Modern muscle cars are fantastic in every aspect except curb weight. Due to today’s safety standards, cars like the Chevrolet ZL1, Mopar Hellcat, and the Ford GT 500 are not known to be easy on the scales. When this weight is combined with massive amounts of power, the combination can spell disaster for the driveline and especially the driveshaft.
Mark Williams Enterprises (MW) has developed a new driveshaft for these heavy cars, and it might be to your surprise that the unit is, in fact, a two-piece design. Generally, for this type of application, everyone wants to use a single piece driveshaft. Andrew Dickson of Mark Williams Enterprises tells us why a single piece shaft is not the best solution for some of these modern cars. Andrew said, ” When you add a sticky tire to these cars, they tend to break parts. To fix this problem, some manufacturers came out with a single piece unit, which is strong enough for drag racing, but if you reach critical speed, the driveshaft will come out of the car.” If you are not familiar with the term critical speed, it is a rate of rotation that approaches the object’s natural frequency. This will cause the shaft to resonate, dramatically increasing vibration in the driveline, causing parts failure. One of the problems with a single piece driveshaft in this type of car is the driveline angle. Andrew explains, ” There are some geometry problems because the cars are so tight you don’t have room to get the proper angles.” To fix the problems associated with the factory and single-piece drive shafts, Mark Williams took their time and developed a stronger aluminum 2-piece shaft. The new design maintains the correct driveline angles allowing the car to be drag raced and hit high speeds without any driveline vibration or breakage.
The 2-piece 7075 aluminum driveshafts are assembled using a patented bonding process that joins the end fittings, which is much stronger than the standard welding process. These shafts include Spicer 1350 universal joints and are hi-speed balanced with controlled shaft runout. MW even torsion tested the units to assure quality.
The 7075 driveshaft is currently available for Fords and Mopars with Chevrolet units in the works. For more information, be sure and check out Mark Williams Enterprises.