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Old 02-16-2014, 09:43 AM   #1
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Rear Axle Discussion

Anyone here analyze the different types of axle construction with the axles that fit our cars?

Most of us typically install the axle and never actually disassemble it to look at the differences of how they are built.

Years ago I had an NA Z32 VLSD which requires the J30 axles. Anyone who's accidentally popped off the dust cover knows that grease and bearings will fall out making an immediate mess. Though, I never took apart the stock S-chassis axles.

Apparently the S-chassis axles use tripod CV joints, I would imagine like this:


And the J30 axles use Rzeppa CV joints like this:


I'm curious if anyone has looked into the construction of the Q45/Z32TT axles.

I recall people asking what type of grease to use should you accidentally spill out the OE grease. Redline CV2 grease is available, as well as grease from Honda, Toyota, etc.

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Old 02-16-2014, 10:21 AM   #2
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this is a tribod cv joint, it gets its name from the 3 bearings inside
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:38 AM   #3
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Q45/Z32TT use the Rzeppa or ball in cage style (same thing). Skyline GTR axles also use the same style joint. The axial torsion is more evenly distributed with that style of joint, which is why you find them on higher performance cars instead of the tripod style joint (6 contact points instead of 3). Also the design of the outer housings is superior with a ball in cage joint from a materials perspective. The angular nature of the tripod style housing puts stress risers in the metal right where the tripod rides on the inside of the outer housing, further weakening the joint. The outside of the ball in cage joints is smooth and the only sharp angles are where the grooves were cut for the ball bearings to interface on the inside of the housing. The angle is much more obtuse and the ball bearing doesn't transfer the torque right on the corner. Applying torque to the ball in cage joint results in fairly even strain around the outer housing, as the ball bearings attempt to stretch the outer housing. On the tripod style housing, you can't leverage the strength of the material in that manner.

J30's only used the ball and cage style for '93 and early '94 year cars, and then late model '94 and up cars shifted back to a tripod style. I guess Nissan decided that an NA VG30 coupled with an automatic transmission wasn't going to dish out enough abuse to warrant the more durable CV joints.

As for grease, pretty much any moly based grease will work. The issue is that most people don't periodically clean and re-pack CV joints as a preventive maintenance item. If you wait until the CV is making noise, its too late; by then the boots have torn and there's enough dirt in there that the joint is gone. They don't need it that often, in my drift car that's a winter maintenance item and in my street cars I do it every 100k and I've never had one fail prematurely. Remember to buy quality boots (preferably OEM), I've never had good luck with the cheap aftermarket ones; they always seem to crack.
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:59 AM   #4
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how do these compare to DSS 1000hp axles? is it the same design but stronger material? or a better design overall?
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:11 PM   #5
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DSS uses the same ball in cage style CV, but its a larger diameter; hence the rating. I think they adapted the ones Porsche used on the 924/944. Unfortunately if you're at that level of horsepower, the stock 240sx output shafts will be the achilles heel of your drivetrain. You can search and find plenty of examples of people upgrading to DSS axles after munching regular tripod style 240sx axles only to snap the output shafts from the diff.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:40 PM   #6
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Do the j30 axles fit the s14 track...ie: is it a worthwhile bolt on mod since I have more than stock hp but less than 1000hp. ...

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Old 02-16-2014, 12:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aligoodn View Post
DSS uses the same ball in cage style CV, but its a larger diameter; hence the rating. I think they adapted the ones Porsche used on the 924/944. Unfortunately if you're at that level of horsepower, the stock 240sx output shafts will be the achilles heel of your drivetrain. You can search and find plenty of examples of people upgrading to DSS axles after munching regular tripod style 240sx axles only to snap the output shafts from the diff.
the 1000hp axles from DSS come with output shafts....
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:08 PM   #8
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Then problem solved. Their 900hp upgrades used to not do that.

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Old 02-16-2014, 05:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aligoodn View Post
Q45/Z32TT use the Rzeppa or ball in cage style (same thing).

J30's only used the ball and cage style for '93 and early '94 year cars, and then late model '94 and up cars shifted back to a tripod style.
Interesting. How did you find out that the J30 switched axle types? My previous setup was the NA Z32 VLSD w/ J30 (Rzeppa-style) axles. With the S15 HLSD setup I picked up, I found 3 different output flanges can fit: the common 3-star (3x2) using 8mm hardware, 5-star (10mm hardware), and 6-star (10mm hardware). All of these are 30-spline shafts which are needed with the HLSD.

When I spec'ed the output shafts, I did not see a difference in diameter between the 29-spline and 30-spline shafts, so I do not think the 30-spline shafts are stronger in any way, just different. I figure anyone putting down big power needs to go with the R230 diff, axle and hub setup.


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Do the j30 axles fit the s14 track...
This is elementary in the community. The J30 axles fit all S-chassis, as long as you have the 5-star flanges on your diff (ie: NA Z32 R200V VLSD).

