In years past, aftermarket intermediate shaft quality was hit-or-miss, with galling and shafts spinning in the case often the result. Only certain companies like Novak paid much attention to proper heat treating practices. From gears to shafts, Tillford checks each batch he receives on his Rockwell hardness tester. As our benchmark, we measured the Novak shaft at HRC 551⁄2 (’bout the same as a quality knife blade). Then we measured an Omix shaft at HRC 53 and two recently improved Crown Automotive shafts identical to those that come with the Low18 gearsets at HRC 571⁄2 and HRC 601⁄2.