Yukon Gear and Axle provides components for diesel, drag, racing, restoration and off-road. 


Yukon customers deserve more than just a low price. They deserve the confidence that goes with buying the highest quality product on the market. We have searched the world to bring you the best axle shafts available for heavy-duty use in truck, car, racing, and off-road applications. Yukon axles are produced using state-of-the-art equipment and manufacturing techniques by some of the world’s foremost leaders in OEM axle manufacturing. We visit the factories. We know the people. And we constantly strive to improve the processes. We stand behind the quality of Yukon axle shafts.

Steel Types

Steel choices for OEM axle manufacturers include 1040 steel, or 1050 steel for OEM replacement axles. 1040 is less than preferred when it comes to strength. There are several grades of steel available for axle shafts. Selecting different alloys can greatly increase strength. Using high-quality alloys gives Yukon axles more strength than competitors’ axles. High performance Yukon axles are made using 1050, 1541h, and 4340 alloy steels. 1050 steel, on the other hand, works great for OEM replacement axle shafts in trucks and many passenger cars. 1050 steel has considerably more carbon than 1040 steel, which makes it approximately 18 percent stronger and 16 percent harder than 1040. The 1050 steel used in some of our OEM replacement axle shafts provides more than enough strength for the heavy-duty use they will see. For most high-performance applications, 1541H steel is the steel of choice. 1541H contains significantly more manganese than 1040 or 1050 steels. This additional manganese increases strength and hardenability, and aids the deep heat-treat process. These characteristics make 1541H a great choice for high performance and custom axle shafts. Additionally, 1541H is far stronger than 1050 steel—without being a whole lot more expensive. This alloy, when heat-treated correctly, also delivers on durability. 1541H steel is approximately 20 to 25 percent stronger than the 1040 steel used in OEM axle shafts.

For extreme high performance use—where twisting torque is important, but bending stresses are limited—4140 or 4340 Chrome-Moly alloy steels work well. 4140 Chromoly provides approximately 27 percent more strength than 1040 steel, while 4340 Chromoly provides approximately 39 percent more strength than 1040. This translates into huge gains in twisting strength, assuming bending will not be an issue. 4340 is approximately 10 percent stronger than 4140 due to the extra nickel content, which increases toughness and strength.


Hardness is an important material property that affects material strength. Hardness is related to a material’s resistance to deformation or penetration. A well-made axle shaft with the right alloy and the proper hardness is less likely to wear, bend, twist, break, or deteriorate as a result of the pressures and forces it supports.

Achieving the desired level of hardness in an axle shaft is done by controlling several processes. Selecting the right material, and using the proper processes for tempering, normalizing, and heattreating are all necessary in order to produce a strong axle shaft. Most automotive axle shafts are case-hardened. Case-hardening leaves a hard surface layer (approximately 0.100" to 0.400" deep) and a relatively soft, strong, tough core. Through-hardening can increase strength, but it can also lead to problems if the shaft is used to support the weight of the vehicle. Throughhardening produces a shaft, which is usually too brittle to support the side loads the flange incurs while supporting the vehicle. Case-hardening causes less distortion and cracking than throughhardening, especially in large cross sectional areas.