Rocky Mountain Driveline Profiled in Parts & People

Rocky Mountian Driveline is profiled in the pages of Parts & People. Owner, Scott Farley, discusses their growth and continued success in the CV axle and driveshaft industry. Get to know the Farleys and take a closer look inside Denver’s premier driveline business!

Rocky Mountain Driveline Balances OE Replacement and Performance Segments
Posted in CV Axle, Driveshaft | Tagged , , |

CV Joints: What Are They And How Do They Work?

4wd-CV-Joint

Every car in America has only one engine, but four wheels. This creates a problem: how do you deliver power to both axles and all four wheels with only one source of power? The answer is through the use of a complex series of joints to properly transfer the power. Originally this was done by using universal joints, since they allowed the rotational force of the engine to be transferred to any angle. You will still see such connections used to drive the rear wheels on delivery trucks and some off road cars. But it has been noticed since the 17th century that these universal joints do not maintain constant velocity throughout the rotation, which puts stress on the axle and causes it to receive power unevenly. The solution is to develop a constant velocity or “CV” joint, which can deliver power from one shaft to another more exactly.

There are many types of CV joints, but they all do effectively the same thing: they cushion the rotational force of one shaft against another by putting ball bearings or additional connections between the two. This enables the receiving shaft to, ultimately, rotate at the same speed as the powering shaft as it is driven forward by the bearings instead of a direct connection. The bearings transmit the force directly and over time instead of in the indirect and angular method used in older universal connections. This enables a CV connection to deliver more power, more efficiently, and with less wear than traditional connections.

CV-Joint2The CV connection has been used in front wheel drive cars since the 1960s, and it is also used on all four-wheel drive cars. It is necessary to have at least two of these connections in order to deliver power to the front axle, and the use of such adapters allows the axle to “bend” around the passenger compartment. They are also essential in rock crawlers, off road vehicles and trucks which have been modified for mudding. The high ground clearance of these cars necessitates that the drive shaft be “stretched,” and the use of a CV in the right spot can ensure that the drive shaft is properly angled and able to maintain a proper angle and connection as the truck moves over rough terrain.

At Rocky Mountain Driveline, we offer the best constant velocity connections and products for your vehicle. We can help you pick out what is best for the sort of drive line arrangement you want to have, and help you plan out how your drive line may change if you have your vehicle lifted or lowered. We also offer reconstructed constant velocity connections of all sorts, so you can get the best prices on the best products.

Posted in CV Axle, Driveshaft | Tagged , , , |

Signs Your Driveshaft Is Failing

Jeep-Front-DriveshaftThe driveshaft is an important element of your vehicle that rotates and delivers power to the engine and gears that turns the wheels of the automobile. In addition, it creates torque that makes the car go. It also stops the vehicle. A car cannot function without its driveshaft.

Generally, they do not break down all at one time. It’ll begin to wear and tear over time. Fortunately, there are signs that indicate there is trouble. One of the most common symptoms is vibration. The entire car or parts of the car may begin to shake. The floorboard is one of the common areas where trembling or vibrations may be felt.

Another common sign of trouble are squeaking sounds that get louder when the speed is increased. The sound may go away when the vehicle is going fast and may come back when the car slows down or comes to a stop. If this occurs, it could mean that the U-joint, which is connected to the drive shaft, is damaged.

Turning issues can also be an indication of a problem. If the car’s wheels are not turning properly or resist when the car is turning the corner, most likely it is a sign that the drive shaft needs repair. DriveshaftAnother sign of possible trouble is difficulty turning the wheels when parking in tight or close spaces.

Driving an automobile with a defective or damaged driveshaft is potentially dangerous. If there is any sign of trouble, the car should be taken in to a certified mechanic for immediate inspection for repair or replacement. Replacing or repairing a drive shaft can be very expensive. If the problems are detected early and dealt with in a timely matter, however, the cost for repair or replacement may be significantly lower.

It is highly advised to be on the lookout for any of these and other signs of trouble to keep your vehicle in top running condition. For those in the Denver area, visit Rocky Mountain Driveline for the best service in town!

Posted in CV Axle, Driveshaft | Tagged , , |

How Do I Know If My Rack & Pinion Is Bad?

