The Differential Decisions: Choosing Between Limited Slip, Electronic Locking, and Air Locking Differentials

Written By: Matthew Scott

June 20, 2023

Today we’re talking about a crucial component of your vehicle’s drivetrain: the differential.

But before we get into the nitty-gritty of differentials, let’s first discuss why they’re important. Simply put, the differential is what allows the left and right wheels on a given axle to rotate at different speeds. This is crucial for making turns, as the inner wheel needs to travel a shorter distance than the outer wheel.

Now, there are several types of differentials out there. The most basic is the open differential, which is fine for most everyday driving situations. However, if you’re planning on taking your vehicle off-road or driving in slippery conditions, an open differential might not cut it. That’s where traction adding differentials come in.

One popular type of traction adding differential is the limited slip differential, or LSD. An LSD works by using a series of clutches or gears to distribute torque between the left and right wheels. When one wheel starts to slip, the LSD will automatically send more torque to the other wheel, improving traction and stability.

Another option is the electronic locking differential, which allows the driver to manually lock the differential using a switch or button. This can be particularly useful for getting out of muddy or slippery situations, as it ensures that both wheels are receiving equal amounts of torque.

Finally, there’s the air locking differential, which uses compressed air to lock the differential. This can be especially useful for heavy-duty trucks and off-road vehicles, as it allows the driver to quickly and easily engage and disengage the lock as needed.

Now, when it comes to aftermarket traction adding differentials, there are several brands to choose from. One popular option is ARB, which offers a range of differentials for a variety of vehicles. Another reputable brand is Eaton, which is known for its high-quality LSDs. And if you’re looking for a heavy-duty option, you might consider the Detroit Locker, which is specifically designed for off-road and towing applications.

In conclusion, traction adding differentials can be a valuable addition to your vehicle, especially if you plan on doing any off-roading or driving in slippery conditions. They can improve traction and stability, giving you the confidence to tackle even the toughest terrain. So whether you’re considering an LSD, electronic locking differential, or air locking differential, be sure to do your research and choose the one that best meets your needs.


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