terminology

Transaxle

A transaxle is simply a [[transmission]] which is "part" of the driven axle. Keep in mind that an "axle" does not necessarily refer to an actual individual axle; in fact, due to the suspension and other systems used on cars today, in general there is a separate axle for each driven wheel. Even inside a [[live axle]] setup, the middle of the axle is broken and there is a [[differential]] there.

Supercar

There are [[muscle car]]s, which have big engines stuffed into ordinary cars. There are [[sports car]]s, which are purpose-built for performance. There are even [[race car]]s, which are built specifically to be placed on the track. But there is another class of vehicle in between these last two, something that is almost ready to be placed on the track as you drive it off the floor. Something that, arguably, has no reason to exist on a public road. We call that a supercar.

Yaw Control

While the antilock brake system (ABS) helps keep traction while braking, and traction control (TC) helps keep traction while accelerating, it's yaw control that helps you keep traction while turning (or trying not to!) All three systems watch the output of the wheel sensors and take actions based on them; ABS tries to make sure that all wheels are turning at about the same rate, and TC tries to make sure that your use of the throttle doesn't cause them to spin, but yaw control's job is to make sure that the car goes where you are trying to make it go, and that makes it the most complicated out of the three.

Traction Control

Traction control is a name for a computer-controlled system intended to stop wheels from spinning during acceleration. The term is also used (somewhat incorrectly) to describe yaw control, a system designed to stop a vehicle from turning when you don't want it to. Both systems work by watching information from wheel position sensors, typically the same ones used for the antilock brake system (ABS) and then doing either one or both of two things: reducing the engine power output or applying the brakes through ABS.

Transmission

The word transmission refers to a transfer of something. In this case, that is kinetic energy. In basically every automobile, a rotational force (whether produced from a reciprocating motion, such as in a typical gasoline engine with pistons, or from a rotary engine, electric motor, or turbine engine) is both transmitted from the engine to one or more driven wheels, but it is also geared down (and sometimes also up) so that it can do useful work.

Tubbed

A tubbed vehicle has had the wheel houses extended towards the inside of the vehicle. This allows the use of wider wheels than stock without widening the body of the car. When this is done, either wheels with a very positive offset (meaning that the hub mounts towards the outside of the wheel) are used, or for more strength, wheels with no offset are used (the hub mounts at the center of the wheel) and the rear axle is shortened so that the wheels do not stick out past the body.

USDM

USDM is an acronym for "United States Domestic Market". It is frequently (but not exclusively) used to discuss cars, especially to differentiate from the JDM (Japanese) or "Euro"(pean) version of an import vehicle. Popular vehicles which are (or were) substantially different in their native market include:

Tapered Roller Bearing

Invented (and patented) in 1898 the Tapered Roller Bearing is one of the most important inventions in automotive history. A deceptively simple concept revolutionized (please pardon the pun) cars as we know them. The basic types of bearings are ball bearings and roller bearings. Simply enough, ball bearings roll on spherical balls which are trapped between raceways. Roller bearings instead use cylindrical rollers which are similarly contained. Both of these bearings have a common problem, however, in that they do not provide any mechanism for bearing load exerted from the side.

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