Jeep Cherokee (XJ): Description and operation

194 RBI axle

DESCRIPTION

The 194 Rear Beam-design Iron (RBI) axle housing has an iron center casting (differential housing) with axle shaft tubes extending from either side. The tubes are pressed into and welded to the differential housing to form a one-piece axle housing.

The integral type, hypoid gear design, housing has the centerline of the pinion set below the centerline of the ring gear.

The axle has a vent hose to relieve internal pressure caused by lubricant vaporization and internal expansion.

The axles are equipped with semi-floating axle shafts, meaning that loads are supported by the axle shaft and bearings. The axle shafts are retained by C-clips in the differential side gears.

The cover provides a means for servicing the differential without removing the axle.

For vehicles equipped with ABS brakes, the axles have a tone ring pressed onto the axle shaft. Use care when removing axle shafts to ensure that the tone wheel or the wheel speed sensor are not damaged.

The 194 RBI axle has the assembly part number and gear ratio listed on a tag. The tag is attached to the differential housing by a cover bolt. Build date identification codes are stamped on the cover side of an axle shaft tube.

The differential case is a one-piece design. The differential pinion mate shaft is retained with a threaded pin. Differential bearing preload and ring gear backlash is adjusted by the use of selective spacer shims. Pinion bearing preload is set and maintained by the use of a collapsible spacer (Fig. 1).

Axles equipped with a Trac-Loky differential are optional. A Trac-Lok differential has a one-piece differential case, and the same internal components as a standard differential, plus two clutch disc packs.

OPERATION

The axle receives power from the transmission/ transfer case through the rear propeller shaft. The rear propeller shaft is connected to the pinion gear which rotates the differential through the gear mesh with the ring gear bolted to the differential case. The engine power is transmitted to the axle shafts through the pinion mate and side gears. The side gears are splined to the axle shafts.

Fig. 1 Shim Locations
Fig. 1 Shim Locations

1 - PINION GEAR DEPTH SHIM
2 - DIFFERENTIAL BEARING SHIM-PINION GEAR SIDE
3 - RING GEAR
4 - DIFFERENTIAL BEARING SHIM-RING GEAR SIDE
5 - COLLAPSIBLE SPACER

Lubricant

DESCRIPTION

A multi-purpose, hypoid gear lubricant which conforms to the following specifications should be used.

Mopart Hypoid Gear Lubricant conforms to all of these specifications.

  •  The lubricant should have MIL-L-2105C and API GL 5 quality specifications.
  •  Lubricant is a thermally stable SAE 80W-90 gear lubricant.
  •  Lubricant for axles intended for heavy-duty or trailer tow use is SAE 75W-140 SYNTHETIC gear lubricant.

Trac-lok differentials require the addition of 3.5 oz.

of friction modifier to the axle lubricant. The 194 RBI axle lubricant capacity is 1.66L (3.50 pts.) total, including the friction modifier if necessary.

CAUTION: If axle is submerged in water, lubricant must be replaced immediately to avoid possible premature axle failure.

Standard differential

DESCRIPTION

The differential gear system divides the torque between the axle shafts. It allows the axle shafts to rotate at different speeds when turning corners.

Each differential side gear is splined to an axle shaft. The pinion gears are mounted on a pinion mate shaft and are free to rotate on the shaft. The pinion gear is fitted in a bore in the differential case and is positioned at a right angle to the axle shafts.

OPERATION

In operation, power flow occurs as follows:

  •  The pinion gear rotates the ring gear
  •  The ring gear (bolted to the differential case) rotates the case
  •  The differential pinion gears (mounted on the pinion mate shaft in the case) rotate the side gears
  •  The side gears (splined to the axle shafts) rotate the shafts

During straight-ahead driving, the differential pinion gears do not rotate on the pinion mate shaft. This occurs because input torque applied to the gears is divided and distributed equally between the two side gears. As a result, the pinion gears revolve with the pinion mate shaft but do not rotate around it (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2 Differential Operation-Straight Ahead Driving
Fig. 2 Differential Operation-Straight Ahead Driving

1 - IN STRAIGHT AHEAD DRIVING EACH WHEEL ROTATES AT 100% OF CASE SPEED
2 - PINION GEAR
3 - SIDE GEAR
4 - PINION GEARS ROTATE WITH CASE

When turning corners, the outside wheel must travel a greater distance than the inside wheel to complete a turn. The difference must be compensated for to prevent the tires from scuffing and skidding through turns. To accomplish this, the differential allows the axle shafts to turn at unequal speeds (Fig.

3). In this instance, the input torque applied to the pinion gears is not divided equally. The pinion gears now rotate around the pinion mate shaft in opposite directions. This allows the side gear and axle shaft attached to the outside wheel to rotate at a faster speed.

Trac-loky differential

DESCRIPTION

In a standard differential, if one wheel spins, the opposite wheel will generate only as much torque as the spinning wheel.

Fig. 3 Differential Operation-On Turns
Fig. 3 Differential Operation-On Turns

1 - PINION GEARS ROTATE ON PINION SHAFT

In the Trac-loky differential, part of the ring gear torque is transmitted through clutch packs which contain multiple discs. The clutches will have radial grooves on the plates, and concentric grooves on the discs or bonded fiber material that is smooth in appearance.

OPERATION

In operation, the Trac-loky clutches are engaged by two concurrent forces. The first being the preload force exerted through Belleville spring washers within the clutch packs. The second is the separating forces generated by the side gears as torque is applied through the ring gear (Fig. 4).

The Trac-loky design provides the differential action needed for turning corners and for driving straight ahead during periods of unequal traction.

When one wheel looses traction, the clutch packs transfer additional torque to the wheel having the most traction. Trac-loky differentials resist wheel spin on bumpy roads and provide more pulling power when one wheel looses traction. Pulling power is provided continuously until both wheels loose traction. If both wheels slip due to unequal traction, Trac-loky operation is normal. In extreme cases of differences of traction, the wheel with the least traction may spin.

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