You can tell something is wrong with your car when you drive, but how can you tell if it is a rack & pinion problem?

Find a straight and level road with little or no traffic to safely run a few driving tests such as:Installed-Rack-and-Pinion-Chevy

  • When driving straight ahead, can you let go of the wheel without the car drifting off-course? Many refer to this a “pull,” as in “It pulls to the right or left.”
  • When you make a turn, will the steering wheel return by itself to normal position or must you manually straighten the direction? This is sometimes called “sticky steering.”
  • Is there a looseness in the “feel” of the steering wheel? Does it seem that you must turn the wheel too far before the car responds?
  • When driving straight ahead, does it take conscious effort to keep your car driving straight?
  • Does the wheel feel unusually stiff? If power steering fluid is leaking, you may be manually turning the wheel without the power assist.
  • Are you hearing new noises in your car as you drive? Tiny squeals could be a simple slipping belt, but squeals, knocks and hisses should be investigated and scheduled for repair.
  • Do your tires show signs of uneven wear?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to most of these questions, your car needs to be checked by a qualified mechanic for a rack & pinion problem. Repair should be done as soon as possible. Your ability to steer accurately in an emergency is critical to safety. Rocky Mountain Driveline offers expert services for rack & pinion rebuilds.

Rack & Pinion units can be broken, but they can wear out too. The gears are constantly engaged while steering and the wear and tear on metal leads to loose fittings. Bushings and bearings wear out which allows more slippage and looser engagement. Power steering may begin to loose fluid through leaks. Once these problems begin to surface, they may worsen quickly. Rack & pinions may be replaced or rebuilt with comparable safety.

Rocky Mountain Driveline’s experienced technicians rebuild rack & pinions as part of our quality service. You should also have an alignment afterwards for longer tire life and tire safety.

Rocky Mountain Driveline prides ourselves on our reputation for quality work and customer service. Our products are guaranteed and our pricing is easy on your wallet. Don’t let a bad rack & pinion problem ruin your vehicle. For a free estimate, call or stop by today!

Posted in Driveshaft, Rack & Pinion, Steering Gear Box | Tagged , , , |

We Sell Clutches!

Clutch-SalesAt Rocky Mountain Driveline, we truly come through in the clutch. Auto repair is a breeze thanks to the friendly professionals that work in the Denver area. Any automobile clutch can be repaired with ease with the help of the qualified experts you’ll find here. The right price for the right clutch makes the difference between a working car and one that sits in your garage. No matter what type of car you have, you can trust Rocky Mountain Driveline to find you the best clutch to match your vehicle’s needs.

The Denver area has enjoyed the services of Rocky Mountain Driveline for years. They know that a quick stop at the shop puts their vehicle back on the road in no time. Our parts are from the highest-quality manufacturers possible. A simple repair invigorates a vehicle to perform up to its best standards. When your car needs a replacement clutch, bring it to the customer-oriented experts at Rocky Mountain Driveline. You don’t have to worry about second-rate work. The job is done correctly the first time, and we pride ourselves on sending you on your way as happy as you can be.

Clutch

The correct clutch installed in your automobile sets you up for good days ahead on the road. The roads in the Denver area can be difficult to navigate, and are hard on the vehicles that travel on them daily. Vehicles become helpless victims since there is so much asked of them. A trip to Rocky Mountain Driveline offers rest and comfort to your vehicle. Think of how a human feels when they relax at a soothing spa or enjoy a stress-relieving massage. Your vehicle will feel the same way with parts from Rocky Mountain Driveline.

Automobile experts treat each vehicle as a valued piece of equipment. You can be sure that your car will be taken care of with only the highest professionalism you could ever hope to find. Buying a new clutch for that important vehicle you depend on can be easy and safe. Trust the folks at Rocky Mountain Driveline to deliver the best parts in the quickest manner possible.

We feel truly privileged to be able to service the drivers in our great city and state. No job is too big or too small for our talented workers to handle. With so many years of experience, we have seen everything you could possibly come up with. Your vehicle will be as good as new in no time at all, and the service you receive will exceed your lofty expectations. Stop in today and never worry about your clutch again.

