Mark Williams Illustrates The Science Behind Its Axle Designs

Mark Williams Illustrates The Science Behind Its Axle Designs

As any racer that’s ever broken one knows, all axles are not created equal. Sure, the basic principle is the same — a means of transferring the power from the ring gear to the wheel and tire — but that’s where the similarities end between not only an OEM axle and one designed buy the aftermarket for high-performance use, but even from one aftermarket brand to the next. 

Materials, forging and machining processes, spline count, spline length, and even the shape of the spline tooth are all key in the longevity and efficiency of an axle, and Mark Williams Enterprises (MW) has amassed decades of data and know-how in developing the best axle it possibly can for the most extreme of drag racing uses.

Naturally, MW’s axles feature the larger shaft diameter and 35- and 40-spline tooth count that’s become the standard in drag racing over the decades, but it’s not simply the tooth count that matters. MW uses a 45-degree pressure angle (the angle of the spline, in layman’s terms), but also machines the spline in an “involute” fashion, which is a slight curve in the faces of the spline for improved contact area.

As MW notes, spline length is also critical — the axle splines should be long enough to engage the differential or spool, but not so long that they result in twisting under load. Rather than machine the axles long and cut them to length, MW custom-machines every axle for the application, so that the spline length is to its exacting standard.

MW also focuses on bearing size and seat and shaft taper — by using the proper bearing and gradually tapering the shaft, the axle can torsionally flex and rebound rather than break, leaving your car sitting cattywampus on the starting line in embarrassing fashion.

MW’s axle lineup includes its MasterLine, made from a high manganese steel, Hi-Torque, made from a nickel-chromium-molybdenum alloy, and Ultimate, made from a tough 300M alloy.

To learn more about and to order your MW axles, visit them here.

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