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A Familiarization of Drivetrain Components 98024

An efficient, robust, and quiet running drivetrain is as essential to customer satisfaction as styling and interior creature comforts. In this seminar, you will be exposed to various methods that can be used to accomplish this goal. Designed to help you visualize both individual components and the entire drivetrain system - without reference to complicated equations - this seminar focuses on the terms, functions, nomenclature, operating characteristics and effect on vehicle performance for each of the drivetrain components. Attendees will receive an introduction to the various components of the drivetrain, including the clutch or torque converter, manual or automatic transmission, driveshaft, axle, wheel ends, and brakes.

This course also provides insight into: the structure and function of each component; vehicle integration; and related noise, vibration and harshness issues. You will be equipped to evaluate the space requirements, mounting needs, clearances required, and effect on vehicle response for each component.

Attendees will receive a copy of James Halderman's book, The Automotive Technology, 4th Ed.

Learning Objectives
By attending this seminar, you will be able to:
  • Discuss both practical and technical aspects of smoothing clutch operation by incorporating cushion and torsional dampers.
  • Compare different types of transmission synchronizers, automatic transmission torque converters, hydraulic clutch operation and epicyclic gear trains.
  • Describe the interaction of gear ratios and vehicle performance as related to engine horsepower and torque curves.
  • Explain phasing and mounting of propeller shafts as related to torsional excitation and secondary couple loads
  • Review different types of differentials.
  • Compare common misconceptions of limited slip devices to their actual performance.
  • Recognize four-wheel drive systems and the need for an inter-axle differential.
  • Appraise electronic control of torque through braking and clutching devices.
  • Evaluate the total drivetrain package as a system.

Who Should Attend
This seminar is intended for engineers now working with passenger car, sport utility, truck, bus, industrial, and off-highway vehicles who have had minimal prior experience with the total drivetrain.

An engineering undergraduate degree in any discipline would be beneficial.


  • Clutch (dry/wet)
    • Pressure Plate (Cover)
      • Direct pressure
      • Indirect pressure
      • Belleville
      • Over center springs
    • Disc
      • Hub
      • Facing support member
      • Torsional damper -- damper springs; co-axial damper springs; damper friction devices
      • Facings - Organic; Ceramic/metallic; cushion types
    • Linkage
      • Hydraulic
      • Cable
      • Mechanical
  • Transmission
    • Automatic
      • Hydraulically controlled
      • Electronically controlled
      • Planetary or epicyclical gearing
      • Hydraulic multi-disc clutches
    • Torque Converters
      • Impeller
      • Turbine
      • Stator
      • Lock-up clutch
    • Manual
      • Synchronized
      • Non-Synchronized
      • Electronically shifted
      • Gear rattle
  • Propshaft
    • Cardan Joints
      • Torsional excitation -- cancellation (two or more joints)
      • Secondary couple
    • Constant Velocity Joints
      • Rzeppa type
      • Others
  • Axle
    • Rigid -- Semi-float; Full-float; Carrier type; Banjo type
    • Steering
    • Independent
    • Gearing -- Spiral bevel; Hypoid
    • Differentials
      • Two pinion
      • Four pinion
      • Limited slips
      • Full locking
      • Plate types -- spring loading of plates; springs between side gears and plates; springs between gears; gear loading of plates
      • Cam loading of plates
      • Viscous types
      • Speed loaded types -- hydraulic pump; viscous pump
  • Axle (continued from Day One)
  • Transfer Case
    • Full Time
      • The requirement for a differential -- bevel differential; planetary differential
    • Part Time
      • Two-wheel drive
      • Locked four-wheel drive
  • Wheel Ends
    • Independent
    • Live vs. Dead Spindle
    • Bearing architectures

  • Brakes
    • Disc
    • Drum
    • Hydraulics
      • Master Cylinder, Proportioning valve
    • Electronic Control of Brakes and Torque
    • Anti-Lock Brake Systems
  • Joseph Palazzolo

    joe_palazzolo"Joe Palazzolo is Chief Engineer - eDrive Systems at GKN Driveline. He is responsible for managing the mechanical design and development of new automotive gearboxes, torque transfer devices, concepts, and industrialization into production applications. His prior professional experience spans the majority of vehicle powertrain systems, including overall chassis design and validation, all-wheel systems design and development, power transfer unit and transfer case design, and torque management device development. Joe has been privileged to contribute while working at Carron and Company, Visteon Corporation, Warn Industries, Magna Powertrain, and Ford Motor Company.


    Mr. Palazzolo maintains the ASE certified Master Technician and Undercar Specialist certifications, has chaired the SAE All-Wheel Drive Standards Committee, and has been an active SAE member since 1990. Mr. Palazzolo was a recipient of the SAE Forest R. McFarland Award for distinction in professional development and education in 2007. In 2010, he achieved the SAE Master Instructor designation and continues to maintain this in his three seminars that he has been teaching globally since 1999. In 2013, his technical and professional accomplishments to the industry were recognized by reaching the membership grade of SAE Fellow.

    Mr. Palazzolo is the award winning author of High-Performance Differentials, Axles & Drivelines in 2009. In 2013, he furthered his authoring with his second text on How to Rebuild the Ford 8.8 and 9 inch Axles. He has just finalized three chapters to be featured in the Automotive Engineering Encyclopedia to be released in 2014. He has designed, built, campaigned and supported various race cars and teams for both professional and amateur racing organizations. His scope of work has been inclusive of the entire vehicle but also focused on competitive, high-performance drivetrain systems. He holds a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cleveland State University and a Masters degree in Automotive Engineering from Lawrence Technological University. He has received numerous patents for his work and creativity in advancing mobility systems

    Hotel & Travel Information

    Fees: $1595.00
    SAE Members: $1276.00 - $1436.00

    1.3 CEUs
    You must complete all course contact hours and successfully pass the learning assessment to obtain CEUs.

    "Excellent overview of the entire drivetrain, but includes some detail and practical insight instead of being too broad and overgeneralized."
    Scott A. Van Luvender
    Applications Engineer
    Acadia Polymers

    "An informative seminar for general introduction to the drivetrain components and terminology for any one entering the drivetrain industry."
    James Lee
    Friction Material Manager
    Sulzer Euroflamm US, Inc.

    "This course tied together the subjects that I have been trained in very well."
    Brent Pawlak
    Sales Engineer

    Also available as an SAE On Demand Course!
    PD130555ON - A Familiarization of Drivetrain Components

    To register, click the Register button above or contact SAE Customer Service 1-877-606-7323 (724-776-4970 outside the U.S. and Canada) or at

    Duration: 2 Days
    March 25-26, 2019 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) - Troy, Michigan
    September 23-24, 2019 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) - Troy, Michigan