So I recently ran into a situation where I was stranded on the side of the road with a locked up rear end. I calmly thought to myself how do I get home. Did the manufacturer of my vehicle plan for something like this to happen, is there a way to limp home. Well, I can say yes they did. One of my recovery rigs is a 1995 Land Rover Discovery 1, AKA (The Queen).

Fortunately, they built this vehicle with a full floating axle in the front to rear.

checking axles shafts

Pros of Having a Full Floating Axle

A full floating axle consists of a wheel hub assemble that is separate from the axle shaft. A spindle bolted to the axle tube supports the wheel hub by means of a pair of wheel bearings. Therefore, the weight of the vehicle and its cargo is transfered to the axle tube, rather than the axle shaft itself. As a result, a full floating axle shaft is not subjected to the bending moment or shear force that a semi floating axle is. Rather, the axle shaft’s only task is to transmit power to the wheel hub. As a result, the shaft is only subjected to torsional loads . They are common on 3/4 ton and heavier trucks, which require the ability to transport considerable weight. Also used in Land Rovers and early Land Cruiser models.

To increase the capacity of a semi floating axle, the axle shaft diameter would have to be increased, where as the spindle and wheel hub design determine, for the most part, the carrying capacity of a full floating axle.

very good description and photos of semi vs float

The conclusion is I was 4 hours from home stuck on a snowy mountain and I still got home. I am a believer.

By Adam
follow BigAl at @oregonoffroadrecovery
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