Posted in Classic Cars, Clutch, Differentials, Driveshaft, Steering Gear Box | Tagged , , , , , |

Common Issues With Differentials

A differential is a device that allows the wheels on your auto/automobile to rotate at variable speeds. This is a necessary function that engages when your vehicle makes a turn. Regular maintenance can prevent most issues. There are a few common differential issues that can cause your auto/automobile problems and may require repairs or maintenance work.

Dodge-Differential

Rear differential leak.
Differential leaks often occur on high mileage auto/automobiles. Over time, the sealing surface of the differential can develop cuts that lead to fluid leaking out of the axles. To find the leak, you will need to look under the vehicle and raise it up with a jack. Before attempting to make repairs, be sure you are equipped with the proper tools. You will need a drain pan, a wrench and a can of rear differential fluid. Remove the bolts and drain the fluid into the pan. By replacing the fluid, you can more effectively monitor the leak. Replacing the differential fluid should be a regular part of your auto/automobile maintenance.

A damaged ring and pinion.
This typically happens with off road vehicles as a result of getting stuck in mud or other substances. The teeth of the differential have a tendency to break off. Additionally, parts of the differential can break as a result of spinning tires.

Noisy differential.
Noise coming from the differential is often a sign that something is wrong. However, there are a few different situations that can lead to a ring and pinion noise. If the ring and pinion was previously quiet and suddenly began making a loud noise, the gears are most likely wearing out. If the gears make noise during acceleration, you may be dealing with a lubrication issue. Another situation that may cause noise is when the pinion is spinning but the tires are stopped. A broken gear can immobilize the differential and cause a loud crunching sound. Regardless of the sound, if your differential makes noise, there is usually a reason. If you are uncomfortable performing repairs, seek a qualified mechanic to diagnose the problem.

A broken axle.
A broken axle is usually easy to diagnose. After the axle breaks off, you should be able to pull the axle out without removing any bolts. In some cases, the broken axle may fall out on its own.

A burned ring and pinion.
The ring and pinion on your vehicle can sometimes become too hot and parts of the surface teeth get burned off as a result. This is typically caused a lubrication failure. You did not put enough oil in the differential. It is important to perform regular differential maintenance to prevent these types of failures.

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Flywheel Resurfacing

The flywheel is an integral component of any automotive device. Flywheel-ResurfacingThis mechanical gadget is responsible for various key functions in an automobile. For instance, they claim responsibility for the provision of continuous energy in your vehicle. It also ensures that the orientation system is at par. The mechanical device is also responsible for the delivery of energy at fast rates. Due to these immense responsibilities, this spare part is expected to be prone to wear and tear.

This is why resurfacing is necessary; to prevent it from affecting other devices in your automobile. The perfect time to resurface the flywheel is before the installation of the clutch. This is necessary to prevent immediate damage to the latter. Damages would usually manifest themselves in the form of vibrations and chatter. There are certain signs that would warrant the need for resurfacing.

Such signs include hard spots that have discolorations, warping and an uneven texture. As concerns warping, there are some levels that would warrant your immediate attention. To ascertain this, you can use the feeler gauge to measure the extent of warping. Resurfacing would be an imminent solution when the warp-age spans over 0.002 inches of the flywheel diameter.

How To Resurface The Flywheel

The resurfacing process encompasses two techniques, namely grinding and cutting. The latter method involves the use of brake lathes. This is a process that requires astute planning and care to ensure it works out to perfection. Setting up the rotational device on the lathe normally takes time.

On the other hand, grinding encompasses the use of a grinding machine that consists of a block and head. Alternatively, you can resurface this device using a flywheel grinder. Its overhead stone rotates the device during the grinding process. Resurfacind-FlywheelThis produces a flat, smooth feel, which removes a small amount of metal. This is unlike the cutting process where there is always the possibility of removing a lot of metal. The grinding process usually takes a maximum of four minutes.

Other Important Parts

As you resurface, do not forget other tidbits related to the clutch. You must invest in other parts like the disk, release bearings and pressure plates. You could even replace the bushing or pilot bearing if necessary. These parts are integral to the longevity of your clutch system. Also, replacing these parts will not make the resurfacing process a waste of time.

There are many auto dealers that specialize in the resurfacing of these devices. The problem with this scenario is that some of them are not up to consumer standards. Rocky Mountain Driveline has set itself apart from this undesirable trend. The Denver-based automobile spare parts company is a leading provider of resurfacing services in America.

