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Torque tube drive is a drivetrain configuration that utilizes an enclosed driveshaft, known as a torque tube, to connect the transmission output shaft to the differential pinion shaft. This design aims to minimize the twisting forces of engine torque on the suspension and driveshaft.

Key Features:

  1. Enclosed Driveshaft: The torque tube houses the driveshaft, providing protection and support while transmitting torque from the transmission to the differential.
  2. Connection to Rear Axle Housing: One end of the torque tube is bolted to the rear axle housing, providing a stable mounting point for the driveshaft and differential.
  3. Pivoted Connection to Transmission: The other end of the torque tube is connected to the rear of the transmission via a ball joint or similar mechanism. This allows for controlled movement and articulation between the transmission and the torque tube.
  4. Transfer of Driving Force: The driving force generated by the rear wheels is transferred to the vehicle frame through the torque tube. This helps distribute torque evenly and minimizes the effects of torque-induced twisting forces on the suspension and driveshaft.

The use of a torque tube drive system was common in older vehicle designs, particularly in rear-wheel-drive cars, as a means of addressing the challenges associated with transmitting engine torque to the rear wheels. By enclosing the driveshaft within a torque tube and providing a stable connection to both the transmission and the rear axle housing, this configuration helped minimize drivetrain vibrations, improve stability, and reduce wear on suspension components.


  1. Reduced Twisting Forces: By enclosing the driveshaft within a torque tube, this design helps mitigate the effects of engine torque-induced twisting forces on the suspension and drivetrain components, leading to smoother operation and improved durability.
  2. Improved Stability: The rigid connection provided by the torque tube helps maintain proper alignment between the transmission, driveshaft, and rear axle, enhancing vehicle stability and handling characteristics.

Torque tube drive systems were commonly used in older vehicle designs, particularly in mid-20th century automobiles. While they have largely been replaced by other drivetrain configurations in modern vehicles, torque tube drives remain a notable feature in vintage and classic cars, contributing to their unique engineering and design characteristics.

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