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The Auburn Gear Limited Slip Differential employs an integral cone clutch side gear unit that creates friction with the carrier to drive both tires. The clutches will slip when one tire turns faster than the other. These are reasonably aggressive units that come in a High Performance and Pro version. The Pro version has more aggressive preload. Auburn also offers a D-Rex program to replace the unit should the clutches wear out.
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The Eaton Limited Slip Differential uses carbon disc clutch packs, preloaded by a central spring assembly behind each differential side gear. When torque input increases the clamping load on the clutch packs increases so that the chatter-free clutch packs grab and transfer power to both wheels. Muscle cars, hot rods and light duty off road vehicles should look to Eaton’s Limited Slip Differential for more rear end traction.
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The Eaton Truetrac’s proven helical gear design eliminates the need for wearable parts, resulting in maintenance free traction recognized not only for its toughness, but its smooth and quiet operation as well. The unit performs like an open differential and uses friction between worm gears and the carrier to provide smooth power transfer to the tire with the most traction.
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Trac Lok Limited Slip Differentials are made by a number of OEM and aftermarket manufacturers. These units use fiber clutches behind the side gears to apply torque to both tires. They allow axle slip to varying degrees depending on the unit. Trac Loks are a reasonably priced option for added rear end traction.
Open differentials are standard equipment on most vehicles. The "Open" differential does a great job of transmitting power and propelling the vehicle forward. The design also allows both wheels to travel at different speeds while cornering, without causing excessive tire wear. The problem with the open differential happens when one tire is on a low traction surface such as ice, snow or mud. The tire on the slippery surface will spin while the other tire provides no forward motion. The animation above shows an open front differential in a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Differential upgrades that will provide power to both wheels are featured on this page.