Rear End Differentials

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About

Rear End Differential
Rear End Differential

A rear end differential, is a device inside the axle housing, that transfers the rotation from the driveshaft, to the axle shafts, on either side of the vehicle. Along with transferring the rotation, it allows the vehicle's wheels to rotate at different speeds. This is very useful when the vehicle turns, the outside wheel needs to travel a longer distance, than the inside wheel. Without the use of a differential, the inside wheel would spin and the outside wheel would be pulled, which may ruin the tires quickly, and also decrease control in a turn.

In a standard open differential (non-locking), the torque applied to each wheel is always about equally split, between the two wheels. In normal driving conditions this is fine, however, when the vehicle is driven in a slippery surface like snow or mud, there may be a problem. If one tire is in snow and the other is on dry pavement, the tire in the snow will spin and the tire on the pavement will not. The reason is that equal torque applied to each wheel, will spin the tire with less resistance. In vehicles with electronic traction control the vehicle will apply the brakes to the tire that is slipping to increase the torque to both wheels which can help the other tire begin to spin.

A solution to the slipping of an open differential, is the use of a limited slip differential. This device uses a mechanical system to lock the left and right gears when one wheel is spinning faster than the other. A limited slip differential will still allow the wheel to spin, but limits how much spin it can achieve.

A locking differential, acts as an open differential during normal driving conditions, until the locking mechanism is engaged through an electrical signal or air pressure, by the driver. Another way a locking differential is engaged, is when enough torque is present it will automatically lock up. When a locking differential is engaged, both wheels will be given the same amount of force and spin, at the same speed regardless of which wheel has more traction.

Related Items

Differential Covers

A differential cover pan is a necessary part to your axle housing; it keeps the oil in the axle. An axle has gears that spin inside the axle housing. As they spin friction is created which also generates heat. The oil act to keep the friction down and also to dissipate the heat. Read More--->

Differential Covers
Differential Covers


Limited-Slip Traction Units

A solution to the slipping of an open differential is the use of a limited slip differential. This device uses a mechanical system to lock the left and right gears when one wheel is spinning faster than the other. A limited slip differential will still allow the wheel to spin but limits how much spin it can achieve. Read More--->

Limited-Slip Traction Units
Limited-Slip Traction Units

Ring & Pinion Gears

The ring and pinion gear are very important parts of the axle and without them the vehicle would not move under its own power. A ring gear is installed in the differential at a 90 degree angle while the pinion gear is attached to the pinion yoke. As the driveshaft spins the rotation is sent through to the pinion gear, this gear spins and in turn spins the ring gear. This is how the vehicle is able to transfer the direction of the spinning driveshaft going the length of the vehicle to the pinion gear inside the differential to spin the tires forward or backward. Read More--->

Ring & Pinion Gears
Ring & Pinion Gears


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