Saturday 31th July 2021

Tips

# More grip with a differential lock / limited slip differential

A differential lock helps to improve traction on uneven road surfaces such as off-road and on soft and yielding surfaces. Also it is very effective when accelerating out of turns. This prevents the inside wheel from spinning, which means that optimal acceleration is guaranteed. Anyone who has ever had experience with a limited slip differential knows the benefits certainly already. But how exactly does such a differential lock function?

### A differential gear as a base

Let's take a look at the function and the structure of a differential. Only then can we understand what a differential is. A driven axle always has a differential gear as a base. This transmission is also called differential gear. The main task of this transmission is to allow the wheels to rotate at different speeds, with the result that the wheels are not directly coupled with each other. This task is especially important in turns. The outside wheel turns in curves, depending on the angle, faster than the inside wheel. Reason for this is that the outer wheel in the same time has to travel a greater distance. If both wheels were connected directly, the wheels would always spin at the same speed. If you would travel different distances at the same speed, the outer wheel would spin faster and slip. On paved roads this could lead to dangerous situations. The torque transmitted to the axle is determined by the wheel with the leastwith the least grip or slip) certainly. This negative event is counteracted by the installation of a differential gear. A specific arrangement of gears allows both tires to rotate independently of each other.

### The differential lock

A differential lock does exactly the opposite as described above, essentially preventing wheels from turning at a different speed. Although the differential does not bring about negligible benefits, these are not desirable and good in all situations. On non-solid roads and undulating ground such as on ice, meadows, terrain, snow and mud most wheels would spin through the differential gear and possibly even stop. If we assume that one wheel is stuck in the mud and is spinning accordingly, then the other wheel can simply stand still and thus not move any further. Such a scenario can be observed again and again in winter on many vehicles. Accordingly, not only the wheels stop but also the vehicle stops. To avoid this effect, there are vehicle models that are equipped with a differential with possible blocking effect. These are referred to as a differential lock or as a limited slip differential. The patronage of the differential lock gives a wheel always a larger torque. This is already known from off-road vehicles, because here some wheels can lose their grip and the others have to compensate for the slippage. In the off-road sector, differential locks are also used in all-wheel drives for torque distribution between the two drive axles. Here it is installed as a center differential behind the gearbox.

### There are some providers

Quaife Torsen limited slip differentials or those from Drexler are popular. The choice is great here too. The area of ​​application, the vehicle and of course the wallet are decisive. Drexler differentials are often used in motorsport. They offer countless settings, but are therefore also more maintenance-intensive. Quaife Torsen limited slip differentials, on the other hand, are almost always maintenance-free. But rather intended for use on the road. By the way, you have to differentiate between multi-disc locks, Torsen differentials, viscous locks, active, electronically controlled multi-disc locks and a self-made rigid through drive is also possible. Here you take an open differential and weld it together on the differential gears. As a result, this has a 100% blocking effect that is always present. This is the cheapest solution to get a locked rear axle differential, but only makes sense for drift vehicles. By the way, the Alpina B3 BiTurbo has a differential built by Drexler! We hope you the info report to the term Differential lock / limited slip differential from the field of autotuning. Our goal is that the largest German-language tuning dictionary (Tuning Wikipedia) and to explain tuning terms from A to Z easily and understandably. Almost every day we expand this encyclopedia and how far we are already can you HERE see. Soon the next one will be Tuning scene concept be illuminated by us. Incidentally, you will be informed about new topics if you have ours Feed subscribe to.

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