Note: I believe a 5-star flange exists that uses 8mm hardware. From what I've gathered, its a complete toss-up which output flanges NISSAN decided to use over the years; either the 3-star (3x2) or the 5-star, both using 8mm fasteners.

edit: I've attached a photo, hopefully this is correct and useful for the n00bs.
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Old 02-16-2014, 06:10 PM   #10
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So for those unaware, problems arise when you decide to play with your rear end (no joke intended). The S15 helical differential (HLSD) requires specific output shafts. The standard output shafts on our cars are 29-spline and the S15 are very specific 30-spline shafts. They are practically identical EXCEPT for the spline count, so it is easy to get them confused. As far as I know, the S15 HLSD ONLY came with the 3-star (3x2) style output shafts and flanges, so the only thing you need to make sure when buying an S15 HLSD is that it comes with the proper shafts. If it doesnt, then you will most likely get shafted trying to find the shafts - they're rather difficult to find them when you need them here in the US.

By the way, anyone with a careful eye will notice that one shaft is longer than the other. The LH shaft is the long one, the RH shaft is shorter. Conversely, axle lengths are also different as LH is shorter than the RH.
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Old 02-16-2014, 06:12 PM   #11
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Later model J30's were 3x2 bolt pattern instead of 5x1 where the output half shafts bolt to the inner CV. That change was coincident with the change from rzeppa to tripod CV's. If you made a point of getting everything as 5x1 bolt pattern, then you definitely had rzeppa.

I'm running R34 GTT output shafts on my S15 helical (instead of the S15 output shafts which were 3x2) to get the 5x1 pattern so I can run J30 axles. The R34 GTT came with the same helical LSD as the S15. Not any beefier than the S15 ones, just different bolt pattern. The S15 output shafts are slightly larger than the standard 240sx ones (S13/S14), however the equation for maximum shear stress has a diameter^-3 term in it, that slight size increase does make a difference. So even though you're only changing the diameter by 1mm, the change from 29mm to 30mm of diameter means that the half shaft will hold ~11% more torque with the same level of shear stress.

tau_max = 16*T/(pi*D^3); T is applied torque and D is diameter

What 6x1 bolt style output shaft did you find that works on a S15 helical?

The Q45 output shafts are 31-spline I think which is the same as the Skyline GTR ones and are 32mm in diameter IIRC, which is the beefiest setup you can fit in an R200 diff housing. I can't find the picture I remember seeing online somewhere, but the Z32TT output shafts aren't any beefier than the early Q45 ones, but obviously the ring gear size increase and size of the pinion bearings make the R230 setup worthwhile.
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Old 02-16-2014, 06:18 PM   #12
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I wish I knew where the 6-bolt 30-spline setup came from. My vendor snatched it up from Japan and the vehicle source was lost in translation.

For my 300HP power level, I chose to stick with the S15 HLSD, 5-bolt (10mm hardware) 30-spline shafts and matching J30 axles. I think this is a reasonably stout setup. I considered going with the Z32-TT / Q45 axle setup but just felt it was excessive, especially since I'de still be running an R200.

Here is what appears to be R34 GTR output shafts. Its quite possible that they are 30-spline and the same diameter and fit the S15 HLSD. See attached photo.

One thing I just thought of, it may be possible to take the 5-star J30 axle, then take a 6-star Q45 axle -- disassemble and swap flanges. If this would work, this would allow you to run the 6-bolt setup without having to hunt for Z32-TT LH axles.

Another thing to note, the second photo I am attaching is from the Sillbeer project car, they used an R33 GTR differential -- but swapped the input flange so that it would work on an S-chassis. I have no idea what is inside the R33 GTR differential or what spline count the output shafts are. I'de have to check my FSMs and I dont have them on this PC.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:37 PM   #13
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Very useful info. I remember when i hunted down that the s15 shafts were different, made me very sad. Shipping a whole pumpkin from japan is expensive and finding just the helical with half shafts is hard. Its also a lot of extra favor to ask a friend "hey once this diff gets to you tear its filthy fluid filled ass apart just to send me the parts i need"
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ixfxi View Post



This is elementary in the community. The J30 axles fit all S-chassis, as long as you have the 5-star flanges on your diff (ie: NA Z32 R200V VLSD).

except for the j30 axle dust shield ,had to grind off to fit 89 s13 w/ N/A Z32. dont know if thats relevant
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ixfxi View Post
I wish I knew where the 6-bolt 30-spline setup came from. My vendor snatched it up from Japan and the vehicle source was lost in translation.

For my 300HP power level, I chose to stick with the S15 HLSD, 5-bolt (10mm hardware) 30-spline shafts and matching J30 axles. I think this is a reasonably stout setup. I considered going with the Z32-TT / Q45 axle setup but just felt it was excessive, especially since I'de still be running an R200.

Here is what appears to be R34 GTR output shafts. Its quite possible that they are 30-spline and the same diameter and fit the S15 HLSD. See attached photo.

One thing I just thought of, it may be possible to take the 5-star J30 axle, then take a 6-star Q45 axle -- disassemble and swap flanges. If this would work, this would allow you to run the 6-bolt setup without having to hunt for Z32-TT LH axles.

