacturer. Due to the extreme installation space restrictions on the transmission there was a need for a joint with higher power density. Compared with the old version, the countertrack® was able to reduce the outer diameter from 106mm to 94.2mm which corresponds to a weight reduction of 12%. This significant increase of the power density can be attributed, among other things, to the significantly reduced temperature level made possible with the countertrack® principle. The charts below show a comparison with a standard CV joint based on the original Alfred Rzeppa design.
The achieved performance improvements
Compared with the previous generations of joints, significant improvements were attained in the driveshaft performance:
30% lower losses were achieved for the entire bending angle range
The bending angle increases more than 30% at the same efficiency
25% higher torque power input
15% weight reduction with higher performance data
In vehicles which already use this technology - see countertrack® photographs – there are no suitable competitor products that can be used during repairs. For that reason, make sure you replace with an original GKN joint. That is the only way to be sure that the vehicle will still be soundly and safely on the road tomorrow.
Additional information and pictures can be provided by:
GKN Service International GmbH
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