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Open vs Locked Differential - Explained

Engineering Explained Follow
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  • 8 years ago
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What is the difference between an open differential and a locked differential?

For information on how differentials work, I recommend the following video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv0jYDWp0ZA

A look into open differential, and locked differentials. The difference between each and what they mean. It should be noted that some open differentials have locking mechanisms, so that they can act as locked differentials when needed.

Open vs. Locked - The Physics Explained:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HOa0aRZYpw&list=SP2ir4svMoaYim-RSNWEh-aIfdcM6plSly

If you don't believe me about the 50:50 torque split with an open diff, read the first sentence of this link:
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/differential3.htm

Still don't believe it? Read this article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locking_differential

Here's a quote from the above article:
"An open (or unlocked) differential always provides the same torque (rotational force) to each of the two wheels, on that axle. So although the wheels can rotate at different speeds, they apply the same rotational force, even if one is entirely stationary, and the other spinning. (Equal torque, unequal rotational speed)."

I know it's not entirely intuitive, but these are the facts.


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