Another thing to note, the second photo I am attaching is from the Sillbeer project car, they used an R33 GTR differential -- but swapped the input flange so that it would work on an S-chassis. I have no idea what is inside the R33 GTR differential or what spline count the output shafts are. I'de have to check my FSMs and I dont have them on this PC.
6 Bolt 30 spline outputs are from the R32 GTR they fit the q45 style axles..

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Old 02-17-2014, 06:52 AM   #16
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What model year R32 did your output shafts come from?

I picked up a set from a '93 and the diameter was too big and they had more splines so they wouldn't work with my S15 helical. Maybe early model R32s had smaller ones.

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Old 02-17-2014, 10:53 AM   #17
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except for the j30 axle dust shield ,had to grind off to fit 89 s13 w/ N/A Z32. dont know if thats relevant
Post a photo, its hard to understand what you did or are suggesting to do.

The J30 axles are 100% drop in, I did not have to modify anything. In fact, the metal grease covers are flush with the J30 whereas the S-chassis have a bump or cone that protrudes from them. I attached a photo that shows the difference, you can see the bump on the S-chassis grease cover.


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What model year R32 did your output shafts come from?
I picked up a set from a '93 and the diameter was too big and they had more splines so they wouldn't work with my S15 helical. Maybe early model R32s had smaller ones.
People need to specify precisely which model Skyline, because it appears a variety of differentials were used on the 32/33/34 depending on whether it was GTST, GTR, or VSPEC.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:26 PM   #18
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Post a photo, its hard to understand what you did or are suggesting to do.
had to grind down this .....




to fit this .....




photos may or may not accurately represent personal belongings lol.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:35 PM   #19
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:58 PM   #20
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Great thread. ...One of the few things with my s14 that I've not really studied....subscribed

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Old 02-18-2014, 11:17 PM   #21
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had to grind down this .....

Why would you grind that down??? You CAN just knock it off with a hammer, it's just a pressed-on dust shield...
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:11 AM   #22
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Why would you grind that down??? You CAN just knock it off with a hammer, it's just a pressed-on dust shield...
I was thinking the same thing. I dont recall my axles even having them or interfering. I will check in the next couple days.

Anyway Aaron, you know modern-day Zilvia... this discussion is rocket-science for most.
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:15 PM   #23
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I know for a fact the '97 J30 output shaft spline count is different than the '95-'96 J30. And both are 3x2 setup. I never actually counted, but my guess would be the '97 is a 30-spline. I pulled a VLSD from the junkyard on a '97 J30 and attempted to put the output shafts into an S14 VLSD and they would not go in.
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:24 PM   #24
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I love my Q45 rear end.

I love this thread.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:58 PM   #25
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I know for a fact the '97 J30 output shaft spline count is different than the '95-'96 J30. And both are 3x2 setup. I never actually counted, but my guess would be the '97 is a 30-spline. I pulled a VLSD from the junkyard on a '97 J30 and attempted to put the output shafts into an S14 VLSD and they would not go in.
Hmmmm, I'll have to look into that. I need a pair of 30 spline output shafts for a Nismo 2-way that I acquired. I would prefer 5-bolt shafts though. I had read that the N/A Z32 diffs had the 30 spline shafts, but that is NOT the case.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:33 PM   #26
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What model year R32 did your output shafts come from?

I picked up a set from a '93 and the diameter was too big and they had more splines so they wouldn't work with my S15 helical. Maybe early model R32s had smaller ones.

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I have no idea what year it was from, but it was an R32 GTR Non vspec

I bet the stubs you had were from another vehicle... I have never heard of a 31 spline R200
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Old 03-16-2014, 02:38 AM   #27
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I love my Q45 rear end.

I love this thread.
are you using it on your SR?

can you please give me a good user first hand experience?

im considering it only because of the MPG, but at the same time i don't want my acceleration to suffer substantially.

i'd live to cruise way under 3k RPM at 70MPH on the highway..
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Old 03-16-2014, 02:48 PM   #28
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Yes. 420whp SR on low boost.

If you don't have at least 400whp, don't put this in your car. The gears are very very long, and low power cars don't like that at all.

But it gets 30-35mpg on the highway
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Old 03-16-2014, 04:18 PM   #29
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Location: Montreal , Canada
Age: 34
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my buddy on is drag s13 run is s13 punking but all the rest is r32 gtr : diff inside , out-put shaft , axle and i even think he runs r32 bearing (but the bearings im not sure)

never broke and axle in is life ... but the drive shaft ripped in two and almost cut is right leg off

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoX1nJu2Dgc
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Built thread sr20vet s14
http://zilvia.net/f/showthread.php?t=535574
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Old 03-16-2014, 11:25 PM   #30
jamg
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: GA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EsChassisLove View Post
Yes. 420whp SR on low boost.

If you don't have at least 400whp, don't put this in your car. The gears are very very long, and low power cars don't like that at all.

But it gets 30-35mpg on the highway
fuhhhhh that MPG.

my favorite part is how it's beneficial for me to mod my car even more, to get better gas mileage.
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