Help is just a click away!
Click here to chat with a Speedway Team Member
âś–
đź’¬
Online - Chat with us!
Chat
Products to Compare (max of 3)
X
Compare These Parts
Talk to the Experts. Call 800.979.0122, 7am-10pm, everyday.
Since 1952
in
in
Talk to the Experts. Call 800.979.0122
Shop By
Support
Account
Street Race Truck More... The Toolbox

Open vs. Limited Slip Differentials

9/19/2016
Tags: Tech

So just what exactly is the difference between an open or standard differential and a limited-slip? We will get to that, but first a little knowledge. The differential has essentially three jobs. It transfers power from the engine to the wheels. It varies this power so that the wheels may rotate independently (thus the term “differential”). Lastly, the differentials act as the final gear reduction drive system for the drivetrain.

So what is the difference?

With an open/ standard differential, gears called spider gears allow the wheels to vary speeds to negotiate turns without binding up. This setup works great for the majority of passenger vehicles on the road today. If you are running an open differential and you hit a loose patch, the differential will send power to the wheel that is encountering the least resistance. This results in wheel spin on the loose patch side, while the solid contact side barely moves. While the majority of OEM vehicles are equipped with an open style differential, there are options for those of us who might be known to mark our territory with a rubber stripe.

Limited slip differentials operate in a manner opposite an open system. When a limited slip diff senses that a wheel is spinning, it will automatically transmit more power to the wheel that has more traction. These differentials will not divert 100% of the power to one wheel though. Limited slip differentials work well in nearly all vehicles where traction may be occasionally needed. I am sure you have heard the term “PosiTraction” used in place of limited slip, that originally was used by GM years ago and has become a generic term associated with a style of product, much like Kleenex, Band-Aid, and Q-Tip.

Speedway Motors carries a variety of differentials to suit your needs. Limited slip, open, and locking differentials, we should have what you’re looking for. To check out our selection, Click Here. Happy Shopping!

Products Featured in this Article

Related Articles

Installing a Mechanical Fuel Pump
9/12/2019
A detailed explanation of how Speedway Motors small block fuel pump works and a guide for how to replace and install the mounting gasket.
Wheels and Tires - 410 Sprint Car Build
9/9/2019
We’re putting Weld Racing Wheels and tires on our 410 Sprint Car and finally dropping it on the ground. Check it out!
Smittybilt Winch Install
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
9/9/2019
A guide on how to install the Smittybilt Winch and the benefits of using a winch. Install this accessory on a Jeep, off-road truck or a car hauler. An essential tool if you need more traction in rugged terrain.
Camaro RS Parking Lamp Assembly
by Tyson Jurgens - Posted in Tech
9/9/2019
Learn how to install 1970-73 RS Camaro reproduction parking lamps and how to overcome some obstacles during the installation.
Shocks - 410 Sprint Car
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
9/6/2019
Today, we're following along as Jason Martin builds the Pro Shocks for our sprint car and installs them. There's lots to learn from this episode!
Rack and Pinion Steering
by Logan Niesz - Posted in Tech
9/4/2019
Learn about rack and pinion steering and the benefits to this specific system. This type of steering design uses a set of gears to convert rotational motion into linear motion. Find out more on the differences between manual vs. powered styles.
Diamonds in the Rough
8/29/2019
Read about the early Ford parts, including a 1930-1931 Model A Body, that Heath found while searching for a diamond in the rough.
Radiator Hose Configuration
by Kevin Webel - Posted in Tech
8/29/2019
How to install a chrome radiator hose kit and aluminum thermostat housing on a big block Chevy for an added touch to your engine bay.
Brakes - 410 Sprint Car Build
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
8/28/2019
Check out the 410 sprint car brake installation and bleeding the brakes! We're making serious progress on our build.
Fuel System - 410 Sprint Car Build
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
8/19/2019
Check out episode 9 of our 410 Sprint Car Build series! Today, the guys are having some fun with the fuel system.
Suggestions
`
Error
X
Note
X
Ok