So you live and drive in Ireland which means you are acutely aware of just how bad our roads are. Granted, the main regional routes have improved a little over the last two decades but stray off our motorway network and you won’t be long formulating an opinion on the roads! Now in OTTO we know you are smart enough to realise that we can’t really bang on this drum, our argument is possibly flawed; we do offer the highest quality OEM replacement parts for your injured car, it is our “bread and butter”. That said we like to be able to stand behind our claims with empirical evidence of just how high is this “highest quality OEM standard”.
One of the John Cooper Works Minis on the way to top ten finish (image courtesy of BMW)
Just this week our partners in GKN reported on their recent Dakar rally success. GKN, a global supplier of driveline components to the automotive industry with north of 250 years engineering eperience clearly quite proud that the first ten vehicles to complete the gruelling Dakkar rally use GKN joints! This rally really is on par with the challenge of Irish road conditions with 12 special stages totalling just short of 4,000km across desert and wilderness. This requires chassis and driveline configurations in two wheel drive and four wheel drive cars with hugely exaggerated joint articulation angles and enormous power and fatigue loads. This is the evidence in our book and proves just how refined is the engineering you will find in our GKN joints , half-shafts and propeller shafts.
To give you a sense of the challenge, Peugeot, the three times winner of the Dakar Rally entered a “buggy” class with rear wheel drive configuration. This requires huge amounts of suspension and wheel travel but with enequal length control arms means flexible length half shafts. The solution is a GKN plunging joint on the transmission end and fixed joints with large deflection angles at the wheel side. The result is light weight at the hub for ideal suspension design but clearly takes power transmission in it’s stride. Arduous conditions are catered for with exceptionally cool running grease in the joints, unique to GKN, The wining form speaks for itself!
A GKN “Plunge” type joint which proved so successful in the recent Dakar Rally
Opting for four wheel drive, the Mini presents a totally different challenge for GKN engineers. Shorter suspension travel to keep the car planted on the ground should make life easier but scrabbling for traction the power and fatigue loads landing on individual corners of the car are enormous and unpredictable requiring superb durability and strength. GKN’s VL-RF type joints are an ideal first choice boasting super light weight and strength but we know that a chain is only as strong as the weakest link! To solve this one GKN provided drive shafts and propeller shafts made with steel created in a double vacuum fitted with intermediate joints for ultimate geometry. The resulting 7th and 10th place finishes for the Mini is proof enough that it works. In fact the special low fatigue alloy steels offered by GKN for propeller and drive shaft solutions were the guarantee Mini needed to get them home.
The original and the best wheel side CV Joint – GKN original quality
No fewer than three top ten positions for Toyota, 4th, 5th and 9th to be specific make an even more convincing case for GKN. Again in a four wheel drive platform the Toyota Hilux made for a difficult case in the GKN design office with similar high individual loads on specific drivetrain components. The solution again started with super light and strong plunging joints at the transmission end of half shafts with the reliability of GKN’s CV joints at the wheel hubs. Three of the top ten finishers says to us that GKN are if nothing else totally reliable.
GKN’s Power-efficient and super robust ball spline type plunge joints.
The guys in GKN are clearly very proud of their record but are also quick to thank and congratulate all of the teams and drivers they share the success with. For us here in OTTO it just makes it easier for us to make the case for GKN original equipment parts with you our customer. The 250 year engineering heritage of GKN allied with their cutting-edge technologies and their dominance of the OEM product marketplace questions why anybody might ever consider an inferior solution?
Drop your registration into our vehicle checker HERE and navigate to the “Wheel Drive” section of your car’s unique catalogue. Order on line or call us at any of our branches for advice and information.