All of its products are American Made and guarantee unrivaled quality and effectiveness. With Rocky Mountain Driveline, you are always sure to reach us in cases of emergency. This is thanks to our long hours and Saturday work days. Before you enlist our services, we will give you a free estimate of the whole resurfacing process.

Your clutch is the cornerstone of your vehicle’s performance. Its effectiveness will depend on how well you look after the flywheel. You can look to Rocky Mountain Driveline as a dependable partner.

Posted in Clutch, Flywheel | Tagged , |

Rebuilt Brakes For Your Antique or Classic Car

If you own a classic car, you’re going to have to get the brakes rebuilt eventually. Like death and taxes, brakes are inevitable. Whether your ride is a muscled-up late 1960s big block monster or a pre-1940 traditional hot rod, there has to be a way to get it to stop. Fortunately, a brakes rebuild for your vintage automobile is as close as Rocky Mountain Driveline.

57-Chevy-Bel-Air

At the turn of the century, when automobiles were still in their infancy, brakes were considerably less sophisticated than they are today. Remember that most cars in those days weren’t capable of speeds much greater than 15 miles per hour! The braking systems in these “horseless carriages” were literally a holdover from the days of the horse and cart. A wooden block was used to apply friction to the steel-rimmed wheel of the automobile, actuated by a handle beside the driver. This was bound to change, of course, as steel rims gave way to rubber tires. With the added comfort, convenience and traction, also came the necessity of producing a new, more efficient brake system that wouldn’t melt the vehicle’s tires.

Classic cars after that time used a forerunner of a system still in use today. The drum brake was developed specifically to answer the challenge of the new rubber tire with regards to bringing the horseless carriage to a stop. Drum braking systems on antique cars came in several varieties. One of the first was a drum band brake, which used a band to produce friction against the outside surface of a drum. Another used brake shoes on the outside of the drum. While these were effective for stopping the vehicle under ordinary conditions, they proved ineffective when the roads were wet or dusty. Since most roads in the early 1900s were dirt roads, that meant that drivers were pretty much out of luck regardless of what the weather was doing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The modern drum brake came shortly thereafter. Comprised of two shoes, a brake drum, and several springs and levers, drum brakes that had the shoes on the inside of the drum proved to be vastly superior to the previous style. In order to rebuild drum brakes of these early classic cars, having the right parts to perform the work is only half the story. Drum brake systems can be notoriously difficult to service, and if your classic car has been stationary for a while, having an experienced mechanic appraise the condition of the brakes and perform the necessary repairs will save you a lot of hassle and money. One of the biggest problems that do-it-yourselfers might run into is misalignment of the brake shoes and failure to correctly install the drum brake springs. Such problems can lead to cracked drums or shoes, noisy brake performance, and even failure of the brake system.

On some cars, a brake rebuild simply won’t do. For instance, if you’ve recently upgraded the engine of your vehicle, and it produces much more horsepower than it did when it rolled off the assembly line, the stock system may not be able to handle the strain. Drums, while effective, still have limitations. One of those is comparatively weak braking when compared with modern disc braking systems. Fortunately, retrofit kits are available that modify the front drums to discs. In order to make certain that your antique or classic vehicle drives right, professional installation is highly recommended for these kits.

A brake rebuild for classic cars is one aspect of classic automotive maintenance that you should avoid skipping. Keeping your classic car well-maintained not only ensures that it stays in prime condition, but also that it’s safe to take out on those Sunday drives!

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History of Transmissions: Automatic vs Manual!

If you have ever wondered what the differences are between a manual or automatic transmission, there are several things you should know about how the system works. The way you use a vehicle and the type of driving you do can make a difference on which type of transmission you may want. Here is a quick description of the types of transmissions and what they can do for you.

Manual-TransmissionWhen the idea of a gas-powered engine first began, the system needed a mechanism that would transfer power from the engine to the wheels. After a number of system designs were tried, the first working transmission and drivetrain was designed in 1877. The transmission was a manual style, requiring the driver to manually shift gears to operate the system. Because of its rough design, the original drivetrain required regular repairs to keep it running.

