Menu

Shop

Garage

Cart

Account

Products to Compare (max of 3)
X
Compare These Parts

Open vs. Limited Slip Differentials

9/19/2016
Add Article To List
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

Speedway Tech Talk - How to Measure for a Racing Suit
by Frank Galusha - Posted in Videos
12/29/2021
EMi Employee Frank and Speedway Motors employee Jeremy demonstrate how to properly measure for a race suit.
Ford 9-Inch Housing Identification and Axle Measurement
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
12/23/2021
Need help with rear end identification for your muscle car or hot rod? Learn how to identify 9-inch Ford housings and how to measure your axles with our diagrams.
How to Choose a Racing Harness
by Charles Aman - Posted in Tech
12/3/2021
Having a difficult time deciding which racing harness to use? With many options to consider from size to closure type, this article will walk you through how to go about choosing the perfect one for you and your race car. Safety first!
How to Choose a Racing Suit
by Mark Houlahan - Posted in Tech
11/12/2021
Your body dimensions, field of racing, and budget are all factors in picking the best racing suit for your needs. Our racing suit buyer's guide will help educate you on all aspects of racing suit features and benefits so you can make an informed decision.
How to Assemble Speedway Motors Aluminum Hot Rod Bomber Seat DIY Kit
by Joe McCollough - Posted in Videos
10/28/2021
How to assembly the new aluminum hot rod bomber seat DIY kit.
How to Install Side Detent Shifter for GM TH200, TH250, TH350, and TH400
by Joe McCollough - Posted in Videos
10/27/2021
Learn how to install a side detent shifter in a 1969 Chevy C10.
How To Crimp Spark Plug Wires and Install Boots
by Jason Lubken - Posted in Tech
10/22/2021
Learn how to install spark plug wire terminal ends. Our step by step guide takes you through terminal end and boot installation with the use of a wire crimping tool.
Selecting The Best Performance Spark Plug Wires
by Jason Lubken - Posted in Tech
10/13/2021
Learn about some of the differences between factory plug wires and the improvements you'll receive with a quality set of aftermarket performance wires in our spark plug wire buyer's guide
Murray Vintage Pedal Car Identification
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
10/8/2021
Murray Ohio Manufacturing Company started producing pedal cars in the 1930’s. Here’s a guide on identifying Murray vintage pedal cars by body styles and various features.
Garton Vintage Pedal Car Identification
10/8/2021
For 95 years, Garton Toy Co. was the largest wheel goods toy factory in the world. Follow this guide on how to identify various Garton vintage pedal cars including the Kidillac and Tin Lizzy.
Error
X
Note
X
Ok