Rag joint


Rag joint

A rag joint refers to certain flexible joints found on automobiles. They are typically found on steering shafts that connect the steering wheel to the steering gear input shaft, usually at the steering gear end. They provide a small amount of flex for a steering shaft within a few degrees of the same plane as the steering gear input shaft. It also provides some damping of vibration coming from the steering system, providing some isolation for the steering wheel.

This type of joint was also used on driveshafts of 1960s race cars, later being replaced by the constant-velocity joint or driveshafts with pairs of universal joint.

The joint consists of a piece of doughnut shaped rubber with reinforcing cords vulcanized in it, similar to a tire. This disc is bolted or riveted to flanges mounted on the ends of the shafts to connect the steering wheel shaft to the steering gear. The ragged cords can be seen on the edge of this piece of rubber, hence the term "rag joint".


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