The drivetrains of these early vehicles were much simpler in design, using reduction gears to operate the shaft and pulleys of the system. The pulleys used leather belts to run the system and the early designs were a simple high and low gear design. The leather belts often wore out, requiring regular repairs and replacement of the gears and belts.

Automatic-Transmission

Many changes in design have been made over the decades since the original drivetrain was designed. In an attempt to increase productivity and make driving easier, designers began working on the idea of an automatic unit. A semi-automatic design was created and used in a General Motors vehicle in 1937 and the designs continued to improve until a genuine automatic drivetrain was installed in a 1948 Oldsmobile. The Hydro-Matic was designed by an engineer from GM and the design staff continued to redesign the system over the years. Automotive technology changes helped to improve the way the drivetrain operated and more designs were created by various automotive manufacturer’s including the Powerflite, Torqueflite, Jetaway and more.

Americans seem to prefer the automatic units with over 80 percent of new cars sold with the newer drivetrain while European drivers seem to prefer the more hands-on style. Ford-Mustang-Automatic-TransmissionIt is much easier to drive an automatic system and some areas of the country require that you take your drivers test with a manual system, even if you will be operating an automatic, just to prove your proficiency in operating the more difficult drivetrain system. The modern system allows you to operate the vehicle from a column shift or floor shift without the need of using a clutch to engage the drivetrain.

The differences between the two types of systems have more to do with the type of driving that you do. If you are looking to get more power from your engine, the manual style still gives you better acceleration from 0-60 mph while the automated style tends to be easier on the gears and requires less repair and maintenance. The size engine you choose also has a lot to do with the drivetrain. Smaller engine sizes would be better off using the manual style to achieve power going up hills and for passing vehicles, while larger engines do not require as much hands on activity.

Another reason for choosing one over the other could be any physical handicaps the driver may have. In order to operate the manual system, you need to be able to depress the clutch with your foot while operating the stick shift with your hand. Some drivers may not have the physical ability to do this, while other drivers just prefer the simplicity of the easier system. Both systems have specific benefits while repairs could very between the two.

Posted in Driveshaft, Steering Gear Box | Tagged , |

Troubleshooting Your Power Steering Pump

How does it work?

The pump itself draws in fluid from a return line and pressurizes it. This system has to make enough pressure to turn the wheels at idle, requiring a valve to control pressure when the engine is running at higher speeds.

Power-Steering-Pump-Toyota

This fluid is directed into a valve body around the steering shaft. If the wheel is straight, the incoming fluid passes around the body into the return lines. However, once the wheel starts turning, it blocks off some of the passages, causing the fluid to exert rotational pressure. It’s this application of hydraulic power that makes the vehicle easier to steer.

What can go wrong with power steering?

Power-Steering-Pump-Jeep

If there isn’t enough fluid in the system, there is air in the system, there is a leak in the system or there are contaminants in the fluid, there won’t be enough fluid pressure to power the system. Blockages can reduce pressure at idle, making the vehicle difficult to turn at low speeds yet behave normally at street and highway speeds.

If the pump or drive belt fails, turning the steering wheel operates the steering rack manually while also pushing fluid through the lines. This makes it extremely difficult to steer. If either part is near failure, there will be noise when turning, particularly when making sharp turns.

How can these problems be addressed?

The power steering pump should be located next to the engine, with a clearly marked reservoir attached to it. There should be a dipstick on the inside of the cap: Some vehicle have “hot” and “cold” markings, but readings will be more accurate if the fluid level is checked while the engine is cold. Power-Steering-Pump-FixThe type of fluid required should be marked on the top of the cap. Old fluid can be removed using a syringe. Fluid that is shiny or has metal filings is a sure sign that the pump is near failure.

In some vehicles, it’s normal to hear some noise when the wheel is turned all the way to full lock, but constant noise is usually due to a slipping drive belt. Some flexing of the belt is OK: A tight belt can pull on the drive pulley, causing rapid bearing wear. If the belt is in good shape and properly tensioned, the problem is usually worn bearings.

Leaks usually occur at the hoses or a kinked line: Follow the path of these parts from the pump to the steering rack and look for any obvious leaks. Leaks from the pump are less common, but are usually caused by holes in sheet metal fluid reservoirs or a bad seal on a plastic reservoir.

Posted in Driveshaft, Steering Gear Box | Tagged , , |