Everything You Need to Know About Driveline Parts for SUVs & Light-Duty Trucks

Everything You Need to Know About Driveline Parts for SUVs & Light-Duty Trucks

August 31, 2022      5 minute read

Driveline parts are essential for your light-duty trucks and SUVs. They are the centerpiece of your vehicle, transferring engine power into forward motion. High-quality driveline components can last for the lifetime of your SUV. Our guide defines driveline systems and discusses each component in more detail. Learn more about driveline products and how they fit into your overall vehicle design.

What Is a Driveline System?

A driveline system — also called your drivetrain — is a collection of parts connecting the transmission to the axle shafts of your light-duty truck or SUV. Depending on whether you are driving a rear-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicle, driveline components connect the transmission to one or more of your axles to distribute power produced by the engine to the wheels.

What constitutes a driveline system itself is somewhat flexible: Depending on who you read, the definition may or may not include the transmission and engine itself. However, a general definition of your driveline components always includes the following hardware:

  • Driveshaft
  • Differential
  • Axle Shafts
  • U-Joints
  • CV Joints

A Closer Look at Key Driveline Components

Diving a little deeper into driveline products, you’ll start to see how each component works together to convert engine power into torque for the axle. While we won’t discuss it in detail here, the transmission acts as the hub between the combustion engine and the driveshaft, ensuring that the proper amount of power is being distributed for the desired speed you wish to travel. The rest of your driveline automotive parts are responsible for converting that power into torque to turn the wheels.


A prominent driveline part, the driveshaft is a spinning rod-like tube that connects the transmission to the differential. The driveshaft assembly is responsible for transferring the torque from the transmission into the differential.


The differential manages torque to each of the wheels. The driveline component is responsible for differentially applying torque for grip, traction, acceleration and momentum. They are important parts of your driveline assembly when negotiating turns, braking or speeding up.

Axle Shafts

Axle shafts rotate the wheel based on the torsion of the differential. It is a load-bearing driveline component and essential for managing balance and camber. In modern passenger vehicles, light-duty trucks and SUVs, the drive axle is usually built as a combined driveline system with the transmission and differential.


Universal joints, or U-joints, connect the driveshaft to the differential and the transmission. An x-shaped driveline part allows the driveshaft to continue applying torque to the axle when it isn’t in a perfectly straight line. U-joints are common wear components in older vehicles that have seen hundreds of thousands of miles.

CV Joints

Also known as constant velocity joints, CV joints are driveline components in front-wheel drive vehicles (including most modern light-duty trucks and SUVs). These mechanical joints transmit power from the driveshaft through a variable angle to the front axle.

The Importance of High-Quality Driveline Automotive Parts

Driveline components are integral to the safe operation of your light-duty truck or SUV. Without high-quality driveline parts, your vehicle’s peak performance and longevity will be stunted and expensive repairs will be required. U-joint replacement alone can cost several hundred dollars in parts and labor.

One of the hallmarks of a well-built SUV is the durability of its driveline and powertrain. Sourcing quality driveline components from respected OEMs and manufacturers is the best way to ensure that your vehicle’s assembly is made with the best parts possible.

Contact Freeway Corporation for Driveline Parts and Components

Our design and engineering expertise in automotive stampings and driveline components make us an ideal partner for your assembly. We design and build custom assembly equipment for manual and fully automated production that accounts for your project volume requirements. For quality, reliability and innovation, the best choice is driveline products from Freeway Corporation. Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities in developing driveline systems.