I was one of the fortunate auto journalists Ford Motor Co. shipped to British Columbia to test the mettle of its 2003 Ford Expedition. The 2H mode gives maximum economy for highway driving. The clutch and drive chain inside the transfer case disengage, saving wear and reducing drag. Integrated wheel ends disconnect the front drivetrain at the wheel hubs to avoid "back driving" the front half shafts, differential, and driveshaft. A drive through a snaky, dog-sled trail let us see what the Expedition could do in the snow. Thanks to ControlTrac in A4WD (automatic four-wheel drive), I was able to navigate the slippery, snow-caked trail without crashing into the mountainside A fully boxed, electrocoated frame carries hydroformed rails and laser-cut, through-welded crossmembers. According to Ford, torsional rigidity jumped 70% compared to the previous frame. Coil-over-shock, double-wishbone suspensions front and rear work with a new variable-assist power rack-and-pinion steering for crisp handling. The independent rear suspension cuts unsprung mass by 110-lb compared with the previously used live-axle design. The porthole-in-frame design, a variation of the one carried by the 2002 Ford Explorer, allows 9 in. of wheel travel. Vertical ovals cut into rear-frame rails give the axles ample room to move, providing better response over rough pavement and when off-roading. Driving the Expedition through downtown Vancouver gave firsthand experience on how it handles city streets. Though the Expedition is large, it drives like a car, smoothing over bumps in the road and easily maneuvering lane changes. For stopping power, 13-in. front and 13.5-in. rear rotors, along with stiffer calipers, are said to improve pedal feel, reduce fade, and give shorter stopping distances. I had more than one occasion to make quick stops while navigating the city streets and am happy to report the Expedition stopped quickly, without any excessive dive. The Expedition
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Differentials and Axles
A differential is a mechanical connection that translates rotational motion from a source to two axles. The driveshaft generally runs the length of the vehicle, from the energy input (a motor) to the energy output (the wheels). The axle of the driving wheels is split, with the driveshaft transferring motion through gearing arrangements to maintain a uniform direction and speed of the (live) axles. This arrangement is very common in rear-wheel drive cars and trucks, but is also employed in aircraft, production machinery and equipment, trains, and ships.
Electric brakes are assemblies consisting of electrical elements for the slowing or stopping of shafts in equipment drives. Electrical power is required to activate the brake.
Fluid couplings are torque-transmitting couplings that use hydraulic oil or water to transmit power. They differ from torque converters in that the input torque is equal to the output torque (no multiplication of torque).
Centerless Grinding Services
Centerless grinding services perform a machining operation in which an abrasive wheel grinds metal from a bar surface while a regulating wheel forces the bar against the grinding wheel.
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