Our Rhino Driveline Prop Shafts are built to be the toughest prop shafts you can get. The shafts themselves have a larger diameter than stock and they’re built with chromoly steel. But the real magic is in the joints.
We use U-Series, Bounty Series, and CV series joints to set our prop shafts apart, but having so much choice can be overwhelming. First, we’re going to explain why joints matter at all in your prop shaft, then we’ll break down the differences between these joints for you and help you decide which one is best for the way you ride.
Why Joints Matter
The prop shaft on your UTV needs joints. Your prop shaft reaches all the way from the rear of your machine where the transmission turns your front output shaft, to your front differential. Adding U-joints or CV joints makes the high RPMs your UTV reaches possible with minimal vibration.
In theory, if the output shaft on your transmission and the pinion shaft on your front differential were perfectly aligned, these joints would be unnecessary. In practice, manufacturing variance makes this impossible. Not to mention all the flex of a UTV chassis in action makes perfect alignment even more unlikely when in use. If you didn’t have joints in your prop shaft, you would feel more vibration and probably tear up your transmission and differential gears.
All that means is that prop shaft joints are a necessary compromise to make your UTV work. And they introduce a major weak spot in your prop shaft. That’s why we couldn’t just make our Rhino Driveline Prop Shafts stronger—we had to make the joints stronger too.
Our C-Series joints use an axle style CV-joint. That means it uses ball bearings fitted to a cage and spider, all covered in a rubber boot. The “CV” of CV-joint stands for constant velocity, and that is the biggest difference between the C-Series joint and a traditional U-joint.
CV joints turn at a constant velocity which means the rotation speed of the shaft on both sides of the CV joint is exactly the same. That eliminates any possibility of vibration. With a normal U-joint, the alignment of your front diff to your transmission can create vibration in a standard U-joint and there’s not a lot you can do about it.
Apart from being constant velocity, our C-Series CV joints are stronger by design. The boot is watertight and keeps out mud and dust that loves to tear up prop shaft joints. The chromoly components are tougher than they need to be and ensure that no amount of torque load or chassis flex will break them. In practice, the only way to break one is to damage the boot and let it go unattended for months while contaminants wear down the exposed internal components.
Are C-Series CV Joints Right for You?
You can’t go wrong with C-Series CV Joints in your Rhino Driveline Prop Shaft. They’re the toughest, longest lasting joint option, and they’re consistent no matter how hard you push them. They don’t care what environment you ride in either. You can ride in mud, water, sand, bogs, or snow and they’ll work just as well everywhere you go. They’re also easy to service. The boot is held on by clamps which makes changing the boot easy.
The only reason not to get C-Series is if you have the highly specific needs that our Bounty Series Joints fill, or if you don’t ride hard and the U-Series is good enough.
Our Bounty Series U-joints are for a specific kind of rider. That’s because we made a trade-off—we removed the needle bearings of a traditional U-joint and filled in all that extra space with 4340 chromoly steel. That means the posts on Bounty Series U-joints are bigger and made with stronger material than your stock U-joint. We made it that way because the posts are the weakest point of the U-joint and the majority of failures we see are from posts breaking.
It’s the strongest traditional U-joint you can get, but it came at the cost of removing the needle bearing. That means it needs lots of grease. Ideally, these joints get greased before every ride. That’s the cost of getting the strongest U-joint possible.
Are Bounty Series U-Joints Right for You?
We call them “Bounty Series” because that’s who they’re for—competition level riders who plan on meticulously tweaking and prepping every inch of their machine before they hit the bounty hole or climb that bounty hill.
If you’re in it to take home the cash at all costs, then bounty series is right for you. Grease them before every ride and they’ll stand up to whatever you throw at them.
Our U-Series U-joints are the closest option to your OEM prop shaft U-joints. They use needle bearings to rotate and they’re sealed against the elements. The dimensions are identical to your OEM joints as well. But they’ve got one big trick up their sleeve—they’re made with 4340 chromoly steel.
They’re like stock, but they’re much stronger. The sealed needle bearings mean they’re low maintenance. Replacing a U-joint like this is simple and requires them to be pressed out to remove and pressed in to install.
Are U-Series U-Joints Right for You?
U-Series U-joints are straightforward U-joints like the ones you’re used to with the added benefit of being stronger. If you’re looking for a modest increase in strength and don’t plan on taking your machine through any difficult riding, then U-Series is right for you.
You could consider U-Series an extra strength stock replacement. When paired with our tougher Rhino Driveline Prop Shafts, you can count on them to get your chores done and take you on difficult weekend trail rides.
You Can’t Go Wrong
Hopefully that clarified some of the differences between our joints for you. No matter what you get, you’re getting an upgrade, and that’s not a bad thing. We’ve got C-Series for all around strength and longevity, Bounty Series for serious competition-level riders, and U-Series who want a traditional U-joint with extra strength. Get the one that describes you, and you’ll be riding happy for years to come.