Racers that are reaching for the most horsepower possible need parts that can deal with the extreme amounts of abuse. The rearend is the last stop before the power is applied to the ground, and a floater rearend might be the best option for you based on the horsepower you’re generating. In this article, JC Casico from Strange Engineering talks about when you need to think about using a floater-style rearend.
A floater rearend doesn’t use an axle with a flange to transfer power to the rear tires; instead, the floater-style rearend has a drive axle that floats on a splined pinion and drive hub that’s part of a spindle. The drive flange that’s on the outside of the axle is what actually rotates the wheel via the hub assembly. This rearend design lets the axle concentrate on moving the vehicle forward, rather than being a part of the assembly that supports a large amount of weight.
The floater rearend is typically found in high-horsepower classes like Pro Mod, Radial vs The World, and Top Dragster, but that doesn’t mean it can’t work for other classes, too.
“As the cars continue to get quicker, sanctioning bodies tend to use added weight to slow the cars down. This puts an increased amount of stress on the driveline components, which can lead to failures. The major benefit to upgrading a floater kit is safety. In a traditional flanged axle configuration, the flange sees both torsional and bending loads. This can lead to premature failure of the axle bearings, as well as potentially the bending or breaking of the axle flange or and/or the axle shaft,” Cascio explains.
A floater rearend isn’t cheap, so you need to make sure you purchase one that will have all the features you need. The spindles should be made from chrome-moly steel and have a larger inner bearing radius so the axle tube will have a larger portion engaged, preventing deflection. The hubs should be made of strong billet aluminum, and you should have options for different floating rotor materials. Strange Engineering’s floater-style rearends offer all of these options and much more.
According to Cascio, a floater rearend can do more than just add strength, it can improve the performance of a racecar, too.
“A floater rearend will provide a performance improvement over a flanged axle because of the added rigidity of the floater kit. By reducing bending and deflection, there will be little to no added preload to the bearings and the entire rear assembly will spin freely during a run.”
You can learn more about Strange Engineering’s floater rearend offerings right here.