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A Familiarization of Drivetrain Components PD130555ON

An efficient, durable, and quiet running drivetrain is as essential to customer satisfaction as styling and interior creature comforts. In this e-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 e-seminar focuses on the terms, functions, nomenclature, operating characteristics and effect on vehicle performance for each of the drivetrain components. Instructor Joseph Palazzolo provides 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.

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

Based on the popular classroom seminar, the five and a quarter hour course is divided into seven modules accompanied by a handbook.


By participating in this course, 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

Materials Provided

  • 90 days of online single-user access (from date of purchase) to the 5 hour course
  • Links to streaming video modules
  • Course handbook (downloadable, .pdf's)
  • Instructor follow up to your content questions <\li>
  • 0.5 CEUs*/Certificate of Achievement (upon completion of all course content and a score of 70% or higher on the learning assessment)
*SAE International is authorized by IACET to offer CEUs for this course.

Is this e-Seminar for You?

This e-Seminar was 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.

This course satisfies a requirement in the Transmission/Drivetrain Certificate Program.

Have colleagues who need this course? See Special Offers to the right.

Click on the Requirements tab to make sure you are properly equipped to interact with this course.

For More Details

Email, or call 1-877-606-7323 (U.S. and Canada) or 724-776-4970 (outside US and Canada).

Related Topics
Click on each topic for an expanded view.
  • Clutches
  • Transmission
  • Propshaft
  • Axle
  • Transfer Case
  • Wheel Ends
  • Brakes

  • Windows 7, 8, 10 (other operating systems and mobile platforms are not supported but may work)
  • Internet Explorer 11, Mozilla Firefox 37+ , Google Chrome 42+ (other browsers are not supported)
  • Broadband-1Mbps minimum

Joe J. Doe
Joe Palazzolo

Joe Palazzolo is employed as Chief Engineer – Geared Products at GKN Driveline Torque Technology Group where he manages the mechanical design and development of new automotive gearboxes, torque transfer devices, concepts, and integration into production applications. His prior professional experience includes all-wheel systems design and development, power transfer unit and transfer case design, and torque management device development at Visteon Corporation, Warn Industries, and Ford Motor Company.

Mr. Palazzolo is an ASE certified Master Technician, chaired the SAE All-Wheel Drive Standards Committee, and has been an active SAE member since 1990. He is a past recipient of the SAE Forest R. McFarland Award for distinction in professional development and education (2007) and also achieved the SAE Master Instructor designation (2010).

Mr. Palazzolo is the award winning author of High-Performance Differentials, Axles & Drivelines. 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 entire vehicle inclusive 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.

0.5 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


Access Period:90 Days

Duration: 5.25 Hours
Members save up to 20% off list price.
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Special Offers: Have colleagues who need this course? Purchase access for one individual at the appropriate member or list price, then purchase access for up to four additional employees at 10% off the list price. Contact SAE Customer Service to arrange online access for all individuals at the same time or mention the confirmation number for the first purchase. The offer is good for only the same e-Seminar. All participants will receive a personal account and opportunity for CEUs.



Quantity discounts for six or more students and corporate access options also are available - complete a Corporate Learning Solutions Request Form for a quote.