If you’re looking to maximize the performance of your vehicle, upgrading your axles might be the next step. However, with so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. Here’s a comprehensive buyers guide to help you determine which automotive performance axles are right for your vehicle.
Understanding Axle Types
The first step in choosing the right performance axle is understanding the different types available. Stock axles are typically made of weaker materials and are not designed to handle extreme horsepower or torque. Performance axles, or aftermarket axles, are made of stronger materials like chromoly or carbon fiber and are designed to handle higher levels of power.
Solid axles are the most durable option and are typically used in off-road and drag racing applications. Independent rear axles (IRS) are designed for better handling and are commonly used in street performance and racing applications. You’ll need to consider your intended use before deciding on a solid or IRS axle.
Choosing the Right Material
One of the most critical factors in selecting the right performance axle is the material it’s made of. Chromoly axles are a popular option and are stronger than stock axles but not as rigid as carbon fiber. Carbon fiber axles are much lighter and stiffer than chromoly but are generally more expensive.
Heat-treated axles are also worth considering. These have been treated to increase strength, durability, and resistance to wear and tear.
Selecting the Proper Spline Count
The spline count refers to the number of teeth on the axle shaft that mate with the differential. Typically, the higher the spline count, the stronger the axle. Most performance axles come with at least 28 splines. However, if you’re regularly putting down more than 600 horsepower, you’ll need an axle with at least 35 splines.
Choosing the Right Length
Another important factor to consider is the length of the axle. If the axle is too short, it won’t reach the differential and will not work. Conversely, if the axle is too long, it may hit the transmission or suspension. Some manufacturers offer custom length axles, which are worth considering if you have specific needs.
Finally, when purchasing performance axles, it’s important to consider the manufacturer’s reputation. Stick to reputable brands with proven track records. Researching online reviews from other car enthusiasts is a great way to gauge a manufacturer’s quality and reliability.
Upgrading to performance axles can help optimize your vehicle’s performance and handling. With this guide, you should be able to make an informed decision on which performance axle is the right choice for your car. Remember to consider your intended use, material, spline count, length, and manufacturer reputation when making your selection. Happy driving!