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Locking Differential VS. Open Differential

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Old 12-18-2008, 12:47 PM   #1
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Locking Differential VS. Open Differential

Found some interesting info online on the topic and I wanted to share for those that didn't know the difference OR how to use one VS. the other.

You will drive a rig with open diffs completely differently that one with a LS or a locker.
  • An open diff requires that you try to maintain equal traction side to side (on at least one axle) as much as possible. If not, the torque will flow to the side with the least traction. You will need to use more momentum to substitute for less traction.
  • With a low bias limited slip, you will find the most help on low traction surfaces like mud, sand, snow, etc, where the loss of traction is equal on both sides. The low bias LS will be less useful where there is a great disparity from side to side, such as two widely different ground surfaces or one unloaded (or lifted) tire.
  • Lockers split the traction evenly, but can make maneuvering difficult... especially if a front locker is used. With automatic lockers, vehicle weight and weight bias can affect how they engage and disengage.
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