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Locking Differential


To connect both driven wheels or drive axles with each other and to thus distribute the initiated torque evenly when the wheel speed differences are too great.


A distinction is drawn between 100% locking differentials and self-locking differentials (please click!). With the 100% differential lock, the driver can make the decision her/himself. Through a sliding clutch, the cage in which the compensating bevel wheels are found, is connected with the right-hand drive. This jaw-clutch may only be engaged, either with strong slip of the driven wheels or when driving in a straight line.

The self-locking of the differential gear is possible by dividing the cage and by the installation of a multiple-disc clutch. With unequal wheel speeds, the two halves of the cage are moved in opposite directions and are thereby spread. The multiple-disc clutch engages and limits the wheel speed differences. Older differential locks with spring-loaded multiple-disc clutches lost their effect after just a few thousand kilometres.

Electronically controllable differential locks have been developed, among other things, to be able to switch off the lock during ABS regulation. In this case, the multiple-disc clutch is engaged through electronically adjustable hydraulics. The number of locks possible, is determined by the number of differentials available. With front-wheel- or rear-wheel drive, only one, and with four-wheel drive, a maximum of three.

50% locking effect means ...

Wheel with more grip transfers ...

75% of the torque.

Wheel with less grip transfers ...

25% of the torque.

The difference between both ...

corresponds to the 50% above.

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