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

Residual vs Proportioning Valves and What Your Brake System Needs
by Eric McMillan - Posted in Brakes
1/26/2021
Today we take a look at the differences between proportioning valves (both fixed and adjustable models) and the residual pressure valves we offer in this buyer's guide.
What You Need to Know About Brake and Fuel Line Flaring and The Tools Required
1/22/2021
Custom rides usually require custom brake and fuel lines. Educate yourself on the tools you will need and the proper steps to a successful line assembly in our buyer's guide.
Installing a Dakota Digital Instrument Cluster - 1967 Chevelle
by Jeff Karls - Posted in Tech
1/22/2021
This Dakota Digital Instrument Cluster, modeled after a factory SS dash, is a must for your Classic car or Muscle car. Check out this article to learn about the unique features and how it requires only one cable to plug in for install!
How to Install a FiTech EFI System - 1967 Chevelle
by Jeff Karls - Posted in Tech
1/15/2021
Follow this detailed guide on installing a FiTech EFI system in a '67 Chevelle. Learn helpful tips along the way including how to route the blue trigger wire away from the coil and ignition system.
Splined Sway Bar Installation - 1967 Chevelle
by Jeff Karls - Posted in Tech
1/7/2021
Follow this guide on how to install a splined sway bar for GM A-body applications. See the installation process on a '68 Chevelle frame using stock control arms and factory chassis bolt and pad locations.
Using the Proper Steering Wheel Adapter
by Mark Houlahan - Posted in Tech
1/5/2021
If you are confused as to how that new steering wheel you want is going to attach to your project's steering column then this buyer's guide should be your first visit before adding that new wheel to your shopping list.
Installing a Custom Exhaust System: Part 2 - 1967 Chevelle
by Jeff Karls - Posted in Tech
12/31/2020
See the final steps of installing a custom exhaust system on a '67 Chevelle. Learn some tips on how to offset and install the exhaust U bend tailpipe.
Installing a Custom Exhaust System: Part 1 - 1967 Chevelle
by Jeff Karls - Posted in Tech
12/21/2020
Next up, Jeff installs a custom exhaust system in his '67 Chevelle. See how he applies tailpipe tips and incorporates exhaust cutouts during the process.
1946 Ford Sedan Delivery-Employee Rides: Jeff Karls
by Jeff Karls - Posted in Tech
12/21/2020
Ride along as you read the story of how "Looney Tunes" started and made its way back to the original owner after nearly three decades.
Mounting a Single Electric Fan - 1967 Chevelle
by Jeff Karls - Posted in Tech
12/16/2020
Follow this guide on how to mount a single electric puller fan in a '66 - '67 Chevelle. Learn tips on taking measurements and installing a rubber spacer to prevent the fan from rubbing.
Error
X
Note
X
Ok