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Old 02-27-2003, 07:43 PM
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bjcsc bjcsc is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 672
Yes that is what your diff. is supposed to do. Now for more than maybe you wanted to know. Here's the way it works: Basically, there are three types of differentials: open, limited slip (or positraction) and locked. To understand how they work, you have to think about torque in a different way. Think about it as no resistance = no torque. The maximum amount of torque is limited by 2 things: power and traction. In an open differential, the same amount of torque is applied to both wheels, but the torque is limited by the traction. Thus when one wheel slips, the amount of torque = zero in both wheels and you go nowhere. In a limited slip differential, clutches and springs are used to basically set a minimum amount of torque required for them to slip (so you can turn). When one wheel slips, the amount of torque drops (gets further away from overriding the clutches and springs) so the other wheel keeps turning and you get out, though at reduced power - your exact situation. You can think of it like a locked differential that unlocks under a certain amount of torque. In a locked differential, both wheels always turn at the same speed, regardless of whether or not they are getting traction, ie. one wheel wouldn't slip even though it has no traction and the other would get you out without you really noticing which wheel really had traction. The other thing that occurs with locked differentials is difficulty in turning as the outside wheel can't turn faster than the inside wheel in turns on pavement and thus hops to spin in the air, putting tremendous stress on all of the axle components. You may have seen part time 4wd vehicles (like Jeeps!) do this when they are engaged on concrete. It's a similar situation, but in this case it's due to them not having a third differential to accomodate the different speeds of the front and rear axles. So they're really hopping "front to back" and not "side to side". Full-time 4wd vehicles have three diffs., one for each axle and one between the two. Nonetheless, locked diffs are limited to off-road applications. Anyway, you're in good shape. (this got kind of long - sorry) HTH
1982 Mercedes-Benz 300CD
1982 Mercedes-Benz 240D - stick
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